“Political” personnel moves afoot at BLM?

“Sources” say three BLM state directors are being moved: “Alaska, Colorado and New Mexico have all been involved in controversial energy development and natural resource issues in the past few years, and sources say Interior brass do not view the three state directors at issue as being compatible with the Trump administration’s stated push to …

Continue reading ‘“Political” personnel moves afoot at BLM?’ »

Early seral wildlife species driving forest planning debate in the southeast

Here’s an in-depth article on the ongoing revision of the plan for the Nantahala-Pisgah National Forest in North Carolina, featuring the extent to which the Forest should provide early seral habitat (ESH). Many conservation advocates disagree over whether promoting this specific sort of habitat over others is desirable on a large scale. They also question …

Continue reading ‘Early seral wildlife species driving forest planning debate in the southeast’ »

9th Circuit takes out NFMA diversity requirement

In a 2-1 decision, which allowed the Big Thorne timber project to proceed on the Tongass National Forest, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a district court opinion that the Forest Service had complied with NFMA when it adopted forest plan direction related to managing old growth forest for deer to support viability of …

Continue reading ‘9th Circuit takes out NFMA diversity requirement’ »

Whitebark pine still waiting on ESA

Whitebark pine are being killed by a disease, white pine blister rust, as well an insect, the mountain pine beetle, according to the Fish and Wildlife Service. Meanwhile, other species of trees have crowded out whitebark pine due to fire suppression efforts over the past century, the agency said. The Wildwest Institute and the Alliance …

Continue reading ‘Whitebark pine still waiting on ESA’ »

A conservation plan puts science ahead of politics

This story about the Pima County Arizona conservation planning effort isn’t directly about national forests, though there should have been (and probably was) coordination with the Coronado National Forest.  And my point here isn’t about the success of a conservation plan driven by the need to protect at-risk species (arguably an ESA success story).  It’s about the …

Continue reading ‘A conservation plan puts science ahead of politics’ »

Are Trump’s climate censors at the door of forest planning?

In conjunction with publishing its notice of intent to prepare an EIS and draft forest plan, the Gila National Forest revealed a bit of the thinking going on on at least one national forest about whether they should continue to address climate change in the forest planning process. Throughout the assessment process, the Forest team took …

Continue reading ‘Are Trump’s climate censors at the door of forest planning?’ »

Summary of fire debate points

The latest from Headwaters lays out their point of view on several topics that have been discussed a lot on this blog (with cites).  The 2016 paper is posted in full and is pretty short and sweet.  The key points: 1. Fire size and frequency will increase under a warmer and drier climate 2. Fuel reduction …

Continue reading ‘Summary of fire debate points’ »

Forest Service and BLM slightly lose sage grouse lawsuit in Nevada

The state of Nevada, nine counties, three mining companies, and a private ranch challenged the adoption of greater sage grouse conservation measures in Forest Service and BLM land management plans.  Most of the agency actions were upheld in Western Exploration v. USDI (D. Nevada), including compliance with FLPMA requirements of BLM for multiple use and …

Continue reading ‘Forest Service and BLM slightly lose sage grouse lawsuit in Nevada’ »

9th Circuit upholds EA for Shasta-Trinity logging project

The mantra I always use to hear was don’t use an EA if you might get sued.  Maybe things are different now?  Or maybe this was just one of those EAs that looked a lot like an EIS. The Project’s proposed treatment methods will retain all existing snags greater than 15 inches in diameter, “unless …

Continue reading ‘9th Circuit upholds EA for Shasta-Trinity logging project’ »