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’ »

Flathead forest plan revision nears finish line

I’ve been looking at the second final forest plan and EIS prepared under the 2012 Planning Rule, the Flathead. I want to commend them for some of the things they’ve done. They have done a very good job of describing desired conditions for many vegetation characteristics based on their natural range of variation. I can …

Continue reading ‘Flathead forest plan revision nears finish line’ »

What if forest plans were a blank check?

There’s an interesting observation in this opinion piece about the process for amending the Allegheny forest plan to allow construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. It required replacing standards in the forest plan for this “project” – here’s one of them: “Standard SW06: Severe rutting resulting from management activities shall be confined to less than 5 …

Continue reading ‘What if forest plans were a blank check?’ »

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’ »

Study blames pot farms for poisoning spotted owls

“Researchers from the University of California, Davis, and the California Academy of Sciences tested 10 northern spotted owls found dead in the region. Seven of the owls tested positive for rat poison, used by pot farmers to keep rodents away from their irrigation systems and crops.” “California officials argue that legalization will allow them to …

Continue reading ‘Study blames pot farms for poisoning spotted owls’ »

Loggers lose attempt to remove coho salmon from California’s endangered list

On remand from the California Supreme Court, the Central Coast Forest Association and Big Creek Lumber Company lost again in the state appeals court.  They have been arguing that coho salmon did not occur naturally in rivers south of San Francisco, and that hatchery coho were harming native steelhead.  The state Fish and Game Commission …

Continue reading ‘Loggers lose attempt to remove coho salmon from California’s endangered list’ »

Forest Service on the bandwagon to unprotect sage grouse

Time is running out to comment on the notice that initiated “the scoping process to solicit public comments on greater sage-grouse land management issues that could warrant land management plan amendments” on 15 national forests and grasslands.  (Comments are due Friday.)  The majority of sage grouse habitat is found on BLM lands (I think the …

Continue reading ‘Forest Service on the bandwagon to unprotect sage grouse’ »

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’ »