Washington Post 2/28/2012
Excerpt: “WASHINGTON — To save the imperiled spotted owl, the Obama administration is moving forward with a controversial plan to shoot barred owls, a rival bird that has shoved its smaller cousin aside.
The plan is the latest federal attempt to protect the northern spotted owl, the passive, one-pound bird that sparked an epic battle over logging in the Pacific Northwest two decades ago. The government set aside millions of acres of forest to protect the owl, but the bird’s population continues to decline — a 40 percent slide in 25 years.
A plan announced Tuesday would designate habitat considered critical for the bird’s survival, while allowing logging to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire and to create jobs……”
Read entire article at http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/ap-newsbreak-obama-administration-plan-would-kill-rival-bird-to-save-spotted-owl/2012/02/28/gIQAvxAUgR_story.html
Idaho Statesman; 2/29/2012
Excerpt: “WASHINGTON — Gov. Butch Otter told members of Congress on Tuesday that a disaster along the lines of the devastating 1910 wildfire in North Idaho could be coming, as the trees that grew after those fires are reaching the end of their natural life. That leaves plenty of decaying material on federal lands to burn.
“We’ve got a devastating fire coming at us … because of natural death of that forest and it’s coming at us,” Gov. Butch Otter told a group of sympathetic Republican lawmakers from the West who are members of the Congressional Western Caucus on Capitol Hill…..”
Read entire article at http://www.idahostatesman.com/2012/02/29/2014315/otter-wants-idaho-to-control-federal.html
Excerpt: “HELENA – A proposed project that includes logging, roadwork and weed spraying on national forest land north of Seeley Lake is pitting a wide-ranging array of organizations against four environmental groups that filed a lawsuit opposing the work.
On Monday, organizations including the Seeley Lake fire department, the National Wildlife Federation, the Montana Wilderness Association, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Lewis and Clark, Missoula and Powell counties all filed legal briefs supporting the five-year project on 4,330 acres of the Lolo National Forest……”
Read entire article at http://missoulian.com/news/state-and-regional/conservationists-oppose-logging-lawsuit-in-lolo-national-forest/article_378a11e8-6254-11e1-ae6c-0019bb2963f4.html
LA Times 2/29/2012
Excerpt: “The U.S. Forest Service plans to grant free access to nearly all national forest lands, scaling back unpopular recreation fees that have raised the ire of hikers but also sent millions of dollars to Southern California’s heavily used forests.
The agency proposes eliminating fees for three-quarters of the forest areas where they are now imposed, including 19 in Southern California. The charges in the Southland take the form of the regional Adventure Pass, which costs $5 a day or $30 annually.
Many trail heads, day-use sites and general forest areas where fees are now in effect in the region’s four national forests will become free, said Tamara Wilton, a California Forest Service manager……”
Read entire article at http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-forest-fee-20120229,0,1863639.story
Lexington Herald Leader; 2/28/2012
Excerpt: ” It covers parts of 21 counties; draws 1.2 million visitors a year to its trails, sandstone cliffs, rivers and lakes; and protects ancient rock shelters, arches and rare species amid the beauty of its steep, forested ridges.
And it just turned 75 years old.
Daniel Boone National Forest was established Feb. 23, 1937, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a proclamation to create what was then called Cumberland National Forest. It was renamed in 1966……..”
Read entire story at http://www.kentucky.com/2012/02/27/2086511/daniel-boone-national-forest-celebrates.html
Summit County Voice; 2/28/2012
Excerpt: “SUMMIT COUNTY — The mining and nuclear industries are challenging Interior Secretary Ken Salazar 20-year moratorium on uranium mining on more than 1 million acres in the vicinity of the Grand Canyon with a lawsuit filed this week in the U.S. District Court in Arizona.
The lawsuit claims Salazar lacks the statutory authority make a withdrawal larger than 5,000 acres; that the decision was arbitrary under the Administrative Procedures Act, and that the environmental studies failed to comply with federal environmental laws……”
Read entire article at http://summitcountyvoice.com/2012/02/28/grand-canyon-area-uranium-mining-ban-faces-lawsuit/#more-38393
New York Times; 2/28/2012
Excerpt: “ATLANTA — In an age of creative marketing and rapid-fire social media, some government agencies are struggling to promote themselves.
Take the United States Forest Service, the bigger but less well-known cousin of the National Park Service.
A couple of years ago, it tried to make Smokey Bear, 68, a hipster with a new tagline: Get your Smokey on. They even gave him a Twitter account.
And now the agency has made a Rolling Stones piano man an honorary forest ranger.
At a ceremony here on Monday, Chuck Leavell, a keyboardist for the Rolling Stones and the Allman Brothers Band and also a Georgia tree farmer, accepted the ranger hat……..”
Read entire article at http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/28/us/chuck-leavell-rock-keyboardist-named-honorary-forest-ranger.html?_r=1
Spokesman Review; 2/26/2012
Excerpt: ” Wilderness is politically hard to sell in North Idaho, where national forest clientele seems to love or hate the concept.
Only Congress can designate wilderness. It’s the highest level of federal land protection, precluding roads as well as motorized vehicles and even mechanized equipment such as bicycles and chain saws.
No official wilderness has been designated in Idaho north of the Selway-Bitterroot. Yet, for decades, the U.S. Forest Service has guarded some pristine roadless areas as candidates for wilderness. …”
Read entire article at http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2012/feb/26/rethinking-wilderness/
Charlotte Observer 2/27/2012
Excerpt: “A spot of good news is surfacing for North Carolina’s brook trout, and the anglers who hold their speckled brookies so dear.
Not so long ago, scientists forecast that much of what remained of eastern brook trout habitat would be severely affected by climate change. In fact, it was thought the only native trout in the Eastern United States might vanish from large parts of its southern range, leaving only a few populations concentrated mostly in western North Carolina.
But a new study in progress across seven Southeastern states has found reason to believe that many cold-water streams – those found at elevations where brook trout love to linger – may be less vulnerable to warming temperatures than previously forecast. …..”
Read entire story at http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2012/02/26/3049117/a-cool-future-for-brook-trout.html
Bennington Banner 2/27/2012
Excerpt: “SEARSBURG — An environmental group has appealed last month’s decision by the U.S. Forest Service to allow the erection of 15 wind turbines in the Green Mountain National Forest in Searsburg and Readsboro.
The appeal filed by the nonprofit group Vermonters for a Clean Environment cites negative impacts on the wilderness, water quality and a conflict of interest in the Forest Service’s decision. The group has requested a response from the USFS within 45 days. ……..”
Read entire article at http://www.benningtonbanner.com/ci_20051292