U.S. Forest Service

Idaho governor, GOP leaders ask to join sage grouse suit

BOISE, Idaho — An Idaho ranch’s attempt to block U.S. efforts to protect the greater sage grouse has attracted the support of Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter and other top state Republicans. Otter, House Speaker Scott Bedke and Senate President Pro Tem Brent Hill asked a federal judge last month for permission to intervene in a lawsuit targeting the federal government’s…

3 wolves killed in central Idaho after sheep attacks

BOISE, Idaho — Three wolves have been killed by federal authorities in central Idaho near Stanley, an action blasted by an environmental group. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services said it killed the wolves over several days earlier this month at the request of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game after confirming wolves killed six sheep. The three…

Study: Warming winters could lead to another bark beetle spread in Santa Fe area

(U.S. Forest Service)SANTA FE, N.M. — A bark beetle epidemic wiped out swaths of pinon trees around Santa Fe more than a decade ago, and now new research predicts that warming winters could spell more trouble. Scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory have done a large-scale analysis to demonstrate that higher temperatures allow the destructive beetle to multiply rapidly and…

Guided hikes: In search of bison at Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie

(recreation.gov)WILMINGTON, Ill. — Visitors to the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie in Wilmington in northeastern Illinois will soon be able to go on guided hikes to look for bison. The U.S. Forest Service says that, depending on the weather, what is called the Ranger Trailer at the Iron Bridge Trailhead will reopen on Saturday for the season. Volunteer rangers will staff…

Timber harvest project to benefit ‘brook trout heaven’

Trout and salmon are cold-water fish that suffer when water warms up above 70 degrees.MADISON, Wis. — An environmental organization and the U.S. Forest Service are working together to harvest timber in northern Wisconsin. The 2014 Farm Bill has allowed the two groups to enter into a stewardship agreement, Wisconsin Public Radio reported. The Nature Conservancy will hire loggers, sell…

Judge stays four lawsuits that seek to block PolyMet land swap

PolyMet completed swapping 6,650 acres of federal land in the Superior National Forest for a similar amount of private land last June. (U.S. Forest Service)MINNEAPOLIS — A federal judge has put on hold four lawsuits filed by eight environmental groups to block a land swap that the proposed PolyMet copper-nickel mine in northeastern Minnesota needs to move forward. U.S. District…

Forest Service reins in Arizona forest-thinning project

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — Federal officials who oversee a troubled forest-thinning project in northern Arizona are stepping on the brakes, saying they lack needed information. The massive project which aims to speed up forest restoration has been delayed indefinitely, the Arizona Daily Sun reported. The stoppage has surprised stakeholders, who had been under the impression that the Forest Service was making…

West Virginia to receive another elk shipment from Kentucky

Thirty elk were fitted with radio collars to study their movements and understand how the disease may spread.CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia’s fledgling elk herd will get another boost from a recreation area in Kentucky. The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that the Tomblin Wildlife Management Area in Logan and Mingo counties will receive 17 elk from Land Between the Lakes in…

Feds keep proposed Minnesota copper mine plan alive

(Photo by Brian Peterson)ST. PAUL, Minn. — President Donald Trump’s administration has resurrected an effort to build a proposed copper-nickel mine near the Boundary Waters Canoe Wilderness Area in northeastern Minnesota. In an opinion published Friday, a top attorney at the U.S. Interior Department concluded that the Bureau of Land Management erred last December when it determined that it had…

Public-private partnership means nearly $1.4 million to fight bat disease

HOUSTON — A public-private partnership is granting nearly $1.4 million to test treatments to halt a disease threatening the nation’s bat population. The white-nose syndrome fungus, first detected in New York state in 2006, has spread to 31 states and five Canadian provinces. Texas and Nebraska are the most recent states infected. The grants announced Tuesday in Houston include more…

Lawsuit: Eastern Idaho sheep grazing threatens bighorns

BOISE, Idaho — Environmental groups have filed a lawsuit contending the U.S. Forest Service is illegally jeopardizing bighorn sheep by allowing University of Idaho domestic sheep on two eastern Idaho grazing allotments as part of agricultural research activities. Western Watersheds Project and WildEarth Guardians in the 18-page lawsuit filed Tuesday contend the grazing through permits issued to the U.S. Department…

What’s a national monument?

The 1906 Antiquities Act, enacted under President Theodore Roosevelt, empowers the president to declare as national monuments any landmarks, structures and other “objects of historic or scientific interest” on land owned or controlled by the federal government. (National Park Service photo)U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is recommending boundary revisions for some national monuments but no eliminations. President Donald Trump ordered…