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Environmentalists intend to sue over ‘destructive’ fuel break plan in West – Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas, Nevada 2021-01-14 13:56:30 –

Reno — Environmentalists have filed a notice to the US government urging the US government to thwart plans to build fuel breaks of up to 11,000 miles. It claims to violate the Endangered Species Act in a false effort to slow the progression of wildfires in the six western states.

Leaders of four conservation groups have stated that the Land Management project will be protected from legitimate environmental reviews under the last-minute move due to the retirement of the Trump administration.

They have proposed extensive clear-cutting, herbicide application, grazing, and fuel damage combined with open burning on 100 federal lands (twice as large as New York), potentially over 340,000 square miles. It states that it may threaten the survival of more rare wildlife species. Pennsylvania and Ohio combined.

Fuel breaks include cleaning a series of vegetation to slow the progression of the fire.

A 500-foot-wide break is planned along the roads and federal public road sites in Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Idaho, and Utah. At the end of all 11,000 miles, the break will cumulatively extend the equivalent distance between Seattle and South Africa.

“The Trump administration’s reckless 11-hour decision allows the agency to use highly destructive methods to remove millions of acres of native trees and shrubs,” said Nevada’s biodiversity. Scott Lake, the center’s legal advocate, said. “This is a clear violation of the Endangered Species Act and these plans cannot be realized.”

Lawyers at the Center, Sierra Club, Western Watershed Project, and Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance announced in a letter on Tuesday that they intend to sue the bureau 60 days in advance. It challenged the government’s exclusions included in the Environmental Impact Statement issued in February for fuel breaks and in November for fuel reduction and rangeland restoration.

In this May 9, 2008 file photo, a male sage fights to get the attention of a woman southwest of Rawlins, Wyoming. Environmentalists sue U.S. government to thwart plans to build up to 11,000 miles of fuel breaks claiming to violate endangered species laws in a false effort to slow the progression of wildfires in the six western states I submitted a notice of intention. (Jerret Raffety / The Rawlins Daily Times via AP, file)

The group states that the Department and its parent’s Ministry of Interior did not discuss with the Department of Fish and Wildlife about the effects on endangered and endangered species, as required by law. They acknowledged that more than 130 protected species, including Greater Sage Chronicles, have been found in the area and that many of the proposed methods, such as targeted grazing, have not been proven. ..

“Both projects together constitute a grand experiment in intensive land management on an unprecedented scale,” said the group with Secretary of the Interior David Byrne and Service Director Aurelia. I wrote a letter to Skip With.

Bureau officials defended the effort on Wednesday.

“Using a variety of management actions and tools to address threats from fires and invading grass to the Great Basin sagebrush ecosystem is an important part of BLM’s multipurpose mission,” a spokeswoman for the agency said. Alyse Sharpe said in a statement.

An environmental impact statement produced over the last four years states that it “allows land managers to choose the approach that best suits their particular community or landscape.”

According to the agency, more than 21,000 square miles of locality were burned down in the area between 2008 and 2018. An assessment of more than 1,200 fuel breaks up to 2002 found that 78% helped control wildfires and 84% helped change fire behavior.

Paul Ruprecht, Oregon-Nevada Director of the Western Watersheds Project, said the work was likely to spread invading weeds, including fire-prone cheat grass.

“You can’t use cattle to cut vegetation to soil levels and reduce fuel,” Ruprecht said. “Targeted grazing only backfires by adding more cheat glasses.”

Mr Lake said the center had expressed concern to members of the upcoming Biden administration.

“But when the administration came into force, we realized that there was a significant portion of the administration’s plate, and for practical consideration and prioritization, these projects may not be at the top of the agenda. “I will,” said Lake. Proceed now to prevent harmful projects from proceeding while these Trump administration policies are being reviewed or revised. “

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