Here’s a link.
A three-judge panel of the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said it would not rehear the case. The full court also opted against an en banc hearing involving 11 judges
Judge William Fletcher’s majority opinion in the case was one of several openly criticized by one of his colleagues on the court, Judge Milan Smith, in a vituperative dissenting opinion filed earlier this month when the court, sitting en banc, ordered the Forest Service to consult with other agencies over whether gold prospecting in the Klamath National Forest will negatively affect fish species (Greenwire, June 4).
If left intact, the Sierra Nevada ruling “will dramatically impede any future logging in the West” because “it will take even longer for the agencies to approve forest plans,” Smith wrote in his dissenting opinion. Chief Judge Alex Kozinski was the only other judge who signed on to Smith’s most outspoken comments.
Despite Smith’s concerns, today’s announcement said that “no judge of the court has requested a vote on whether to rehear the matter en banc.”
Arthur Hellman, a professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, said he was surprised that Smith had not asked for the court to vote on an en banc rehearing.
“On the surface, it doesn’t make much sense,” he said. Hellman speculated that the outcome in the Klamath gold prospecting case may have deterred Smith from pursuing the issue. Instead, Smith may be hoping that the Supreme Court will take up the case, Hellman said.
US Forest Service celebrates 75 years of national grasslands
The U.S. Forest Service is celebrating National Grasslands Week June 17-23, showcasing the beauty, history and economic value of these national treasures on the 75th anniversary of the legislation that established them.
America’s 20 national grasslands, spanning 12 states and 4 million acres, were created through the Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenant Act of 1937, authorizing the federal government to acquire damaged lands for rehabilitation. Thirteen of these national grasslands reside in the Great Plains, where the ravages of the Dust Bowl left the soil bare of vegetation for years. Today, the benefits grasslands provide are valued in the billions of dollars.
“Our national grasslands remain beautiful examples of successful restoration programs,” said U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell. “These lands are once again rich habitats brimming with native wildlife, grasses and wildflowers. They are also economic engines, generating jobs and bolstering rural American communities.”
The national grasslands offer a wealth of recreation and education opportunities for more than 1 million annual visitors. The grasslands feature some of the world’s best bird-watching experiences as well as camping, hiking, biking, fishing, hunting, horseback riding, target shooting, off-highway vehicle riding, picnicking and learning activities. Scenic drives offer unique geological features, wildlife and stellar locations for stargazing.
History buffs can visit old cemeteries and homesteads and take guided tours of Native American petroglyphs. They can also share in the experience of early settlers and their trek on the Santa Fe Trail.
“It took decades to restore the national grasslands from the barren landscapes of the Dust Bowl, to the rich prairie habitats we see today,” said Tidwell. “Every American should experience these unique grasslands that are so much a part of our rich natural heritage.”
The national grasslands provide tremendous benefits including pollination of native and agricultural plants estimated at $6 billion annually. Livestock grazing and energy ventures including oil, gas, coal and wind also contribute to the economic benefits provided by these lands. They help prevent drought and floods, maintain biodiversity, generate and preserve soils, contribute to climate stability and protect watersheds, streams and river channels.
These lands were managed by the USDA’s Soil and Conservation Service, now the Natural Resources Conservation Service, until 1960 when they were transferred to the U.S. Forest Service and designated as national grasslands.
Check out your local grassland this week, they might have a special event to celebrate.
Thanks to one of our readers for this.
The National Institute for the Elimination of Catastrophic Wildfire 11236 N. Highway 3, Fort Jones, California 96032 – (530) 468-2888 – firstname.lastname@example.org “The mission of the National Institute for the Elimination of Catastrophic Wildfire is to educate, collaborate and motivate decision makers at all levels to take the necessary steps to eliminate catastrophic wildfire.”
Attached Invitation is information about the Institute and a two day workshop to be held in Sacramento,CA July 17-18, 2012 to launch the Initiative.
Something of Value: The National Forest System
Congressional Action is Needed for the Revitalization of the National Forest System.
March 12, 2012
America’s 193 million-acre National Forest System is in serious decline. The United States Forest Service (USFS) was created to be the congressional designated manager of the forests and to be the leader of professional forestry in the United States. As much through designed neglect as benign neglect, the national forests are being allowed to change from productive forests to fire-prone, insect-infested, and disease-wracked lands of declining value to the public, and the USFS that manages them for their citizen-owners is declining in its ability to carry out its mission of “caring for the land and serving people.” Congress must act immediately to save the National Forest System and its invaluable commodity and amenity resources, and to restore and revitalize the beleaguered USFS charged with their management.
During the past decade, the natural resources on over 12 million acres (an area larger than the State of Maryland) of National Forest System lands have been damaged or destroyed by catastrophic wildfires, insects, and disease. This devastation is a consequence primarily of improper and inadequate management in a time of rapidly changing environmental conditions caused by climate change. Science-based resource management by Forest Service professionals has been preempted by those with ideological agendas and the political power to impose them. Congress’s statutory direction for management of the national forests on a sustained yield-multiple use basis has been subverted by special interest groups. This situation will only get worse without immediate congressional intervention.
Congress must act now to charter a comprehensive review of the legislated mission and physical status of the forests and their resources, and then reverse and remedy the situations in those forests and their administration that threaten the nation’s economical and ecological well-being. If it does not, and current trends continues, the nation’s needs for vital economic goods and ecosystem services provided by the National Forest System will not be met (such as water), and Forest Service capabilities to manage the national forests will decline with the decline of its corps of professional resource managers and other specialists.
We believe the necessary review would best be led by a new public land law review commission, or Congress’s investigative arm, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), with input by members of the Forest Service along with representatives of state and local governments directly concerned with national forest issues, citizen dependent on the forests, resource management experts, and user group members. This review should focus on: (1) the biological and physical condition of the National Forest System; (2) the management needs and challenges which must be met to restore those lands and resources through active management, as well as restore public confidence in the process; and (3) The indicators of needed service and products being delivered to American citizens. As a result of this review, Congress should: (1) revise the often-conflicting statutes governing National Forest System management and stewardship; and (2) revise, restore and reaffirm the mission of the Forest Service to manage those lands to produce “the greatest good for the greatest number in the long run” that was its original charge, as well as provide for accomplishment of that mission.
Note from Sharon:Reminds me of a couple summers ago when University of Colorado Law School summer conference was on the need for a new land law review commission. Here’s a link to one of the posts on that by John Rupe.