Action Alert Archive

February 7, 2018

Your Action Needed to Protect the Mokelumne River

Want to see some good news related to environmental protection for a change? Please take action now to add the Mokelumne River to the state's Wild & Scenic Rivers system!

The North Fork and Main Stem of the Mokelumne River between Salt Springs and Pardee Reservoir are eligible for designation as a California Wild and Scenic River. The designation would protect this section of the river from new dams and protect all of the existing uses of the river. Protecting the remaining free-flowing sections of the upper Mokelumne is the balanced approach for a river that already works hard providing water and power for Northern California.

On January 26, the California Resources Agency released a draft Mokelumne River State Wild and Scenic Study Report. The report recommends adding 37 miles of the Mokelumne between Salt Springs Dam and Pardee Reservoir to the California Wild and Scenic Rivers system. Download a summary of the draft report prepared by the Foothill Conservancy, and get more information about the upcoming public hearing on February 15 here.

Please submit a comment or attend the February 15th public hearing in Mokelumne Hill to speak up for a Sierra treasure.

Comments on the draft are due by 5 pm on Friday, February 28. Further information, the draft report, and comment information are available at the State Resources website here.

Use this easy, customizable e-mail form from the Foothill Conservancy to comment before February 28. Personal substantive comments have a greater impact, so please edit the e-mail to describe why you think the river should be protected for generations to come.

Thank you for taking action.

January 28, 2018

U.S. Forest Service Proposes Changes to National Environmental Policy Act Regulations

Comments Due by February 2, 2018

The U.S. Forest Service is proposing a revision of the agency's regulations and procedures for implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the nation's bedrock environmental law enacted in 1969. The agency proposes to "streamline" the analysis process that is the very heart of NEPA to make it more "efficient."

While this sounds like a worthy goal on the surface, in truth, the Forest Service has numerous authorities and options for making the NEPA process a speedy process. In many instances, a project can be proposed and implemented in less than 30 days.

Background: The purpose of NEPA is to ensure that our nation's publicly owned lands are not recklessly exploited and permanently damaged by permitted activities. Such activities include things like mining, grazing, logging, dam building, road building, selling off public lands to private bidders, etc. Since we jointly own these lands, the public has the right to weigh in on such decisions, and that's what NEPA allows us to do. Private entities who stand to profit from use of our public lands have long been opposed to any restraints placed on their activities, and they exert considerable lobbying pressure on Congress. This has resulted in extreme and radical legislative proposals over the decades (including current legislation now before the U.S. Senate). As a result, agencies may now "categorically exclude" (Cat Ex, or CE) many activities from the environmental analysis that NEPA requires. For example, logging up to 3,000 acres, limited road building, oil and gas exploration, drilling, and pipelines, are all permitted using the "CE" option. So, it's not like the agency doesn't already have a lot of discretion. To date, we have been successful at fending off extreme proposals that violate the intent and purpose of the law.

Take Action: The industries that stand to benefit from the relaxing of these regulations will be very busy sending detailed descriptions of exactly what it is they want. You can let the Forest Service know that you are not ok with further dilution of the NEPA process or expanding the CE provisions.

The agency offers the following methods in which you can submit comments:

1. Portal for public participation
2. Mail: NEPA Services Group, c/o Amy Barker; USDA Forest Service, Geospatial Technology and Applications Center, 2222 West 2300 South, Salt Lake City, UT 84119.
3. Email: nepa-procedures-revision@fs.fed.us.

Comments will be accepted until the end of the day on February 2, 2018. You can cut and paste our sample letter below, but it is more effective if you edit the letter to make it personal, or write your own based on your own experience.

Sample letter:

Dear Chief Tony Tooke,

I am writing today in response to the December 20, 2017 Federal Register notice that the Forest Service will be reviewing its current policies and procedures for implementing NEPA. As a member of the public that enjoys and benefits from the regular use of our national forests, I am opposed to efforts to further weaken NEPA regulations.

Although we appreciate the need to expedite work whenever it is appropriate to do so, the agency already has plenty of discretion to utilize the Cat Ex option in situations where there is little likelihood of significant, or lasting, environmental harm. As you know, there are numerous categories available for use to expedite immediate action. These categories have been greatly expanded in the past decades since passage of NEPA in 1969. Forest Service planners are more than capable of planning and implementing lawful, environmentally sound, and swift actions.

In 1969 there was broad bipartisan support for protection of our public lands. NEPA was necessary then, as it is now, to ensure that our cherished publicly owned lands remain a viable, healthy, and biologically diverse legacy for future generations of Americans. The U.S. Forest Service must stand firm against efforts to return our public lands to the unfettered free-for-all conditions that preceded passage of NEPA.

The cure for the backlog of "special use permits awaiting completion" cannot lie in rewriting NEPA regulations but may require a discussion--and public disclosure--of the limits of Forest Service staffing and funding. For example, perhaps it is time to have a realistic consideration of eliminating special use permits for activities that are known to be in direct conflict with stated goals for ecosystem health, such as livestock grazing in fragile mountain meadows.

Further, the increasing demand on Forest Service budgets due to fire suppression can only be offset by an increased use of prescribed fire, as recommended by scientists. It is far less expensive to conduct controlled burns to reduce fuels and restore forest health, than to deal with increasingly massive conflagrations and their aftermath. Forest Service leadership should provide the necessary direction to make prescribed burning a top priority in California's fire-adapted forests. Scientists tell us that there is nothing that will have a greater positive impact on the health and continued viability of our forests, than restoring the natural fire regime.

Today, as climate change threatens to shake the very foundations of our civilization, it is more important than ever to adhere to the requirements for quality, science-based analysis that were wisely integrated into the current regulations by the first framers of NEPA.

Sincerely,

Your Name

Resources:

Read the Federal Register announcement asking for public comment on the proposed changes.

Link to docket page for this action.

Forest Service NEPA regulations, policy, and guidance.

Read the current rules for NEPA categorical exclusions in the Forest Service Handbook.

Thank you for your support.

September 14, 2017

Stand Up For Sierra Forests! Ask Your Congressman to VOTE NO on the Resilient Federal Forests Act

Talking Points for Calling Your Congressman

The Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2017 (HR 2936) stands in the face of decades of public input and collaboration by putting many of our most basic environmental protections at risk. This deceivingly-titled bill uses the guise of “forest restoration” to promote logging on federal lands, regardless of environmental costs. Several of California’s federal legislators are in a position to prevent this destructive bill from becoming law.

The Resilient Federal Forests Act: 

  • Allows logging projects up to 30,000 acres to occur without consideration for wildlife, water quality, fire resiliency, old growth forests, or other ecological consequences
  • Severely limits citizen groups’ ability to challenge public land agencies in court
  • Cripples the US Fish & Wildlife Service’s ability to protect endangered and threatened species
  • Uses taxpayer dollars to incentivize logging in certain western counties through the Secure Rural Schools Act
  • Threatens potential wilderness lands by allowing and encouraging logging in roadless areas
  • Increases fire risk by allowing salvage logging projects up to 10,000 acres (40 times the current size) to occur with no environmental review
  • Indirectly rescinds Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument by requiring that these lands be managed for timber production
  • Fails to adequately fund the federal government’s ability to control wildfires and protect communities

For more information, see the following:

Joint conservation group letter, June 26, 2017

Summary and analysis of the bill by attorney Mike Anderson of The Wilderness Society

An immense body of sound science has taught us that unregulated logging does not promote healthy forests. If Congress is serious about forest restoration, they should instead adequately fund the Forest Service and BLM’s fire management programs by fixing the ongoing issue of “fire-borrowing”.
https://www.fs.fed.us/sites/default/files/2015-Fire-Budget-Report.pdf

The following key California Congressmen can help make sure this bill never leaves the U.S. House of Representatives. Please take 3 minutes to call these legislators to demand that they oppose the Resilient Federal Forests Act:

Rep. Tom McClintock (CA-4, Republican co-sponsor of the bill): (202) 225-2511
Rep. David Valadao (CA-21, Republican co-sponsor of the bill): (202) 225-4695 
Rep. Jimmy Panetta (CA-20, Democrat, House Agriculture Committee):  (202) 225-2861
Rep. Jim Costa (CA-16, Democrat, House Agriculture Committee): (202) 225-2341
Rep. Doug LaMalfa (CA-1; Republican, House Agriculture Committee):  (202) 225-3076
Rep. Jeff Denham (CA-10; Republican, House Agriculture Committee): (202) 225-4540

Tell the White House not to eliminate our public land agencies. Comments due June 12, 2017!

Submit comments by 11:59 EST on June 12, at this site: https://www.regulat ions.gov/comment?D=OMB_FRDOC_0001-0201

Dear friends,  

Do you think we should get rid of the National Park Service? The Forest Service? Department of Interior? Yeah, neither do we.

But on March 13, 2017, the Administration threatened to dismantle the agencies responsible for taking care of our cherished national parks, monuments, and other public lands. They ordered a review of federal agencies to identify which ones should be eliminated or drastically cut in the name of streamlining government. Public lands depend on public agencies to manage them and any proposal to get rid of these agencies is an attack on the foundation that keeps our public lands public. 

The public is invited by the Office of Management and Budget to provide comments on this proposal. Comments must be submitted on or before 11:59 PM EST on June 12.

Any proposal to eliminate public land management agencies, or cripple them with draconian budget cuts, is an attack on the foundation that keeps our public lands public. We need to tell the OMB that protecting public lands and the public land agencies that manage them is a big deal. Please take action now, and tell the Administration that we need our land management agencies to be fully funded to carry on the important work of conservation and preservation of our public lands. 

Comments on the proposal can be submitted here. Although it is always better to write your own comments, you can use information from the sample below. You can write your comments in a separate file, and upload them, or paste your comments directly into the box on the comment page. Be sure to uncheck the box that says, "I am submitting comments on behalf of a third party."  

Sample language: 

Please accept my comments on Executive Order 13781 that directs OMB to identify agencies and functions that should be eliminated, transferred to non-federal entities, or modified. I write to you today to express my strong support for continued and robust investment in the conservation and recreation programs of the land management agencies:  the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, and the Bureau of Land Management. Together, these agencies administer, on behalf of the American people, 674 million acres of lands visited by over half a billion people annually.

For a modest investment (less than 0.4% of the federal budget), our federal land management agencies generate innumerable benefits worth billions of dollars. They provide us clean water and air, trails and campgrounds, and unmatched outdoor recreation experiences.

Consider that recreational visits to parks, forests, refuges, and other public lands generate $33 billion in direct spending and nearly 600,000 jobs, and contribute $37 billion to GDP annually. Consider also that the clean water that our national forests provide to over 66 million people in 3,400 communities in 33 states is worth over $7.2 billion annually. Clean air, clean water and other ecological services provided by our National Wildlife Refuges provide $32.3 billion in benefits to local communities. Together, they fuel a $887 billion outdoor recreation economy that generates 7.6 million jobs.

I understand the link between healthy lands and healthy lifestyles. I therefore urge you to support the conservation and recreation programs administered by the US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and the National Park Service. 

Background documents: 

EO 13781, March 13, 2017
Memo M-17-22 direction to heads of agencies, April 12, 2017
OMB Notice of Request for Comments in Federal Register, May 15, 2017

A New Forest Planning Rule -- Now in the Making

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Please mark your calendars and plan to attend one of the upcoming Forest Planning Rule Roundtable sessions on April 6, 2010

Meetings will be held in the afternoon (1:00 - 5:00 PM, Planning Session) and also in the evening (6:30 - 8:30 PM, Information Session) on April 6th at four different locations: Sacramento, Redding, Bishop, and San Bernardino. Registration (RSVP) is encouraged prior to March 31, 2010. Seating is limited at all locations except Sacramento, so register as soon as possible. Locations are listed below.  

Also don't miss this related event:
Science Forum (March 29 and 30, 2010) webcast from Washington, D. C.
Check the Forest Planning website for more details, video will be posted at this link.

What is the planning rule?
It’s the set of regulations that guide the Forest Service in implementation of the National Forest Management Act of 1976 (NFMA). The act compels the Forest Service to manage the forests for a variety of societal values – not just timber production. It also requires that each national forest revise their land management plans every 15 years.

The first set of regulations promulgated under NFMA were approved in 1982. They were revised again in 2000, in order to bring the regulations up to date and increase the scientific basis for decision making. Those rules were never fully implemented, as the Bush administration issued a complete revision in 2005 and again in 2008. Both revisions were found to be unlawful in federal court in June 2009. Hence, a new revision process has now begun under the Obama administration.

