Currently viewing the category: "Public Land Management"

Currently, there is a bill in the Massachusetts legislature that would ban logging on all of the state lands. The premise of the legislation is that logging contributes significantly to CO2 emissions. The legislation sponsors argue that the best use of Massachusetts state-owned property is to maintain intact forests for carbon storage.

If […]

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Mountain Biking is a significant threat to our wildlands—both in designated preserves like national parks, wilderness areas, and the like, but also Wilderness Study Areas (WSA) and roadless lands that may potentially be given Congressional protection under the 1964 Wilderness Act.

Wilderness designation is one of the best ways to protect biodiversity, watersheds, wildlife […]

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As we ponder the future of public lands in Montana, including what areas deserve protection as Wilderness, it is worthwhile to look back in history to see how past protective measures were viewed.

In 1872 with the establishment of Yellowstone National Park many Montana citizens were outraged. For example, the Helena Gazette opined: “We […]

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We live in an age of Orwellian Doublespeak. Such doublespeak is exemplified by the euphemistically named “Resilient Federal Forests Act” (RFFA) sponsored by Rep. Westerman. Like previous versions, Westerman asserts RFFA will reduce massive wildfires and smoke, and promote more “resilient” forests.

In the name of fire reduction, RFFA is a Trojan Horse designed to […]

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Point Reyes National Seashore was established in the 1960s by the purchase of private ranches. The public paid fair market value for these lands. Livestock operations were to be removed over a 25-grace period. But time and again the ranchers refused to leave OUR property.

Surprisingly Representative Jared Huffman, ordinarily good on environmental issues, has […]

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Recently the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks (MDFWP) Commission voted to permit cattle grazing on the Spotted Dog Wildlife Management Area (WMA). Approval of livestock grazing on the WMA is based on the theory that a quid pro quo allowing ranchers to graze their cattle on public land will reduce animosity towards wildlife […]

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The April 25th article in the Yakima Herald “Fewer low-intensity fires means more severe fires”  quotes Ryan Haugo, director of conservation science at The Nature Conservancy and contained many misstatements that lack context about wildfires. https://www.yakimaherald.com/news/local/study-low-intensity-fires-way-down-in-northwest-s-dry/article_aef38135-95ca-5689-aaab-5fc9906c3818.html  

It is possible that Haugo stated more ideas and simply wasn’t quoted in the article, but since he […]

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The Oregon spotted frog was originally found throughout wetlands in Oregon and Washington. It is the most aquatic of all native frogs. It is always located near perennial water sources.

Draining of these wetlands, livestock grazing, and dams have significantly reduced its habitat. For instance, 95% of the wetlands in the Willamette Valley and […]

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Across the West,  livestock grazing is one of the most destructive land uses. Some 250 million acres of public lands are grazed by domestic livestock including those administered by the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management, as well as national wildlife refuges and even some national park units.

This use is not benign. […]

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In the recent Public Lands legislation that was passed by Congress, Oregon got some new protected landscapes including the Devil’s Staircase Wilderness, 250 miles of new Wild and Scenic River segments on the Rogue and Molalla rivers and measures such as a mining ban on the Chetco River. This legislation was a good but a […]

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Quote

‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey