In Search of Common Ground II – It Takes Two: Forest Management and Social Management

Here are two current articles that get some things wrong but if we ignore those items and focus on the big picture that they present rather than on the details, I believe that we will find that we have more in common than we thought. Between the two articles we see the full picture for …

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Local plans for federal lands – the latest

This is a continuation of the “sagebrush rebellion” in the form of local government plans that purport to exert local control over federal land management.  They are being peddled to rural counties by Karen Budd-Falen, an attorney with a history of promoting private property rights (who some expect to be the new director of the …

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Who gets to be “in the room”

Discussion about the unfair access of litigants to decision-makers ignores the privileged position of local governments and economic interests during the planning process.  That is illustrated by this account of a meeting between the Forest Service, ESA regulatory agencies and northeast Oregon ranchers and county commissioners concerning revision of the Blue Mountains forest plans and …

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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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R.I.P. Saw Brigade

In another old case … The Supreme Court has left in place a lower court ruling that prevents New Mexico from greenlighting tree clearing on federal land in the state in the name of fire prevention. The Supreme Court declined Monday to hear a dispute between New Mexico and the federal government. The issue dates …

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R.I.P. Shovel Brigade?

The Jarbridge Road in Nevada is back under the control of the Forest Service. A federal judge in Reno ruled against rural Elko County this week — again — and closed the 18-year-old case stemming from a sometimes volatile feud over the road in remote wilderness near the Idaho line. It began in 1999 when …

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Logging in potential wilderness could foreclose forest plan options

Taking this story about the Pisgah National Forest at face value, it raises the question of what kind of management is appropriate while a national forest is revising its forest plan.  We just looked at another example of how the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest appeared to be anticipating changes that would result from its revised …

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When the locals pay for national forest fuel reduction …

Everybody wins? “So were Flagstaff officials prescient when they proposed what, at the time, was one of the first municipal partnerships with a national forest to have lands outside city boundaries thinned at city expense?” “Hindsight is 20-20, but it sure looks that way to us. Armed with a $10 million budget, the Forest Service …

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Utah counties make plans for federal lands

Sagebrush Rebellion light? The state required counties to make these plans, which by itself should be a good thing (especially where there has historically been anti-planning sentiment). “This helps us to work with our federal partners to ensure Summit County’s interests are part of the conversation on how federal lands are managed,” said Sean Lewis, …

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Another kind of access challenge

Sometimes the threat to national forest access results from undeveloped private land adjacent to a national forest becoming a subdivision, and here’s an example of that. In a recent development (described on a subscription-only site) an Aug. 28 hearing has been set in a lawsuit filed by developer Easter Mountain Ranch LLC (EMR) against Cochise …

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