Flathead Beacon 5/21/2013
Excerpt: “Environmental groups have filed a lawsuit to halt a U.S. Forest Service timber sale in Kootenai National Forest, arguing that it would harm critical habitat for grizzly bears and Canada lynx, both of which are protected by the Endangered Species Act.
On May 14, the Western Environmental Law Center filed the complaint in U.S. District Court in Missoula on behalf of the Alliance for the Wild Rockies. The complaint alleges that the proposed Young Dodge logging project violates the Endangered Species Act, National Forest Management Act and National Environmental Policy Act. …”
Read entire article at http://www.flatheadbeacon.com/articles/article/environmental_groups_sue_to_halt_timber_sale_near_lake_koocanusa/33542/
Summit County Voice 5/21/2013
Excerpt: “FRISCO — The U.S. Forest Service has once again been called out for failing to live up to its legal obligations to protect endangered species, this time by a federal judge in Montana, who ruled last week that the agency violated the Endangered Species Act when it failed to consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on a regional forest plan amendment.
Dana L. Christensen, chief judge for the U.S. District Court for the State of Montana, ordered the Forest Service to re-initiate consultation, but did not block any specific projects on the affected forests, saying that plaintiffs couldn’t show any “irreparable harm.”
Read entire article at http://summitcountyvoice.com/2013/05/21/federal-judge-says-forest-service-must-consider-critical-habitat-designations-in-regional-forest-plan-guidance-for-lynx/
Excerpt: “A coalition of environmental groups have sued to block a U.S. Forest Service timber sale in the Rexford Ranger District of northwest Montana, claiming the proposed clearcuts would hurt lynx and grizzly bears there.
“In spite of these falling grizzly bear numbers, the Forest Service plans to commercially log thousands of acres, open up roads, and use low-level helicopter flights in occupied grizzly habitat,” said Michael Garrity of the Alliance for the Wild Rockies. “It’s well-known science that low-level overflights by helicopters harm and harass grizzly bears in violation of the Endangered Species Act. Even though we cited the law, judicial opinions, and the agency’s own policies that ban such activities, the Forest Service refused to listen. So now we’re compelled to go to court.” …”
Read entire article at http://missoulian.com/news/state-and-regional/environmental-groups-sue-to-block-kootenai-forest-timber-sale/article_ffcfd8e4-bcfe-11e2-95e4-001a4bcf887a.html
Helena Independent Record 5/12/2013
Excerpt: “Grizzly bears lack a reputation as a rule-following animal, but they sure inspire a lot of rule-making.
The bears of the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem have a draft 158-page rulebook up for public comment this summer as they move toward possible removal from federal Endangered Species Act protection. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plan describes how roughly 1,000 grizzlies in that area would be managed, protected and restricted. It’s up for public comment through August. …”
Read entire article at http://helenair.com/news/state-and-regional/feds-work-to-remove-protections-from-northern-rockies-grizzlies/article_96f909a6-bb39-11e2-a81b-0019bb2963f4.html
Summit County Voice 5/9/2013
Excerpt: “SUMMIT COUNTY — Conservation groups say U.S. Forest Service officials made an arbitrary and capricious decision when they replaced a widespread cave and mine closure with a weaker rule that could lead to the introduction of a deadly bat disease in the Rocky Mountain region.
In its appeal, the Center for Biological Diversity said that required decontamination procedures are questionable at best under field conditions, and that mandatory closures of caves when white-nose syndrome is detected within 250 miles doesn’t go far enough to protect bats. …”
Read entire article at http://summitcountyvoice.com/2013/05/09/new-forest-service-cave-policy-faces-a-challenge/
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
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/
Summit County Voice 4/29/2013
Excerpt: “FRISCO —An oft-discussed proposal to remove gray wolves from the Endangered Species List has progressed to the point that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has developed a fairly detailed draft version of the plan. The draft rule proposes removing all protections for wolves in 29 eastern states but maintaining endangered status for the Mexican wolf by listing it as a subspecies. …”
Read entire article at http://summitcountyvoice.com/2013/04/29/biodiversity-wildlife-advocates-howling-mad-about-draft-federal-plan-to-take-wolves-off-the-endangered-species-list/
Natural News 4/15/2013
Excerpt: “(NaturalNews) They serve a critical role in pollinating crops, killing insects, and fertilizing soil, but their presence throughout the state of Pennsylvania is in a disastrously serious decline. According to a new report by PhillyBurbs.com, 99.99 percent of bats living in Pennsylvania’s second largest bat habitat were recently discovered to be dead, and a cohort of biologists currently studying the issue estimates that a shocking 98 percent of bats living throughout the entire state of Pennsylvania are now dead as well. …..”
Read entire article at http://www.naturalnews.com/039916_bats_white-nose_syndrome_die-off.html