Showing posts from March, 2015

Federal Court Denies Motion to Dismiss Lawsuit Challenging Upper Echo Lake Hazardous Fuels Reduction Project

On March 31, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California issued an order denying the motion of the Forest Service to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Dr. Dennis Murphy challenging the legality of the Upper Echo Lake Hazardous Fuels Reduction Project.

The court rejected the Forest Service’s motion to dismiss in all respects.While the agency argued that Dr. Murphy was required to voice his concerns regarding the Project through an ad hoc administrative appeals process and his failure to do so left him with no recourse to the judiciary, the court did not agree.Likewise, the court rejected the agency’s argument that even if the Project implemented has environmental impacts that were not disclosed or analyzed up front, Dr. Murphy cannot challenge the Project once it is underway.

New Forest Supervisor at Tahoe: Business as Usual or a More Efficient and Accountable Agency?

A number of news outlets have covered the recent announcement that Jeff Marsolais was named as the new forest supervisor for the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit.  For example, the Tahoe Daily Tribune printed a Q&A with the new supervisor.  What remains to be seen is whether Mr. Marsolais will perpetuate the status quo initiated by his predecessor or work to lead a more efficient and accountable agency.  Let's hope for the latter.  Both the public and agency staff would benefit from leadership in the Management Unit that makes fiscally responsible decisions informed by quality science in a transparent manner.

Forest Service Continues to Ignore FOIA Obligation

Nearly six months after the Forest Service received a simple FOIA request, the agency has yet to provide a single responsive record.  Meanwhile, according to this story, the executive branch evidently has mounted a campaign against a bill in Congress intended to improve government transparency.