A western wrinkle on eminent domain

Washington Post 2/17/2014
Excerpt:       “
BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. — The view from the deck of the small, century-old cabin was a dream come true for Andy and Ceil Barrie — a sweeping panorama of 13,000 and 14,000-foot peaks towering above the forest of centuries-old bristlecone pines.

It convinced the couple to buy a 3-bedroom home in a subdivision below, where they could live year-round, and the 10-acre parcel surrounding the cabin in the midst the White River National Forest. Now the county government, alarmed that the couple drives their ATV up a 1.2-mile old mining road to the cabin, wants to take the Barrie’s land — and it’s doing so by claiming eminent domain.   …”
Read entire article at http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/energy-environment/a-western-wrinkle-on-eminent-domain/2014/02/17/2eb45920-979a-11e3-ae45-458927ccedb6_story.html

Deal keeps oil rigs out of big chunks of Fishlake National Forest

Salt Lake Tribune 2/17/2014
Excerpt:     “
Oil and gas development on Utah’s Fishlake National Forest is still possible under a deal the U.S. Forest Service has reached with environmentalists, but it would face strict guidelines for protecting air quality and wildlife habitat.

WildEarth Guardians and the Grand Canyon Trust last week hailed the agreement as a victory because it would keep drill rigs, roads and well pads out of at least 1.3 million of the 1.7 million acres covered in a leasing plan the Forest Service approved last year.    …..”
Read entire article at http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/57541972-90/forest-fishlake-leasing-plan.html.csp

Biodiversity: Review panel says feds didn’t use best available science for wolf delisting proposal

Summit County Voice 2/8/2014
Excerpt:       “
FRISCO — A federal plan to take gray wolves off the endangered species list hit a snag last week, as an independent review panel raised questions about the scientific rationale for the plan.

Specifically, the reviewers questioned whether U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologists used the best available science when they developed the delisting proposal. Part of the criticism hinged on the fact that the agency relied heavily on one single report that may have omitted some key information, and included fundamental flaws about the taxonomy and genetic differentiation of wolves.    …..”
Read entire article and see link to independent review panel at http://summitcountyvoice.com/2014/02/08/biodiversity-review-panel-says-feds-didnt-use-best-available-science-for-wolf-delisting-proposal/#more-63121

2014 Farm Bill expands aid for forest health

Durango Herald 2/8/2014
Excerpt:      “
The Agricultural Act of 2014, or Farm Bill, that President Barack Obama signed into law Friday at Michigan State University is a five-year plan that provides more than $100 billion a year in federal funding for U.S. Department of Agriculture projects, including those done by the Forest Service.

Two of the measures introduced by Bennet, D-Colo., permanently reauthorize and expand programs previously in place in Colorado: state and private partnerships with the Forest Service.   …”
Read entire article at http://durangoherald.com/article/20140208/NEWS01/140209594/-1/s/2014-Farm-Bill-expands-aid-for-forest-health-

Government to spend $30M on forest restoration

Associated Press 2/9/2014
Excerpt:       “
HELENA, Mont. — The U.S. Department of Agriculture will spend $30 million this year on forest restoration projects in 12 states to reduce the threat of wildfires, protect water quality and improve wildlife habitat for at-risk species.

Those first 13 projects will be the start of a multi-year initiative to improve the health of forests and watersheds on public and private lands, Agriculture Undersecretary Robert Bonnie said Thursday.  …”
Read entire article at http://www.timesnews.net/article/9073049/government-to-spend-30m-on-forest-restoration

Man sentenced for harvesting ginseng in Nantahala National Forest

Charlotte Observer 2/6/2014
Excerpt:      “Harvesting a plant long used as a remedy for various ailments can now land you behind bars.  A man was sentenced to 10 days in jail recently for illegally digging up American ginseng from the Nantahala National Forest in Western North Carolina.

Charles Nash admitted in federal court to illegally possessing 24 American ginseng roots he dug from the Mosses Creek and Wayehutta Off-Road Vehicle areas in Jackson County, federal prosecutors said Thursday. Nash pleaded guilty to the poaching charge.  …”
Read entire article at http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2014/02/06/4668373/man-sentenced-for-harvesting-ginseng.html#.UvUEbLTac8U

House backs bill to speed logging of burned trees

Great Falls Tribune 2/6/2014
Excerpt:      “
WASHINGTON — The House approved a wide-ranging public lands bill Thursday that would speed logging of trees burned in last year’s massive Rim Fire in California.The measure also allows vehicular access to North Carolina’s Cape Hatteras National Seashore, extends livestock grazing permits on federal land in the West and lifts longstanding restrictions on canoes, rafts and other “hand-propelled” watercraft in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks.  ….”
Read entire article at http://www.greatfallstribune.com/viewart/20140206/NEWS01/302060021/House-backs-bill-speed-logging-burned-trees

Idaho godsend: Farm bill boosts forest restoration

Idaho Statesman 2/5/2014
Excerpt:        “
Provisions that will allow the Forest Service to expand logging, thinning and other work supported by collaborative groups in Idaho were included in Tuesday’s sweeping measure.

The bill’s forestry segments brought praise from landowners, loggers and The Wilderness Society, a group seeking additional forest preservation. The projects offer the promise of jobs and healthier forests that are less susceptible to catastrophic fires…..”
Read entire article at http://www.idahostatesman.com/2014/02/05/3009517/idaho-godsend-farm-bill-boosts.html

Ag secretary announces focus on climate change

Associated Press 2/4/2014
Excerpt:     “GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — Some federal research centers around the country will be focusing on helping farmers and foresters deal with climate change.  Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is to announce Wednesday designation of seven regional climate hubs.

The hubs will be at U.S. Department of Agriculture facilities, such as the U.S. Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station in Corvallis., Ore. Others will be in Iowa, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Colorado, Oklahoma, and New Mexico…..”

Read entire story at   http://www.sfgate.com/news/science/article/Ag-secretary-announces-focus-on-climate-change-5204953.php

‘Wardens’ producer fined for illegal filming on forest land

Helena Independent Record 1/15/2014
Excerpt:       “
The producer of the popular cable TV show “Wardens” pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court for illegally filming on U.S. Forest Service lands in Montana.

Mitch Petrie, the producer of Muddy Boot Productions, said he takes full responsibility for the activity after using forest lands in Montana without a special use permit on five different occasions between Jan. 1 and June 24 in 2013.   The crime is a misdemeanor. Petrie was fined $1,500 and ordered to forfeit the footage he shot.   ….”
Read entire article at http://helenair.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/wardens-producer-fined-for-illegal-filming-on-forest-land/article_88e2bc90-7db2-11e3-bb09-001a4bcf887a.html