Forest Service to revise NEPA procedures

The Forest Service is proposing to revise its NEPA procedures (including its regulations at 36 CFR part 220, Forest Service Manual 1950, and Forest Service Handbook 1909.15) with the goal of increasing efficiency of environmental analysis. The Forest Service’s NEPA procedures were last reviewed in 2008 when the Agency moved a subset of its NEPA procedures …

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Review of collaborative restoration initiatives

The Forest Service funded a study (2 page summary here) of the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program and the Joint Chiefs Landscape Restoration Partnership.  Of note (to me any way): Findings:  “Strong majorities said they had increased the pace and scale of restoration, improved ecological conditions, and reduced the threat of fire to communities.”  “61% said …

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Plan for logging in Daniel Boone National Forest threatens rare flowers

This is about a formal objection to a logging project.  I think it illustrates one of the major issues we see in a lot of conflicts about logging (and an eastern example to boot):  what role should timber sale economics play in project selection and decision-making? From the objectors: Instead of focusing restoration efforts where …

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Enjoined timber sale “renegotiated”

The Johnson Bar Salvage Sale on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest has been approved by the Forest Service and the litigants.  (Johnson Bar has been previously discussed here in several posts.) Following the injunction, Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest Supervisor Cheryl Probert pulled the project and committed to a rewrite that was completed earlier this year. …

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Humans sparked 84 percent of US wildfires, increased fire season over two decades

How should we deal with the new math on forest fires? If this article published in the February Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences is not a fluke then it would seem to me that our expanding population dictates the need for more forest management not less. The less desireable alternative would be to …

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Forest planning could promote efficiency by “standard work”

The Colorado Department of Transportation and U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service have developed a new process for protecting federally listed species. “When fully implemented, the improvements made through SWIFT will also save CDOT hundreds of hours of report writing and tens of thousands of dollars of consulting fees every year.” “SWIFT is a programmatic …

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Do we need national ‘forests?’

Things seem a little quiet out there, so here is my response to Sharon’s asking what I  think about “disappearing districts” on June 12.  The problem I see with the approach of consolidating districts (and national forests) is that is an ad hoc and opportunistic response, and I haven’t seen much of an effort at long-term …

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End of an Era?

It’s not a surprise that the Forest Service is hiding their response to the sequestration. Simply put, modern projects treat more acres and cut numerous small trees. They cannot accomplish this work without temporary employees. My last year’s Ranger District currently has TWO permanent timber employees, and two others shared with another (larger) Ranger District. …

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When Policy Trends Toward Bullshit

Much government policy and some law resides in a realm philosopher Henry Frankfurt labels “bullshit”—in earlier times called humbug or balderdash. Much US Forest Service policy falls here too: regulation, manual and handbook directives. At least that’s the way I’ve seen it for a very long time. Early in my Forest Service career, a colleague …

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