Posts tagged: Bureau of Land Management
PUBLIC LANDS — The federal government said today it is collecting $168,500 to cover fire suppression costs after an Illinois man ignited a 440-acre blaze in central Idaho in 2012 while shooting at an exploding target.
According to a story by the Associated Press, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced the agreement after Jeffrey Kerner was target shooting on Aug. 18, 2012 on private land near Salmon in Lemhi County. As temperatures hit 95 degrees, prosecutors say Kerner’s target blew apart and ignited the blaze that later spread to adjacent federal land.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Amy Howe in Boise said the settlement in the Idaho case was reached after negotiations with an insurance adjustment company representing Kerner.
Though the fire was relatively small at less than a square mile and was contained within 48 hours, costs quickly escalated as federal firefighters arrived in force to keep the flames from consuming at least two nearby homes.
Howe said the incident — during high summer, when temperatures were climbing — underscores the danger of shooting at exploding targets that produce a large cloud of smoke when struck by a bullet. Federal and state agencies across the West have enacted a patchwork of regulations designed to limit or ban exploding targets on public land, though there’s little uniformity.
Read on for more more of the story from the AP.
PUBLIC LANDS – Led by a ban on exploding targets issued by Northwest national forests on July 9 and bans by other public land managers, a similar ban was issued on Monday by Rocky Mountain Region Forest Service officials who cited the products enjoyed by target shooters as a major cause of wildfires.
Shooters who use exploding targets have ignited 16 wildfires since last year, including seven in the Forest Service’s Rocky Mountain region that includes Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas, Nebraska and South Dakota, the officials said.
The ban extends to all national forests and grasslands in those five states.
The public should understand that exploding targets can cause fires, said John Walsh, the U.S. Attorney for Colorado, said in this story by the Durango Herald.
Exploding targets are legal to buy. They are made in a small canister by mixing dry chemicals that become volatile in each other’s presence. When struck by a bullet, they emit a brief flame and puff of smoke.
On a national level, the U.S. Forest Service says this:
“Exploding targets pose a very real safety threat to visitors and our employees” said U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell. “In the past year alone, at least 16 wildfires on national forests have been associated with exploding targets, causing millions of dollars in suppression costs while threatening the safety and well-being of surrounding communities.”
PUBLIC LANDS — Idaho state lawmkers supporting House Concurrent Resolution 22 say they don’t intend to sell off the federal land, but to manage it more efficiently.
Many people in the realm of recreation are not fond of the idea of the state — not widely acclaimed as a perfect public land steward — taking over land currently managed by the U.S. Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management.
The resolution’s premise is that the federal government broke its promise to the states to dispose of all its lands and give the states 5 percent of the revenue.
Most legal scholars agree that the federal government had the right to change its mind, but there is a minority view that the states’ claim may be held as constitutional. That view passed the Utah Legislature last year, catching the interest of lawmakers in Arizona, Wyoming and New Mexico.
Read on for the details in an Associated Press story originating from the Idaho Statesman.
PUBLIC LANDS — In another example of their self-centered approach to the outdoors and the world, Idaho lawmakers are suggesting they are going to waste state time and money making a stab and taking over federal lands within Idaho's borders.
You're not expecting public support on this, are you?
Click “continue reading” to see the Associated Press report on Monday's Statehouse meeting in Boise.
PUBLIC LANDS — The 350-acre fire on BLM land that prompted a temporary evacuation of Fishtrap Lake Resort recently was fairly well contained with minimal damange, officials say.
The photo above shows the edges of the fire burning up to the Farmer Landing trailhead west of Fishtrap Lake.
“Horseback riding and hiking along the trail from that trailhead should still be through unburned landscape,” said Steven Smith, BLM recreation manager in Spokane.
“So far, about 54 different fires in Eastern Washington have affected BLM lands,” said Scott Pavey, Spokane District spokesman, noting that some fires farther west are still burning. “A rough total of about 42,500 BLM acres have burned.”
PUBLIC LANDS — The Eastern Washington Resource Advisory Council (RAC) will hold a meeting on May 23 in Moses Lake focusing on the East Side and San Juan Resource Management Plan and the Forest Plan Revision for the Colville National Forest.
The meeting will run 10 a.m.-4 p.m in the Hardin Room of the ATEC Building at Big Bend Community College, 7662 N.E. Chanute St.
The meeting will be open to the public and there will be an opportunity for public comments at 10:00 a.m.
The Eastern Washington RAC is comprised of 15 members from a variety of backgrounds who are appointed by the Secretary of the Interior. The Eastern Washington RAC provides advice to the Bureau of Land Management Spokane District Manager and the Colville National Forest Supervisor regarding management of federal public land in eastern Washington.
For info about the Eastern Washington RAC contact the Spokane BLM District Office, 1103 N. Fancher Rd, or call (509) 536-1200.
ROCK CLIMBING — The Bureau of Land Management is proposing a ban on rock-climbing at Cedar Fields near Burley, Idaho, to protect cultural resources in that area and would also ban climbing on BLM lands in the Castle Rocks Inter-Agency Recreation Area.
The federal agency is taking public comment on the plan until Oct. 28.
PUBLIC LANDS — The U.S. Bureau of Land Management plans to scale back costly roundups of wild horses.
In a news release issued Thursday, BLM officials said they will reduce the number of wild horses removed from the range by about one-quarter — to 7,600 per year. The agency also will expand the use of fertility controls and increase the number of animals adopted by individuals or groups. The bureau continues to oppose horse slaughter, which some in the West have advocated as a way to thin herds.
Other groups have called the past roundups inhumane.
The BLM can't win on this issue. But it's clear the land and wildlife habitat is losing the battle where wild horse herds have grown too large.
The new approach comes a week after the House approved an amendment to cut the agency’s budget by $2 million to protest the roundups. The program’s annual cost has tripled over the past decade to $66 million. Annual costs are expected to reach at least $85 million by 2012.
More than 38,000 wild horses and burros roam in Nevada, California, Wyoming and other Western states. An additional 40,000 animals are cared for in corrals and pastures in Kansas, Oklahoma and South Dakota.
An analysis of the public’s comments and a detailed proposed implementation strategy will be posted at www.blm.gov on Feb. 28. Public comments will be accepted through March 30 by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Comments on Strategy” in the subject line.
WILDLIFE — A breeding bird density map for the greater sage-grouse released today by the Department of Interior could be a step in controling development to help keep the prairie bird off the Endangered Species list.
The map identifies important areas having high density occurrences of greater sage-grouse, a ground-dwelling bird that inhabits much of the West. These areas were determined by estimating the male’s attendance on “leks,” the name biologists use to describe the communal breeding grounds of the bird.
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management will work with the state fish and wildlife agencies to refine the map by incorporating more specific state-level data.