Seattle Times 8/2/2013
Excerpt: “WASHINGTON — Ordinarily, seven U.S. Forest Service supervisors getting promotions and pay increases might not raise hackles. These are not ordinary times for sequestration-pinched federal employees.
Last week, the Forest Service revealed it elevated the jobs of seven of the agency’s top nine law-enforcement managers to level 15, the highest federal pay grade below the senior executive ranks. The reclassification for the managers, called special agents in charge, could boost their base pay by $20,000 or more, to as much as $155,500 a year in the Northwest. Among Forest Service workers already chafing under budget cuts and hiring freezes, the news about their big bosses stirred inordinate anger. ….”
Read entire article at http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2021521575_forestservicexml.html?syndication=rss
Durango Herald 7/31/2013
Excerpt: “A U.S. House committee advanced Rep. Scott Tipton’s bill to accelerate logging in national forests Wednesday, although Democrats on the panel said it will never become law.
Tipton, R-Cortez, has pushed his healthy forests legislation for two years. It allows states and local governments to nominate areas for more logging, allowing for them to brush aside the Endangered Species Act, legal challenges and lengthy environmental reviews. The bill also sets mandates for the Forest Service to produce higher timber harvests and to share its revenues with rural school districts. ….”
Read entire article at http://www.durangoherald.com/article/20130731/NEWS01/130739875/-1/news01&source=RSS
Salt Lake Tribune 7/30/2013
Excerpt: “Two conservation groups have filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court for Utah to stop the U.S. Forest Service from permitting logging within 8,300 acres of the Dixie National Forest, including thousands of acres that are habitat for such sensitive species as three-toed woodpeckers.
The Alliance for the Wild Rockies and Native Ecosystems Council want a federal judge to stop the proposed Iron Springs Timber Sale on the Aquarius Plateau, which overlooks the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Southern Utah, and require the Forest Service to do an Environmental Impact Statement. …”
Read entire article at http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/56665719-78/forest-service-project-national.html.csp
Think Progress 7/31/2013
Excerpt: “Dan Oltrogge started fighting wildfires in 1984. By the time he retired from the National Park Service in 2011, he had served as the head of fire and aviation at Grand Canyon National Park, as the commander of one of the nation’s 20 Type One incident management teams that respond to the largest fires, and as one of just four area commanders in the federal incident management system.
Starting around 2000, Oltrogge began experiencing fires of a scale and intensity he never expected to encounter. Fires like the Rodeo-Chediski in Arizona in 2002 — at 467,000 acres, the largest in the state’s history — and 9 years later the Wallow, which surpassed the Rodeo-Chediski and set a new state record of 538,000 acres. ….”
Read entire article at http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/07/31/2312591/climate-change-wildfires/
Payson Roundup 7/23/2013
Excerpt: “Amid fresh furor, the U.S. Forest Service is considering letting a troubled timber company transfer the biggest forest restoration project in history.
#The Forest Service announced on Monday that it has received a request from Pioneer Forest Products to transfer the 10-year, Four Forest Restoration Initiative (4FRI) contract to thin 300,000 acres in Northern Arizona to another, unnamed company…..”
Read entire article at http://www.paysonroundup.com/news/2013/jul/23/forest-contract-bombshell/
Summit County Voice 7/24/2013
Excerpt: “FRISCO — Given the vapid rhetoric from House GOP leaders the last few years, a full frontal assault on public lands was inevitable. It came this week, in the form of proposed massive budget cuts for public lands and environmental programs, including the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
Overall, the interior funding bill proposed by the House Appropriations Committee this week cuts $5.5 billion — 19 percent — from Fiscal Year 2013 levels, covering the Department of the Interior, the EPA, the Forest Service, and various independent and related agencies. The EPA would take the biggest hit, as the proposed budget would trim the agency’s budget by $2.8 billion, down to $5.5 billion…….”
Read entire article at http://summitcountyvoice.com/2013/07/24/the-most-anti-environmental-budget-ever/
Caswell Messenger 7/12/2013
Excerpt: “As the 2013 Major League Baseball (MLB) season slides into the All-Star break, U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the results of innovative research by the U.S. Forest Service, and funded by MLB, that will result in significantly fewer shattered baseball bats.
“This innovative research by the U.S. Forest Service will make baseball games safer for players and fans across the nation,” said Secretary Vilsack. “The U.S. Forest Products Laboratory has once again demonstrated that we can improve uses for wood products across our nation in practical ways – making advancements that can improve quality of life and grow our economy.” …”
Read entire article at http://www.caswellmessenger.com/sports/article_dfc87a04-eaff-11e2-970f-001a4bcf887a.html
Indian Country Today 7/9/2013
Excerpt: “Less than two weeks away from the Coming of Age Ceremony (Bałas Chonas) for a 16-year-old Winnemem Wintu teenager, U.S. Forest Service officials and the small Northern California tribe are still working on an agreement that would ensure the tribe doesn’t suffer any interference from the public or law enforcement that have plagued previous ceremonies on the McCloud Arm of Shasta Lake.
The tribe is concerned they have yet to see the exact language of the Forest Service’s special use permit or temporary water closure, said Traditional Chief Caleen Sisk. …”
Read entire article at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2013/07/09/winnemem-fear-more-forest-service-trouble-during-upcoming-ceremony-150331
Summit County Voice 7/9/2013
Excerpt: “FRISCO — The U.S. Forest Service says it will back away from logging old growth in the country’s biggest national forest — Alaska’s 17-million acre Tongass — but not until after completing the already approved Big Thorne timber sale.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack the agency’s plan to to conserve the old-growth forests by speeding the transition to management of second-growth forests. Vilsack said the goal is to increase second-growth timbers until they make up the vast majority of logging projects withing 10 to 15 years. Read the full memorandum here. ….”
Read entire article at http://summitcountyvoice.com/2013/07/09/environment-u-s-forest-service-plans-to-transition-away-from-old-growth-logging-in-the-tongass-national-forest/
Press Democrat 7/8/2013
Excerpt: “No one should ever die to save a house. The 19 firefighters killed in Arizona recently should be honored as the fallen heroes they are. Members of an elite unit, they were trained to hike for miles across remote, difficult terrain with 40 pounds of gear and clear vegetation to keep fires from spreading. The Granite Mountain Hotshots were caught by an advancing wildfire near Yarnell, Ariz., the town they were trying to save, when they were overrun by flames.
They should never have been put in that position. Since Yarnell had already been evacuated, these men were lost trying to save not lives but houses. …..”
Read entire article at http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20130708/WIRE/130709701/1337/sports10?p=1&tc=pg