A conservation plan puts science ahead of politics

This story about the Pima County Arizona conservation planning effort isn’t directly about national forests, though there should have been (and probably was) coordination with the Coronado National Forest.  And my point here isn’t about the success of a conservation plan driven by the need to protect at-risk species (arguably an ESA success story).  It’s about the …

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Resilient forests require change in “default” response to fire

Here is the key conclusion in an article published by the Ecological Society of America (the article specifically addresses “dry forests”): One of the most important and fundamental challenges to revising forest fire policy is the fact that agency organizations and decision making processes are not structured in ways to ensure that fire management is …

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Lawsuit to stop federal highway on national forest lands

The Sierra Club filed the lawsuit to stop construction of the U.S. 70 Havelock bypass in North Carolina.  According to their attorneys, “The important thing here is that this part of the forest is one of the prime examples still of what used to be a very common landscape in the coastal plain, which is …

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Another payoff from standards in forest plans

This time mandatory standards ensure that a proposed pipeline project will protect water quality: In Bath County, the Forest Service said an access road that impacts a wild brook trout stream, Laurel Run, “is unacceptable because it parallels the stream channel with the riparian corridor for much of its length and has numerous stream crossings.” …

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Natural Range of Variation in the southern Sierra national forests

So what did the Sierra, Sequoia and Inyo do to apply this planning rule requirement to terrestrial ecosystems?  I’ve just reviewed the draft plan and DEIS, and I don’t think I’ve got a good answer.  They don’t directly say what NRV is or how they determined it (at least in the places I’ve looked). The Bio-Regional …

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Join the forest plan revision party

The Francis Marion National Forest was the first out of the gate last fall.  It is now joined by the southern Sierra national forests (Inyo, Sequoia and Sierra) and Flathead.  The draft plan and EIS for the Sierra forests were released on May 27th for a 90-day public comment period.  The Flathead will be officially …

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Forest planning could promote efficiency by “standard work”

The Colorado Department of Transportation and U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service have developed a new process for protecting federally listed species. “When fully implemented, the improvements made through SWIFT will also save CDOT hundreds of hours of report writing and tens of thousands of dollars of consulting fees every year.” “SWIFT is a programmatic …

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Fish and Wildlife Service points forest planning towards less post-fire logging

Yesterday, the Center for Biological Diversity shared its displeasure with pending timber sales on the Klamath National Forest. It also cited a previous letter from the FWS making recommendations regarding the same project. Together they point out the importance of forest planning to recovery of listed species. Under the Endangered Species Act, each proposed project …

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Forest planning contributes to listing species under ESA

A recent federal court decision has invalidated the listing of the lesser prairie chicken.  A key reason for the court’s decision was that the Fish and Wildlife Service made an assumption that if it didn’t list the species, it would reduce the incentive for participation in a conservation plan.  The judge didn’t think that was …

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When forest planning is a matter of life and death

“In July, Glenn Martin was tragically killed by a stray bullet while camping at Rainbow Falls in the Pike National Forest. Martin was roasting marshmallows with his grandkids when a bullet hit him.”  The Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest has responded to increasing conflicts caused by urban sprawl and more shooters by proposing a forest plan amendment. …

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