Harris Sherman interview in Missoulian

The story is here..

here’s an excerpt


Another topic that’s raised questions from both the Center for Biological Diversity and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association is the new emphasis on “maintaining viable populations of species of conservation concern.” These plants and animals aren’t necessarily on the endangered species list.
Environmentalists argue the new term fails to commit the agency to all-out protection of threatened or endangered species. Livestock producers say “maintaining viable populations” doesn’t show up anywhere else in federal law, so they have no idea what kinds of restrictions could be placed on their activity. And conservationists wonder what the agency will do about common species that still need attention, like elk or huckleberries.
“If you make the land more resilient, it should support more wildlife,” Sherman said. “Where that does not sufficiently work, with species at risk, we may need to create additional conditions to help recover or preserve species.”
That means asking users of federal lands to take action that could keep some animals off Endangered Species Act protection. For example, sage grouse populations are declining, but the bird is not yet listed as a threatened or endangered species. The Forest Service may ask grazing lease holders to move cattle away from sage grouse habitat to give the birds a boost.
All those decisions are supposed to be reached by teamwork among Forest Service officials and those who own, advocate, study and care for the land.
“When talking about contemporary, 21st century planning, collaboration is what you’re expected to do,” Sherman said. “We heard a lot about this from the public. We think this approach has widespread support.”

3 thoughts on “Harris Sherman interview in Missoulian”

  1. Again, while the ESA protects organisms from “bad” projects and actions, it surely doesn’t protect critical habitats from barkbeetles and catastrophic wildfires. Many species are listed solely on the list because of a lack of core habitats but, we continue to lose essential nesting habitats of northern goshawks and spotted owls, every year, with the continued decline of populations. Some people choose not to see this.

  2. OK.. I went to the “source” and found something about a “240-page rulebook” that supposedly “will referee as forest supervisors update their management plans for 193 million acres of trees and grass.”

    Anybody got a clue as to what that “240-page rulebook” is all about? And how has that passed any tests for a collaborative future?


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