A lot has changed since 1982, but one thing is certain: society can no longer permit special interests to dominate national forest management. With climate change threatening the very survival of many species and forests, now is the time to take science seriously and put the conservation of biodiversity and ecological processes foremost. Forests are essential to clean and abundant water, clean air, carbon sequestration, and climate moderation. Their role as refugia and essential habitat for countless species of plants and wildlife is unquestioned.

What to expect 
The purpose of the roundtable events – which will be held at locations throughout the country – is to provide a collaborative process for the public to interact with Forest Service representatives, to learn about the planning rule and the National Forest Management Act, and to provide group feedback to the agency to help develop the proposed rule. 

The afternoon sessions (1:00 to 5:00 PM) will provide the most opportunity for public input for development of the new planning rule. They will be convened around small group roundtables. Come prepared to discuss the 8 proposed principles identified in the Federal Notice of Intent for the planning rule (see background documents, below).

The evening sessions (6:30 to 8:30 PM) will be more aimed to providing information to the public, and will include a summary of the afternoon sessions. Public feedback will be encouraged also. 

This is our opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to a transparent and science-based forest planning rule to secure lasting protection and conservation of our treasured national forest lands. We hope you can attend.

Locations:
Sacramento: Sacramento Convention Center, 1400 J Street, Sacramento

Bishop: Inyo National Forest Supervisors Office, 351 Pacu Lane, Suite 200, Bishop

Redding: Shasta Trinity National Forest Supervisors Office, 3644 Avtech Parkway, Redding

San Bernardino:
San Bernardino National Forest Supervisors Office, 602 South Tippecanoe Avenue, San Bernardino

More details, background and supporting materials are at the Forest Service Region 5 (California) website.

********

Background documents:
February 16, 2010: Read our detailed comments (22 pages) on the Notice of Intent developed with 30 conservation organizations nation-wide.

February 16, 2010: Read the comments on the Notice of Intent signed by more than 100 conservation organizations nation-wide (3 pgs).

December 18, 2009: The Forest Service issued a Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an environmental impact statement to analyze and disclose potential environmental consequences associated with a new National Forest System land management planning rule. The new forest management planning regulations will replace the 2000 rule.

June 30, 2009: Federal Court overturns and remands the 2008 Bush Administration's Planning Rule...Read the court opinion here....

All of this and more can be found in the NFMA section of Sierra Forest Legacy’s website.

Act Now! 

Phone Calls, Letters Needed to Protect our National Forests

Republican Lawmakers Seek "Emergency" By-Pass of NEPA and NFMA in California

Oppose HR 2899!

 
Each, year, for millennia, California's forests have burned. The rich tapestry of biologically diverse habitats that characterize the region is largely dependent upon regular fire return. Many species of plants and animals are actually threatened from lack of fire. Forests have naturally regenerated after fire for hundreds of thousands of years. Today, fires that are ecologically uncharacteristic -- due to timing, size, and intensity -- are the result of human activities and the legacy of 150 years of logging, fire suppression, and development. 
 
Republican lawmakers are now attempting to capitalize on the public's fears concerning forest fire. Under the misleading title, "California Catastrophic Wildfire Prevention and Community Protection Act," HR 2899 is a radical attempt to force emergency by-pass surgery on California's national forests. The bill explicitly cuts bedrock national environmental laws and policies, and turns control of national forest management over to local counties.  
 
Our national forests need a restoration prescription, not a radical scheme that will increase threats to imperiled species and habitats, driving them closer to the brink of extinction and potentially increasing fire hazards.  

Please take action today by e-mailing, phoning, or faxing key legislators and ask them to reject this unnecessary and poorly constructed legislative proposal. Contact Governor Schwarzenegger also, and let him know that we need his help to oppose this bill. Contact information can be found at the end of this message. Please pass this action alert on to your friends and colleagues as well.

HR 2899 --

  • Fails to define "forest restoration activities" - leaving potential actions, such as salvage logging, wide open without public oversight    
  • Allows local county governments to propose their own version of fuels reduction projects -- while eliminating the public's right to appeal or seek judicial review 
  • Eliminates federal jurisdiction over public lands
  • By-passes the requirements of both the National Environmental Policy Act and the National Forest Management Act 

Proponents of the bill - Congressmen Wally Herger, Tom McClintock, Dan Lungren and George Radanovich - have been pushing the idea of applying the Quincy Library Group model across the entire West. In truth, the QLG is a model for corruption, not collaboration. The QLG's two self described "environmentalists" received over $470,000 in payments primarily from Sierra Pacific Industries and the county governments that benefit from the logging...funds that were used to fight the conservation movement in the Sierra. (Read more here).
   
The forest products industry has tremendous influence over local county governments in many rural forest communities in Northern California. This bill would give them virtually unlimited access to publicly owned forest resources, while cutting out the public's right to oversee and appeal decisions that may have long term and irreparably damaging consequences for ecological processes and species survival.    
 
What you can do:
E-mail, phone or fax....
Senator Dianne Feinstein
San Francisco:
Phone: (415) 393-0707
Fax: (415) 393-0710
Washington D.C. Office
Phone: (202) 224-3841
Fax: (202) 228-3954
E-mail : (Click to contact from website)
 
Senator Barbara Boxer
Sacramento:
Phone: (916) 448-2787
Fax: (916) 448-2563; San Francisco: Ph: (415) 403-0100; Fax: (415) 956-6701
Washington D.C. Office
Phone: (202) 224-3553 E-mail: (Click to contact from website)
 
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
Phone: 916-445-2841
Fax: 916-558-3160 
E-mail:  (Click to contact from website)

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Ph (202) 225-4965 in Washington, D.C.; San Francisco: (415) 556-4862; E-mail: sf.nancy@mail.house.gov
 
Chairman Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Chair, Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands House Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands Ph (202) 226-7736 Fax: (202) 226-2301
E-mail: (Click to contact from website)
 
George Miller (D-CA, East Bay area), member House Committee on Natural Resources Phone 202-225-2095
Fax: 202-225-5609; Richmond office: phone: 510-262-6500
Fax: 510-222-1306
E-mail: George.Miller@mail.house.gov
 
Grace Napolitano (D-CA, LA area), member House Committee on Natural Resources
Phone 202-225-5256
Fax: 202-225-0027
E-mail: (Click to contact from website)   

Lois Capps (D-CA, Ventura County area), member House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands
Phone: (202) 225-3601
Fax: (202) 225-5632
E-mail: (Click to contact from website)
 
What to say: 

Please oppose the failed Quincy Library Group model...reject HR 2899...the misnamed "California Catastrophic Wildfire Prevention and Community Protection Act."  

