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?’ »

Custer-Gallatin wins salvage logging lawsuit

On Feb. 6, Judge Molloy in the Montana District Court upheld the Custer National Forest’s  use of the categorical exclusion applicable to projects not exceeding 250 acres for the Whitetail Salvage Project.  In Native Ecosystems Council v. Weldon he found that even though it was the third project in the area affected by the 2012 Ash …

Continue reading ‘Custer-Gallatin wins salvage logging lawsuit’ »

Resilient forests require change in “default” response to fire

Here is the key conclusion in an article published by the Ecological Society of America (the article specifically addresses “dry forests”): One of the most important and fundamental challenges to revising forest fire policy is the fact that agency organizations and decision making processes are not structured in ways to ensure that fire management is …

Continue reading ‘Resilient forests require change in “default” response to fire’ »

National forest plans aid in removing bat from ESA list

The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to remove the federally “endangered” status from the lesser long-nosed bat found in Arizona, New Mexico and Mexico.  Public lands play an important role in providing habitat, and federal land managers were among the “conservation partners anticipating that their 30-year recovery efforts have paid off.” In the …

Continue reading ‘National forest plans aid in removing bat from ESA list’ »

Another payoff from standards in forest plans

This time mandatory standards ensure that a proposed pipeline project will protect water quality: In Bath County, the Forest Service said an access road that impacts a wild brook trout stream, Laurel Run, “is unacceptable because it parallels the stream channel with the riparian corridor for much of its length and has numerous stream crossings.” …

Continue reading ‘Another payoff from standards in forest plans’ »

Natural Range of Variation in the southern Sierra national forests

So what did the Sierra, Sequoia and Inyo do to apply this planning rule requirement to terrestrial ecosystems?  I’ve just reviewed the draft plan and DEIS, and I don’t think I’ve got a good answer.  They don’t directly say what NRV is or how they determined it (at least in the places I’ve looked). The Bio-Regional …

Continue reading ‘Natural Range of Variation in the southern Sierra national forests’ »

Science consistency review on the southern Sierra national forests

The draft revised Sierra, Sequoia and Inyo national forest plans include aggressive restoration programs across the forest, including logging areas of existing old forest structure to protect old forests and associated wildlife species.  The Forest Service has asked (unidentified) reviewers to look at the draft forest plans and draft EIS and address these questions in the …

Continue reading ‘Science consistency review on the southern Sierra national forests’ »

Timber numbers in revised forest plans

If there is one thing the Forest Service should have learned from the last round of forest planning, it is that they should put realistic projections of timber volume in their forest plans.  These numbers are going to create expectations for the timber industry and Congress that will translate into pressure to produce that amount. …

Continue reading ‘Timber numbers in revised forest plans’ »

Fire planning in the southern Sierras

This article describes the draft revised plans for the Inyo, Sierra and Sequoia national forests (from an ag industry perspective).  The way it characterizes the plans’ approach to fire, maybe this approach would make Robin Stanley happy: The preferred alternative, known as Alternative B, would replace wildland-urban defense and threat zones with a “risk-based wildfire …

Continue reading ‘Fire planning in the southern Sierras’ »

Join the forest plan revision party

The Francis Marion National Forest was the first out of the gate last fall.  It is now joined by the southern Sierra national forests (Inyo, Sequoia and Sierra) and Flathead.  The draft plan and EIS for the Sierra forests were released on May 27th for a 90-day public comment period.  The Flathead will be officially …

Continue reading ‘Join the forest plan revision party’ »