USDA Proposes Bold Moves to Improve Forests Management, Grasslands

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(Washington, D.C., June 12, 2019) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Forest Service (USFS) released proposed changes to modernize how the agency complies with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The proposed updates would not only give the Forest Service the tools and flexibility to manage the land and tackle critical challenges like wildfire, insects, and disease but also improve service to the American people. Revising the rules will improve forest conditions and make it simpler for people to use and enjoy their national forests and grasslands at lower cost to the taxpayer. The revised rules will also make it easier to maintain and repair the infrastructure people need to use and enjoy their public lands—the roads, trails, campgrounds, and other facilities.

Forest Service, USDA, NEPA

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National Park Visitor Spending Contributed $40 Billion to U.S. Economy

Report Finds 2018 Spending Supported 329,000 jobs in Hotels, Restaurants, Transportation, Recreation

doi-logoWASHINGTON – As the summer vacation and travel seasons opens, U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt announced today that visitor spending in communities near national parks in 2018 resulted in a $40.1 billion benefit to the nation’s economy and supported 329,000 jobs.

According to the annual National Park Service report, 2018 National Park Visitor Spending Effects, more than 318 million visitors spent $20.2 billion in communities within 60 miles of a park in the National Park System. Of the 329,000 jobs supported by visitor spending, more than 268,000 jobs exist in the park gateway communities.

National Park Service, economics

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Secretary Bernhardt Announces $10.7 Million in Public-Private Support for Big Game Migration Corridors

Partnership between DOI, NFWF, and ConocoPhillips benefits elk, mule deer and pronghorn in 6 Western states

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WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt announced the award of $2.1 million in grants to state and local partners in Colorado, Montana, Nevada, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming for habitat conservation activities in migration corridors and winter range for elk, mule deer, and pronghorn. The targeted big game species will benefit from the conservation actions funded by these grants as will a wide array of plant and other wildlife species.

Through a public-private partnership between the Department of the Interior (DOI), the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), and ConocoPhillips, the grants are expected to leverage more than $8.6 million in matching contributions, generating a total conservation impact of more than $10.7 million. The announcement comes as Secretarial Order 3362 is implemented to improve the habitat conditions in big game migration corridors and winter range areas.

wildlife, habitat, Department of Interior

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Best of the West: Preparing for wildfire season; healthy snowpack supplies Colorado River; Nevada & New Mexico boost renewables

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As western states prepare for wildfire season, new tools are helping firefighters and land managers assess danger and respond rapidly. In the Pacific Northwest, The National Fire Danger Rating System is getting its first update in more than 40 years. The new system will generate readings from weather stations without requiring a person to be present to help forest managers determine levels of fire danger.

In California, a weather satellite taking photos every five minutes can show hotspots and could potentially alert residents of a blaze.

Wildfire, renewable energy

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Groups Push for Votes on NV Renewable-Energy, Public-Lands Bills

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CARSON CITY, Nev. - Friday is the deadline for bills to make it out of committee at the state Capitol, so conservation groups are drumming up support for those that address renewable energy and protection for wildlife habitat.

Senate Bill 358 would require power companies to get 50 percent of their energy from renewable sources by 2030. Brian Beffort, director of the Sierra Club's Toiyabe Chapter, said the state now spends $4 billion a year importing electricity from fossil fuels, when it could be relying on renewable power generated in Nevada.

renewable energy, Nevada

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