Massive Public Lands Bill a Bonanza for Sportsmen, but?

Protection of Wyoming and Salt River Range, plus Commissary Ridge from drilling wins praise-

Massive Public Lands Bill a Bonanza for Sportsmen. By Chris Hunt. New West.

But there is more in the bill than protection of certain parcels of land-

If you don’t think about the Owyhee Initiative part of the bill, it seems like a good bill for wildlife; although there are several little discussed provisions. For example, I just got email containing an almost overlooked entire “Title” of the bill. This title creates the “Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Fund,” which could result in a lot of tree cutting and brush clearing on the public lands and adjacent private and state lands, although it looks like the number of projects are legally limited. If this was lifted, this one way a lot of local employment could be created during the recession/depression.

To quote from the bill . . . the purpose of the Title is

“. . . to encourage the collaborative, science-based ecosystem restoration of priority forest landscapes through a process that–
(1) encourages ecological, economic, and social sustainability;
(2) leverages local resources with national and private resources;
(3) facilitates the reduction of wildfire management costs, including through reestablishing natural fire regimes and reducing the risk of uncharacteristic wildfire; and
(4) demonstrates the degree to which–
(A) various ecological restoration techniques–
(i) achieve ecological and watershed health objectives; and
(ii) affect wildfire activity and management costs; and
(B) the use of forest restoration byproducts can offset treatment costs while benefitting local rural economies and improving forest health.”

Here is the text of the entire title s-22-title4-omnibus-public-lands pdf file.


  1. kt Avatar

    6) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS- There is authorized to be appropriated
    to the Fund $40,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2009 through 2019, to remain available until

    For this tree killing. Logger welfare. Will conservation groups that “collaborate” and help plan plans to plan to do this get a cut of the funding?

    Ralph – There are all kinds of other things in the Omnibus Bill along with the OI – like Larry Craig’s Teton dam re-building, and all manner of tinkering around with water in dying aquifers in various places to the south.

  2. Salle Avatar

    And furthermore, what about the supposed “shovel-ready” projects that include portion of the activities mentioned here that have supposedly completed supposed EIS’s? Were those conducted before or after rule changes in 2004 that don’t require EIS’s based on individual forest managers’ guestimations?

  3. Ralph Maughan Avatar


    I notice there is a Watershed fund created too. There are a large number of “Heritage areas.” What are they?

    The media has only focused on Wilderness, except the Wyoming media who rightly wrote about the Wyoming Range withdrawal and the Snake River wild and scenic. By the way, that’s how Larry Craig got his Teton Dam rebuilding study — to shut him up about Wild or Scenic River status for the Snake River and tributaries in Wyoming.

    I’m not ready to say this is just logger welfare. A lot will depend on the people who are appointed to administer.

  4. kt Avatar

    I was trying to read all that was involved (that was in the 2007 version where there were so few words on the page it was hard to follow) in the Heritage Areas. I think it is largely good, but have not seen any detailed analysis of it. I bet it is like some other things – in the eastern/central US, it will help some to protect a diversity of areas. In the West – public land exploiters will somehow find some way to turn it into a Ranching Heritage Historic Landscape — or something — and get lots of tax dollars to promote current-day public lands ranching along with “historic”. Does anyone else know anything about where this came from, what all it entails?

    There was also a San Pedro aquifer study of some kind. What is that all about?


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

Subscribe to get new posts right in your Inbox

Ralph Maughan