Montgomery Advertiser 5/11/2013
Excerpt: “WASHINGTON — The federal government has sent Alabama a bill for $94,000, and Gov. Robert Bentley is refusing to pay it. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, citing sequestration budget cuts, wants 41 states to return some of the money the U.S. Forest Service gives each year to rural counties that have national forest land. “We regret having to take this action, but we have no alternative under sequestration,” U.S. Forest Chief Thomas Tidwell wrote in a March letter to 41 governors.
But Bentley says sequestration applies to fiscal 2013 funds, not to money appropriated in fiscal 2012 that was sent to states in January and already has been spent by counties. …”
Read entire article at http://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/article/20130512/NEWS02/305120015
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/
Seattle Post Intelligencer 5/8/2013
Excerpt: “A judge has told the U.S. Forest Service to pay $70,804.19 in legal fees to two lawyers who helped win a lawsuit that will force removal of the historic, rebuilt Green Mountain Lookout from the summit of a popular hiking trail in Washington’s Glacier Peak Wilderness Area.
Senior U.S. District Judge John Coughenour approved compensating attorney Peter M.K. Frost of Oregon at rates of $410 an hour for work done in 2010, rising to $425 an hour for work done on the suit in 2011 and 2012. Junior counsel John R. Mellgren, also of Oregon, was ordered to be compensated at a lower rate of $184.32 an hour. Both Frost and Mellgren work for the Western Environmental Law Center, which frequently sues the Forest Service. …”
Read entire article at http://blog.seattlepi.com/seattlepolitics/2013/05/08/u-s-judge-awards-70804-to-anti-lookout-lawyers/
Lake Tahoe News 5/8/2013
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://www.laketahoenews.net/2013/05/usfs-may-not-be-able-to-double-air-fleet/
Summit County Voice 5/8/2013
Excerpt: “FRISCO — Conservation advocates are challenging a decision by the Bureau of Land Management to extend the life of several oil and gas leases in the Thompson Divide area of Colorado’s White River National Forest.
The leases have been unused for 10 years and were illegally sold to begin with, according to Earthjustice, which is filing the administrative appeal on behalf of Wilderness Workshop. …”
Read entire article at http://summitcountyvoice.com/2013/05/08/colorado-conservation-group-challenges-blm-decision-to-suspend-thompson-divide-oil-and-gas-leases/
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