Post to Demarcated Landscapes details new Forest Service chief an ideal Bush Adminstration clone

This was just posted to the blog Demarcated Landscapes. It tells us a lot more about new Forest Service chief Kimbell than the stories in the newspapers.

Conservation Group, Unions Joining Forces

I can’t overstate what an important political development this may be, not just for wildlife conservation, but for the future structure of American politics.

“In a first-of-its-kind alliance that could fundamentally reshape the environmental movement, 20 labor unions with nearly 5 million members are joining forces with a Republican-leaning umbrella group of conservationists — the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership — to put pressure on Congress and the Bush administration.”

Read the rest in the Washington Post by Blain Hardin.

Idaho’s Most Venerable Newspaper Spanks Otter for Anti-Wolf Rhetoric

Over at Sinapu they found a key editorial I missed this morning. The Idaho Statesman doesn’t think much of Governor Otter’s plan to kill over 5/6 of Idaho’s wolves once the wolf is delisted.

Posted in Delisting, Idaho wolves, Wolves. Comments Off on Idaho’s Most Venerable Newspaper Spanks Otter for Anti-Wolf Rhetoric

Time to Abandon the Forest Planning Process?

As many folks know the various national forests always seem to be working on a new forest plan. The forest plans have always required a lot of public input, plus a serious environmental impact statement. They have had to redo forest plans because of inaccurate or politically inspirated data in their EISs.

My experience is that forest plans make a big difference. If an area is judged suitable for grazing, for example, no matter how much greater its value may be in an alternative use such as nationally important fishery, you can’t get the damn cows out without an amended forest plan.

Now the Forest Service is arguing that no real decisions are made with Forest plans, so no environmental impact statement is needed. Of course, conservation groups are suing them.

There are some who agree with the Forest Service (I mean people who are not Bush Administration political appointments).

Here is a link to a blog established by a number of college professors interested in forest policy and Forest Service people (all are operating this blog as individuals, not in their capacity as a Forest Service employee or position at a university).

Time to Abandon the Forest Planning Process?

I should add the Forest Service can’t just end the process because the National Forest Management Act of 1976 says they will do forest plans, and that they will revise them. I don’t really see how they can get away with this “reform.”

Amenity Ranch Boom Spreads East

Purchase of “working” ranches by wealthy outsiders is spreading far beyond the scenic hotspots near the National Parks and Wilderness areas of the Rockies. It is spilling out onto the plains where there has been a great depopulation as the economics of traditional ranching has collapsed.

Many places in Eastern Montana and the Dakotas now have fewer people per square mile than in 1890 when the Census Bureau declared the frontier was closed.

Hal Herring at New West looks into the phenomenon. Amenity Ranch Boom Spreads East.