Update to the 2010 RPA Assessment

usfs logoThe Resources Planning Act (RPA) Assessment reports on the status and trends of the Nation's renewable resources on all forest and rangelands, as required by the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974. The USDA Forest Service has conducted natural resource analyses for over a century. The 1974 RPA legislation established a periodic reporting requirement and broadened the coverage to all renewable resources on U.S. forests and rangelands. The RPA Assessment includes analyses of forests, rangelands, wildlife and fish, biodiversity, water, outdoor recreation, wilderness, urban forests, and the effects of climate change on these resources.

Update to the 2010 RPA Assessment

Forest Service, Resources Planning Act, Assessment

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Future Wildfires Costs

usfs logoHow Much Will Future Wildfires Cost the Federal Government?

In mid-November, the White House Office of Management and Budget published a preliminary assessment of the fiscal risks the federal government faces due to climate change. The report examines fiscal risk in five areas that will be directly affected by climate change: crop insurance, health care, hurricane-related disaster relief, flood risk, and wildfire suppression. The risk assessment section on wildfire suppression opens with the following statement:

“While many factors will affect wildland fire and Federal suppression expenditures over the course of this century, the risk posed by climate change for suppression budgets at Federal land management agencies is immense. All else equal, climate change could significantly increase area burned each year in the U.S., causing suppression expenditures to double within just a few decades and nearly triple by late-century.”  

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A WIIN for Drought-Stricken Communities, Fish and Taxpayers

December 7, 2016 - After years of public input, congressional deliberation and bipartisan negotiations, tomorrow Congress will advance targeted drought relief for suffering communities in California and the West. The Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act (WIIN) will expedite water storage, improve water delivery and, critically, increase water capture in upcoming wet months while upholding environmental laws.  
 
WIIN's passage will be a win for people, fish and wildlife. In fact, it's a no-brainer. But don’t just take our word for it.

water, Drought, agriculture

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Southern Arizona endangered Mount Graham red squirrel population decreases

PHOENIX — An annual survey of the Mount Graham red squirrel recently revealed a slight decline in the number of the endangered squirrels in the Pinaleño Mountains in southeastern Arizona.

The survey conducted jointly by the Arizona Game and Fish Department, Coronado National Forest, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the University of Arizona estimated 252 squirrels. The survey is a decrease of 11 squirrels from the 2015 estimate of 263.

“While we’d prefer to see squirrel populations continually grow, it’s not uncommon for them to fluctuate considerably from year to year,” said Tim Snow, AZGFD terrestrial wildlife specialist. “At this point, we aren’t immediately concerned with the lower squirrel numbers. We remain optimistic that our efforts are working to ensure the population has the best opportunity to flourish in the future.”

Arizona, red squirrel

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MT Forms Rapid Response Team to Address Aquatic Invasive Species

Helena, MT – Governor Steve Bullock issued an executive order today declaring a statewide natural resource emergency for Montana water bodies due to the detection of the larvae of invasive aquatic mussels at Tiber Reservoir and suspected detections at Canyon Ferry Reservoir and the Milk and Missouri rivers. The signing of the Executive Order triggers the deployment of an interagency rapid response team to respond to the emerging situation.

“Aquatic invasive species are a serious threat to Montana’s critical infrastructure and economy.  The deployment of the multi-agency rapid response team will work quickly to identify and contain existing mussel populations, and prevent future introduction to other water ways,” Bullock said. “The potential economic, ecological and recreational impacts for Montana and our region must be addressed quickly and every effort must be taken to prevent the additional spread of this threat.”

aquatic invasive species, Montana

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