Yellowstone threatened by massive USFS-USDA logging/burning project

Sediment from logging roads kills native trout.

More push-back from grassroots groups is on the way against the government’s killing machine, as the government again finds itself in federal district court trying to explain its serial lawbreaking. This scorched earth program attacks the public forest just West of Yellowstone National Park’s western boundary.

“The project is in “the watershed for the world-famous Henry’s Fork of the Snake River, and will harm grizzly bears, and log much of the remaining old-growth forest left in the Targhee National Forest,” Mike Garrity, executive director of the Alliance for the Wild Rockies, said in a statement. “And that’s why we are taking them to court to either comply with the law or drop the project.””

The Alliance for the Wild Rockies and two other grassroots groups filed a lawsuit filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court bringing multiple claims that the U.S. Forest Service violated environmental laws.

The project involves logging, prescribed burning and riparian (stream-side) dithering using bulldozers and other heavy equipment on about 66 square miles on the Caribou-Targhee National Forest in Idaho. Get this! The govt. says its needed “to maintain wildlife biodiversity with prescribed burning and logging.”

Cattle are killing the aspen trees

The Forest Service claims this project will promote the growth of more aspen.  But it’s well documented that the major cause of aspen decline is cattle browsing and trampling young aspen, greatly limiting regeneration.  Instead of considering viable alternatives that would lighten the grazing pressure, the agency chose to destroy existing lynx and grizzly bear habitat as well as for other old growth dependent species such as the Flammulated owl.

Endangered Species Act

We also sent the Trump administration a 60-day notice of Intent to sue for Endangered Species Act violations in regards to grizzly bears, lynx, and wolverines.  For example, the Forest Service plans involved repeated low-level helicopter flights to start prescribed fires even though the Forest Service’s own studies found that grizzly bears flee in terror from low flying helicopters. The massive clearcuts called for in this project will destroy lynx habitat and wolverine next to Yellowstone National Park.

There is neither a limit nor an end to the evil intentions of the USFS-USDA. Whatever the psychotic desperation that drives the massive scale of this death and destruction, it must be stopped.

6 thoughts on “Yellowstone threatened by massive USFS-USDA logging/burning project

  1. I remember years and years ago when Ronald Reagan blamed the trees for ‘acid rain.’ He really did !
    Anyone else remember that one?


  2. For example, the Forest Service plans involved repeated low-level helicopter flights to start prescribed fires even though the Forest Service’s own studies found that grizzly bears flee in terror…


    “Controlled arson” in a native forest (undergrowth!) is like lighting a cigarette in a gunpowder factory.

    But imo revelation of the method about what they were doing to Oregon, California and Australia this year.

    Keep fighting, steve, Gaia loves you defending her.


    1. In the mid to late 2000’s Idaho’s FS contracted me to conduct a northern goshawk survey in the Targhees. Nesting begins early spring with fledging not complete until as late as mid-August. I searched and radio called inside spectacular old growth spruce/doug fir forest to lure the elusive grey ghost to give away their nest location. I found my trusty navigator – my 4 year old Airedale Terrier Jake- often was the best way to get a goshawk pair into giving away their nest location. I could hike/belly crawl through the dense over and understory for hours using variations of calls but just Jake’s presence – a 90 pound terrier sniffing out this and that tempting scent – often would agitate the goshawk pair. They’d dive and harass that big dog of mine until he would search for any shrub to crawl under as cover. Where am I going with this? Well, one year just as I had a good handle on active nests in a particular portion of the CTNF in the Island Park vicinity…during the phase of nesting where chicks were anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks of age…along comes the FS fire crew conducting prescribed burns in exactly the location of the goshawk survey. I was hired to determine active goshawk territiories and fledgling success and the fire crew was commencing ‘prescribed burns’ in the same portion of the forest. Need I say more? The situation spoke for itself and for far too many of our agency’s other “management” actions.


  3. I do remember. I think it was 1986 or 1987 when there were ongoing negotiations with Canada for some sort of acid rain agreement.

    Today, the government is blaming (based on equally absurd assumptions) trees for large wildfires, which are driven by wind, drought, low humidity. No effort is made to mitigate poor site location for human assets (homes, businesses, etc.). Logging and burning will never stop wildfire, but it’s the latest pretext for rationalizing infusions of cash (market distortion) into an unprofitable, actually less-than- worthless, industry which has largely relocated and concentrated private capital investment where trees are grown on plantations at 2x to 3x the rate of growth in the Northern Rockies. But when did reason or logic or financial sanity ever influence how federal appropriated dollars were spent? Myth upon myth has always, and remains to this day, the SOP.


  4. Here in the UK they build new houses on ancient flood plains and then blame Climate change when these houses are knee deep in water.
    Flood plains are there for a reason but hey, nothing must stop the march of the money making boys.


  5. I worked two wildlife projects in the CTNF – a northern goshawk survey for 4 seasons and a Canada lynx survey for 2 seasons. Both projects were mandated by the lawsuit that denied old growth clearcut in the CT’s. Sounds like Trump lifted the decision. Thanks Steve for alerting me of this action. I’ll be offerring my assistance to the Alliance on Monday in case there is any help I can offer. The Caribou-Targhees on the Idaho side are a well kept secret. Most human traffic is on the Jackson side of the mtn rage. Not only no but hell no should the Targhees – home of a number of our large carnivores – be further pillaged. Thanks for your article.


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