Billings Gazette 4/29/2012
Excerpt: “In the mountains south of Bozeman the U.S. Forest Service has fenced off a small plot of land designed to help restore whitebark pine to the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
At the 15-acre nursery site, seedling whitebark pine that has been identified as resistant to blister rust will be grown. In addition, limbs from older pines will be grafted onto the trees to speed up seed production in what is a slow-to-mature tree species.
“Hopefully, they will be producing cones in four years,” said Jay Frederick, a wildlife biologist in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest, who is working on the project. Normally, it can take 30 to 50 years for the slow-growing whitebark pine to produce cones. ….”
Read entire article at http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/mountain-nursery-will-help-restore-threatened-whitebark-pine/article_3f3437cd-0d6c-5b20-8d42-ce18819466de.html
Summit County Voice; 4/29/2012
Excerpt: ” SUMMIT COUNTY — It’s been so long since former U.S. Forest Service Chief Mike Dombeck (serving under President Clinton) announced his vision for a national roadless rule that most people have probably forgotten his clear and elegant rationale: Roadless areas are crucial to protecting wildlife habitat, water quality and serve as buffers against invasive species. And, the Forest Service can’t even maintain its existing road system, so why even think about adding new roads. ….”
Read entire editorial at http://summitcountyvoice.com/2012/04/29/op-ed-leaders-have-lost-their-way-on-roadless-rule/#more-41609
The Examiner; 4/28/2012
Excerpt: “The Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act (S. 1249) won support from the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). The Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Water and Wildlife took testimony recently on several wild life bills, including this act, which was introduced last year by Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO).
The bill would amend the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act to allow a state to pay up to 90 percent of the costs of creating and expanding target shooting range with their share of the Federal Aid to Wildlife Restoration Fund. ….”
Read entire story at http://www.examiner.com/article/bill-would-make-it-easier-for-states-to-set-up-shooting-ranges
Salt Lake Tribune 4/27/2012
Excerpt: ” Endangered grouse, endangered economy? » Like the spotted owl in the ’80s, sage grouse are losing numbers and habitat. So Utah and the West are rushing to preserve them before federal rules shut down industry and more.
Why we should care. Beyond economics, biologists say sage grouse are a key indicator of range health — sort of the canary in the sagebrush steppe’s coal mine. …”
Read entire article at http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/53969425-90/grouse-sage-wyoming-utah.html.csp
Arizona daily Sun; 4/27/2012
Excerpt: “The head of national forests in the Southwest isn’t going to ban dispersed campfires in northern Arizona forests seasonally, as one local group has sought.
Existing fire response plans adequately balance some campers’ desires to have campfires against the risks of major wildfires, he wrote. …..”
Read entire story at http://azdailysun.com/news/local/7b483302-0188-5cfe-b820-fa75cc20b97f.html
Provo Daily Herald 4/28/2012
Excerpt: “SALT LAKE CITY — Seeking a unified front on common concerns, the governors of four Western states held discussions Friday on issues ranging from federal land control to immigration.
“The Western states need to bind together and unite their voices,” said Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, who hosted the talks in his state’s capital city.
“We have a uniqueness that other people don’t understand.” …”
Read entire article at http://www.heraldextra.com/news/state-and-regional/govt-and-politics/western-governors-discuss-public-lands-energy/article_4ab532ad-e698-5f7c-8a05-102dcaf49a53.html
La Grande Observer; 4/26/2012
Excerpt: “Wallowa-Whitman National Forest Supervisor Monica Schwalbach will make access to firewood, particularly for senior citizens, a priority as she and her staff rework the forest’s widely maligned Travel Management Plan, a spokesman for U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said Monday.
Schwalbach, who last week withdrew her March 15 decision to ban motor vehicles from about 3,900 miles of forest roads, also will strive to provide the public with detailed maps that list the numbers of all roads, whether open or proposed for closure, said Tom Towslee, Wyden’s state communications director. ….”
Read entire story at http://www.lagrandeobserver.com/News/Local-News/FOREST-ROADS-PLAN-Access-to-firewood-big-fear
Deseret news; 4/25/2012
Excerpt: “SALT LAKE CITY — U.S. Forest Service Officer James Schoeffler is trained to spot the suspicious.
He spent 12 years in the military as a bomb disposal technician dismantling deadly devices in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Balkans.
But he never expected to find the two crudely designed and potentially deadly booby traps he said he spotted last week off a popular Utah hiking trail.
He said one was rigged to a trip wire to send a 20-pound, spiked boulder swinging at head level, while the other was designed to trip a passer-by into a bed of sharpened wooden stakes. ….”
Read entire article at http://www.deseretnews.com/article/765571412/AP-Interview–Booby-traps-found-by-bomb-expert.html?pg=1
Capital Press 4/26/2012
Excerpt: “U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar joined other top federal officials today in trying to reassure Americans that their agencies are ready for what may be a horrific wildfire season.
They said 15,000 local, state and federal firefighters will be available to respond this summer as drought, low snowpack levels and high fuel loads increase the danger in forests across the country – particularly in the West.
“The reality of fire season is upon us,” Vilsack told about 40 reporters in a conference call. “It’s serious business, and lives, businesses and property depend on us doing our jobs as quickly as possible.” ….”
Read entire story at http://www.capitalpress.com/content/TH-vilsack-fire-season-w-photo-infobox-042712
Summit County Voice 4/26/2012
Excerpt: “SUMMIT COUNTY — Sen. Mark Udall wants the U.S. Forest Service to review prescribed fire procedures in the wake of the destructive Lower North Fork Fire that killed three people and destroyed 23 homes last month in Jefferson County.
While acknowledging the value of prescribed burns as a forest management tool, Udall wrote in a letter to Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell that “a prudent review will help reassure Coloradans and protect Colorado communities during wildfire season.” …”
Read entire article at http://summitcountyvoice.com/2012/04/26/udall-bennet-seek-review-of-federal-prescribed-fire-policy/