California national monuments pay off, and are intact so far, but not DRECP

Here’s some anecdotal evidence supporting the economic arguments for national monument designation. Two years ago today, President Barack Obama created three new national monuments in the California desert: called Mojave Trails, Sand to Snow and Castle Mountains. Supporters held a community event to celebrate, noting that tourism to the area has increased significantly, as people …

Continue reading ‘California national monuments pay off, and are intact so far, but not DRECP’ »

Forest planning heats up on the Custer-Gallatin

It looks like the Forest has at least two alternatives now for wilderness recommendations, with competing proposals from a local wilderness group and a “partnership” that includes a state wilderness group.  (What should count more, local or collaborative?).  An interesting comment from the local group: “I recently met with the Custer/Gallatin National Forest supervisor regarding the …

Continue reading ‘Forest planning heats up on the Custer-Gallatin’ »

New mountain top radio tower causes static

The Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest has gone a century (or however long it’s been since they invented radios) without radio service on some of its lands, but has decided that it needs it now, and that it requires the use of a mountain top with no development on it yet, and that there is no impact …

Continue reading ‘New mountain top radio tower causes static’ »

75% of Park Service FACA Committee Members Resign “In Protest”- Thinking About FACA Committees

Here is an interesting story about the National Park Advisory FACA Committee from NBC News. Maybe Interior is different, but in USDA, FACA committee members are approved by political appointees, which is one of the problems with FACA committees, in my view. If you need to be considered OK by an administration of a different …

Continue reading ‘75% of Park Service FACA Committee Members Resign “In Protest”- Thinking About FACA Committees’ »

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 …

Continue reading ‘Forest Service to revise NEPA procedures’ »

Shoshone forest plan lawsuit leads to negotiated solution on pack goats

The North American Packgoat Association’s lawsuit reversed a forest plan decision to restrict the use of goats for packing (because of risk of disease spreading to bighorn sheep) based on a procedural violation.  They then got together with the National Wild Sheep Foundation and other stakeholders to work out a new plan, which the Shoshone …

Continue reading ‘Shoshone forest plan lawsuit leads to negotiated solution on pack goats’ »

How “collaboratives” work in Idaho

They work well, according to this article, and here’s probably an important reason why: “The collaboratives advance the process by removing features that are sure to invite challenges and delays — like proposing new roads in a roadless area.” My impression has been that it is easier to reach agreement on protecting undeveloped areas (or …

Continue reading ‘How “collaboratives” work in Idaho’ »

FS preparing for more timber wars?

An interesting observation from an attendee at a meeting on the Medicine Bow National Forest (that may or may not have been “public”): “During the meeting, the forest service representatives discussed a plan from Washington, D.C., to harvest more trees in national forests…” Things do get lost in translation from meetings to attendees, to reporters, …

Continue reading ‘FS preparing for more timber wars?’ »

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 …

Continue reading ‘Review of collaborative restoration initiatives’ »

In Search of Common Ground II – It Takes Two: Forest Management and Social Management

Here are two current articles that get some things wrong but if we ignore those items and focus on the big picture that they present rather than on the details, I believe that we will find that we have more in common than we thought. Between the two articles we see the full picture for …

Continue reading ‘In Search of Common Ground II – It Takes Two: Forest Management and Social Management’ »