A persistent commenter over there (yep, guilty) is convinced that President Obama should issue an executive order reassigning the Black Hills National Forest and the Custer National Forest to the Forestry Division of the Bureau of Indian Affairs as a compromise seeking to settle the Claims lawsuits. These lands would be managed by professionals on a par with the current USDA protocols. Besides, how could they fuck it up worse than the Forest Service has?
The Black Hills National Forest should cease to exist and the proposed Tony Dean Wilderness should be folded into a deal for National Grassland, too, maybe under a cooperative Park Service/BIA charter with input from each stakeholder. I'll say it again: the Forest Service should come out of the USDA and look more like the Bureau of Reclamation.
Thunder Basin National Grassland west of Devil's Tower is at risk to the 1872 Mining Act, not to mention the ground impacted by another Canadian invasion in the form of a proposed strip mine for rare earth minerals north of Sundance. Wyoming blasts through treaty lands and leaves mercury trails in its wake.
Montana's red state earth-raping machines are fueled up and ready to rip. The Otter Creek coal development would carve wide swathes through southeastern Montana burial sites. Mal-named Custer National Forest should be under Northern Cheyenne and Crow care although this blogger has witnessed that the pine bark beetle has moved deeper into the Pryors now, too.
Last week, the EPA recognized the Havasupi as a state under Section 303 of the Clean Water Act as an essential function of tribal governance. And, today in a story from The World, a Coos Bay Lee paper, the BLM snubbed the State of Oregon and gave the Coquille tribe an opportunity to develop a sustainable forest plan for federal wildlands.
SCOTUS blog on Montana v. Wyoming. Note lone dissenter Justice Scalia, calling the majority opinion written by anti-clone Justice Thomas, "incomprehensible." From the Helena Independent Record:
Left unresolved following Monday’s ruling was the broader question of whether Montana is getting its fair share from the rivers as Wyoming builds new reservoirs, the amount of water used by the oil and gas industry increases and farms expand. Remaining aspects of the lawsuit could have consequences for Wyoming’s natural gas industry. Over the last decade, companies seeking a type of gas known as coal-bed methane have pumped billions of gallons of water from underground aquifers shared by the two states. Montana contends the companies are draining water that would otherwise feed the Tongue and Powder rivers.Am I nuts?