When the locals pay for national forest fuel reduction …

Everybody wins? “So were Flagstaff officials prescient when they proposed what, at the time, was one of the first municipal partnerships with a national forest to have lands outside city boundaries thinned at city expense?” “Hindsight is 20-20, but it sure looks that way to us. Armed with a $10 million budget, the Forest Service …

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Forest plans and “valid existing rights”

This is about forest plan litigation – sort of.  The Michigan Wilderness Act included a provision protecting “valid existing rights.”  A series of forest plan amendments by the Ottawa National Forest imposed restrictions on motor boat use on a lake that was mostly within a wilderness area but partly touching private land.  A 2007 Forest …

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“I understand firefighter safety, but you have to put people on the fire.”

  This from a resident near the Lolo Peak Fire – a fire that had recently killed one firefighter.  He added, “I’m tired of the smoke and I’m tired of the fire. I think there needs to be more accountability.” I’m appalled by the sense of entitlement to protection of private property that this statement …

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Utah counties make plans for federal lands

Sagebrush Rebellion light? The state required counties to make these plans, which by itself should be a good thing (especially where there has historically been anti-planning sentiment). “This helps us to work with our federal partners to ensure Summit County’s interests are part of the conversation on how federal lands are managed,” said Sean Lewis, …

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Another kind of access challenge

Sometimes the threat to national forest access results from undeveloped private land adjacent to a national forest becoming a subdivision, and here’s an example of that. In a recent development (described on a subscription-only site) an Aug. 28 hearing has been set in a lawsuit filed by developer Easter Mountain Ranch LLC (EMR) against Cochise …

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Personnel, politics and public access to public lands

  Yes, it looks like Forest Service employees should be concerned about how Trump might affect their careers.  Here’s an example about offending private landowners who block access to national forests.  (And, without any facts beyond earlier stories, I’ll suggest that you not think of these as long-term rural residents, but more likely some recent, …

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Should the Forest Service intervene on the side of environmental groups?

“Public interest groups filed a lawsuit Thursday, Sept. 15, challenging the city of Highland’s approval of the high-density Harmony development. The development sits at the confluence of Mill Creek and the Santa Ana River and is directly adjacent to San Bernardino National Forest lands and will bring more than 3,600 houses to 1,657 acres of …

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Sage grouse plans are out

Here are national and state perspectives.   The proposals to amend federal BLM and Forest Service plans to protect sage grouse have been released. I haven’t read the new plan components but I have followed the process since I was peripherally involved before I retired from the FS, and I was also more heavily involved …

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Update From the Yosemite “Laboratory”

Here is a stitched-together panorama from the Foresta area of Yosemite National Park. I’ll have to pair it up with my historical version, one of these days. Restoration processes seem to be minimal, as re-burns continue to ravage the landscape, killing more old growth forests and eliminating more seed sources. Even the brush is dying off, …

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