Climate Change Update

I shot this picture from the top of Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, along the Sierra Crest. At the end of July, there should be a lot more snow and ice (including small glaciers) in this view of north-facing slopes. The view behind me was obscured, for three afternoons, by a Fresno area wildfire, with smoke …

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Recreation on public lands not so big an economic generator

Thanks to Ron Roizen for finding this op-ed in the Salt Lake Tribune. Here’s a link and below is an excerpt .. The sweeping landscapes and unparalleled vistas found on public land in Utah provide outstanding recreational experiences for both Utahns and those who visit our state. According to the Outdoor Industry Association, annual trip-related …

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Beaverhead-Deerlodge Forest Plan NEPA not site-specific enough

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the decision in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge (B-D) National Forest’s revised forest plan to designate areas for use by winter motorized vehicles. It found that the forest plan EIS failed to provide analysis that was site-specific enough to make an informed decision, as required by NEPA, and that the planning …

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Merry Packers of Yesteryear

A good friend who worked in the Forest Service before the 1964 Wilderness Act asked me if I had heard of a Merry Packer. I had not heard of them. He then described this motorized contraption that ferried equipment up trails in remote areas. The full picture is here. My friend Tom commented about their …

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Yosemite Visit

I recently spent three days in the Yosemite National Park area, shooting each day, in different locations. Yes, I did find a marvelous group of dispersed camping sites (free!) within the Rim Fire perimeter. Of course, they were there before the fire but, those spots still look great. Yes, there are also patches of high-intensity …

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The Tahoe Basin

Lake Tahoe would probably be a National Park, by now, if the Comstock Lode had never been found. There was clearcutting right down to the lakshore, for mining timbers, in the silver mines. Incline Village was named for the switchback road that transported logs to a flume that went all the way down to the …

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How the sue and settle process really works

This 6-page opinion includes a discussion of how courts decide whether to approve a consent decree. The case also demonstrates the ability of intervenors to influence the outcome.  In this case environmental groups intervened in a lawsuit by motorized users over a travel plan decision.  Because of the intervenors, the court refused to approve the …

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WHAT WOULD SENSIBLE RECREATION FEE LEGISLATION LOOK LIKE?

From the Western Slope No-Fee Coalition.  It’s rare that folks start with general principles and work from there (although I think it’s a good idea before you get into the nitty-gritty detail). What do you all think of what they’ve come up with? “WHAT WOULD SENSIBLE RECREATION FEE LEGISLATION LOOK LIKE? No one thinks that …

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Final policy for managing over-snow vehicle use

Let winter travel planning begin.  Not something the Forest Service wanted to do, but the result of a court decision that found the Forest Service incorrectly exempted snowmobiles from the travel planning regulations.  Here is the new regulation and a news article. Over-snow vehicle use on National Forest System roads, on National Forest System trails, and …

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