Lead author Republican Wally Herger (R-CA, 2nd Dist) has publicly declared that the bill only applies to the Wildland Urban Interface ("WUI") -- but the bill defines "Covered Forest Lands" as "National Forest System Lands in California." The only "excluded lands" are those in the established Wilderness System. Inventoried roadless areas and wilderness study areas are also open for logging under the bill. 

The Obama administration has signaled its intention to put science first when it comes to national resource management. The most current science affirms that logging without appropriate controls increases forest fire hazards.

Fuel treatments should focus on surface and ladder fuels, rather than the larger fire resistant trees coveted by the timber industry, and must be followed by prescribed fire -- or fire conditions will be worsened. This bill makes no such assurances, and cuts out the public's right to appeal or litigate corrupted decision making.     
 

It's time to end the timber industry's long dominance and control over the management of national forest lands -- it is time for new partnerships, and ecology science-based management. 

The timber industry was a major beneficiary of the speculation-driven, fraudulent housing market boom. Its crash has affected the entire global economy. We need to move ahead with a new model for creating sustainable green jobs that restore our forests and maximize their carbon storage capacity. 

We support FLRA, the Forest Landscape Restoration Act, which fosters sustainable green jobs, not boom and bust economies like the current timber industry model.

Please help us stop this reckless, politically motivated proposal by taking action today, and pass this on to your friends and colleagues. If you need more information, please contact us at info@sierraforestlegacy.org. You can also find many supporting materials, science papers, and information about fire and forests on our website.  

You can also let your voice be heard by donating to Sierra Forest Legacy, so we can continue to be a strong and effective champion fighting to protect the Sierra Nevada with its magnificent wild places and unique plants and animals. Click here to make a secure donation.

Thank you for helping to protect the last remaining wild places of the Sierra Nevada's publicly owned National Forests.    

"A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it does otherwise."
~Aldo Leopold

Letters Needed to Protect the Fisher - Comments due Feb. 20, 2009 - Sample Letter Below

The lives of the animals that will be released – and the future of subsequent, scientifically credible reintroduction efforts – are jeopardized by allowing a private landowner dictate to the government the terms of the reintroduction.”-- Forest Service fisher expert Dr. William Zielinski.

The California Department of Fish and Game has released a Notice of Intent (Jan. 9) to adopt a controversial and precedent-setting plan to move 40 Pacific fisher – captured from public and private lands in northwestern California – and release them onto heavily logged lands owned by Sierra Pacific Industries (SPI) in the northern Sierra Nevada. The region where the fisher will be released is known as SPI’s “Stirling Management Area” and includes approximately 160,000 acres between Highway 32 in Tehama County, and the North Fork of the Feather River in Butte and Plumas Counties, and Highway 70. (Location is shown in black area in map, see below).

The project is the result of a joint venture between the Schwarzenegger and Bush administrations, designed to give landowner SPI protection from future restrictions on its environmentally devastating logging practices--restrictions that may be necessary to protect at-risk wildlife.

The proposal violates state and federal environmental laws because of the significance of the potential harmful impacts, the failure to examine alternatives as required by CEQA and NEPA, and because it could establish a harmful and scientifically baseless precedent that SPI’s clearcutting practices are beneficial to the fisher and other forest-dependent wildlife. 

Last year, the Yreka office of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service entered into a “Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances” (CCAA) with SPI, which pledges that SPI will not be held accountable for the next 20 years for “incidental take” of Pacific fisher resulting from any of its activities. The accompanying permit states “no additional conservation measures or additional land, water, or resource use restrictions, beyond those voluntarily agreed to and described in the CCAA, will be required should the fisher become listed as a threatened or endangered species for the duration of the permit period.”

Incredibly, the purported conservation measures “voluntarily agreed to” are nothing more than business as usual for SPI, which is to convert through clearcutting native forest into uniform tree plantations across nearly 2 million acres of its land ownership in California. This massive conversion currently underway is one of the most under-reported, yet among the most environmentally destructive, legacies of our time.

The 20-year CCAA and permit gives SPI a free pass to continue logging the region without any modifications to their current management regime, regardless of the impacts upon the fisher. The fisher is considered warranted for listing as threatened with extinction by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Experts conservatively estimate that the Pacific fisher will become extinct in the Sierra Nevada, within the next 50 years. 

Take Action: Please send a letter to the California Department of Fish and Game to protest the decision to adopt a “Negative Declaration of Significant Impacts” for the proposal. The agency, at the minimum, must conduct a full environmental impact report (EIR) as required under the California Environmental Quality Act and consider a range of alternatives to the singular proposal to release 40 imperiled Pacific fisher on devastated SPI timber lands. Comments should be faxed or mailed to the address below. Personal letters are always more effective than mass mailings, so to have the greatest impact, tailor the letter to make it reflect your personal view. All the supporting documents can be downloaded from this website. See the column at the upper right, under Resources.

The close of comments is February 20, 2009. Comments must be postmarked or faxed by February 20, 2009. Comments should be faxed or mailed to:

Eric Loft
Department of Fish and Game Wildlife Branch
1812 Ninth Street Sacramento, CA 95811
Fax: 916-445-4048

SAMPLE LETTER

YOUR ADDRESS

Eric Loft, Chief of Wildlife Branch
Department of Fish and Game Wildlife Branch
1812 Ninth Street
Sacramento, CA 95811

DATE (MUST BE RECEIVED BY FEB 20, 2009) Dear Sir,

I am writing to express my concerns and opposition to your issuance on January 9, 2009 of a Notice of Intent to Adopt a Negative Declaration, signifying that there are no significant environmental impacts from the SPI proposal to reintroduce fishers to Sierra Pacific Industries’ Stirling Management Area located between Quincy and Chico in the northern Sierra Nevada. The proposal would release 40 Pacific fisher, captured from private and public lands in northwestern California, over a period of three years. At the same time, Sierra Pacific Industries (SPI) would be issued a permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, assuring the company that if the fisher is listed under the Endangered Species Act, as expected, SPI will be granted immunity from any additional conservation measures resulting from the listing for a period of 20 years.

