Posted on July 19, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Construction of new dirt bike trails also under way
The Forest Service and volunteer partners are simultaneously building new dirt bike trails and closing forest roads in the Tenderfoot Mountain area.
FRISCO — The U.S. Forest Service is implementing restoration plans associated with approval of the new off-road motorcycle trail system on Tenderfoot Mountain.
The trail system, long a local point of contention, was approved last year based on a compromise agreement among stakeholders. The Forest Service has already started building part of the trail, with new single-track visible just a few feet above, and running parallel to Straight Creek Road.
This summer, Tenderfoot Mountain Road (#66.2B) in Frey Gulch will be closed and rehabilitated in order to improve water quality and improved habitat for fish and wildlife. The restoration of Frey Gulch was included as a condition the trail system permit. Continue reading
Filed under: Colorado, Dillon Ranger District, Environment, public lands, Summit County Colorado, Summit County news, US Forest Service, White River National Forest | Tagged: Dillon Ranger District, elk, Frey Gulch, lynx, public lands, Summit County News, Tenderfoot Mountain trails, White River National Forest, wildlife | 1 Comment »
Posted on April 27, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Proposed logging on thousands of acres of national forest lands near Leadville, Colorado could threaten important denning and feeding areas used by threatened lynx.
Conservation advocates go to court to block Tennessee Pas project
FRISCO — The threat of widespread logging in an area where lynx are slowly reestablishing a Colorado presence has spurred a new lawsuit by forest conservation advocates.
The recently approved 10-year project is in the Tennessee Pass area, mostly on lands managed by the Leadville Ranger District of the San Isabel National Forest.
The Forest Service green light potentially permits logging across more 12,000 acres, including 2,370 acres of clear cutting and 6,765 acres of commercial thinning and construction of 20 miles of temporary roads.
The scenery, historic status and wildlife of the Tennessee Pass area are all at risk, said Kevin Mueller, WildEarth Guardians Utah-Southern Rockies Conservation Manager.
“If this forest service logging proposal is approved, a patchwork of clear cuts could be visible on all sides of the Turquoise Lake Basin,” Mueller said. “This litigation centers on USFS refusal to protect forested slopes known to represent critical den habitat for threatened lynx,” said attorney John Mellgren of the Western Environmental Law Center. “Our goal is ecologically resilient forests that support healthy wildlife and lynx populations. Clear-cutting would further undermine lynx and other vulnerable species,” Mellgren said. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, Colorado, endangered species, Environment | Tagged: Colorado, endangered species, environement, forests, logging, lynx | 1 Comment »
Posted on March 28, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
A map included in the feasibilty analysis shows the lands near Wolf Creek proposed for a trade.
Under pressure from billionaire developer, Forest Service keeps digging itself into a deeper hole
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — Conservation advocates in Colorado are bracing for a legal battle with the U.S. Forest Service after the agency last week stayed on course to approve a controversial land exchange that would enable a massive real estate development in the relatively untouched forests around Wolf Creek Pass.
A regional Forest Service officials rejected a series of objections to the swap, finding that the approval didn’t violate any federal laws or agency regulations, but conservation groups say they have obtained documents showing that Maribeth Gustafson, the regional forester who reviewed the objections, may have a conflict of interest because she participated in the process leading to the approval. Continue reading
Filed under: Colorado, endangered species, public lands, US Forest Service | Tagged: conflict of interest, lynx, public lands, U.S. Forest Service, Village at Wolf Creek, Wolf Creek land trade | 1 Comment »
Posted on February 6, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Feds conducting five-year status review
Federal biologists are compiling new information about lynx in the United States as part of a five-year review. Photo courtesy USFWS.
FRISCO — Almost 15 years after listing lynx as a threatened species, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service still hasn’t developed a recovery plan for the snow-loving cats, but a required five-year status review currently under way may help the process.
The review is aimed at clarifying the extent, magnitude, and nature of the threats to lynx so that recovery planning can target those specific threats. When lynx were originally listed in 2000, federal biologists said the lack of adequate regulations on public lands was the main threat to the predators. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment | Tagged: biodiversity, endangered species, lynx, lynx recovery, wildlife | Leave a comment »
Posted on January 22, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
A radio-collared lynx in Colorado. Photo courtesy CPW.
SW Colorado field project will assess habitat occupancy, population trends
FRISCO — Colorado biologists have launched an ambitious monitoring program aimed at learning whether the state’s population of reintroduced and native-born lynx is holding steady.
The monitoring will cover more than 5,000 miles in the San Juan Mountains in southwest Colorado, including six wilderness areas: Weminuche, Uncompahgre, Lizard Head, Powderhorn, La Garita Mount Sneffels, and South San Juan. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, Colorado, endangered species, Environment, wildlife | Tagged: biodiversity, Colorado, Environment, lynx, wildlife | Leave a comment »
Posted on November 8, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
13 lynx have been caught in traps the past month; activists say more oversight is needed to protect federally listed cats
FRISCO — A new trapping plan approved by state and federal officials in Maine doesn’t do enough to protect endangered lynx, according to wildlife advocates. Instead of relying on reports from trappers in the field, activists said they want to see more active enforcement and inspections of trapping operations.
The plan, part of the state’s predator control program, was approved less than a month into the state’s trapping season, during which 13 lynx have already been reported captured. All the cats were released alive, but two required veterinary treatment for injured toes. A previous study of radio-collared lynx in Maine showed that after being caught by trappers, only three of six lynx survived a month. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment | Tagged: endangered species, lynx, Maine, predator control, trapping, wildlife | Leave a comment »
Posted on June 30, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
New lynx conservation studies posted for public comment
New federal documents spell out how a critical habitat designation for lynx could affect activities on federally managed lands.
Lynx kitten in Colorado. Photo courtesy Tanya Shenk/Colorado Division of Wildlife.
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO —Designating 41,000 square miles of critical habitat for lynx in the northern Rocky Mountains won’t have a huge economic impact, federal biologists said last week as they took another step toward finalizing conservation measures for the threatened wild cat. Most costs associated with lynx conservation will be on the administrative side, as the critical habitat designation would result in the need for more coordination among federal agencies. Visit this Federal Register page to view all the documents and comment.
Two draft studies examining the effects of the proposed critical habitat designation in Maine, Minnesota, Montana, Idaho, Washington, and Wyoming were posted July 21 in the Federal Register for public comment. The latest version of the long-contested proposal includes revised critical habitat maps “based on where the best science indicates the habitat could support lynx populations over time,” but includes only areas where lynx populations already exist” — with the exception of Colorado. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment | Tagged: Colorado, critical habitat, endangered species, lynx, wildlife | Leave a comment »