New Study About Forests Impacted by Extreme Mortality

http://academic.oup.com/bioscience/advance-article/doi/10.1093/biosci/bix146/4797261   Massive tree mortality has occurred rapidly in frequent-fire-adapted forests of the Sierra Nevada, California. This mortality is a product of acute drought compounded by the long-established removal of a key ecosystem process: frequent, low- to moderate-intensity fire. The recent tree mortality has many implications for the future of these forests and the ecological …

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Chetco Bar Fire salvage – agreement?

“The U.S. Forest Service is planning on salvage logging later this year in about 8 percent of its acres burned in last year’s 191,197-acre Chetco Bar fire in Curry County, a move timber advocates welcomed and one conservation group called “something we can live with.”” George Sexton, conservation director for the Ashland-based Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center, …

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Loggers lose attempt to remove coho salmon from California’s endangered list

On remand from the California Supreme Court, the Central Coast Forest Association and Big Creek Lumber Company lost again in the state appeals court.  They have been arguing that coho salmon did not occur naturally in rivers south of San Francisco, and that hatchery coho were harming native steelhead.  The state Fish and Game Commission …

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Idaho Collaboration: “Lawsuits and appeals are no longer what hold up timber projects. The problem instead is money”

A) A few excerpts from an 12/27/17 article describing a situation where local collaboration has, to date, prevailed over legal suits to stop the Pioneer Fire Salvage Plan. The battle isn’t over but the prospects look good. 1) “Loggers are racing wood-boring insects and decay to salvage as much timber as they can from the …

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Prescribed fire in wilderness

The Ten Cent Community Wildfire Protection Plan led to a fuel treatment proposal on the Umatilla and Wallowa-Whitman National Forests that included prescribed burning in the North Fork John Day Wilderness Area.  Objections included alleged violations of the Wilderness Act.  The objection decision included the following description of the process and requirements to conduct prescribed …

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How “collaboratives” work in Idaho

They work well, according to this article, and here’s probably an important reason why: “The collaboratives advance the process by removing features that are sure to invite challenges and delays — like proposing new roads in a roadless area.” My impression has been that it is easier to reach agreement on protecting undeveloped areas (or …

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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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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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WA murrelet strategy should “meet only minimum federal standards for protections”

At least that’s what the Washington state politicians are urging their Department of Natural Resources to adopt for its lands. The DNR is currently considering five different proposals to protect the bird species. A final decision is expected within the next few weeks. Walsh has come out in favor of “alternative B” which he says …

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Plan for logging in Daniel Boone National Forest threatens rare flowers

This is about a formal objection to a logging project.  I think it illustrates one of the major issues we see in a lot of conflicts about logging (and an eastern example to boot):  what role should timber sale economics play in project selection and decision-making? From the objectors: Instead of focusing restoration efforts where …

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