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.
Summit County Voice 4/9/2013
Excerpt: “SUMMIT COUNTY — U.S. Forest Service programs touted as forest health work be the the primary threats to two populations of black-backed woodpeckers.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service this week said it will consider those threats to the rare birds in California, Oregon and the Black Hills of South Dakota as it makes a review to determine whether to protect the birds under the Endangered Species Act.
Some of the primary threats to the populations that were included in the petition include post-disturbance salvage logging, active fire suppression that limits the acreage and severity of fires each year, and forest thinning programs. ….”
See entire article and link to proposed listing at http://summitcountyvoice.com/2013/04/09/usfws-to-consider-endangered-species-listing-for-woodpeckers-that-rely-on-post-fire-habitat/
Excerpt: “The Pacific Northwest Region of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Thursday announced that small-scale suction dredge miners must now apply for a new discharge permit to lawfully operate their dredges in Idaho’s rivers, lakes and streams.
Small dredge miners (using intake nozzles of five inches in diameter or less and 15 horsepower or fewer engines) need to apply for coverage under the new Clean Water Act general permit. …..”
Read entire article at http://www.mineweb.com/mineweb/content/en/mineweb-whats-new?oid=184919&sn=Detail
Modesto Bee 4/2/2013
Excerpt: “McCLELLAN — State and federal scientists met here last week to consider something most Californians take for granted: the health of the rivers flowing from the Sierra Nevada.
It may seem obvious that the humans who drink that water and the fish who swim in it benefit if it is clean and plentiful. Yet it is only recently that the officials in charge of the place where those waters are born have had marching orders to make sustained flow of those rivers a priority. ….”
Read entire article at http://www.modbee.com/2013/04/02/2651190/forest-managers-told-to-protect.html
San Gabriel Valley Tribune 3/27/2013
Excerpt: “For the past seven years, the The U.S. Forest Service has been attempting to find a way to protect 37 roadless areas while keeping the public happy. More protection in the form of wilderness zoning would help the California condor, the California gnatcatcher, least bell’s vireo, the mountain yellow-legged frog and the Santa Ana sucker fish by limiting uses within these sensitive species’ habitat.
But in 2006, the state resources agency and environmental groups, including The Wilderness Society and the Sierra Club, sued saying the Forest Service was doing a poor job protecting these precious lands. Later, the two sides settled, agreeing to zone more roadless areas into “back county non-motorized” zones and as “recommended wilderness” areas. ….”http://www.sgvtribune.com/news/ci_22886614/mountain-bikers-environmentalists-clash-over-angeles-national-forest
Read entire article at
High Country News 3/21/2013
Excerpt: “In 2001, a week before George W. Bush took the oath of office, the Forest Service dropped a bombshell. It released the 1,800 page Sierra Nevada Framework, a plan for how to manage 11.5 million acres of Sierra Nevada forests to protect the California spotted owl, reduce wildfires and protect habitat. Unlike previous plans, which prioritized timber harvests, restoring the health of the Sierra Nevada was the primary goal of the plan………”
“…….. it’s ironic that the U.S. government is now arguing that the Framework is simply a planning document with no real impacts on the ground, meaning environmental groups do not have legal grounds to challenge it……”
Read entire article at http://www.hcn.org/blogs/goat/usfs-vs-your-ability-to-sue-them
Village News 3/23/2013
Excerpt: “RIVERSIDE – SAN DIEGO – About 380,000 acres of wilderness areas in four Southern California national forests would be declared off-limits to vehicles under plans that are up for public comment this month.
Large sections of the Santa Ana Mountains, between Irvine and Lake Elsinore, would be affected, as well as areas near Lytle Creek, near Cherry Valley and south of Palm Springs. The largest new proposed wilderness area is adjacent to the Sespe Creek wilderness areas north of Ojai. The new wilderness areas are one if several options being considered by the U.S. Forest Service, which is under court order to follow Congressional directives to declare part of the local mountains wilderness. ….”
Read entire article at http://www.thevillagenews.com/story/70160/
Redding Record Searchlight 3/20/2013
Excerpt: “The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear an appeal of a lawsuit filed against suction dredging miners on the Klamath River, handing a victory to the Karuk tribe, which sued nine years ago to protect coho salmon in the river.
“This decision is a great victory for the Karuk Tribe and everyone else who believes that federal agencies must act to protect our natural resources and fisheries,” Buster Attebery, chairman of the Karuk Tribe in Happy Camp, said in a news release. …..”
Read entire article at http://www.redding.com/news/2013/mar/19/karuk-tribe-claims-victory-in-suction-dredging/
Excerpt: “A 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling ordering the U.S. Forest Service to consult with wildlife agencies prior to granting Notices of Intent to weekend hobbyists using suction dredges to mine for gold in northern California was allowed to stand by the nation’s highest court Monday.
The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the case, The New 49’ers, Inc., et al. v. Karuk Tribe of California. Environmental NGOs and the Karuk Indian tribe, which filed the original litigation to stop gold dredging in the Coho Salmon critical habitat in northern California called the original June decision an historic one. ….”
Read entire article at http://www.mineweb.com/mineweb/content/en/mineweb-gold-news?oid=182609&sn=Detail