Groups seek protection of iconic Alaska tree

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Four conservation groups have petitioned the Interior Department to list an iconic Alaska tree as threatened or endangered because of climate change.

Yellow cedar for centuries has been carved by Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian people for canoe paddles and totem poles. They could remove a lengthwise strip of bark from a living tree to use for weaving baskets and hats, and as backing in blankets because the trees can compartmentalize the damage and heal themselves.

Yellow cedar can resist insects and rot and live more than 1,000 years but their shallow roots are vulnerable to freezing. Climate warming over the last century has been deadly.

Federal court ruling could open Alaska's Tongass to logging

Los Angeles Times

A door is starting to open to allow logging in the Tongass National Forest, as the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, backing the state of Alaska, overturned a lower court and supported the U.S. Forest Service decision to exempt the area from a rule that would ban new roads and timber harvesting, the Los Angeles Times reports.

House backs bill to speed logging of burned trees

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House approved a wide-ranging public lands bill Thursday that would speed logging of trees burned in last year's massive Rim Fire in California.

The measure also allows vehicular access to North Carolina's Cape Hatteras National Seashore, extends livestock grazing permits on federal land in the West and lifts longstanding restrictions on canoes, rafts and other "hand-propelled" watercraft in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks.

The House approved the bill, 220-194, on a largely party-line vote. It now goes to the Senate, where it is considered unlikely to pass. The White House opposes the bill but has not issued a veto threat.

Scientists oppose logging bills in Congress

RENO, Nev. (AP) — More than 200 biologists, ecologists and other scientists are urging Congress to defeat legislation they say would destroy critical wildlife habitat by setting aside U.S. environmental laws to speed logging of burned trees at Yosemite National Park and other national forests and wilderness areas across the West.

House backs bill to boost logging in nat'l forests

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican-controlled House Friday approved a bill to sharply increase logging in national forests — a measure the GOP said would create jobs in rural communities and help reduce wildfires that have devastated the West.

Protesters climb Oregon Capitol dome, hang sign

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Two protesters opposed to selling Oregon state forest land broke away from a tour group Thursday, secured ropes atop the Capitol and climbed down the face of its dome to unfurl a large banner criticizing Gov. John Kitzhaber.

White House threatens veto on Oregon lands bill

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — The White House is threatening to veto a bill to boost logging on national forests, including a provision aimed at producing more money for timber counties in Oregon.

Logging threatens Monarch butterflies in Mexico

MEXICO CITY (AP) — A new study of the Monarch butterflies' winter nesting grounds in central Mexico says small-scale logging is worse than previously thought and may be contributing to threats facing the Monarch's singular migration pattern.

Despite SCOTUS runoff ruling, group to press runoff regulation

The Associated Press
Despite a Supreme Court ruling siding with the logging industry on regulating runoff, the Northwest Environmental Defense Center says it will continue to press federal officials on the issue, The Associated Press reports.

Monarch butterflies drop ominously in Mexico

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The amount of Monarch butterflies wintering in Mexico dropped 59 percent this year, falling to the lowest level since comparable record-keeping began 20 years ago, scientists reported Wednesday.


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