Village Voice 5/7/2013
Excerpt: “Brooklyn-based artist and environmental activist Lopi LaRoe sees Smokey the Bear as a friend. As a kid raised by environmentalists, she grew up with him, she says, and feels a particular connection to the affable, but informative cultural touchstone invented by the US Forest Service in 1944. “So I thought it was a perfect culture-jamming opportunity to take this very familiar conservationist and turn him into an anti-fracking activist,” she told the Voice. …”
Colorado Springs Gazette 5/7/2013
Excerpt: “The U.S. Forest Service on Monday announced a much-anticipated plan to field the ‘next generation ‘ of large air tankers – a move that could modernize and nearly double the nation’s dwindling fleet of large slurry-dropping planes.
Serious questions remain, however, on when those planes would take to the sky. Hours after the agency announced plans to award $158 million in contracts for seven tankers over five years, at least one business threatened to appeal the move. ….”
Read entire article at http://gazette.com/forest-service-announces-plans-for-new-fleet-of-firefighting-air-tankers/article/1500371
Knoxville News Sentinel 5/3/2013
Excerpt: “TALLASSEE — The overlook on U.S. Highway 129 was filled to capacity with motorcyclists from Texas, Florida and Louisiana. They had pulled off the Tail of the Dragon, an 11-mile stretch of highway in Blount County famous for its scenery and curves, and now they were taking photos. Below the overlook was Calderwood Lake, a deep-blue finger lake along the Little Tennessee River.
With the Cherokee National Forest on one side of the road and Great Smoky Mountains National Park on the other, the mountain scenery stretched out in every direction as far as the eye could see. The forested lands along Calderwood Lake seen from that overlook are part of 4,000 acres that The Nature Conservancy soon will purchase from Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners, a Canada-based company that in 2012 purchased Alcoa Inc.’s four hydroelectric dams — Chilhowee, Calderwood, Cheoah and Santeetlah — along the Little Tennessee River. …”
Read entire article at http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2013/may/03/4000-acre-land-deal-links-the-smokies-and-forest/
Lexington Herald Leader 5/3/2013
Excerpt: “Tests have confirmed the presence of a deadly bat disease for the first time in the Daniel Boone National Forest, the U.S. Forest Service announced Thursday.
The disease, called white-nose syndrome, had been confirmed earlier elsewhere in Kentucky. The disease, named for the white fungus that appears on bats that have it, was first seen in 2006 in New York, and it has since killed millions of bats as it spread through the eastern part of the country. Surveys of 38 bat-hibernation caves in Daniel Boone National Forest found bats with the disease in six caves, Forest Service biologist Sandra Kilpatrick said in the news release. …”
Read entire article at http://www.kentucky.com/2013/05/02/2624340/white-nose-syndrome-found-in-daniel.html
Washington Post 5/3/2013
Excerpt: “WASHINGTON — The U.S. Forest Service is in the business of preventing fires, not starting them. Yet the agency set off alarms in Congress and state capitols across the West by citing the automatic spending cuts as the basis for demanding that dozens of states return $17.9 million in federal subsidies. And it’s all come down to a bureaucratic squabble over whether the money is subject to so-called sequestration because of the year it was paid — 2013 — as the Obama administration contends, or exempt from the cuts because of the year it was generated — 2012 — as the states insist.
Right now, it’s a standoff heightened by history and hard fiscal realities. …”
Read entire article at http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/forest-service-push-for-return-of-subsidy-money-stokes-concern-about-breadth-of-spending-cuts/2013/05/03/b6f06960-b3c4-11e2-9fb1-62de9581c946_story.html
Associated Press 5/2/2013
Excerpt: “JUNEAU, Alaska — Alaska’s governor is refusing to repay more than $800,000 to the U.S. Forest Service due to automatic federal budget cuts.
Gov. Sean Parnell, in a letter to the agency’s chief, says he doesn’t believe the Forest Service is authorized to demand the money back. He won’t ask the Legislature to consider the request. Parnell says the amount in question includes $707,000 that’s already been paid to the state and $118,000 not yet allocated. …”
Read entire article at http://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2013/05/alaska_governor_refuses_forest.html
Summit County Voice 5/2/2013
Excerpt: “FRISCO — The White River National Forest is well-known for its many ski areas and stunning high-elevation wilderness areas, but the forest is also a Rocky Mountain stronghold for bats. And with a deadly disease poised to move into the region, resource managers are taking steps to try and protect the flying mammals with a new cave access policy.
Based on a regional study completed a few weeks ago, WRNF supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams has decided to keep several caves with biologically significant populations closed all year, and other caves may be closed seasonally. Year-round closures are to be enacted on ranger districts if white-nose syndrome is documented within 250 miles. The regional policy and supporting documents are online at this Forest Service website. …”
Read entire story at http://summitcountyvoice.com/2013/05/02/colorado-forest-service-finalizes-plan-to-protect-bats/
JD Supra Law News 5/2/2013
Excerpt: “On April 25, 2013, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit invalidated a consent decree that plaintiffs and three federal agency defendants asserted resolved a dispute spanning more than a decade. See Conservation Nw. v. Sherman, No. 11-35729 (9th Cir. 2013) (pdf). In doing so, the Ninth Circuit held that the district court abused its discretion when it entered the consent decree because it bypassed statutorily mandated public-participation procedures.
The Northwest Forest Plan applies to approximately 24.5 million acres of federal land spanning from San Francisco to the Canadian border. ….”
Read entire article at http://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/ninth-circuit-invalidates-consent-decree-85062/
San Gabriel Valley Tribune 4/30/2013
Excerpt: “A federal lawsuit brought by four hikers could bring an end to a 16-year-old controversial fee program that rakes in millions of dollars for new picnic tables and routine maintenance within the four heavily used forests rimming Southern California.
At the order of U.S. District Court Judge Terry J. Hatter, lawyers for the plaintiffs and the Department of Justice are locked in settlement talks that could determine the outcome of the U.S. Forest Service’s Adventure Pass, a fee that has elicited objections as “double taxation” from opponents but has been defended by forest managers as essential in this time of budgetary cutbacks. ….”
Read entire article at http://www.sgvtribune.com/news/ci_23142443/four-hikers-challenge-forest-adventure-pass
The hikers want the court to apply a U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling from February 2012 out of Arizona to the Angeles, Los Padres, San Bernardino and Cleveland national forests.
Excerpt: “Murkowski is unhappy with the U.S. Forest Service, and doesn’t mince words when talking about it. “We’ve got the chief of the Forest Service who comes before the committee, he said what we need to do in these communities that were once timber dependent is we need to diversify,” she said. “Tourism is what it’s all about. And then, the Forest Service turns around and cuts the number of permits that the air taxi operators are able to offer tours – cut them from 25 percent from year prior?” …”
Read entire article at http://www.krbd.org/2013/04/30/murkowski-irritated-with-u-s-forest-service/