Environmental briefs | VailDaily.com

Environmental briefs

Nicole Frey and Nic Corbett

he Defenders of Wildlife recently announced they paid ranchers about $97,000 in 2005 through the Bailey Wildlife Foundation Wolf Compensation Trust to compensate for livestock they lost to wolves.

Suzanne Asha Stone, Northern Rockies field representative for Defenders of Wildlife, said the compensation program increases ranchers’ tolerance of the wolves and helps them co-exist. Since the program was founded in 1987, some 275 ranchers in the northern Rockies have been compensated $600,000.

Last month, Colorado state Sen. Dan Grossman was hired as the new Rocky Mountain Regional Director for Environmental Defense, a national nonprofit environmental advocacy group with more than 400,000 members.

“The organization’s market- and science-based approaches to environmental issues are redefining environmentalism and this change is needed nowhere more urgently than in the Rocky Mountain West,” Grossman said in a press release.

The White River National Forest in Glenwood Springs announced it hired Mary Morgan as its new recreation and engineering staff officer. In her new position, Morgan will be in charge of managing use of the forest’s ski areas, recreation facilities, campgrounds, forest road and trail system.

Three groups have appealed the Forest Service’s April 3 approval of two access roads for Texas developer Red McCombs to build his “Village” at Wolf Creek Ski Area in southwestern Colorado.

The groups ” Colorado Wild, San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council and San Juan Citizens Alliance ” wrote in the appeal they think the Forest Service’s analysis was compromised, that the environmental effects of the proposed “Village” were ignored, and that the agency did not live up to its responsibilities to the public.

To learn more about the “Village” visit friendsofwolfcreek.org.

A recent survey has found that conifer trees have been regenerating in abundance in the roadless forests affected by the 2002 Biscuit Fire in Grants Pass, Ore., where there may be logging this summer. However, study author Rich Nawa said logging would destroy the forest and prevent the trees’ re-establishment.

A copy of the report is available online at siskiyou.org/campaign/biscuit_reports.cfm.

The Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest announced it will advertise and auction two timber sales ” Mike’s Gulch and Blackberry ” in Oregon’s north and south Kalmiopsis roadless areas, as part of the “Biscuit Fire Recovery Project,” despite a 2001 Roadless Area Conservation Rule that protects roadless forests, which the Bush administration recently overturned.

The White River National Forest in Silverthorne is looking for public feedback on a proposed project for timber harvest and hazardous fuels reduction near Dillon Reservoir to reduce the future environmental effects of the mountain pine beetle epidemic. The proposal includes harvesting dead and infested lodgepole pine trees on about 2,000 acres.

To comment on the proposal, include your name, address, telephone number and organization represented; name of the proposal on which the comment is being submitted; and specific facts and supporting reasons for your concern. Please address your comments to Rick Newton, Dillon District Ranger, P.O. Box 620, Silverthorne, CO 80498 or e-mail to: comments-rocky-mountain-white-river-eastzone@fs.fed.us.

For more information, visit fs.fed.us/r2/whiteriver/projects.

More than $6.9 million is being given to private landowners and groups in 35 states through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Private Stewardship Grants to be used for conservation projects on their land for endangered, threatened or other at-risk species.

Each of the 80 grants awarded require at least a 10 percent match in non-federal dollars or in-kind contributions.

Trout Unlimited Inc. will receive $34,300 to work with a private landowner and the Colorado Division of Wildlife to restore habitat and create and stock a brood pond for a unique genetic lineage of Colorado River cutthroat trout in southwestern Colorado. The Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory will get $50,099 to work with two ranchers in eastern Colorado to restore bird and fish habitat.

For more information about the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, visit http://www.fws.gov.

The National Weather Service, based in Boulder, along with the Environmental Protection Agency, introduced experimental forecast guidance for ground-level ozone for the western half of the continental United States ” 17 states from the Plains to the Pacific Coast.

Hour-by-hour ozone forecasts through midnight of the following day are available online. The product also serves as a tool to determine air quality forecasts.

Staff Writer Nicole Frey can be reached at 748-2927 or nfrey@vaildaily.com.

Vail, Colorado

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