New lawsuit on Arizona copper mine and jaguars

The Coronado National Forest has been sued by the Center for Biological Diversity for approving the Rosemont copper mine.  The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service is also a defendant because the issues involve ESA consultation on the mine. The Rosemont Mine would “significantly impact a number of endangered species and their remaining habitat, including one …

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Forest management for swifts, swallows and big hollow trees?: Guest post by Brandon Keim

After Sharon’s post on the Boundary Waters post-blowdown logging project, my first thought was: was it really so necessary to log at all? Blowdowns are habitat, too, and part of natural disturbance cycles that make landscapes richer. Is the need to keep nature subservient so all-consuming, and our regard for the role of dead trees …

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Forest planning for hunting

“A number of environmental groups, including the Endangered Species Coalition, want to keep hunters who use packs of dogs out of public lands in Wisconsin, including the state’s national forests.  The groups say the hunters and their dogs have made the public lands inhospitable, and they want the federal government to launch an investigation into …

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“Hunting group sues to stop Ochoco off-road trails”

This is about the Ochoco Summit Trail System Project: The project proposes to designate a trail system in the Ochocos specifically for off-highway vehicles. The trail would be open seasonally and it would be built using mostly existing roads and trails tied together by some currently open roads. It would be a system where motorcycles, …

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Conservation Triage – How a Math Formula Could Decide Fate of Endangered U.S. Species

The title says it all. Considering that US citizens pay more in taxes than they do for food and clothing, is it any surprise that a lot of us want lower taxes. Here are some selected quotes from an article titled “How a Math Formula Could Decide Fate of Endangered U.S. Species“ It’s all about …

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Fuel treatments to save an endangered species

The case of the Mount Graham red squirrel seems to be another example of where everyone agrees that fuel treatments make sense.  According to the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, loss of habitat to fire is the primary threat to this species.  The draft recovery plan was revised in 2011 largely due to unanticipated …

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Air Pollution from Wildfires compared to that from Prescribed burns

New research has taken an exponential leap forward in measuring air pollution from forest fires. It confirms the importance of sound forest management in terms of health. To summarize: prescribed burns are significantly more desirable than wildfires. “Researchers associated with a total of more than a dozen universities and organizations participated in data collection or …

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Wildlife and last year’s eastern wildfires

“Endangered snail survives devastating fall wildfires” and other stories from the Smoky Mountains. The snail was placed on the federal endangered species list in 1978. Before the fires, the only place in the world it was known to exist was a 2-mile stretch the southern side of the Nantahala River Gorge in Swain County. After …

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Court buys FS interpretation of viability for bighorn sheep

On July 31, the federal district court for Wyoming found that the revised Medicine Bow National Forest Plan met the requirement of the 1982 planning regulations to manage habitat “to maintain viable populations of existing native and desired non-native vertebrate species in the planning area.”  At issue was the meaning of additional language in the …

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Forest Service wins A to Z

The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court denial of a preliminary injunction for the North Fork Mill Creek A to Z Project on the Colville National Forest, which has been discussed here. Of note, the question of contractor-NEPA was not addressed, although the court said that the Forest Service “reviewed and approved” the EA, and …

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