Forest Service

Joe Ravi, via Wikimedia Commons, license CC-BY-SA 3.0

The United States Forest Service (USFS) is set to release an amendment to the Thunder Basin National Grassland management plan. There are five proposed alternatives to amend black-tailed prairie dog management on the grassland-a highly controversial subject for local landowners and wildlife advocates.

The accepted amendment will change a previous amendment from 2015.

In June of 2002, nearly half a million acres burned in the Arizona high country. At the time, the Rodeo-Chediski Fire was the largest wildfire in the state’s history. There was too much fuel in the forest, a buildup that began more than a century ago. Enough people saw the record-breaking fire and agreed that something needed to be done to prevent the next big fire.


When Joyce Farbe saw how many cars were parked at the Iron Creek Trailhead when she pulled in, she knew it would be a busy day. It was a warm, late summer morning, and her destination – Sawtooth Lake – is one of the most popular day hikes in Central Idaho. Cars were spilling out of the parking lot and lined the dirt road for a quarter mile. Farbe tightened her boot laces and pulled her backpack onto her shoulders. Before she could get going, her work began: She approached two men as they printed their name on a wilderness permit at the trailhead. 

Anna Rader


Medicine Bow National Forest is a popular area for recreation in Southeastern Wyoming, covering about one million acres of mountains, lakes, and more.

The National Forest Service is launching a plan for restoration in Medicine Bow. The Landscape Vegetation Analysis, or LaVA project, gives the Forest Service the ability to treat over two hundred thousand acres of the forest with prescribed burns and logging and build up to 600 miles of temporary roads. Although the Forest Service said the goal of the project is to create a healthier forest, environmental groups are critical of the plan.

National Forest Service

The National Forest Service is launching a new restoration project in Medicine Bow National Forest.

Public Domain

The number of skiers led by ski guides out of bounds and into the backcountry at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort may double next season.

In the next few weeks, the U.S. Forest Service plans to conduct a massive controlled burn on a remote mountain in Utah, part of the agency’s efforts to better understand the behavior of giant fires that are becoming more common in the West.

A new report from Congress’s watchdog says employees overseeing public lands are facing hundreds of threats and assaults.

 


Catherine Wheeler

Ten Sleep Canyon sits on the southwestern edge of the Bighorn National Forest, and it's always been a destination for rock climbers.

Melodie Edwards

The sun is coming up lavender and peach as we drive out onto Wyoming's eastern plains. Defenders of Wildlife's Chamois Anderson is taking me out in search of prairie dogs.

With wildfires burning through much of the West, there’s high demand for big aircraft to come in and battle the flames from above.

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If there's a fee for either a camping site or a day use area on Forest Service land, there's probably some kind of toilet there. But solving the problem of human waste in vaulted or backcountry toilets is not as easy as flushing it out of the system.

As record wildfires rage across the West, funding for fire prevention science is in jeopardy. Under President Donald Trump's 2019 budget proposal, cuts to various programs will be significant.

Portrait photographers working in the region have been getting reminders lately of a federal rule that they need permits to shoot on forest service land.

President Trump’s pick to oversee the Forest Service went before a Senate committee Tuesday.

 


Fewer federal land workers are being threatened and assaulted on the job, according to a new analysis by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility.

 


The tamarisk plant, also called saltcedar, is infesting waterways across the West. The scaly-leafed shrub can grow taller than a person. It sucks up a lot of water and spits out salt, making the soil around it too salty for other plants to grow.

“It’s very bad, yes,” says Alex Gaffke, a graduate student in land resources and environmental science at Montana State University.

A landslide in a popular area of the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming's western mountains has locals worried about the region's economy.

114,000 new acres of bark beetle kill has been detected in an aerial survey done by the State Forestry Division for 2014. Most of that is in Bridger-Teton and Shoshone National Forests. 

Les Koch is the division’s Forest Health Specialist and says while warmer weather didn’t help in deterring the Pine, Spruce, and Douglas-Fir beetles, they have already killed many of their suitable host trees. While 2014 did see an increase in acres affected, over the last few years the overall trend has been downward.  

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Roughly a year after its first meeting, the Wyoming Task Force on Forests has released its recommendations.

Governor Matt Mead convened the task force to offer forest management recommendations in response to recent forest ecosystems changes such as bark beetle infestations and more severe wildfires. The group’s report offers 12 key recommendations and numerous sub-recommendations on topics ranging from roadless areas to biomass plants to fire management. 

David Koch

Bark beetles have ravaged western forests in recent years, leaving behind huge swaths of dead trees.

In a series of ten short films premiering in Wyoming this week, the Forest Service and the University of Wyoming’s Ruckelshaus Institute have teamed up to spotlight some of the impacts of the outbreak, and the ways managers are responding to it. The Institute’s Emilene Ostlind says the series covers everything from bark beetles’ effect on Cheyenne’s water supply to how beetle kill is turned into lumber to her personal favorite, which focuses on researchers at the university.

The U.S. Forest Service is analyzing how additional oil and gas development would affect a 44,000-acre parcel of land in the Wyoming Range. The study will help the agency decide whether to allow energy leasing in the area.

The Petroleum Association of Wyoming says that because it’s multiple use land, the Forest Service should continue to allow oil and gas development. But Steve Kilpatrick with the Wyoming Wildlife Federation says new development in the Wyoming Range would harm important wildlife habitat.

A host of recreation and conservation organizations from around the nation, including some local Wyoming groups, have asked Congress to address inadequate trail maintenance in the National Forest system. According to a 2013 study requested by Representative Cynthia Lummis the Forest Service’s trail maintenance backlog was $314 million in 2012. The study said poorly maintained trails inhibit trail use, could harm natural resources, and maintenance costs will only grow the longer the backlog remains unaddressed.

A Wyoming man has won a U-S Supreme Court  decision over a dispute with the U-S Forest Service.  Marvin Brandt of Fox Park swapped his land for 83 acres of Medicine Bow Forest Service land in the 70’s, with the understanding that the land would be his if a railroad that used the land ever stopped running. 

The town of Jackson is looking to buy a piece of property from the U.S. Forest Service.

The Forest Service plans to get rid of the 10-acre parcel on the outskirts of town and would normally auction it off to the highest bidder. But Jackson officials have asked the agency to consider a direct sale, where they would skip the auction and just negotiate a price with the town.