In the News

House bill proposes permanent drilling protections

January 5, 2007
 Two House members have introduced legislation that would keep the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge permanently off-limits to oil and gas drilling. Reps. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Jim Ramstad (R-Minn.) are sponsors of the Udall-Eisenhower Arctic Wilderness Act, which would designate the refuge...

Cooperative Sagebrush Initiative

January 5, 2007
 The Cooperative Sagebrush Initiative is still in its formative stages, but the participants have grown rapidly and have maintained a remarkable pace of work. They include representatives of the roughly 65 "local working groups" that were formed in response to the potential listing...

Enviros will likely contest FS rule on no...

January 5, 2007
 Environmentalists will almost certainly take to court a new Forest Service rule that exempts new and revised forest plans from the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA.) The rule allows individual national forests to exempt themselves from preparing environmental analyses (EAs) or EISs for...

NEPA exemptions 'crucial' to Forest...

January 5, 2007
 A new rule exempting federal forest plans from National Environmental Policy Act studies is "crucial to the success of the Forest Service land management planning," said USFS Chief Dale Bosworth in a letter yesterday to key House Democrats. Bosworth defended the rule allowing the...

Director who championed 'multiple-use'...

January 2, 2007
Kathleen Clarke, who spearheaded an effort to accelerate oil and gas drilling on public lands in the West, resigned last week after five years as director of the Bureau of Land Management. The first woman to head BLM, Clarke said she is leaving to spend time with her family in Utah. Her tenure was...

USDA, Idaho proceed with roadless proposal

January 2, 2007
Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns formally accepted a plan last month to cooperate on the management of 9.3 million acres of national forest in Idaho. The Forest Service and Idaho will develop a memorandum of understanding based on former Gov. Jim Risch's (R) petition, the first filed after a...

Cooperative program shutdown decreases...

January 1, 2007
 The Maryland Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit recently closed, in part because of shortfalls in federal funding. The Cooperative Research Units (Units) are administered by the U. S. Geological Survey, an agency in the U. S. Department of the Interior. Recent federal funding...

Should hunters be happy with half a herd?

January 1, 2007
 The recent release of research findings from the fifth year of vital studies of mule deer use of the Mesa on the Pinedale Anticline has again produced the customary “spin-doctoring” that has characterized the debate over Wyoming’s wildlife affected by energy development....

Conservationists celebrate protections for Mont...

December 14, 2006
Among the many 11th-hour actions by the lame-duck 109th Congress last week was passage of a tax extender bill that contained an amendment to prevent federal lands agencies from issuing new permits for drilling or hardrock mining along the Rocky Mountain Front in Montana. The provision, slipped into...

Judge blocks admin rule limiting timber sales

April 27, 2006
A federal judge issued a nationwide injunction this week against a provision of President Bush's Healthy Forests Initiative that limits the public's right to appeal timber sale projects and other Forest Service decisions. At issue is a 2003 rule that limits the right to appeal Forest Service...
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