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 …

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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.” …

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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 …

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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 …

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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. …

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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 …

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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 …

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It’s just an administrative rule

The courts are finished with addressing the Forest Service Roadless Area Conservation Rule’s application to Alaska.  The Supreme Court won’t review the Ninth Circuit’s reversal of the attempt to exempt the Tongass National Forest from the rule.  Whew – glad that’s finally over.  But wait, there’s an election coming, and roadless rule opponents are thinking …

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Forest planning contributes to listing species under ESA

A recent federal court decision has invalidated the listing of the lesser prairie chicken.  A key reason for the court’s decision was that the Fish and Wildlife Service made an assumption that if it didn’t list the species, it would reduce the incentive for participation in a conservation plan.  The judge didn’t think that was …

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Creating the Next Generation of National Forest Plans

I was going to call it “A New Century of Forest Planning,” but it looked like that was taken.  For those of you who were attracted to this blog by its original title, you may find this article useful. Thanks to the Bolle Center for publishing it.  It seems appropriate that one of the students whom …

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