The proposal has the potential for significant long-term impacts, and should be withdrawn until a suitable site for fisher reintroduction can be determined. The SPI lands that are proposed for the transplantation are not suitable for fisher. Other lands—on national forest lands adjacent to the proposed area to the east—are much more suitable, and would not require sacrificing the requirements of the Endangered Species Act to accommodate SPI.

A new proposal should be developed with the input and approval of a broader team of known fisher science experts, including those who are already engaged in leading research on fisher biology in the Sierra Nevada such as William Zielinski, Richard Truex, David Graber, Reginald Barrett, and the fisher team at the Conservation Biology Institute. We agree with the opinion of Dr. Zielinski:

“If the case can be made that reintroduction is justified, logic and the precedent set by most other reintroductions dictates that it should occur at sites with the best probability of success. The proposed reintroduction plan is in direct conflict with the best available science in this regard. The models of Carroll and Davis et al. identify areas with highest landscape habitat suitability, yet these were not considered. Thus, the proposed project entails unnecessary risks to the individual fishers that will be moved, without justifying how this reintroduction will enhance sustainable fisher populations in California.” 

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, “Adjacent Federal lands contain higher quality fisher habitat than adjacent non-Federal lands; therefore, movement of fishers off of the enrolled [SPI] lands could be anticipated to the Federal rather than non-Federal lands.” (FWS 2008 Conference Opinion and Findings and Recommendations on Issuance of an Enhancement of Survival Permit for the Fisher (Martes pennanti) to Sierra Pacific Industries, Inc. (Permit Number: TE166855-0)). 

Why then would CDFG consider releasing fisher onto SPI lands, when adjacent Federal lands with higher quality habitat are readily available? SPI lands uniformly lack the habitat characteristics needed by fisher for survival: dense, structurally complex forests with high canopy cover. Structural diversity refers to large snags and logs with large cavities and platforms for denning and resting. Fisher also require large quantities of old black oaks to provide for denning, resting, and food for the small prey species that are the mainstay of the fisher’s diet. 

SPI plans to convert at least 70 percent of its nearly 2 million acres of forest lands in the state to evenaged forests which lack all of these characteristics. The rate and intensity of this conversion now occurring on SPI lands throughout the state is not sustainable. The company has already clearcut approximately 250,000 acres of its ownership in the last decade. The resulting landscapes do not resemble native forest, and are lacking in all of the structural and ecological elements required by fisher and the associated plants and animals that are part of the forest food web necessary to support wildlife.

SPI’s “snag and habitat retention areas” are described by the company as beneficial. However, their paltry commitment to conserving habitat is limited to saving a tree or two in each clearcut unit--while clearcutting more than 99 percent of each unit. How could this be perceived as a benefit? Certainly, one tree is better than none, but this doesn’t equate to a net benefit. Taken cumulatively, as required by CEQA, the net effect of SPI’s clearcutting and habitat modification is highly detrimental. The effects are long term, they may be irreversible, and they are certainly significant.

There is no evidence that SPI’s management will preserve sufficient habitat for fisher or any other species, or that their plantations will produce quality habitat over time. In any event, the trees will be cut again within 80 years from planting, and cannot therefore be considered to provide benefits to wildlife at any time in the present or future. 

Please reconsider the Neg Dec decision, withdraw this proposal, and reconvene with a new goal for reintroduction of fisher on Federal lands in the northern Sierra Nevada region as recommended by the leading fisher scientist in the Sierra Nevada, William Zielinski.

Thank you for your consideration of my concerns.

Sincerely,

YOUR NAME

To go to the main Pacific Fisher page on this website -- Click here.

January 2008

Forest Service releases their final MIS plan - dismantling wildlife monitoring in the Sierra

Appeal their decision by February 4th, 2008 and help protect a robust species monitoring program.

On December 14th, 2007 Region 5 of the U.S Forest Service released the Record of Decision regarding their proposed Sierra Nevada Management Indicator (MIS) Species Amendment. This decision minimizes the Forest Service’s forest monitoring requirements by significantly reducing the management indicator species lists that are tracked across all Sierra Nevada National Forests. The 2001 and 2004 Framework required the Forest Service to monitor impacts that Forest Service projects have on the long-term viability of these species and the long-term health of the habitats that they depend upon for survival.

The revision of existing monitoring requirements will have significant environmental consequences and will weaken existing protection for species and the biological diversity of the Sierra Nevada. Unfortunately the needs of forest health, ecosystem integrity, and species survival are not regarded as a primary purpose of this proposed amendment to the existing monitoring program. A program that has never been acted upon as the 2001 Framework required, which if it had, would have ensured that there would be monitoring data available addressing the impacts of Forest Service management on species of importance and the habitats they depend upon. The new MIS Amendment is more about short-cutting cost and escaping recent legal opinions from the 9th Cir. Court of Appeals (Earth Island Institute v. Forest Service 2006) regarding the Forest Service’s negligence in meeting their monitoring requirements.

Appendix E of the 2001 Sierra Nevada Framework required that the Forest Service develop a monitoring program for a wide variety of essential and important wildlife species within the National Forests of the Sierra Nevada. This important list of MIS within Appendix E survived the Bush Administration's dismantling of the 2001 Sierra Nevada Framework. The existing monitoring requirements for MIS and related species are an essential part of land management plans and provide a valuable safety net to reduce the likelihood of plan implementation having significant adverse environmental impacts.

We can not allow the Forest Service to weaken protections for vitally important MIS or the habitat and population monitoring requirements. Without a robust, scientifically valid and enforceable monitoring program in place there is virtually no way to measure the effects of Forest Service actions within areas of important habitat that serve as the last bastions of hope for the survival of many of the species and the ecosystem they depend on.

Points to make in your appeal


  • Existing monitoring requirements for MIS and related species are an integral and essential part of Forest Service land management plans and provide a valuable safety net to reduce the likelihood of plan implementation having significant though unintended adverse environmental impacts.

  • The Forest Service should be implementing Appendix E as it was intended in the 2001 Framework and upheld in the 2004 Framework Amendment, rather than weakening those thoughtfully created requirements before they have actually been tried and tested. Forest monitoring is the foundation of robust and visionary planning and will greatly advance the agency's credibility as well as meet its stewardship responsibilities.

