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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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 …

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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 …

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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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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 …

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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 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 …

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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 …

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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, …

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