Ground Truth: In the News

The Roundup for March 10, 2017

Federal Land Good for Local EconomiesFSEEE

The question of whether states should be given management responsibilities for federal lands raises impassioned arguments over the best use of wide swaths of the American West. Often lost in that debate is little-noticed research that has serious dollars-and-cents implications: Rural counties in the West with lots of federal land have done much better over the past half century than rural counties with relatively little federal land.

Nevada Rancher Hage Loses in CourtFSEEE

A Nevada ranching family that battled federal land managers for decades must remove its cattle from public lands and pay $587,294 in fines for “repeated willful unauthorized grazing.”

He Will Soon Run a Fifth of the Nation. Meet Ryan Zinke.The New York Times

President Trump has tapped Mr. Zinke, 55, a House member and fifth-generation Montanan who grew up in a timber-and-tourism community, to be secretary of the interior. He was confirmed by the Senate by a vote of 68 to 31.

Related: New Interior Secretary Rides A Horse To First Day On The JobNPR

Newly minted Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke knows how to make an entrance: He arrived at his first day of work in Washington on the back of a horse named Tonto.

Rob Bishop: Republicans seek ‘paradigm shift’ in federal land managementUSA Today

Last week, Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop, another Utah Republican, wrote to colleagues, saying “it’s time for a paradigm shift in our nation’s approach to federal land management” and called for $50 million to be set aside to facilitate conveyances of federal land to state, local and tribal governments.

Tester’s new wilderness bill draws critics, supportersMissoulian

A week after Sen. Jon Tester released his Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act, some wilderness advocates question what it might really do.

Senator Perdue And Congressman Collins Take Action To Improve Georgia National ForestThe Chattanoogan

Senator David Perdue and Congressman Doug Collins on Wednesday introduced legislation to improve management of the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest by creating a more cohesive park boundary, which would also improve opportunities for hunting, fishing, and hiking.

Environmental groups sue to stop Lincoln-area loggingRavalli Republic

A forestry project northwest of Lincoln would further degrade wildlife habitat in an area important to grizzly bears and Canada lynx, a federal lawsuit filed by environmental groups claims.

Judge rejects suit over La Sal goat introductionThe Salt Lake Tribune

A federal judge refused to order the removal of mountain goats in Utah’s La Sal Mountains, saying it is too early for the courts to interfere.

Forest Service Beats California Suit Over Closed RoadsLaw360

The U.S. Forest Service was given a quick win in a suit from a coalition of groups and residents challenging the agency’s 2010 decision to close hundreds of miles of roads in California’s Plumas National Forest to motorized vehicles.

Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch willing to limit environmental groups in land casesDaily Breeze

Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch has shown a willingness to limit the participation of environmental groups in lawsuits involving public lands, writing in one case that allowing conservationists to intervene could complicate and slow down the judicial process, according to an Associated Press review of his rulings as a federal appeals court judge.

Denver Water, U.S. Forest Service, partners embark on $33 million forest health dealThe Denver Post

Denver Water, federal and state officials say that they will sign a $33 million five-year forest health deal enabling continued tree-thinning and restoration of forests essential for city water supplies.

Study Shows 84% of Wildfires Caused by HumansSmithsonian

Over the last 21 years, debris burning, arson and campfires have combined with climate change to make the fire season much longer.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife accepting public comment on Mexican wolf proposalThe Copper Era

The Mexican gray wolf remains in the headlines as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is looking for the public’s opinion. The Fish and Wildlife Service is providing the public the chance to comment on its Initial Release and Translocation Proposal for 2017 concerning the Mexican wolf.

A Splash of River Water Now Reveals the DNA of All Its CreaturesYale Environment 360

Quick and inexpensive DNA sampling of a river, stream, or lake can now divulge what fish or other animals live there. This rapidly growing environmental DNA, or eDNA, technology is proving to be a game-changing conservation tool.

Real HorsepowerBillings Gazette

Forest Service horseman, a vanishing breed, leaves Red Lodge post.

U.S. Forest Service focus changes from harvesting timber to promoting recreationScottsbluff Star Herald

In a state once known for its treeless prairies, forest trails are becoming an important component of the economy in northwest Nebraska.

Keno family concerned about Forest Service projectCommonwealth Journal

When Michael Loiacono came to this area as a CAP (Christian Appalachian Project) volunteer 20 years ago, he fell in love with the people and a landscape that was not unlike where he’d grown up in upstate New York. That love for the land hasn’t wavered, but it’s now tempered by growing concerns over a proposal from the U.S. Forest Service to manage more than 32,000 acres.

Golden eagles spotted in the ChattahoocheeWRCB

The golden eagle is a rare bird especially east of the Mississippi River. In the Chattahoochee National Forest, there have been three years of sightings, but now near Dalton, researchers have finally tagged one of the majestic birds.

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