Smoky Mountain News 9/25/2013
Excerpt: “As Brent Martin stared down the barrel of an impending tug-of-war over WNC’s national forests, he dreaded yet another round in the same old fight that’s played out time and time again in his decades as an environmental advocate.
Loggers versus wilderness lovers. Horseback riders versus hikers. Hunters versus environmentalists. Each would make their case as the forest service launched into its periodic, obligatory assessment of how the forest is managed — a sweeping four-year process that would ultimately define goals, strategies and priorities for the Pisgah and Nantahala national forests. ….”
Read entire article at http://www.smokymountainnews.com/outdoors/item/11787-new-forest-coalition-brings-once-rival-groups-together
Spokesman Review 9/24/2013
Excerpt: “BUTTE – Costs related to the Rainbow Family’s annual gathering held this year in southwestern Montana added up to about $575,000 for the U.S. Forest Service. Tim Walther, assistant special agent in charge of law enforcement for the Forest Service, told the Montana Standard that law enforcement expenses totaled about $400,000 and administration another $175,000.
About 10,000 people attended the gathering near Saginaw Creek in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest about 10 miles southwest of Jackson. The event ran from June 21 to July 7, but some Rainbow members stayed about a month. …”
Read entire article at http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2013/sep/24/rainbow-gathering-in-montana-cost-575000-says/
Arizona Republic Editorial 9/22/2013
Excerpt: “A new day is dawning for the nation’s most ambitious forest-restoration project. Will it be as dismal, overcast and unproductive as all the previous days of the Four Forest Restoration Initiative? Despite ample reason for skepticism, we remain hopeful.
The U.S. Forest Service recently announced that after a two-month review, it has agreed to transfer the contract of a company hired to thin 300,000 forested acres in Arizona over 10 years. After nearly a year and a half on the job, the original contractor had thinned barely 1,000 acres and failed to secure financing to build a sawmill for its products. …”
Read entire editorial at http://www.azcentral.com/opinions/articles/20130917forest-plan-needs-smarts-speed.html
Reno Gazette Journal 9/24/2013
Excerpt: “DENVER (AP) — Federal researchers have been working on a system to measure and predict the destructiveness of wildfires — similar to the way officials use the magnitude scale for earthquakes and other tools to rate and evaluate tornadoes and hurricanes.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology hopes its Wildland Urban Interface Hazard Scale will tell residents the likely intensity of a wildfire burning into their neighborhood. The scale would allow city planners to assign better building codes for the millions of people who live in fire-prone areas in the West and would also measure how those homes could contribute to the spread of a fire. ….”
Read entire article at http://www.rgj.com/viewart/20130924/NEWS06/130924003/Feds-developing-Richter-scale-wildfires-
Capital Press 8/13/2013
Excerpt: “Environmentalists have won $1.25 million in compensation for attorney fees and costs in their years-long battle against cattle grazing in Oregon’s Malheur National Forest.
Last year, a federal judge ended a court battle between environmentalists, ranchers and the U.S. Forest Service over the effect grazing had on threatened steelhead habitat. During the nearly 10 years of litigation, U.S. District Judge Ancer Haggerty issued several injunctions that limited grazing at the request of the Oregon Natural Desert Association….”
Read entire article at http://www.capitalpress.com/content/mp-malheur-attorney-fees-081313
Denver Post 8/6/2013
Excerpt: “The Mountain West is in the line of fire. This is hardly news to those of us who live here, nor are the reasons: record droughts and high temperatures, and dead and dying forests denied their annual disease killing and cleansing ground fires. We also have record numbers of people moving into the wildland-urban interface (WUI) intermingled with public lands. Fires starting in the WUI tend to be human-caused.
My students and I learned that states in our region take one of three approaches to get WUI residents to limit wildfire devastation on their property and in their communities: ….”
Read entire guest editorial at http://www.denverpost.com/headlines/ci_23778891/true-costs-living-forest
Statesman Journal 8/11/2013
Excerpt: “PORT ORFORD — Two federal agencies are at loggerheads over a decision to remove five old-growth trees from the habitat that supports a threatened sea bird during breeding season.
The U.S. Forest Service cut the massive trees — one was 238-feet tall — in late April at the Sunshine Bar Campground near Port Orford in southwest Oregon. The threatened marbled murrelet nests in the campground, though it’s unknown if any were in the trees at the time they fell. The agency generally must get a permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to take a tree during the breeding season. But Fish and Wildlife did not know the trees were gone until getting a tip in late July. ….”
Read entire article at http://www.statesmanjournal.com/viewart/20130811/UPDATE/130811011/Agency-stumped-by-taking-sea-bird-s-habitat-
Miami Herald 8/10/2013
Excerpt: “LEWISTON, Idaho — Ask U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo where the discussion on managing Idaho’s federal lands should start, and he doesn’t hesitate. “Collaboration,” said Crapo, a Republican who has championed bringing Idaho ranchers, loggers and motorized recreationists together with environmentalists to find compromise.
Crapo met with members of the Clearwater Basin Collaborative group last week in Lewiston to discuss the next step now that they have reached a broad agreement on how to manage the Clearwater-Nez Perce National Forest — all 4 million acres of it.
Read entire article at http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/08/10/3551222/debate-continues-to-swirl-on-managing.html
Seattle Times 8/2/2013
Excerpt: “WASHINGTON — Ordinarily, seven U.S. Forest Service supervisors getting promotions and pay increases might not raise hackles. These are not ordinary times for sequestration-pinched federal employees.
Last week, the Forest Service revealed it elevated the jobs of seven of the agency’s top nine law-enforcement managers to level 15, the highest federal pay grade below the senior executive ranks. The reclassification for the managers, called special agents in charge, could boost their base pay by $20,000 or more, to as much as $155,500 a year in the Northwest. Among Forest Service workers already chafing under budget cuts and hiring freezes, the news about their big bosses stirred inordinate anger. ….”
Read entire article at http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2021521575_forestservicexml.html?syndication=rss
Durango Herald 7/31/2013
Excerpt: “A U.S. House committee advanced Rep. Scott Tipton’s bill to accelerate logging in national forests Wednesday, although Democrats on the panel said it will never become law.
Tipton, R-Cortez, has pushed his healthy forests legislation for two years. It allows states and local governments to nominate areas for more logging, allowing for them to brush aside the Endangered Species Act, legal challenges and lengthy environmental reviews. The bill also sets mandates for the Forest Service to produce higher timber harvests and to share its revenues with rural school districts. ….”
Read entire article at http://www.durangoherald.com/article/20130731/NEWS01/130739875/-1/news01&source=RSS