  • In adopting the 2004 Framework Amendment, the Forest Service unfortunately significantly increased both the amount and intensity of planned logging throughout the Sierra Nevada. This highly irresponsible change to the ground breaking 2001 Framework provisions increased the risk to the viability of numerous species, particularly species associated with old forests. The 2004 Framework also weakened the 2001 Framework's protection for watersheds, streams, meadows, and riparian areas, increasing the risk to the viability of species associated with aquatic habitats. Weakening of monitoring standards added to the weakened protection for these vital ecosystems is inconsistent with applicable Federal laws or the Forest Service stated mission.

  • The Forest Service failed to establish clear "triggers" that will be put in place which define the response pathway for changes in management when the goals set by monitoring and the responses to these monitoring efforts clearly indicate a immediate need to change management due to management activities that are negatively impacting species and habitats.

  • There are important indicator species that do not presently inhabit all national forests of the Sierra Nevada, such as the Pacific fisher, the Yosemite toad, and the Mt. Lyell salamander. These species are important indicators of the health of sensitive habitats within some, but not all, of the national forests. Therefore, they should continue to be listed as MIS for those forests. Reducing the volume of MIS while not taking into consideration the basic notion that wildlife species and ecological habitats do not recognize the man-made delineations of agency jurisdictional boundaries, county lines, or any other territorial delineation created by man is irresponsible and short-sighted.

  • The monitoring program that the Forest Service is proposing to change is an integral part of adaptive management, and therefore a central component of the Forest Service's conservation strategy for MIS and related species. This proposal to substantially weaken the existing monitoring requirements will negate the effectiveness of this early warning system, with potentially grave environmental consequences.

How to appeal this decision:

NOTE: previous standing on the MIS Amendment is not required to appeal. Regulations for appealing this amendment are: 36 C.F.R. 217 located on the Forest Service website.

Appeals must be filed by February 4, 2008. Appeals may be filed by mail, fax or email at the following addresses and numbers.

USDA Forest Service
Attn: EMC Appeals
Mailstop 1104
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-1104
Fax: (202) 205-1012
Email: appeals-chief@fs.fed.us

Be sure to put Sierra Nevada Forests MIS Amendment in the RE: line of your written letter or the Subject Line of your email. Emailed appeals must be submitted in rich text format (.rtf) or Word (.doc).

Appeals must be post-marked (a clear, visible postmark) or emailed by February 4, 2008.

May 2007

Wildlife Population and Habitat Monitoring Program is Under Attack by the Forest Service

What they are trying to do

The Forest Service is attempting to minimize their forest monitoring requirements by altering the management indicator species (MIS) lists that are tracked across all Sierra Nevada National Forests. The 2001 and 2004 Framework requires the Forest Service monitor effects that Forest Service projects have on the long-term viability of these species and the long-term health of the habitats that they depend upon for survival.

We are deeply concerned that the revision of existing monitoring requirements will have significant environmental consequences and will weaken existing protection for species and the biological diversity of the Sierra Nevada. It is important to note that the needs of forest health, ecosystem integrity, and species survival is not regarded as a primary purpose of this proposed amendment to a program which if followed and acted upon diligently as the 2001 Framework recommended, there would likely be monitoring data available addressing impacts from Forest Service management on species of importance and the habitats they depend upon.

The history of monitoring

Appendix E of the 2001 Sierra Nevada Framework required that the Forest Service develop a monitoring program for a wide variety of essential and important wildlife species within the National Forests of the Sierra Nevada. This important list of MIS within Appendix E survived the Bush Administration's dismantling of the 2001 Sierra Nevada Framework. The existing monitoring requirements for MIS and related species are an essential part of land management plans and provide a valuable safety net to reduce the likelihood of plan implementation having significant adverse environmental impacts.

The Forest Service, in response to a recent court ruling in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, has stepped up their efforts to further dismantle protections for MIS and species at risk in the Sierra Nevada.

Why we must act now

We can not allow the Forest Service to weaken protections for vitally important MIS or the habitat and population monitoring requirements. Without a robust, scientifically valid and enforceable monitoring program in place there is virtually no way to measure the effects of Forest Service actions within areas of important habitat that serve as the last bastions of hope for the survival of many of the species and the ecosystem they depend on.

National Forest Planning Information – Get Informed Now

The Forest Service is beginning the forest plan revision process on 3 national forests in the Sierra Nevada, the Modoc, Lake Tahoe Basin and the Sequoia National Forest.

The new Bush Administration revised Planning Rule and proposed NEPA review greatly weaken the regulations and environmental review process of forest plans.

Although we believe Earthjustice will be successful in overturning the 2005 Forest Planning Rule, conservation organizations need to get up to speed on the new process and engage the current national forests undergoing revisions.

    Visit Links Below
  • The Forest Service 2005 NFMA Planning Directives
  • National Forest Management Act-Forest Service Website

Also Read Wildlaw's great NFMA White Paper (652KB PDF)

Forest Service Caves to Timber Industry Pressure - Triples Logging Levels on Stanislaus National Forest Under the Guise of Fire Risk Reduction

The Sierra Forest Legacy continues to lead the effort to prioritize thinning projects near communities to help keep people safe. We are also working hard to stop the Bush Administration plan for Sierra Nevada forests that will gut sensible protections for wildlife and water quality from damaging logging projects far from Sierra communities. The Bush plan is currently being challenged by the Attorney General of California as well as the Sierra Forest Legacy. Click here to read "State sues over plan to boost Sierra logging Forest Service failed to disclose crucial data, Lockyer says".

Now, the USFS has caved into pressure by extreme politicians and corporate timber interests to radically increase logging on the Stanislaus National Forest. The Stanislaus plan prioritizes logging in remote areas over responsible fuel reduction.

The Forest Service, under political pressure from the timber industry, will be diverting critical fuel reduction funds from many forest communities in coming years to increase logging in remote areas. In the four forests of Southern California alone, there exists a community fuel reduction backlog of nearly 46 million dollars that Senator Dianne Feinstein has indicated should be a priority for the agency. Click here to read her letter to the Forest Service, (63KB PDF). The failure to prioritize community protection on just these four forests is leaving an estimated 6.8 million citizens at risk there. Unfortunately, corporate timber industry interests are trumping community protection in densely populated areas throughout the region.

