Showing posts from June, 2015

Status of Mountain Yellow-Legged Frog Precarious

Here is a link to a story about the status of mountain yellow-legged frogs by Katie Vane, reinforcing the precarious status of the species and the need for conservation-minded management of those areas of the national forests that provide habitat for the frog.

Congress Considers Bill to Streamline Forest Service Projects

As reported in Environment and Energy Daily (June 1, 2015 by Phil Taylor), Congress is considering a bill to streamline NEPA review of Forest Service projects and impede legal challenges to such projects.  The bill includes a legislative categorical exclusion from NEPA for certain Forest Service activities.  In addition, it would require groups that sue to block certain projects to post a bond to cover the government's anticipated legal costs, which the groups would forfeit if they are not successful.

The difficulty with such streamlining is that it facilitates both legitimate wildfire risk reduction projects and illegitimate agency boondoggles.  Thus, the Forest Service is relying on an existing categorical exclusion to justify its Upper Echo Lake Hazardous Fuels Reduction Project.  That project is unnecessary to reduce the threat of wildfire and therefore fiscally imprudent, and it is also environmentally destructive.

In any challenge to a Forest Service project, the odds are al…