On Friday, April 3, 2015 Maine Superior Court Justice Joyce Wheeler issued a final judgment in the question of the state’s ability to comment on wildlife issues. In her ruling, Wheeler sided with the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance and fully dismissed a lawsuit aimed at silencing Maine’s wildlife professionals.
The case started in the closing weeks of the Maine bear campaign over Question 1 on last November’s ballot. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), through their front group Mainers for Fair Bear Hunting, sued the state of Maine alleging an improper level of engagement in the. The “state,” in this case, was the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, whose vocal and public opposition to Question 1 didn't mesh with HSUS’ wish to stop bear hunting in the state.
There was a time when fire season for Western states meant only certain months out of the year. Not so long ago the U.S. Forest Service considered it primarily a summer problem with a few regions breaking the trend in early spring and late fall.
But climate change, according to most wildland fire experts, has turned fire season into a year-round issue.
What used to slow down fire season was winter—a long and cold time of year with lots of snow that killed off many invasive or destructive pests and filled rivers and reservoirs with ample water to supply the needs of millions living in the West.
WASHINGTON, March 11, 2015 – Warm temperatures in February contributed to further snowpack decline in the Cascades and Sierra Nevada, according to data from the third 2015 forecast by the United States Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Snowpack in Nevada, Utah and Idaho also fell further behind normal.
WASHINGTON, DC – House Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop (UT-01) sent a letter today to U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell, urging the agency to withdraw its Proposed Directive on Groundwater Resource Management. The letter was also signed by Committee Vice-Chairman Cynthia Lummis (WY-At large), Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans Chairman John Fleming (LA-4) and Vice-Chair Paul Gosar (AZ-4), and Subcommittee on Federal Lands Chairman Tom McClintock (CA-4) and Vice-Chair Doug LaMalfa (CA-1). The letter echoes similar concerns voiced by the Western Governors Association and others about how the proposal could usurp state management of groundwater.
AUSTIN, Nev. - Private landowners and conservationists in Nevada and several other Western states continue to work together to try to prevent the sage-grouse from being listed as an endangered species.
Duane Coombs, manager of the 250,000-acre Smith Creek Ranch near Austin, Nevada, is among those working to improve sage-grouse habitat on the public and private lands he ranches.
WENATCHEE, Wash. March 11, 2015. Harvesting fire-killed trees is an effective way to reduce woody fuels for up to four decades following wildfire in dry coniferous forests, a U.S. Forest Service study has found.
The retrospective analysis, among the first to measure the long-term effects of post-fire logging on forest fuels, is published in the journal Forest Ecology and Management.
PORTLAND, Ore. March 11, 2015. Log and lumber exports from Washington, Oregon, northern California, and Alaska both decreased in volume in 2014 compared to 2013, the U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Research Station reported today.
Exports of west coast logs decreased 13 percent to a total of 1,706 million board feet, while lumber exports decreased 14 percent to 892 million board feet. The total value of these exports also dropped—by 7 percent for logs to a value of $1,310 million, and by 11 percent for lumber to a value of $657 million.
Washington, D.C. (Feb. 3, 2015) – President Barack Obama used his FY2016 budget request to outline plans to keep parks relevant to an increasingly urban and diverse nation and to invite all Americans to help support their parks. His requests include $20 million annually to transport over a million urban youth to national parks and public lands, with dedicated youth coordinators to welcome them and their families, and a significant increase in the National Park Service (NPS) Centennial Challenge program, which leverages federal spending at least 1:1 with contributions and partner funding and helps reduce the large NPS deferred-maintenance backlog.
Washington, D.C. (Jan. 27, 2015) – House Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva today announced the Committee membership and subcommittee composition for the 114th Congress. Gregorio Sablan, the delegate representing the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, will serve as Vice Ranking Member.
The Committee is awaiting two additional member assignments from the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee. These lists are subject to updates.
WASHINGTON, Jan. 27, 2015 – The U.S. Forest Service today released the final policy for managing snowmobile and other "over-snow" vehicle use on national forests and grasslands. As directed by court order, the policy requires that roads, trails and areas where over-snow vehicle use can occur be specifically designated by local Forest Service mangers. Previously, managers had the discretion to decide whether to designate specific areas for over-snow vehicle use.
Washington, D.C. (Jan 13, 2015) – U.S. House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop (UT-01) today announced the roster of Republican members who will serve on the committee and five subcommittees in the 114th Congress, and the creation of a new subcommittee that will have jurisdiction over all committee oversight matters.