Litigation update – early May, 2020

(Court decision)  In Alliance for the Wild Rockies v. Marten, the Montana federal district court has lifted the injunctions against the Bozeman Municipal Watershed Fuels Reduction Project and the East Boulder Fuel Reduction Project on the Custer-Gallatin National Forest because they have properly consulted on critical habitat for Canada lynx for both the forest plan and the projects, and no supplemental EIS was required.  This was discussed most recently here.

(Court decision)  In Conservation Congress v. U. S. Forest Service, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed the district court and upheld the Bagley Hazard Tree Abatement Project on the Shasta-Trinity National Forest against ESA and NEPA claims related to northern spotted owls.  A report on the hearing is here.  (And here is some discussion on this blog from 2013.)

(Court decision)  In Pacific Rivers v. BLM, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district court and the BLM and upheld the 2016 amendments to its western Oregon resource management plans against ESA and NEPA claims related to listed fish species.  (They’re not calling it WOPR any more, but I think this was what happened after BLM lost in court on the first try, discussed here.)

(Settlement)  In response to a lawsuit, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement agreed to consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to review the impacts of coal mining across the country on endangered species.  While plaintiffs seem most interested in West Virginia, active coal mining occurs on national forests in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and Kentucky.

(New lawsuit)  Monroe County (IN) and two environmental groups filed a lawsuit to stop the Houston South Vegetation Management and Restoration Project on the Hoosier National Forest, which they believe will pollute Lake Monroe, a major drinking water source for the area, and harm the endangered Indiana bat.

(New lawsuit)  Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility and the Western Watersheds Project have sued the Trump Administration for illegally filling the positions of the directors of the BLM and National Park Service with temporary, non-confirmed appointments.


In other Endangered Species Act news:

(Update)  A federal judge has agreed that 17 states may be harmed by Trump Administration changes in the Endangered Species Act regulations, so their lawsuit against these changes may proceed.  However, he found that was not the case for environmental and animal-rights groups and dismissed their complaints.

Following litigation, the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed the southern Sierra Pacific fisher for listing as endangered, but denied a similar petition for the northern California/southern Oregon population, where “threats were mitigated by fuel reduction projects aimed at reducing wildfire severity and partnerships with timber companies to limit logging in Oregon.”

The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed designation of critical habitat in Arizona and New Mexico riparian areas for the narrow-headed garter snake and the northern Mexican garter snake.  While it excluded private lands with conservation agreements and other public lands with adequate protective measures in place, a study had concluded that generally, the Forest Service does a poor job of enforcing existing restrictions on grazing leases.

The last two cases suggest that improved conservation measures for national forest lands might have made a difference and avoided these designations.

Has the Helena-Lewis and Clark got jobs for you

source: gustavofrazao / Getty

The Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest revised forest plan was released recently and is now in the objection period.  A local newspaper decided to profile the benefits of the revised forest plan to “jobs” – 400 new ones are projected as a result of the revised plan.  As a former forest economist, I know how meaningless the economic analysis of forest plans can be, and this seemed a little far-fetched, so I thought I would take a look at it.

The EIS discloses the number of jobs resulting from recreation, grazing, timber, minerals, transfer payments and Forest Service expenditures.  That last item (which I think is mostly federal employees) makes up about half of the total employment benefit depending on alternative.  Actually, the number of jobs is the same for all of these categories in all alternatives, except for jobs related to timber harvest.  There, the preferred alternative (F) increases the timber jobs by five times over current levels (EIS Table 243, I get an increase of 497 from current levels), while roughly doubling the projected timber harvest volume over that resulting since 1980.  Elsewhere the EIS says, “An estimated 804 private industry timber jobs exist in this multi-county area.”  That doesn’t match the 119 shown in this table, but would mean the Forest would only increase industry employment by 50% or so, but still …  My point is just that this is suspicious and confusing.

