Minnesota Public Radio; 12/30/2011
Excerpt: “Duluth, Minn. — After 15 years of being a calm presence at the center of some of northern Minnesota’s most fractious environmental battles, Superior National Forest Supervisor Jim Sanders retires today.
He leaves a legacy of strong stewardship of three million acres of land that every American owns — an area that people are incredibly passionate about, even though many likely have different ideas on what should be done with it.
From logging fights to this summer’s controversy over management of the Pagami Creek wildfire in the Boundary Waters, Sanders has won the respect of people on all sides.
Read more at http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2011/12/30/jim-sanders-retires/
Elko Daily Free Press; 12/29/2011
Excerpt: “ELKO — Controversy over a plan to map the trails and roads open to the public on the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest and stop motorized cross-country travel will spill over into the new year.
Elko County Commissioners expect a congressional field hearing on the U.S. Forest Service’s Travel Management Plan for the county to be held in Elko in 2012, giving them another chance to voice opposition.
The hearing also will give counties throughout the West dissatisfied with their travel plans a chance to have another say about their plans…..”
Read entire article at http://elkodaily.com/news/local/travel-plan-issue-carries-over-to-new-year/article_42df76be-3243-11e1-833c-0019bb2963f4.html.
Courthouse News Service; 12/30/2011
Excerpt: “ TUCSON (CN) – Tombstone, “the town too tough to die,” says it’s running out of water because the U.S. Forest Service refuses to allow crews into nearby mountain wilderness areas to repair water lines damaged by a landslide of “Volkswagen-sized” boulders.
Tombstone, population 1,562, sued the United States of America and the Forest Service’s parent agency, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in Federal Court.
Tombstone says its 1.2-million gallon reservoir is nearly dry. As a result, the little town about 70 miles southeast of Tucson faces a water shortage during its busy winter tourist season, when it trades on its Wild West history and swells with visitors from all over the world…..”
Read entire article at http://www.courthousenews.com/2011/12/30/42664.htm.
Klamath Falls Herald and News Editorial; 12/29/2011
Excerpt: “Last Sunday, three members of Congress from Oregon, including U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, who represents Eastern Oregon, said in a commentary they’re working on a plan to give firm direction to management of federal forest lands.
It’s needed, and we hope the commentary is a good indicator of what lies ahead for the lands. The commentary’s other authors are U.S. Reps. Kurt Schrader of Oregon’s Fifth Congressional District and Peter DeFazio, Fourth Congressional District.
Here are a few key passages from the commentary along with some thoughts from us……”
Read entire article at http://www.heraldandnews.com/viewpoints/editorials/article_4da16bc4-31ef-11e1-896c-0019bb2963f4.html#vmix_media_id=122642071.
Excerpt: “Congress has to get cracking; time is running out on timber counties .
Three Oregon congressmen recently described on these pages the outlines of a plan aimed at breaking the impasse on federal forests and preserving basic county services across timber country. It looks promising, and we’re eager to see more.
Democrats Peter DeFazio and Kurt Schrader, and Republican Greg Walden, say they have worked through their differences and are preparing a bipartisan plan that would create thousands of new jobs by expediting harvest of previously logged forests, protect old-growth and critical wildlife areas and provide steady funding for rural schools, roads and law enforcement. …..”
Read entire Oregonian editorial at http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2011/12/down_the_center_path_on_federa.html.
Asheville Citizen Times; 12/29/2011
Excerpt: “ASHEVILLE — Marisue Hilliard, the chief of the U.S. Forest Service in North Carolina, will retire Friday after a 32-year career with the Forest Service. She spent the last six years overseeing operations of the four forests in North Carolina — the Nantahala, Pisgah, Uwharrie and Croatan.
“We are the second most visited national forest(s) in the U.S.,” Hilliard said. “We are second only to the White River National Forest in Colorado, which is a ski area. Not a lot of people realize that.”
The National Forests in North Carolina comprise 1.25 million acres of public land, with 210 employees and 5 million visitors a year, and Hilliard, 56, is in charge of it all…..”
Read entire article at http://www.citizen-times.com/article/20111229/OUTDOORS/312290023/N-C-Forest-Service-Supervisor-retire
Journal North; By Gabriel Furshong / Writers on the Range on Wed, Dec 28, 2011
Excerpt: “More so than any other landscape in Big Sky Country, Montana’s Rocky Mountain Front derives its wonder from a violent juxtaposition of geological forms. The Front is the convergence of two mega-ecosystems that together cover roughly a quarter of our country – the Northern Plains and the Northern Rockies.
This is where each seemingly limitless region reaches its limit. Within this thin strip roams the second-largest elk herd in the Lower 48, as well as 13 species of raptor and a third of all plant species known in Montana. It’s the only place south of the Canadian border where grizzlies still den between the peaks and the prairie.
For 100 years, this landscape has been the subject of debate over the limits of acceptable change. Montanans along the Front have fought oil and gas exploration. It is a measure of their success that the battle cry of each generation has gradually shifted from our grandparents and great-grandparents, who wanted to “return it to the way it was,” to our parents and ourselves, who now want to “keep it the way it is.”
This last phrase – keep it the way it is – has for 10 years been the unofficial motto of the Coalition to Protect the Rocky Mountain Front, a loose affiliation of outfitters, ranchers, farmers, community organizers, business owners and outdoor enthusiasts. Thanks to this coalition, the debate over change on the Front is now closer to resolution than ever before…..”
Read entire article at http://www.abqjournal.com/main/2011/12/28/north/battle-for-preservation-in-montana-is-nothing-new.html
Chattanooga Times Free Press; 12/28/2011
Excerpt: “Help may be on the way against a fungus that already has killed millions of mosquito-eating and beetle-chomping bats in the Northeast and now is threatening Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama, according to wildlife officials.
Congress has directed the Department of Interior to allot $4 million from its 2012 endangered species recovery fund toward research and management of white-nose syndrome, which is fatal to bats.
Mike Armstrong, Southeast region white-nose syndrome and bat recovery coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, said the Southeast could be the biggest beneficiary of the money……”
Read entire article at http://timesfreepress.com/news/2011/dec/28/b1-saving-the-bats/?news
Plumas County News; 12/28/2011
Excerpt: “The largest employer in Greenville said it might be too late to save his logging business and the 30-plus jobs that go with it.
But Plumas County supervisors said they are going to keep doing “everything in our power” to help.
Supervisors Robert Meacher and Jon Kennedy met with Regional U.S. Forest Service Deputy Dan Jiron Thursday, Dec. 22, to plead the case of Pew Forest Products.
The supervisors also sent a letter to U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell in Washington, D.C…….”
Read entire article at http://www.plumasnews.com/mcondon/8948-county-steps-up-support-for-logger-in-battle-with-forest-service
Asheville Citizen Times; 12/26/2011
Excerpt: “ASHEVILLE— Sometimes, removing a few trees is good for the forest — at least when it comes to wildlife habitat.
That’s the idea behind a wildlife habitat enhancement project under way on national forest land in Madison County, one of a number of such initiatives planned in the mountains to benefit species ranging from bears to songbirds.
The project, on 15 acres in an area known as Catpen in Pisgah National Forest, involves removing trees on the perimeter of a bald to promote new, brushy growth, which provides food and cover for many animals.
The effort, which kicked off recently and will take several months to complete, is part of a new stewardship agreement signed earlier this year by the U.S. Forest Service and N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission that paves the way for habitat enhancement projects on national forest land statewide…..”
Read entire article at http://www.citizen-times.com/article/20111226/NEWS01/312260033/1001/NEWS