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USFS touts integrated restoration plan ahead of budget request

April 9, 2013

A Forest Service pilot program that consolidates funding for several restoration activities last year protected 800,000 acres from the threat of catastrophic wildfire, the agency said just days before the administration is expected to ask Congress to expand the program nationally.

The...

BLM advises grazing reduction in 8 Montana counties due to drought

April 9, 2013

The Bureau of Land Management is asking ranchers in southwestern Montana to reduce grazing on public lands due to drought.

The agency on Friday asked those with grazing permits to graze no more than 70 percent of their allotted forage on land administered by its Butte and Dillon field...

Montana Senate passes measure to limit bison movement

April 9, 2013

The Montana Senate yesterday approved a controversial proposal that would limit where bison can be moved and shrink herd size.

The bill, which passed by a 30-19 vote, specifically targets the moving of bison out of Yellowstone National Park. State Sen. John Brenden (R), who sponsored the...

New federal land use plan draws ire of Wyoming counties, industry

April 9, 2013

The federal government's nearly complete land-use-plan revision for a 2.4 million-acre area from northwest of Dubois to southeast of Jeffrey City is drawing the ire of some in the area, including county governments and a major energy producer.

Calgary, Alberta-based Encana Oil and Gas and...

BLM study shows that Colorado Plateau will get hotter and drier

April 8, 2013

Conservationists are lobbying the Bureau of Land Management to overhaul its policies in the Colorado Plateau after the agency's own study indicated big alterations are coming over the next 50 years because of climate change.

The vast Colorado Plateau is home of the spectacular canyon...

Feds project climate change will double wildfire risk in forests

April 8, 2013

The hotter, drier climate will transform Rocky Mountain forests, unleashing wider wildfires and insect attacks, federal scientists warn in a report for Congress and the White House.

The U.S. Forest Service scientists project that, by 2050, the area burned each year by increasingly severe...

USGS advancing toward developing nationwide 'water budget' data

April 5, 2013

The Obama administration today released a report updating an ambitious, congressionally authorized effort to develop a national water census that could one day provide accurate, real-time data on freshwater supplies for thousands of watersheds nationwide.

Today's report released by the...

Utah rejects Snake Valley water pact with Nevada

April 5, 2013

Gov. Gary Herbert on Wednesday announced he is rejecting a controversial deal that would have shared with Nevada rights to water in an aquifer beneath Snake Valley, sending some 21 billion gallons of water annually to Utah’s western neighbor.

Herbert said it was one of the most difficult...

Western states brace for another fiery summer

April 5, 2013

A tenacious drought has left millions of acres in the West and elsewhere prone to intense wildfires again this year.

And the Forest Service, hamstrung by budget cuts, will have less resources for fire management this time around.

Arizona, Colorado, Florida, New Mexico and Southern...

Healthy Forest Management Act gets mixed reviews at Colo. meeting

April 5, 2013

La Plata County Commissioners have yet to give their official support to a bill sponsored by U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton that would give state and county governments more say in the management of certain high-risk areas within U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management lands.

The...

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