The reality is that jobs created by Forest Service outputs are usually a very small part of a regional economy (the total number of jobs in this region is over 100,000, so that the total timber-related jobs is less than 1%) and the actual number of jobs will usually vary because of many factors that that Forest Service has no control over.  This is a good example of stuffing an EIS with information that does not help with the decision, and in fact may confuse it.

Then there is the question of why should we care.  The “regulatory framework” for social and economic benefits (p. 189 of the EIS) provides no authority for “creating jobs.”  (I doubt if there is one for doing something about “poverty levels” either, as Mac McConnell intimated here.)   The “findings required by other laws” included in the draft ROD do not include any related to social or economic growth.   And under NEPA, creating jobs would be a bad thing, since indirect adverse effects “may include growth inducing effects and other effects related to induced changes in the pattern of land use, population density or growth rate, and related effects on air and water and other natural systems, including ecosystems” (40 CFR §1508.8).

Of course, considering a specific effect on a specific industry or employer, might be a reasonable and relevant factor to consider for a long-term planning decision, if it were related to meaningful criteria about the “right” number of jobs and why, and properly disclosed in a record of decision.  I’m just not seeing that here, in this draft ROD:

The Plan also contributes to social and economic sustainability by providing plan components that collectively support an array of public benefits including jobs and income, … (p. 20)

This statement would have been true for any alternative, so the economic analysis contributed nothing.  It’s unfortunate that this was picked out as “news,” giving the wrong message about what our national forests are for, as well as raising questions about what is really going to happen.

Oil and Gas Revenue, LWCF and the Great American Outdoors Act


Unfortunately, finding info on the internet does not always lead to info on the year and pub

Thanks to Shawn Regan of PERC for sending in these two pieces relating to funding for LWCF and the Great American Outdoors Act, related to my previous post here that dealt with the impacts of a possible Biden policy of “no new oil and gas leases” on LWCF.

The first is by Jack Smith, titled  “How Will We Pay For the Land and Water Conservation Fund?

How much federal revenue could offshore wind generate? The technical energy potential of winds off the U.S. coast is titanic—about 2,000 GW, or nearly double the amount of energy the entire country uses today. But the latest projections suggest that it will take a long time to realize offshore wind’s potential, so funding for the LWCF will probably depend on oil and gas revenue through at least 2050.

To see why, it’s important to understand the different fees energy developers pay the federal government to develop offshore energy resources. These are the revenues that currently sustain the LWCF and a myriad of other funds and programs.

First, developers bid for leases to tracts of property in auctions held by a federal land agency—in the offshore context, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. Whichever company wins each auction pays the winning bid—called a “bonus bid”—and then begins paying rent on the number of acres in their lease. Once a developer begins to produce and sell a resource from their lease, they pay the federal government a cut of every unit they produce, called a royalty.

Of these three revenue streams that fund the LWCF, royalties are by far the largest. In 2019, offshore fossil fuel energy royalties totaled $5.0 billion, 84 percent of the total $5.9 billion in offshore energy revenue. Bonus bids and rental payments together provided the other 16 percent.

Offshore wind royalties so far have generated zero dollars, since no project is far enough along to generate energy. But in theory, such projects could generate huge returns in the long run. At the current royalty rate of $5,010 per MW, harnessing all 2,000 GW of technically recoverable offshore wind energy would generate more than $10 billion per year in royalties. Building that much wind capacity is far beyond America’s foreseeable needs, grids’ load-balancing capabilities, and any realistic time horizon. But in the long run, it sets an upper bound for royalty revenue.

So it looks like wind energy probably won’t single-handedly fund the LWCF for at least 30 years, which means that the Great American Outdoors Act will continue to rely in large part on oil and gas revenue.

