Long-term camping, littering and wildfire danger cited as reasons for proposal
A popular free camping zone between Keystone and Montezuma could be shut down by the U.S. Forest Service. According to the agency, the informal campsites have become a nuisance, with long-term campers damaging natural resources and littering the area with human waste and trash.
Alaska’s bid for more logging in roadless areas hits a brick wall
Fifteen years of wrangling over a national public lands roadless rule ended with a whimper last week, as the U.S. Supreme Court rejected an attempt by the State of Alaska to open parts of the Tongass National Forest to logging.
Alaska went to the Supreme Court to try and overturn lower court rulings that had found that the Bush administration improperly exempted the Tongass from the landmark conservation measure.
A coalition including the Organized Village of Kake (a federally recognized Alaska Native tribe), tourism businesses, and conservationists joined the federal government in urging the Supreme Court to leave the lower court rulings intact.
The roadless sections of the Tongass National Forest are important for wildlife and to local residents for hunting, fishing, recreation, and tourism, the driving forces of the local economy.
“The Supreme Court’s decision means that America’s biggest national forest, the Tongass, will continue to benefit from a common-sense rule that applies nationwide,” said Earthjustice attorney Tom Waldo.
Proposed measure is the latest attack on public lands by anti-environmental extremists in Congress
After failing repeatedly in their far-fetched attempts to claim state authority over federally managed public lands, extremist anti-environment lawmakers from the West are trying a new front in their continued attacks on the federal government.
As proposed in April 2015, the the plan would have resulted in major real estate sprawl around the village of Tusayan, with up to 2,100 residential units and 3 million square feet of retail space along with hotels, a spa and conference center.
A series of unusual storms in October dropped locally heavy rainfall in several areas of the park. The most rain fell in places without official rain gauges, but the National Weather Service estimated that over 3 inches of rain fell in just 5 hours in one area of the park. This autumn soaking was followed by enough winter rain to cause the widespread wildflower bloom. Continue reading “Travel: Death Valley sees wildflower ‘ super bloom’”→
Agency considers expansion of downhill bike activity
In the age of instant gratification, it’s probably not surprising that coasting downhill on a mountain bike has become a popular pastime in Summit County. As a result, the U.S. Forest Service is preparing to authorize several ten-year special use permits to different individuals and organizations to serve up to a total of 20,000 downhill cyclists during the summer season.
More snowmaking, bike trails to be studied by Forest Service
Citing a lack of recreational opportunities at Copper Mountain, the U.S. Forest Service has launched an early comment period for proposed new developments at the Summit County resort, including an alpine coaster ride on the front side of the mountain, increased snowmaking and new mountain bike trails.
“These projects will help connect people to their National Forest while at the same time improving the year-round guest experience at Copper Mountain Resort,” said U.S. Forest Service Dillon District Ranger Bill Jackson. “In particular, we are excited about the additional snowmaking coverage on the West Encore and Collage trails which will allow the U.S. Ski Team additional early-season training opportunities.” Continue reading “Copper Mountain eyes alpine coaster amusement ride”→