New lawsuit on Arizona copper mine and jaguars

The Coronado National Forest has been sued by the Center for Biological Diversity for approving the Rosemont copper mine.  The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service is also a defendant because the issues involve ESA consultation on the mine. The Rosemont Mine would “significantly impact a number of endangered species and their remaining habitat, including one …

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Good Neighbor Authority

This isn’t something that has been discussed here, but in the last couple of days I’ve seen two stories that make it sound like the greatest thing since tab tops. The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest may sell 123 million board feet of timber by the end of fiscal 2017, WJFW-TV reported. That would mark the fifth …

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Forest planning for hunting

“A number of environmental groups, including the Endangered Species Coalition, want to keep hunters who use packs of dogs out of public lands in Wisconsin, including the state’s national forests.  The groups say the hunters and their dogs have made the public lands inhospitable, and they want the federal government to launch an investigation into …

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“Hunting group sues to stop Ochoco off-road trails”

This is about the Ochoco Summit Trail System Project: The project proposes to designate a trail system in the Ochocos specifically for off-highway vehicles. The trail would be open seasonally and it would be built using mostly existing roads and trails tied together by some currently open roads. It would be a system where motorcycles, …

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“Managers accomplish much with fire”

) Amongst all the whining and ranting about how the Forest Service coulda/shoulda stopped all of this summer’s fires, there is this letter to the Missoulian (Missoulian’s title above), which I’ll reprint in total: Activity on the controlled burn of the Bitterroot Range is continuing to be successful. The reports show where they are building …

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Fuel treatments to save an endangered species

The case of the Mount Graham red squirrel seems to be another example of where everyone agrees that fuel treatments make sense.  According to the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, loss of habitat to fire is the primary threat to this species.  The draft recovery plan was revised in 2011 largely due to unanticipated …

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Points and counterpoints on fuel treatments

I think these opinion columns pretty much capture the debate: George Wuerthner:  “Thinning doesn’t help fight wildfires” 12 respected foresters:  “Effectiveness of fuel treatment on wildfires” George Wuerthner:  “Put focus on home environments” I think Wuerthner’s main point is that fuel treatments work best in circumstances where they are least needed, so there’s not really …

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Politicians vs science

Ideology was on display at a grandstanding event on the Lolo Peak Fire. Secretary Sonny Perdue, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, Congressman Greg Gianforte and Senator Steve Daines got a briefing from the fire management team, and then held a short press conference. Senator Daines repeated a refrain that Montana Republicans have been saying for years: …

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Wildlife and last year’s eastern wildfires

“Endangered snail survives devastating fall wildfires” and other stories from the Smoky Mountains. The snail was placed on the federal endangered species list in 1978. Before the fires, the only place in the world it was known to exist was a 2-mile stretch the southern side of the Nantahala River Gorge in Swain County. After …

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Logging in potential wilderness could foreclose forest plan options

Taking this story about the Pisgah National Forest at face value, it raises the question of what kind of management is appropriate while a national forest is revising its forest plan.  We just looked at another example of how the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest appeared to be anticipating changes that would result from its revised …

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