As a result, it’s clear that fully funding the LWCF permanently will present challenges. Fossil fuel development is increasingly under attack due to concerns about climate change. As policymakers seek permanent funding for conservation and recreation, the challenge will be to find other, more dependable funding sources to sustain outdoor recreation and conservation…

Historically, federal programs and obligations have consumed about half of federal energy revenues, leaving a large chunk in the U.S. Treasury for general use. In fiscal year 2019, that chunk was worth $5.0 billion—a level that would easily fill the maintenance fund’s annual $1.9 billion limit. But so far this fiscal year, federal energy revenues are down $1.7 billion. Unless federal energy revenues increase, it looks like there may not be enough funding this year to fully fund the public land maintenance-portion of the new legislation.

That’s important because a primary goal of the Great American Outdoors Act is to pay for billions of dollars’ worth of unmet maintenance needs in national parks and other public lands across the country—but without enough federal energy revenues to go around, those needs could go unmet even if the bill passes.

This potential shortfall highlights the risk of tethering public lands funding to federal energy revenues, which have become increasingly exposed to volatile oil prices. In the past 15 years, oil revenue has come to dominate the federal energy revenue stream; by 2019, federal oil revenue was $6.6 billion, more than half of total federal energy revenues. That means that an oil price crash has an outsized impact and potentially limits all programs that rely on federal energy revenues.

Forest Service Stories: A Ranger Station in White and Green by Les Joslin

Bridgeport Ranger Station in 1962.
Les Joslin, a retired U.S. Navy commander, served in the Forest Service seasonally from 1962-1966 and from 1990-2003, then full time from 2003-2005. His 12th book is in press. He edited the Pacific Northwest Forest Service Association’s Old Smokeys Newsletter from 2006-2019. He also has his own wikipedia page.

“I like a Ranger Station in white and green occasionally instead of all that tobacco-brown we go in for so much,” the forest supervisor of the fictitious Ponderosa National Forest commented to
the ranger of its fictitious Barlow Ranger District in George R. Stewart’s 1949 novel Fire.

When the dust cleared, I stood alone by U.S. Highway 395, squinting after the Greyhound bus rapidly disappearing to the southeast. A broad grassy valley, rimed by sagebrush-covered slopes
studded with pinyon and juniper, shimmered in the brilliant sunlight of a June afternoon. A light, fresh breeze carried the scents of grass, sagebrush, and pine. An occasional unfamiliar bird call broke the silence.

And, across the highway, a small brown sign promised I would find the Bridgeport Ranger Station just beyond a slight rise. I shouldered my sea bag and crossed the highway toward whatever that promise held. That turned out to be five summers in wildfire prevention and control that saw me through college and into the Navy.

About fifty yards along the dirt road, I topped the rise and saw it: a ranger station in white and green! Just like in Stewart’s novel! Gravel crunched beneath my boots as I strode toward a small building marked “office” flanked by an antenna.

Four decades later, during a kitchen table conversation with Bob Boyd, then Curator of Western History at the High Desert Museum south of Bend, Oregon, two ideas were hatched. The first, for a U.S. Forest Service centennial exhibit at the Museum, was realized when “A Century of Service: The U.S. Forest Service on the High Desert” opened in June 2005 for a two-year run.

The second idea took a little longer.

Bob mentioned the Museum’s evolving plan for outdoor interpretation of the relationships between life and natural resources in the Intermountain West, the Museum’s interpretive turf. This would include a small, old-time U.S. Forest Service ranger station. He was interested in “a little old Forest Service building out in the middle of Nevada that might be available” for this purpose.
“Is it on the Toiyabe National Forest?” I asked.
“Is it south of Austin on the Reese River?” I asked.
“I know the building!” I exclaimed. It was the one-room 1933 Bridgeport Ranger Station office building in which I’d signed on for my first Forest Service job in June 1962. Later that year, it had been moved to the later-abandoned Reese River Ranger Station—another old ranger station in white and green—forty miles south of Austin where the district ranger needed an office. A new, modern, “tobacco brown” office building had replaced the white and green office building of my first Toiyabe summer.

