Rapid City Journal 5/15/2013
Excerpt: “Black Hills National Forest management policies on fighting wildfires and mountain pine beetles have won another court challenge by environmental groups who believe the policies hurt sensitive wildlife species.
A recent decision in Wyoming federal court released Tuesday by South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley upheld an amended management plan for the Black Hills National Forest. South Dakota joined in the lawsuit in support of the U.S. Forest Service, as did the state of Wyoming and the Black Hills Forest Resource Association, a timber industry association. …”
Read entire article at http://rapidcityjournal.com/news/black-hills-forest-management-survives-latest-environmental-challenge/article_ad436d4f-500b-5283-a0f3-9fa3c7e3cf2e.html
Summit County Voice 5/14/2013
Excerpt: “SUMMIT COUNTY — The federal budget crunch means firefighters will have to do more with less this summer, federal officials said this week. Because of the sequester, the Forest Service will not fill 500 firefighting positions and will make do with 50 less engines on the ground.
“We are facing another dangerous wildfire season. We are prepared; we’re not as funded as we might be about 5 years from now, so teamwork is really critical to what we have to do,” said U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, speaking Monday at a briefing at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise Idaho. …”
Read entire article at http://summitcountyvoice.com/2013/05/14/wildfires-budget-woes-to-affect-fuels-treatments-post-fire-rehab/
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/
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
Summit County Voice 4/27/2013
Excerpt: “FRISCO — Colorado lawmakers in Washington, D.C. are reaching across party lines to try and protect more than 100,000 acres of the Hermosa Creek watershed north of Durango.
U.S. Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Rep. Scott Tipton(R-CO) are introducing companion bills that would establish management for the Hermosa Creek Watershed based on recommendations from the Hermosa Creek River Protection Workgroup. The panel includes local water officials, conservationists, sportsmen, mountain bikers, off-road-vehicle users, outfitters, property owners, grazing permit holders and other interested citizens. …”
Read entire article at http://summitcountyvoice.com/2013/04/27/colorado-hermosa-creek-conservation-bill-gets-a-bipartisan-introduction-in-congress/
Colorado Springs Gazette 4/28/2013
Excerpt: “Forty-eight percent of the time that firefighters asked for air tanker support in their fight against wildfires across the United States last year, they didn’t come. Those numbers included requests for the 11 large aerial tankers — and this year there are only eight of those.
As temperatures rise and the threat of wildfires nears, firefighters and experts are concerned that the nation’s stock of large firefighting tankers is insufficient to keep smaller fires from burgeoning into megafires. …”
Read entire story at http://www.gazette.com/articles/tanker-154070-firefighters-air.html
Summit County Voice 4/18/2013
Excerpt: “SUMMIT COUNTY — Federal land managers could get wider authority for more backcountry logging under a new bill introduced in the U.S. Senate by three western senators: Mark Udall (D-CO), Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Max Baucus (D-MT).
The National Forest Insect and Disease Treatment Act is being pitched as a way to help Forest Service treat insect and disease epidemics and promote overall forest health. As drafted, it directs the agency to treat threatened watersheds while prioritizing preservation of old-growth and large trees when possible. …”
Read entire article at http://summitcountyvoice.com/2013/04/18/environment-can-forest-health-be-legislated/
Colorado Springs Gazette 4/16/2013
Excerpt: “Colorado Sen. Mark Udall, chair of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, questioned U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell Tuesday about how the agency plans to grapple with budget cuts that could impact its ability to fight fire this season.
The forest service expects to add next generation, or modernized air tankers, to its fleet this month, but will still have to deal with cuts to its fire suppression programs. In short, although it has yet to get seriously underway, wildfire season 2013 could be an expensive endeavor for the agency. …”
Read entire article follow link to Tidwell testimony at http://blogs.gazette.com/firenews/2013/04/16/sen-mark-udall-questions-forest-service-chief-about-budget-cuts-sequester/
Rapid City Journal 4/14/2013
Excerpt: “OUR VIEW: Fighting mountain pine beetle infestation on federal properties a higher priority than buying more land. South Dakota’s Sen. John Thune and Rep. Kristi Noem are sponsoring legislation that would pump more money into pine beetle control projects on U.S. Forest Service lands. While there’s little opposition to funding beetle projects on national forests, the controversy comes from the source of the funds.
Thune’s legislation, and Noem’s companion bill in the House, would take money earmarked for Forest Service land acquisition for five years and spend it on timber management projects to control insects and reduce wildfire risks. …”
Read entire article at http://rapidcityjournal.com/news/opinion/editorial-take-care-of-what-you-own/article_ac8445e5-507b-5b46-93f5-2ef988cd4b0a.html
High Country News 4/15/2013
Excerpt: “A dusting of new snow here in Paonia, Colo., HCN’s home base, is making it difficult to imagine the fast-approaching fire season. But it won’t be long before the walkie-talkies crackle to life and giant tanker aircraft are dusting the mountains with red fire-suppressant.
Which fires will the Forest Service fight? This spring, the agency re-instated its so-called “let burn” policy, meaning it will allow some fires — or parts of fires — to run their natural course. Agency jargon can make it difficult to understand which fires these are. …”
Read entire article at http://www.hcn.org/blogs/goat/the-who-what-where-and-why-of-letting-it-burn