Has “energy dominance” lost a battle?

Opponents of fracking on the Wayne National Forest filed a lawsuit last spring alleging the failure of the BLM and Forest Service to comply with NEPA and the Endangered Species Act in authorizing oil and gas leasing.  They argued that when the forest plan was revised in 2006 it didn’t address the effects of fracking.  …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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Earth Island Institute v. Elliott (E. D. California)

This case was decided on November 16, but has not yet been included in a Forest Service litigation summary. At issue is the Bull Run project, a fire salvage restoration project to treat a strip of land along an area of roadways affected by the Cedar Fire on the Sequoia National Forest. The court denied …

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Plan revision on the Rio Grande

They are a little ahead of the Helena-Lewis & Clark discussed on Nov. 29.  They are taking comments on their draft plan and EIS.  I haven’t read either, but this article provides an overview.  Here’s the big picture: “The purpose and need for revising the forest plan is the changed economic, social, and ecological conditions …

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Case on forest plan wilderness recommendations

Ten Lakes Snowmobile Club v. U. S. Forest Service (Mentioned by Brian Hawthorne here, with links to an article and the opinion.) This case was about the decision in the 2015 revised Kootenai and Idaho Panhandle National Forest plans to recommend (to Congress) areas for wilderness and to manage them to protect their wilderness values.  The …

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Another September case

Wild Wilderness v. Allen seems to have not shown up on the Forest Service litigation reports, but here is a newspaper version.  On Sept. 8, the Ninth Circuit found that the decision to build the Kapka Sno-Park, a parking lot for snowmobile users on the Deschutes National Forest, was consistent with the forest plan and …

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What is Beyond the “Fog of War”?

There are scary and uncertain times ahead for our forests. There is just too much “Fog of War” going on for the public to sort out and fact-check for themselves. Even the ‘fact-checkers’ should be suspect, until proven reliable and bias-free. The rise of ‘fake news’ has blurred multiple lines, and many people, even in …

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Why NEPA Docs are Long… Example of Agency Comments (EPA)

I would bet if you examined agency comments from the agencies involved in reviewing NEPA docs for actions proposed by other agencies, you would find almost entirely “you need to do more’s” and not many “you could have shortened this section by leaving out’s”. Culturally, reviewers tend to be supporting their agency’s view, or a …

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