Bob and I had a project! I reconnoitered the structure in September 2004 and found it sound and moveable. Bob and I visited the structure in March 2006 to further evaluate it and begin serious negotiations with the Forest Service for its acquisition. We began working with the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest (the two Nevada national forests had been consolidated) and the  Intermountain Region of the National Forest System to acquire the historic ranger station office structure to serve as the centerpiece of the planned exhibit.

Projects cost money. Most of that came from the Pacific Northwest Forest Service Association of retired Forest Service people as both an organization and as individuals who sponsored the effort.

By early 2008, with the assistance of officials in the Forest Service and other concerned agencies, approval for transfer of the structure to the High Desert Museum on a “long-term loan”
basis was secured. Bob and I spent four days in March 2008 making on-site preparations for moving it 550 miles north to the Museum. We returned with a couple others in June to complete
the process that culminated in the structure’s arrival at the Museum at 11:00 a.m. on June 26, 2008, and its initial restoration in white and green completed on August 2, 2008.

Restoration—internal as well as external—continued through spring 2009 to prepare it for a gala dedication on June 30. Beginning the next day, Bend area Forest Service retirees George Chesley, Dick Connelly, and Stan Kunzman joined me in staffing what is called the High Desert Ranger Station every day through Labor Day. The four of us welcomed hundreds of High Desert Museum visitors with whom we shared the story of forest rangers who worked out of stations such as this to manage the resources of the National Forest System for the benefit of the people of the United States.

This has continued with strong volunteer teams every summer since. “What were all those ranchers and farmers and miners and loggers whose stories the High Desert Museum tells so well doing as the Old West became the New West?” we ask visitors. “Building a civilization based on natural resources. Forest rangers working from ranger stations such as this helped to sustain the natural resources on which the West’s economy continues to evolve and thrive,” is the answer we’re fishing for and provide.

To this day, every time Bob and I see each other, we share “We did it!” grins.

Dedication at High Desert Museum in Bend, Oregon July 2009

Forest Service considers changing 21-inch harvest rule for E. Oregon forests

From Capitol Press:

PORTLAND — The U.S. Forest Service is considering whether to amend a 25-year-old rule that prohibits logging large trees across six national forests in Central and Eastern Oregon.

Known as the “Eastside screens,” the policy was originally adopted in 1995 and included a ban on harvesting any trees with a diameter greater than 21 inches east of the Cascades to protect old-growth forests, water quality and wildlife habitat.

Though the 21-inch standard was supposed to be temporary at the time, it has remained in effect for all or parts of the Umatilla, Wallowa-Whitman, Malheur, Ochoco, Deschutes and Fremont-Winema national forests, which together add up to nearly 10 million acres of federally owned land.

Forest managers, however, may finally be ready to make changes based on advances in science and a better understanding of the different landscapes.

The Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Research Station issued a report in February, stating that removing some 21-inch-diameter trees — especially those that are large, young and thrive in shade — may actually be desirable for forest restoration goals.

More here….

What’s Up With: Biden “No New Leases” and Funding LWCF?

From Idaho LWCF summary.

Colorado Senator Gardner (R) and Senator Manchin of WVA (D) were responsible for shepherding the recent LWCF bill through Congress and getting it signed by the President.  Their efforts were greatly supported by the conservation community in general.

Here’s a link to the Forest Service LWCF page. I couldn’t get the map to work, and I’d be interested in whether others can.

Currently the push from organizations like the Land and Water Conservation Fund Coalition is to get Congress to use all the funds (you can sign on to a letter).

It was a simple idea: use revenues from the depletion of one natural resource – offshore oil and gas – to support the conservation of another precious resource – our land and water. Every year, $900 million in royalties paid by energy companies drilling for oil and gas on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) are put into this fund. The money is intended to protect national parks, areas around rivers and lakes, national forests, and national wildlife refuges from development, and to provide matching grants for state and local parks and recreation projects.  Over the years, LWCF has also grown and evolved to include grants to protect working forests, wildlife habitat, critical drinking water supplies and disappearing battlefields, as well as increased use of easements.

