Massive Crater Lake Wilderness Area Fantasy

Oregon Wild has proposed a massive half million acre Wilderness Area, partly to “protect” Crater Lake. The Klamath County Commissioners are saying no, with fears that summer fires would affect public health, and that those unhealthy forests need active management. Here is a map of what Oregon Wild wants done.

Should federal lands bear the brunt of ESA conservation obligations?

Sage grouse are putting that question out there.  BLM and the Forest Service are amending plans to adopt strategies for federal lands that are more ‘strict’ than what states would do.  States don’t like this; do you? A related question – how important is it to have a consistent conservation strategy across jurisdictions? I am …

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Forest Service Must Re-initiate Consultation With USFWS on Lynx

This looks to have far-reaching effects on those National Forests within the “core habitats”. This looks like a forced settlement situation, where the Forest Service will probably pay dearly for their loss in court. http://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2015/06/17/13-35624.pdf Interesting: Although the court granted summary judgment to Cottonwood and ordered reinitiation of consultation, it declined to enjoin any specific …

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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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Rim Fire Images

The media does like to sensationalize events like the Rim Fire, often implying that the lands have been “destroyed”. The Rim Fire is so huge and burned across so many differing kinds of vegetation that you cannot summarize too much. Even my own “sampling” from the access roads doesn’t cover very much of the impacts …

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Service Contract Re-visited

In my last adventure, I decided to pass through an area of the Tahoe National Forest, where I worked in 1996 and 1997. During that time, I worked on fire salvage, blowdown salvage, insect salvage and roadside hazard tree projects. There was also this Service Contract, which reduced fuels without cutting trees over 9.9″ dbh. …

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Happy Earth Day!

26 years after “protected” forests burned, in Yosemite National Park, this is what we now have. Chances are, it will burn again, before conifer trees can become established enough to resist the next inevitable wildfire. You might notice that even the manzanita is having trouble surviving. I doubt that John Muir intended this on public …

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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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The Forest Service as Noah

High-elevation headwater streams that provide refuge for native bull trout and cutthroat trout would remain cold enough even under the worst warming scenarios to protect and support them. These streams, in places like Central Idaho’s White Cloud Mountains, can carry these native trout through the global warming bottleneck – when many species will disappear – …

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New possible planning tool for the birds

The study analyzed 308 species of birds that live on lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service, the two largest public land managers in the western United States. Drawing on 1.7 million crowdsourced checklists submitted to the Cornell Lab’s eBird project, the researchers modeled where each species occurred in each …

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