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 Wolf Weekly Wrap- Up California wavering on protection for gray wolves under state law; Defenders of Wildlife featured on the HLN’s Jane Velez-Mitchell show tonight; A close up look at the science: wolf breeding pairs in Idaho; bad bills for Mexican gray wolves in Arizona. The Votes Are In… You voted, and we listened – now the winners of Defenders’ 2014 Photo Contest are here! See if your favorite won, and take a look at some of the amazing runner-ups. We’ve Got to Protect What’s Left of the Sagebrush Sea New research shows that after a fire, the Sagebrush Sea (home to the imperiled greater sage-grouse) could take up to 20 years to fully recover. With other factors already threatening so much of this habitat, what does that mean for the species that call it home?