Has “energy dominance” lost a battle?

Opponents of fracking on the Wayne National Forest filed a lawsuit last spring alleging the failure of the BLM and Forest Service to comply with NEPA and the Endangered Species Act in authorizing oil and gas leasing.  They argued that when the forest plan was revised in 2006 it didn’t address the effects of fracking.  …

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California national monuments pay off, and are intact so far, but not DRECP

Here’s some anecdotal evidence supporting the economic arguments for national monument designation. Two years ago today, President Barack Obama created three new national monuments in the California desert: called Mojave Trails, Sand to Snow and Castle Mountains. Supporters held a community event to celebrate, noting that tourism to the area has increased significantly, as people …

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Flathead forest plan revision nears finish line

I’ve been looking at the second final forest plan and EIS prepared under the 2012 Planning Rule, the Flathead. I want to commend them for some of the things they’ve done. They have done a very good job of describing desired conditions for many vegetation characteristics based on their natural range of variation. I can …

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Litigation Weekly – February 2, 2018

Litigation Weekly Feb 2 ICL v FS (New case.)  Plaintiffs claim 23 surface water diversions on the Sawtooth National Forest adversely affect listed fish species, and that the Forest Service failed to consult on them with the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service as required by the Endangered Species Act.  (D. Idaho)  (Also discussed here.) …

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What if forest plans were a blank check?

There’s an interesting observation in this opinion piece about the process for amending the Allegheny forest plan to allow construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. It required replacing standards in the forest plan for this “project” – here’s one of them: “Standard SW06: Severe rutting resulting from management activities shall be confined to less than 5 …

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Maybe they should just sell this national forest land?

Steve Sanders addressed the board on the issue of the landfill nearing capacity. Sanders stated the landfill is expected to meet capacity sometime in the summer 2018. The plan for expansion has been on the books for a number of years. The expansion will cap in 5-7 years and then will require Gila County to …

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Lawsuit against water diversions on the Sawtooth

Nearly two dozen water diversion projects in central Idaho’s Sawtooth Valley are harming federally protected salmon, steelhead and bull trout, according to the Idaho Conservation League (and this article). Specifically, the lawsuit says the Forest Service in 2001 prepared environmental documents called Biological Assessments and found most of the 23 diversions are “likely to adversely …

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Forest planning heats up on the Custer-Gallatin

It looks like the Forest has at least two alternatives now for wilderness recommendations, with competing proposals from a local wilderness group and a “partnership” that includes a state wilderness group.  (What should count more, local or collaborative?).  An interesting comment from the local group: “I recently met with the Custer/Gallatin National Forest supervisor regarding the …

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New mountain top radio tower causes static

The Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest has gone a century (or however long it’s been since they invented radios) without radio service on some of its lands, but has decided that it needs it now, and that it requires the use of a mountain top with no development on it yet, and that there is no impact …

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