FOIA Improvement Act – coming next year

I saw FOIA from the government side when I was a regional FOIA coordinator as an unfunded mandate that made agency staff drop their priority work, but then sometimes get bogged down in attempts to deny requests under changing administration policies regarding the “presumption of openness.”  But when I hosted a FOIA conference, I invited …

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New Interactive Maps Show National Forest Timber Sale Data

From Headwaters Economics: Headwaters Economics produced two interactive maps that help users better understand the commercial activities on National Forests such as the timber economy–gross receipts, timber harvest sales, and timber cuts–at a variety of scales. Gross Receipts from Commercial Activities allows users to view and download data on gross receipts from all commercial activities at …

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Update: Montana Citizens Given Zero Notice or Opportunity to Participate in Gov Bullock’s 5.1M acre “Fast Track” Logging Proposal

Last week Steve shared this article about Montana Governor Steve Bullock nominating 5.1 million acres of National Forest lands in Montana for “fast track” logging under the recently passed Farm Bill. Since that article appeared in the Missoulian I attempted to gather basic information from the Gov’s office and the MT DNRC regarding what type …

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Flathead NF Skews Forest Plan Revision Process, Deceives Collaborative Group

Please consider the following memo from Keith Hammer, Chair of the Swan View Coalition, an update and addition to the previous post, “Another invite-only collaborative leads to unprofessional Forest Service conduct.” The Flathead National Forest has front-loaded its Forest Plan Revision process to reduce wildlife security while increasing motorized access and logging, playing favorites of …

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Arizona Agency Is Faulted in Deaths of 19 Firefighters

From the New York Times: PHOENIX — A state safety commission recommended fines totaling $559,000 against the Arizona State Forestry Division on Wednesday, saying the agency wrongly put the protection of “structures and pastureland” ahead of the safety of firefighters battling a wildfire in central Arizona last summer, including 19 who died trapped by the …

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The Forestry Source on “Sagebrush Rebellion Renewed”

The April issue of The Forestry Source, leads off with “The Sagebrush Rebellion Renewed: Bills Aim to Create Trusts to Manage Federal Timber,” by Steve Wilent, Forestry Source editor. The article begins with what I perceive to be a very narrow view of the origins of the 1980s Sagebrush Rebellion, blaming it all on “environmentalists”. …

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Center for Biological Diversity on the New Planning Rule

For Immediate Release, March 23, 2012 Contact: Taylor McKinnon, (928) 310-6713 or tmckinnon@biologicaldiversity.org Obama’s Forest Service Weakens Protections for Wildlife on All National Forests WASHINGTON— The U.S. Forest Service today released its new final rule to govern the nation’s 193-million-acre national forest system. The new rule significantly weakens longstanding protections for fish and wildlife species on …

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Forest Service appeal regs exempting CE’s dinged again by federal courts

A federal court ruling yesterday one again enjoined the Forest Service regulations that exempted Categorical Exclusion (CE) decisions from notice, comment and appeal.  According to one of the attorney’s who worked the case,  “This certainly means any new CE’d decisions must be subject to notice, comment and appeal – beyond that, and how this will affect …

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Pandora’s Box: “The Southeast Alaska Land Entitlement Finalization and Jobs Protection Act”

The following article is from the website of the Greater Southeast Alaska Conservation Community (GSACC), a regional organization based in Sitka, Alaska.  The Board of Directors of the organization includes an impressive and diverse group of longtime Southeast Alaska residents, including: commercial fishermen, a PhD biologist, former Forest Service foresters, hydrologist and a regional economist, …

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Audubon: Implications of Pending Tongass National Forest Land Selections on Forest Diversity

Thank you to reader David Beebe for passing along this new report from Alaska Audubon titled, “High‐grading on the Tongass National Forest: Implications of Pending Land Selections on Forest Diversity.”  The entire Audubon report is available here.  I’ve pasted the report summary below, although that’s also available in PDF form here, with the citations included. …

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