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

Emails show confusion over timber payments, sequestration

Bend Bulletin 1/15/2014
Excerpt:        “
WASHINGTON — Although U.S. Forest Service and Department of Agriculture officials initially decided the mandatory cuts of sequestration would not apply to 2012 timber payments, the White House’s Office of Management and Budget later changed its determination after $323 million in payments had been dispersed, according to emails released Tuesday by the House Natural Resources Committee.

In a hearing Tuesday, the committee heard testimony and presented a report showing the confusion faced by federal agencies surrounding mandatory spending cuts called sequestration that went into effect on March 1, 2013.  ….”
Read entire article at http://www.bendbulletin.com/localstate/1685598-151/emails-show-confusion-over-timber-payments-sequestration#

Justices press government in Wyo. man’s challenge to Forest Service rail trail

Greenwire; January 14, 2014
Excerpt:   “
The Supreme Court struggled today with a Wyoming man’s challenge to the Forest Service’s construction of a bicycle trail across his property.   Landowner Marvin Brandt argues that the Forest Service had no right to create the trail on an abandoned railroad right of way that bisects his 83 acres about 50 miles west of Laramie.

Forest Service officials claim the government has a “reversionary interest” in the land after the railway was removed from a 200-foot-wide strip under the 1875 General Railroad Right of Way Act.  …”
Read entire article at http://www.eenews.net/stories/1059992890

Forest Service shakes us down with its Adventure Pass: Editorial

Los Angeles Daily News 12/17/2013
Excerpt:      “
A federal court almost two years ago ruled the Forest Service’s despised, double-taxing Adventure Pass program illegal.

But rangers in our Angeles, Los Padres and San Bernardino national forests keep charging the absurd fee, which gouges citizens who have already paid for their forests through their federal taxes, by forcing them to purchase bogus “passes” to enter their own land.  ….”
Read entire editorial at   http://www.dailynews.com/opinion/20131217/forest-service-shakes-us-down-with-its-adventure-pass-editorial

White House council refereeing Rosemont Mine debate

Arizona Daily Star 12/17/2013
Excerpt:         “
A White House advisory body is now informally involved in the contentious Rosemont Copper Mine dispute.  The White House’s Council on Environmental Quality is, in a sense, acting as a referee among various federal agencies that have taken different positions on the mine, Coronado National Forest Supervisor Jim Upchurch said.

A council spokeswoman confirmed later that the “CEQ has brought agencies together to coordinate with one another on their environmental reviews on this issue.”   …”
Read entire article at http://azstarnet.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/white-house-council-refereeing-rosemont-mine-debate/article_05ad08be-c96f-5231-a55f-962e9e51a9b5.html

Parts of Courthouse Creek spared logging

Asheville Citizen Times 12/16/2013
Excerpt:       “
WAYNESVILLE — Environmentalists reached a compromise with the government on Monday that will spare some of the most sensitive areas of Courthouse Creek from logging.   The agreement with the U.S. Forest Service means 54 acres of mostly high elevation trees in the Pisgah Ridge National Heritage Area are off the table.

The entire project, which the forest service has said is necessary for habitat improvement and forest health, will now included 368 acres in a bowl-shaped zone in the Pisgah National Forest visible from the Blue Ridge Parkway and Devil’s Courthouse.  ….”
Read entire article at http://www.citizen-times.com/article/20131216/NEWS/312160045/Parts-Courthouse-Creek-spared-logging