Now, the Bush Administration is proposing additional logging increases under the guise of "fire risk reduction" on forests across the west. The first plan under this new scheme to increase logging is for the Stanislaus National Forest adjacent to Yosemite National Park. It will effectively triple logging levels on that forest above the levels proposed previously by the Bush Administration to 30/+ million board feet per year. Let's put that into perspective- a board foot is a piece of wood that is one foot square and one inch thick. This plan will cut enough board feet that if they were laid end to end would stretch the length of 100,000,000 football fields, or a piece of wood that would go from Sacramento, CA to New York City and back! The number of fully-loaded log trucks needed to transport this amount of saw-logs from the forest if parked bumper to bumper would stretch nearly 80 miles or from the state capitol in Sacramento down interstate 80 to the Regional Forest Service Office in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Reducing fire risks is primarily about treating the brush, limbs and small trees on the forest floor. Commercial timber comes from trees that are large, naturally fire resistant and provide the shade that keeps the forest cool and moist. Since logging was identified in a Congressional study of the Sierra as the largest human caused contributor to wildfire, can tripling the number of large, fire-resistant trees cut every year honestly be put forward as a fire risk reduction plan? Click here to read John Buckley's analysis for more information, 55KB PDF, or check out our "Take Action" section to help us keep community protection, not corporate logging company profits a priority for the Forest Service.

California Attorney General and The Sierra Forest Legacy with Other Environmental Groups Sue to Stop Revisions to the Sierra Nevada Framework

In January of 2004, the Forest Service made revisions to the landmark 2001 Sierra Nevada Framework, effectively removing the most important and ecologically protective measures of the plan. After numerous comments, over 6000 appeals, and unparalleled public opposition to the changes, the Chief of the Forest Service still approved the changes. Attorney General Bill Lockyer stated, "With no basis in science and no new facts, the Bush Administration has jettisoned the product of more than 10 years of study, public participation and consensus building." Representing the State of California, he filed suit to stop the revisions. The Sierra Forest Legacy, along with the Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council, Center for Biological Diversity, and The Wilderness Society also filed suit. These groups are represented by Earthjustice, a non-profit public interest environmental law firm based in Oakland, and the Sierra Club Environmental Law Program (ELP).

The Sierra Forest Legacy and the California Attorney General both filed lawsuits to stop the revisions to the 2001 Sierra Nevada Framework. Forest Service Chief Dale Bosworth affirmed the revisions to the Sierra Nevada Framework on November 18, 2004, denying the appeals submitted by well over 6000 people, including the Sierra Forest Legacy, Center for Biological Diversity, Sierra Club, The Wilderness Society, California Trout, Friends of the River, Defenders of Wildlife, California Native Plant Society, Natural Resources Defense Council, and Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility. By affirming the revisions, Bosworth allowed the tripling of logging across the Sierra Nevada, including operations in old forest emphasis areas. The plan would likely lead to a further decline in populations of the California Spotted Owl, Pacific Fisher, American Marten, and other old forest species.

Many projects have already been proposed under the damaging 2004 Framework. One such project, the Basin Group Selection Project, involves, among other things, small clear cuts and individual tree selection timber harvest in portions of a 38,893-acre area. The Basin Project authorizes approximately 800 one-to-two-acre clear cuts totaling 1,215 acres in which trees up to 30 inches in diameter will be removed, in addition to individual tree-selection timber harvest on approximately 80 acres. Numerous declining wildlife species occur or potentially occur in the Basin Project area and will be harmed by the project. For example, the small clear cuts planned under the Basin Project is likely to impact 24 California spotted owl nest sites and cause 943 acres of owl nesting habitat to be useless, as well as 247 acres of foraging habitat. The Basin Project will also result in the logging of habitat that is potentially important for the Pacific fisher and American marten, two species that have experienced dramatic declines in population in recent years.

In order to stop this and other similar projects, the environmental groups filed their lawsuit. Read the environmental groups' Framework complaint, 35 page, 168KB PDF.

Read the California Attorney General's Complaint, 16 page, 880KB PDF.

Environmental Groups Sue to Stop Giant Sequoia National Monument Plan

The Sierra Forest Legacy along with the Sierra Club, Tule River Conservancy, Earth Island Institute, Sequoia Forestkeeper, and the Center for Biological Diversity filed suit on Thursday, January 27th, to prevent implementation of the Giant Sequoia National Monument Plan. The Giant Sequoia National Monument contains approximately two-thirds of all of the giant sequoia trees in the world. The Forest Service released the Giant Sequoia National Monument Management Plan last year that allows extensive logging and harm to the fragile wildlife within the park. These actions conflict directly with the purposes of the Monument. Despite numerous comments and appeals of this plan, on January 11, 2005, the Deputy Regional Forester of the Forest Services Pacific Southwest Region denied all administrative appeals of the plan.

On January 11, 2005, the Forest Service affirmed the Giant Sequoia National Monument Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) and Record of Decision (ROD), which determines the management direction the Forest Service will take in the Giant Sequoia National Monument, despite widespread opposition. Both the FEIS and the ROD fail, in many ways, to implement the protective purposes of the 2000 Presidential Proclamation (Proclamation) that created the Monument. The Giant Sequoia National Monument contains approximately two-thirds of all of the giant sequoia trees in the world and is important habitat for many fragile species.

One of these species, the Pacific Fisher, relies on the Giant Sequoia National Monument to provide important habitat. However, the Fisher's declining population could eventually be forced to extinction under the current Monument management plan due to logging in their habitat. Disturbances allowed under the Proclamation can cause them to flee an area and become more vulnerable to predators and poachers.

This pro-logging plan is contrary to the Proclamation, which states "[r]emoval of trees, except for personal use fuel wood, from within the monument area may take place only if clearly needed for ecological restoration and maintenance or public safety." This "so-called" management plan would arbitrarily allow trees up to 30 inches in diameter to be removed from the forest, a diameter limit that is not supported by the best available science. Instead of logging large trees to supposedly prevent fire, which is a natural part of the Monument ecosystem, the Forest Service should remove the brush, lower branches, and small diameter trees which are the most flammable materials in the forest. Removing these most flammable materials would protect the large trees that are the essential elements of the old forest ecosystem that must be protected.

Read the Giant Sequoia National Monument Complaint, 22 page, 120KB PDF.