Yet, nearly every year, Congress breaks its own promise to the American people and diverts much of this funding to uses other than conserving our most important lands and waters.

Now as part of Senator Biden’s campaign, he pledged to “ban new oil and gas permitting on public lands and waters” (from the WaPo compendium of positions). I wasn’t sure (1) that the OCS counts as public lands or waters or (2) perhaps the OCS is all leased anyway. Of course, I’m also not sure that “public” is the right word, as I’m not sure the Prez can legally dictate what happens on the land of other government entities.

I couldn’t find any info on this anywhere, and finally a kindly E&E reporter gave me this link to a story by E&E News reporter Kellie Lunney. I hope you can read the whole thing, but I’m not sure about the E&E paywall. Some excerpts:

It’s not an entirely new argument. Members of Congress from energy-producing states, including Louisiana, have pointed out over the years that oil and gas drilling revenues pay for a wide range of conservation and coastal restoration projects, including LWCF.

But it’s an argument that could end up gaining more traction than some more gimmicky attempts — such as that the Green New Deal will eliminate hamburgers and milkshakes — that opponents have used to mock the framework as unrealistic and foolish (E&E Daily, Feb. 28).

“Yeah, I think it’s a Catch-22,” said House Natural Resources Chairman Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) about the dependence of programs like LWCF on oil and gas revenues.

“The more we become dependent on that, the more the push is going to be to expand that, and I think we need to mitigate that.”

Grijalva helped craft the public lands package and push permanent LWCF reauthorization along with the panel’s top Republican, Rep. Rob Bishop of Utah.

The chairman said that other than straight-up appropriations for LWCF, there are “not too many” other funding mechanisms he could envision for the program if the offshore drilling revenue stream were to dry up.

But that’s why it’s important now to allocate more money to the fund than it has traditionally received, to “maximize its use” and start making the transition from offshore revenue-dependent funding, Grijalva said.

The authorized funding level for LWCF is $900 million, but it has hardly ever been funded at that level; its annual appropriations in recent years have typically been about half that.

There’s also GOMESA

The 2006 Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA), passed shortly after Hurricane Katrina, allows four Gulf Coast states — Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas — to share 37.5 percent of oil and gas revenues produced in federal waters off their coasts to assist them with coastal restoration and storm protection.

It’s a critical program for the area, and one the region’s lawmakers fiercely defend.

Louisiana Rep. Garret Graves (R) has referred to the state’s coastal region as being the “goose laying the golden egg” for the federal government when it comes to LWCF, and possibly a trust fund of unallocated revenues to pay for the massive public lands and national parks maintenance backlog (E&E Daily, Nov. 13, 2018).

A portion of GOMESA revenues also helps fund LWCF. Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas generated $200 billion in offshore oil and gas revenue last year for the federal government.

What I got from all this is (1) in the short run, with Biden’s promise (and assuming Congress goes along with it) money will keep flowing in from current leases, (2) in the medium term, that funding would dry up and need to be replaced by another source of funding (renewable energy on federal land?) or to the general taxpayers (but that requires budget battles that they may not win). So perhaps we ought to think about replacement in terms of payments to the feds (and the state portion) for future wind and solar leases on federal land. It’s probably not too soon to start thinking about it.

(2) folks in Congress are actually working across the aisle (even possibly unlikely ones like Grijalva and Bishop!)

What’s Going on in Your Neck of the Woods? Dispersed Camping and Covid Campground Closures

Dispersed campsite near Twin Lakes, CO


In the interest of crowdsourcing information on National Forest activities, I’m wondering how things are opening up in your neck of the woods.  Coming back through a city last Friday, I noticed almost as many campers and trailers heading for the hills as in a non-Covid year.

