Some most welcome news from the new administration; it cancelled a big, ugly clearcutting project on public forestland near the boundary of Yellowstone National Park.
Last December the Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Native Ecosystems Council, and Yellowstone to Uintas Connection took the Trump administration’s Forest Service to federal court over plans to massively log and burn over 40,000 acres in the very headwaters of the world-famous Henry’s Fork of the Snake River.
This incredible wild trout fishery wind through the mile-high caldera on the border of Yellowstone National Park. Besides being voted No. 1 out of the nation’s top 100 fly fishing rivers by Trout Unlimited, the headwaters of this huge drainage contain what’s left of the Caribou-Targhee National Forest’s old-growth stands and provides irreplaceable habitat for grizzly bear, lynx, wolverine, gray wolf, boreal toad, Columbia spotted frog, American three-toed woodpecker, boreal owl, great gray owl, bald eagle, northern hoshawk, peregrine falcon, trumpeter swan, elk, marten, moose, mule deer, and snowshoe hare.
“We are exceptionally pleased to announce that due to the very serious legal challenges we brought as well as the change in administrations, the Middle Henry’s Fork project has been pulled,” said Mike Garrity, The Alliance’s Executive Director
New matter: In another lawsuit just filed yesterday, the Alliance and Native Ecosystems Council filed a new mater in federal district court to save some incredible forest habitat 70 miles North of Bozeman in the seldom explored Castle Mountains.
Conservation groups sue feds over Castle Mountains project
The Alliance for the Wild Rockies and Natives Ecosystems Council just filed a lawsuit to stop a huge Forest Service logging project calls for cutting and burning trees on 22,500 acres and bulldozing 45.1 miles of logging roads. The project area encompasses 80,000 acres, or approximately 125 square miles, and bulldozing 45.1 miles of logging roads..
The Castle Mountains lie between the Crazy Mountains to the south and Little Belts to the north; the range gets its name from its spire-like rock formations. The project is located south and east of White Sulphur Springs in the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest. WedgedThe mountains contains mountain peaks of 8,000 feet and is a favorite destination for hikers, climbers and hunters. The project area is about 80,000 acres, or 125 square miles.
Among the measures proposed in the plan, the plaintiffs said, the project authorizes 8,778 acres of clearcutting and possible burning to create what the Forest Service euphemistically calls “meadows,” 1,155 acres of clearcutting in lodgepole pine forest, 1,144 acres of commercial logging in Douglas fir forest, 928 acres of modified clearcutting with whitebark pine as the leave trees, 8,063 acres of prescribed burning, and 7 acres of shrub planting.
The Alliance et al. filed six claims for relief. Plaintiffs cite violations of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the National Forest Management Act (NFMA), the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). They ask the court to find the project violates the law, to vacate the project decision and to award the plaintiffs costs and attorney fees.
Stay tuned, this could become a hot one…..