In 2009 you helped us begin to tear down the destructive environmental legacy of the Bush administration. Our members and supporters sent more than 1 million letters to decision makers, while our staff worked closely with the incoming administration and Congress.
This year is shaping up to be a banner year for environmental policy. The Obama administration is making decisions based on sound science and reason, peeling away actions and policies created in the past administration that significantly weakened environmental protections. The administration is establishing a new hope for our forests and wildlife.
Some of Colorado’s most pristine places are at risk. While the federal 2001 Roadless Area Conservation Rule protects nearly 60 million acres of pristine forests throughout the nation, the state of Colorado continues to move forward with a proposal that would exempt the state from the national rule, replacing it with a weaker version that could damage some of the most beautiful countryside in Colorado.
As the Station fire burns through the San Gabriel Mountains of California just outside of Los Angeles, one can only hope for cooler weather and pray that the firefighters keep safe. This fire to date has claimed the lives of two firefighters and burned 70 structures.
The Forest Service is allowing a fire burning in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountain Range to burn — rather than extinguishing it — as a way of reducing brush and small trees in the forest. This decision on the “Lion Complex” fire represents implementation of fire policy that allows fires that are not endangering lives or property to do what Smokey Bear calls “natures housekeeping.”
It’s great to see the Forest Service moving in this direction: It’s good for the forest and good for the taxpayer.
When Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack stepped to the podium at a park in Seattle last week, he didn’t just make a speech about the Obama administration’s vision for managing national forests in the 21st century: He ushered in a whole new era for the Forest Service – one that makes restoring the health of our forests the top priority for the agency.
There aren't that many senior citizens who are able to extinguish a full complement of birthday candles, but you'd imagine that Smokey Bear would top the list. The Forest Service's spokesmammal turned 65 in July, sparking a debate over whether his message of suppression is still the right one.
A recent Senate hearing on the skyrocketing costs of wildfire suppression has underscored the importance of moving forward on the FLAME Act, a bill that would relieve budgetary pressure on federal land management agencies.