Governor Polis of Colorado asked travelers to be sensitive to host communities and try to avoid stopping in them. In Colorado, State Parks have been open for hiking throughout the pandemic and recently opened to camping.  National Forest campgrounds have been shut down, but dispersed camping on National Forests and BLM is very popular.

Many people  prefer dispersed camping to campgrounds. Though part of their argument is that it’s free, and I don’t think that’s fair. I wish people who do dispersed camping would pay a voluntary $70 ish fee per year (I’ve given up on fees for now), about the same as a State Park pass, that goes into costs of the program.  As part of the package, they could get discounts from nearby businesses, education on how to reduce impacts and be good neighbors, plus a link to a website to report areas that need attention by the land management agency (like this Recreation Monitoring System, currently only in Colorado). Yes,  there is a problem that there currently is no such not-for-profit set up to channel the donations, but that wouldn’t be difficult to accomplish.

What continues to amaze to me is that the massive weekend migration to the woods, not managed by anyone, works as well as it does.  Or perhaps no one is monitoring the Law Enforcement Officer reports for potential news stories.

I did notice that the Pike San Isabel Travel Management EIS (2-26) described an alternative not analyzed in detail:

“Designated Dispersed Camping Alternative
This alternative is focused on resolving confusion with short, dead end spur routes that currently provide for dispersed motorized camping.
Key ideas are as follows:
•Limit closure of short, dead end spurs currently open to dispersed camping, to limit the shift of impacts elsewhere
•Convert these routes to parking locations only if on-site vehicle camping is permitted and clearly marked to avoid impacts
•Change the current strategy on the PSI of having dispersed motorized camping forest-wide to designated dispersed motorized camping, where all locations are inventoried and clearly marked

It seems to me that many forests near me allow dispersed camping, with signage when it is not allowed in specific places (I guess open unless closed). But I don’t think that’s the case everywhere. Is it by the Region, by how urbanized the area is or some historical factor or ???? Are there groups that want to reduce dispersed (vehicle) camping on its own, or is reduction of dispersed camping just a by-product of the desire to close roads?

Please share:

(1) How about your neighboring Forests? What are their policies on dispersed camping?

(2) What did it look like out there (on the National Forest) last weekend in terms of numbers?

Private land conservation easements benefit national forest wildlife

In 2009, the owner of a golf course in Georgia donated a conservation easement to a non-profit land trust.  The easement included roughly 57 acres of primarily bottomland forests and wetlands along the Savannah River that would not be developed.  That land is directly across the river from the Sumter National Forest, 700 feet away.

To obtain a tax deduction for the conservation easement, it has to be “exclusively for conservation purposes” based on one or more of the criteria in the Internal Revenue Code.  They include:

(ii) the protection of a relatively natural habitat of fish, wildlife, or plants, or similar ecosystem,

(iii) the preservation of open space (including farmland and forest land) where such preservation is–

(I) for the scenic enjoyment of the general public, or

(II) pursuant to a clearly delineated Federal, State, or local governmental conservation policy,

and will yield a significant public benefit,

These issues were recently litigated by the IRS for this easement in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, which found the donation to be eligible as both habitat (ii) and scenic open space (iii)(I).  IRS Treasury Regulations elaborate on these requirements with regard to habitat by including “natural areas which are included in, or which contribute to, the ecological viability of a local, state, or national park, nature preserve, wildlife refuge, wilderness area, or other similar conservation area.”  However, the court accepted expert testimony from the IRS that the easement did not support the forest’s ecological viability.

There is no mention of testimony from the Forest Service. The 2012 Planning Rule stresses that, planning for ecological integrity must take into account “conditions in the broader landscape that may influence the sustainability of resources and ecosystems within the plan area” (36 CFR §219.8(a)(1)(iii)).  In addition, where a national forest plan area can not maintain a viable population of a species of conservation concern, “the responsible official shall coordinate to the extent practicable with other Federal, State, Tribal, and private land managers having management authority over lands relevant to that population” (36 CFR §219.9(b)(2)(ii))).

