Yakima Herald 3/12/2013
Excerpt: “The future health and resilience of Washington’s forests may be that rare topic that finds willing supporters and budget dollars even in times of tight budgets. It’s certainly on everybody’s agenda these days. Last Tuesday, Gov. Jay Inslee was pitching his climate change bill before the House Environment Committee. On Friday, the House Capital Budget Committee met with state agency representatives in a work session on the impacts of climate change. Next Tuesday, the Senate Natural Resources will hear testimony on why prescribed burning is part of the solution for the long-term health of state forests.
And now the Department of Natural Resources is aligning itself with nongovernmental conservation organizations — including prescribed-burning advocates — in seeking $15 million in “forest health” funding for Eastern Washington forests over the next two years. …”
Read entire article at http://www.yakimaherald.com/news/yhr/tuesday/928853-8/state-forest-health-resilience-top-many-agendas#print
Medford Mail Tribune 3/11/2013
Excerpt: “Democracy is not the driver when it comes to making the final decision on the proposed Bybee management project in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest. “This is not about how many ‘votes’ we receive,” stressed forest supervisor Rob MacWhorter. “I’m not looking at sheer numbers but at substantive, thoughtful comments about the document we put out there.” ….”
Read entire article at http://www.mailtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20130311/NEWS/303110307
KCET; 3/6/2013 By Char Miller
Excerpt: ““One of the foundational principles of the U.S. Forest Service is water,” observed Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell in an interview with me in mid-February. His observation was made in reference to the impact of the Clean Water Act on and importance to watershed management within the national forests. His insight is now a matter of heightened concern as a shifting climate alters the levels of precipitation across the country.
But to understand the hydrological challenges of our immediate present, and the drier future they may presage, it is critical to recognize the implicit thrust of Tidwell’s comment: history matters. ……”
Read entire article and other Char Miller columns at http://www.kcet.org/news/the_back_forty/commentary/golden-green/water-rules.html
Arizona Daily Sun 3/1/2013
Excerpt: “Massive forest restoration efforts expected to start this year on the Coconino and Kaibab national forests are projected to save $100 million in thinning costs plus at least $11.6 million annually in the long run.
The latter is how much the local Forest Service now spends fighting wildfires each year, on average. In addition, the decade-long thinning project is expected to support 1,674 jobs and $77.6 million in labor-related income annually. …..”
Read entire article at http://azdailysun.com/news/local/1da77afa-0220-5f9b-8519-0935e1e22c6a.html
Anniston Star; 2/24/2013
Excerpt: “Managing the Talladega National Forest is a massive undertaking. Federal budget cuts may make it even harder. Massive federal budget cuts, known as sequestration, which could take effect Friday if Congress doesn’t act to stop them, would include a cut of about $2 billion to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
That would filter down to the U.S. Forest Service in the form of a $134 million cut to the Wildland Fire Management Program and a $78 million cut to the National Forest System, according to a letter dated Feb. 5 from the USDA to U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski, chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. …….”
Read entire article at http://annistonstar.com/bookmark/21805844
Summit County Voice 2/21/2013
Excerpt: “SUMMIT COUNTY — After years of uncertainty over the future of Colorado’s forest landscapes, a new study by U.S. Forest Service scientists puts the recent pine epidemic into perspective.The insect outbreak will result in more diverse and resilient forests in the long run, adding structural complexity and species diversity, researchers with the USFS Rocky Mountain Research Station concluded in a recent study.
New growth, is surging under the dying lodgepole canopy with the vertical growth rate of lodgepole and fir doubling in beetle-killed areas that were left untreated after the epidemic. Harvested stands also showed strong lodgepole regrowth, with aspen gaining ground in some places. ….”
Read entire article at http://summitcountyvoice.com/2013/02/21/study-colorado-forests-not-doomed/
Billings Gazette 2/18/2013
Excerpt: “MISSOULA — In the dictionary, a watershed can be a place defined by a specific river or drainage, or a crucial dividing point in time.
Last year featured watersheds of both kinds for the U.S. Forest Service’s Region 1, which has its headquarters in Missoula. In a year when the agency tried to stretch its influence across watershed or landscape scale, it also confronted forces like wildfire and bug epidemics that may force big changes in how it does its work. ….”
Read entire article at http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/usfs-region-annual-review-fire-beetle-kills-may-change-future/article_a74010a5-d020-5e91-9959-c634ed80abae.html
Arizona Daily Sun 1/24/2013
Excerpt: “The Kaibab National Forest can proceed with its plans to thin and conduct prescribed burns on about 25,000 acres north of the Grand Canyon over the objections of two conservation groups, a federal judge ruled Tuesday.
The groups questioned whether the Forest Service properly analyzed risks and benefits of its formula for prescribed forest thinning, and U.S. District Judge Paul Rosenblatt ruled that it had.
The area in question is about 39 square miles located near Jacob Lake, or north of the 40,000 acres accidentally burned in 2006′s prescribed-burn-turned-wildfire on the North Kaibab Ranger District, called the Warm fire.
Read entire article at http://azdailysun.com/news/local/judge-thinning-on-north-kaibab-legal/article_1b90082b-93df-5942-86af-9c331939d088.html?comment_form=true
Billings Gazette 1/24/2013
Excerpt: “FRENCHTOWN — When Jimmie McKay was a kid growing up in Libby, the logging roads ran up the river valleys. When he answered the draft in 1971, the roads had reached the base of the mountains.
When McKay returned home in 1979, his tour in Vietnam complete, the logging roads had crossed the mountain tops. The big white and ponderosa pine trees, sometimes measuring four feet in diameter, were gone. …”
Read entire article at http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/ex-logging-worker-talks-sustainable-forestry/article_9d7f623c-5d38-54f5-bf5b-d1a481d30e48.html
Earth 911; 1/21/2013
Excerpt: “Since 2010, high-intensity fires have burned more than 5 million acres of forest lands across the western and central United States.
On the heels of the Wallow Fire, which burned nearly 539,000 acres in four days and was the largest forest fire in state history, representatives of The Nature Conservancy’s Arizona chapter are making efforts to protect forest habitats from wildfires before it’s too late. …”
Read entire article at http://earth911.com/news/2013/01/21/nature-conservancy-forest-restoration/