National Parks get a $750-million shot in the arm today

Stimulus package gives the national parks a rare pot of money-

Despite how Americans love their national parks, this rarely translates into appropriations. While an big increase in appropriations is still needed, this is a significant event, which, according to the article, will also create many jobs.

National parks to get $750 million today. By Andrea Stone. USA Today.

Bridger-Teton National Forest quickly moves to use stimulus money for anti-conservation logging

Traditional logging dwindled on the Bridger-Teton, Caribou-Targhee and Shoshone National Forests because it brought in only pennies on the dollar spent. Stimulus may be used to renew logging at a loss-

The stimulus bill has money for forests, parks, wildlife that can be used in a beneficial or negative way. It appears the supervisors for 3 national forests in the Greater Yellowstone country are quickly moving to use the stimulus money directed to wildfire reduction and forest health to restore traditional logging by means of “salvage” of dead timber. They have asked timber interests for projects. Why haven’t they asked wildlife and conservation groups?

As George Wuerthner points out, stands of dead timber are not particularly flammable. In addition, building new roads into these areas spreads noxious weeds and degrades wildlife habitat. If they wanted to create a lot of jobs, they would hire people to pull the noxious weeds. Because most of the timber mills in the area went out of business long ago, it will be long time before stimulus money will result in new timber mills and trained loggers. Logging is capital intensive nowadays and creates few jobs per dollar spent.

A word to these forest supervisors, use the money to truly improve forest health — eliminate weeds, rehabilitate erosion sources on the national forests, recut overgrown trails, reduce livestock grazing impacts, clean trash out of the forests, improve human degraded stream conditions, repair damaged roads you plan to keep open, close and obliterate vehicle tracks that are degrading the forest.  This is the way to create jobs in a hurry and improve rather than harm the environment.

What is taking place here is a warning to those who love the national forests and want jobs to get involved quickly so that the money does not go to old fashioned projects that create few jobs and actually degrade the forests. Contact your local national forest now!

Remember that forests are more than just the trees.

Story in the Jackson Hole News and Guide. Bridger-Teton asks loggers for wishes. Letter links logging industry, local mills with health of national forests. By Cory Hatch, Jackson Hole, Wyo.

Parks and Wildlife Get Stimulus

Stimulus bill contains a lot of money that could be spent on parks, fish, wildlife, forest roads and trails-

The stimulus bill contains a rare infusion of major money for projects related to wildlife, fish, forest thinning, repair of decaying infrastructure, and more (folks are still looking).

If used correctly, this could create a lot of jobs and really improve the environment and local economies. If used wrong, long-lasting damage could result.

Bill Schneider thinks it will be positive. Parks and Wildlife Get Stimulus. Obama’s massive spending bill funds national park infrastructure and finds innovative ways to improve fish and wildlife habitat. By Bill Schneider. New West.

The devil is in the details, and what projects and what kind of projects get funded will depend on the competing wishes of green groups, brown groups, local and state public officials, individual activists, etc. So keep alert.

Posted in politics, public lands, public lands management, Wildlife Habitat. Tags: . Comments Off on Parks and Wildlife Get Stimulus

Republican Senator Wants to limit NEPA Review.

From American Lands Alliance:

The Senate is currently debating the economic stimulus bill, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (HR 1), that recently passed the House. Senators are offering amendments to make changes to the bill. We are very concerned about an amendment offered by Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) that waives the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review process for projects funded by the economic stimulus bill. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) has filed an amendment to counter Sen. Barrasso’s NEPA waiver amendment.

You can read more here:  American Lands Alliance – Calls to Senate Needed Tonight!.