23 March 2012 Obama Administration Charts New Course for Nation’s Forests Posted by: James Navarro | 5 comments | Share: The U.S. Forest Service released today its final forest-planning rule, which will guide the management of 193 million acres of national forests and grasslands across the country. The following is a statement from Jamie Rappaport Clark, president and CEO of Defenders of Wildlife: “The Obama administration has made a very strong commitment to wildlife and land conservation with the release of its final forest-planning rule. The forest policy charts a new course to conserve and restore the health and integrity of these lands and waters, and now the hard work for implementing the rule begins today. Moving forward, it will be critical for the Forest Service to make this vision a reality as it issues implementation policies and begins writing forest plans. Defenders of Wildlife is committed to working with the Forest Service as it transforms its stewardship and wildlife conservation obligations to ensure that our nation’s forests, wildlife and waters are protected for generations to come.” 5 Responses to “Obama Administration Charts New Course for Nation’s Forests” D J Edwards March 24th, 2012 Since Obama was elected I have seen hunting allowed were before the wild life area were called wildlife refuges. The wild life refuge that was part of lake MCmurtry, outside Stillwater Oklahoma, looks like a mess with overgrown invasive thorn vines, the signs removed and people just out there shooting and hunting without any park rangers or staff. Before 2009 I could find a cool place to sit and watch the Deer, rare owls, beavers and many animals, now there are people commiting crimes claiming refuge lands to build homes on, poaching and shooting at anything that they want. Who is supposed to have the job of keeping people from taking down the no hunting or fishing wild life refuge signs? It sure seems like somebody is just looking the other way and letting criminals steal and ruin what was formerly a wonderful peaceful refuge. Who do I report this stuff to if nobody here seems to care. I hope somebody cares as much as me and can do something to keep people from stealing and building in this old Wildlife Refuge. Please respond Thank you D J Edwards E.Raggi April 7th, 2012 This sure sounds like good news. Previous articles sounded a note of worry on this topic so hearing that there is a “very strong commitment to wildlife and land conservation” is cause for joy and relief. However, I’d like to understand what the specifics are. For example, do these new rules create a basis for bringing changes to the wolf eradication currently being carried out in Idaho? Will local hunting and livestock interests continue to have free reign in the National Forests or will the federal government require they be managed for the benefit of the national public and require science-based wildlife policies? Thank you. Richard J Mullin April 13th, 2012 How does this affect the slaughter of wolves in Idaho, Wyoming and Montana? Does it protect them again or ignore their plight? Philip Ratcliff April 13th, 2012 I’m curious about the details. The Obama administration hasn’t been very impressive, environmentally. Defenders of Wildlife April 19th, 2012 Thanks for your question, Richard. The planning rule does not immediately change any management on the ground. It puts in place a framework for the long-term management of our federal forest lands that encourages land and wildlife conservation. This means that in the future the new regulation could lead to positive results for wolves, but that those positive results will play out over time as each unit’s forest plan is revised. Post Your Comment Click here to cancel reply. Name (required) Mail (required) (will not be published) You May also be interested in Senate Wakes Up to Climate Change…At Least Some of Them Tonight more than 20 senators will be taking over the Senate floor to pull an all-nighter to “wake up” Congress to climate change. Wolf Weekly Wrap-Up Helicopter gunning kills 23 wolves in Idaho; Urge Secretary Jewell to abandon gray wolf delisting proposal — Call your representative by March 14; Washington wildlife agency urged to end support for abolishing federal wolf protections; The latest on Governor Otter’s wolf control board. Two Too Many Development Projects in the Ivanpah Valley While these projects most definitely directly impact a species that has been identified as threatened and is dependent on the habitat where they would be built, Silver State South and Stateline’s approval is most troubling for a bigger reason. You see, this isn’t just an issue for the Ivanpah Valley. Developers and agencies need to be conscious of how and where they plan energy projects all across the country. They need to look at renewable energy planning with a landscape-wide lens, understanding that building in the right places and making an effort to minimize environmental impacts from the start are essential.