The also court determined, regarding open space (iii)(II), that, “There is no qualifying federal, state, or local government conservation policy that applies to this land…” In fact, the Forest Service Open Space Conservation Strategy includes this vision: “Private and public open spaces will complement each other across the landscape to provide ecosystem services, wildlife habitat, recreation opportunities, and sustainable products.”

In this case, private land adjacent to a national forest was conserved, but there is no evidence that the Forest Service was even paying attention.  The Forest Service needs to be more alert to these opportunities that would benefit national forest resources as well as contribute to greater national conservation needs.  Maybe if the Forest Service promoted its conservation policies better, they would facilitate more donated easements and protect more habitat for wildlife species that also use national forests.

Along somewhat the same lines, conservationists in Florida are striving to conserve the Ocala to Osceola Wildlife Conservation Corridor, which would connect the two national forests of those names across 50 miles of multiple other ownerships (including a military base).  Here is a presentation by the U. S. Natural Resources Conservation Service, which uses funding from the federal Farm Bill Resource Conservation Partnership Program to purchase conservation easements and create wildlife habitat on private lands within the corridor.  (This is the kind of “governmental conservation policy” that should also support federal tax deductions for donated conservation easements.)

The federally endangered red-cockaded woodpecker is an excellent example of a species that the Forest Service needs to coordinate management with others for, and here’s a bit of the success story about that in the O2O Corridor.

A red-cockaded woodpecker (RCW) captured at Camp Blanding in Clay County is evidence that a project led by North Florida Land Trust to preserve land within the Ocala to Osceola (O2O) wildlife corridor is working.  The bird captured at Camp Blanding was the first time this endangered species had moved between one of the national forests and the military installation since they began banding and recording the birds over 25 years ago.

“USDA Forest Service” is listed as a “partner” by NRCS, and the “National Forest Service” by the North Florida Land Trust.  The latter gives me a sense of how deeply the Forest Service has not been involved, and I sure can’t find anything about this effort on either national forest website or using a national search.  It’s too bad the Forest Service isn’t providing more leadership (and getting more of the credit) for conserving its important wildlife resources.

Webinar Tomorrow: Managing Fire for Water: Lessons Learned from Watershed Protection Partnerships for Wildfire Risk Reduction

May 27, 2020 10:00 am – 11:00 am PDT


Among the values at risk from wildfire are community drinking water supplies, as forested watersheds on public land are often a primary or significant source of drinking water. In some places across the West, watershed protection partnerships have formed to address this threat by bringing together the stakeholders of these watersheds for collaborative planning and investment in source water protection. This webinar will explore the concept of watershed protection partnerships and how they span organizational boundaries for collective action to address wildfire and other risks. We will offer lessons learned from how these partnerships have been implemented in Colorado and New Mexico, and direct implications and applications for communities in Oregon.

Forest Service Stories: My Stanley by Alan McGuire-Dale


From: Alan McGuire Dale:R6/PNW
Date: ## 02/28/97 10:31 ##

During the first day on the job during the summer of 1974, I encountered one of the most enduring icons of a field forester’s standard equipment, the Stanley Thermos.  Everyone had one.
Evidently some for many years.

Although the thermos was basically unchanged even to this day, a cultured eye could tell the relative age by the subtle changes in the design of the spout, those that still used corks, and of course, the accumulated battle damage.  I have seen serviceable thermos that have fallen off the trucks at highway speeds, those that have been run over by bulldozers, and some that survived intense forest fires.  To this day, I still have my original thermos.

Although the desk has caught up with me, the various dents and other assorted damage that bathe my Stanley, carry me back to those events that range from mundane to terrifying.  All of which is necessary to put the intense issues and controversies which surround daily, into a very healthy perspective!