Forest Service Chief Bosworth Affirms 2004 Revisions to the Sierra Nevada Framework

Forest Service Chief Dale Bosworth affirmed the revisions to the Sierra Nevada Framework today, denying the appeals submitted by well over 6000 people, including the Sierra Forest Legacy, Center for Biological Diversity, Sierra Club, The Wilderness Society, California Trout, Friends of the River, Defenders of Wildlife, California Native Plant Society, Natural Resources Defense Council, and Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility. By affirming the revisions, Bosworth allows the tripling of logging across the Sierra Nevada, including operations in old forest emphasis areas. The affirmation will also likely lead to a further decline in populations of the California Spotted Owl, Pacific Fisher, American Marten, and other old forest species.

Bosworth stated, “After reviewing the appeals, I have found that the Pacific Southwest region complied with all applicable laws, regulations and policies in amending the 2001 plan. Jack Blackwell and employees throughout California should be commended for all of their hard work.”

Despite many apparent problems with the plan identified by the appellants, Bosworth ordered only 2 changes to the plan. First, the region must reinstate the standard for plant surveys. Second, the region must further develop the plan's evaluation and adjustment requirements in the adaptive management strategy.

Under Secretary of the USDA, Mark Rey, has 15 days to decide whether or not he will conduct a discretionary review. The Chief and Mark Rey affirmed the original plan in 2001 following 10 years of work with scientists, environmentalists and other interested parties. A balanced plan that protected both communities and wildlife, the plan was hailed as a model of cooperation between conservationists and the Forest Service. However, a few months later, the Bush administration followed the advice of the timber industry and ordered the plan amended. If Mark Rey commences his own review and also affirms this decision, it is likely that the plan will end up in court.

To read the Forest Service press release, visit:
http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/news/2004/snfpa-upheld.html

To read the full decision, visit:
http://www.fs.fed.us/emc/applit/includes/2004snfpa_decision.pdf

Appeal Of The Revisions To The Sierra Nevada Framework

Despite widespread support for the 2001 Sierra Nevada Framework, on January 22nd of this year, the U.S. Forest Service, responding to pressure from the Bush administration, announced sweeping revisions to the Sierra Nevada Framework. The revisions will nearly triple the amount of logging on national forest land by allowing the cutting of healthy 30-inch diameter trees throughout the forest and will limit safeguards for water and wildlife all over the Sierra. The Forest Service calls their new plan “Forests with A Future.” In a super slick presentation featuring computer animation, video shots of already protected wilderness areas, bluegrass music, and glossy press packets, the Forest Service attempted to cast the revisions as “a major new initiative to protect Sierra Nevada old-growth forests, wildlife, and communities against catastrophic wildfire.” The presentation cost the taxpayers over $100,000; the hiring of a PR firm to “spin” the new plan may have violated federal law. Furthermore, pictures passed off as evidence of the overgrown state of Sierra forests were actually taken in Montana. But besides questionable practices in the presentation of its new plan, there are many real problems with the plan itself.

The Sierra Campaign, along with many other environmental organizations, object to these changes and has filed an appeal to stop them from being implemented. Read the Notice of Appeal and Statement of Reasons of the Sierra Forest Legacy (604kb PDF).

California Attorney General Bill Lockyer is also appealing the plan on behalf of the State of California. Read the Attorney General's Appeal of the 2004 Sierra Framework Plan (2,869kb PDF). Also, read the Attorney General's original comments on the revisions to the Framework (1,798kb PDF).

Giant Sequoia National Monument Appeal Alert

On January 16, the Forest Service released the Giant Sequoia National Monument Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) and Record of Decision (ROD), which determines the management direction the Forest Service will take in the Monument, for public review. Both the FEIS and the ROD fail, in many ways, to implement the protective purposes of the 2000 Presidential Proclamation (Proclamation) that created the Monument. Forest Supervisor Art Gaffrey has chosen Modified Alternative 6, the most ecologically damaging and costly alternative, as the management plan for the Monument.

Important habitat for the Pacific Fisher, the Fisher's declining population could eventually be forced to extinction under the current Monument management plan due to logging in their habitat. Disturbances allowed under the Proclamation can cause them to flee an area and become more vulnerable to predators and poachers.

Modified Alternative 6 is the alternative allowing the greatest amount of logging within the Monument. This pro-logging alternative is contrary to the Proclamation, which states "[r]emoval of trees, except for personal use fuel wood, from within the monument area may take place only if clearly needed for ecological restoration and maintenance or public safety." This "so-called" management plan would arbitrarily allow trees up to 30 inches in diameter to be removed from the forest, a diameter limit that is not supported by the best available science. Instead of logging large trees to supposedly prevent fire, which is a natural part of the Monument ecosystem, the Forest Service should remove the brush, lower branches, and small diameter trees which are the most flammable materials in the forest. Removing these most flammable materials would protect the large trees that are the essential elements of the old forest ecosystem that must be protected.

The Sierra Forest Legacy, Sierra Club, The Wilderness Society, American Lands Alliance, Friends of the River, and California Trout have appealed this decision by sending in the attached Notice of Appeal and Statement of Reasons.
Comments of the Sierra Forest Legacy (320kb PDF)

Risks Run High for Forest Service Abuse due to new Bush Administration Categorical Exclusion Language for Environmental Analysis

Federal Register Notices of June 5th, July 29th, and August 23rd include direction for the Forest Service regarding the use of Categorical Exclusions from full environmental analysis in timber harvest, fire management activities and redefining the process for determining circumstances when NEPA shortcuts can be employed.

Forest monitors should pay close attention to recent and forthcoming schedules of proposed actions (SOPAs) for each national forest, in light of the likelihood of “back-to- back” projects of <1000 acres in watersheds with the lack of appropriate cumulative effects analysis, particularly in watersheds where existing high cumulative impacts already exist.

For Information:
Categorical Exclusions from NEPA for Fire Management Activities and Limited Timber Harvest (211KB PDF)

Framework Revisions Come Under Fire

Public comments on the revisions to the 2001 Sierra Nevada Framework Plan have been highly critical of the Bush Administration’s attempts to roll back the progress made in protecting communities and the environment in the Sierra Nevada, but we are not alone.

Other reviews support the Sierra Campaign’s contention that the revisions proposed in the June 2003 Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (DSEIS) are legally and scientifically unsound.


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