9th Circuit takes out NFMA diversity requirement

In a 2-1 decision, which allowed the Big Thorne timber project to proceed on the Tongass National Forest, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a district court opinion that the Forest Service had complied with NFMA when it adopted forest plan direction related to managing old growth forest for deer to support viability of …

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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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Tongass roadless rule exemption: facts matter

The Ninth Circuit has reversed the exemption of Alaska from the Roadless Area Conservation Rule.  The case highlights some limits on the role of politics in agency decision-making. While the dissent correctly asserts that “elections have consequences,” so do facts.  While Congress may choose to ignore them, the administrative and judicial branches may not.  The …

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Advice for the Tongass young-growth plan amendment

Though some doubted it could be done, the group of industry leaders, scientists, conservationists and government representatives has reached a consensus: the Tongass Advisory Committee has submitted its draft recommendations for managing timber harvests in the national forest that covers much of Southeast Alaska. There are lots of interesting ideas here; maybe some becoming relevant beyond …

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Rec-tech for a day: Misty Fiords by floatplane

This is a guest post by Travis Bushman.. thanks for being so generous with your (furloughed) time to share these with us! This is partially a meditation on the challenge of developed recreation on the Tongass, and partially an excuse to post some spectacular aerial photos of Misty Fiords. The week before the furlough hit, …

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Why Some of Our Last Remaining Old-Growth Forests May Be Privatized for a Political Favor

Here is a contribution from an Alaskan reader: While world leaders converge on Rio de Janeiro this week to discuss what can be done to rein in climate change, the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives has other plans: It will take up an omnibus bill that bundles together more than a dozen proposals that critics …

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