[MCN] Alternative facts from Tester and Daines

Lance Olsen lance at wildrockies.org
Thu Mar 16 13:09:03 EDT 2017

Tester's essentially a good man who's let himself 
be led into a political trap.  It might be 
instructive to know who he's used as his sources 
for the alternative facts he so unfortunately 

>Alternative facts from Tester and Daines
>The February 25, 2015 Washington Post gave 
>Senator Tester four Pinocchios, the paper's 
>highest rating for politicians misrepresenting 
>the truth, when Tester asserted that "every 
>logging sale" in the state was "under 
>litigation" and "nearly half of the awarded 
>timber volume in Fiscal Year 2014 is currently 
>under litigation."
>The Post's renowned Fact Checker, Glenn Kessler, 
>found instead that "in 2014, the Forest 
>Service's Northern Region, which includes 
>Montana, met its timber harvest goal for the 
>first time in over 14 years. The region 
>harvested 280 million board feet - enough to 
>build nearly 10,000 homes." Kessler added: 
>"Given that Tester is the senior senator from 
>Montana, his comments on litigation in Montana's 
>national forests are embarrassingly wrong. In 
>both statements, he was wildly off the mark. He 
>needs to brush up on his facts - and his math - 
>before he opines again on the subject."
>The Forest Service also met its timber harvest 
>target again in 2015. I have not seen the amount 
>of logging reported yet for 2016, but the Great 
>Falls Tribune reported in February: "Logging in 
>Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest best in 
>Unfortunately for Montanans, Tester didn't take 
>Kessler's advice and instead decided to emulate 
>President Trump and douse us with "alternative 
>facts." In a press release, Tester, joined by 
>Senator Daines, the National Wildlife 
>Federation, Trout Unlimited, and a dozen logging 
>and ranching groups, claimed that 
>environmentalists have shut down logging not 
>just in Montana but across the West.
>As the IR reported from Tester's and Daines' 
>press release: "The Forest Service estimates 80 
>forest projects are on hold because of legal 
>challenges based on the Cottonwood decision in 
>Regions 1, 2 and 4. Region 1 challenges include 
>the East Reservoir Restoration Project in the 
>Kootenai National Forest and the Colt-Summit 
>Restoration and Fuels Reduction Project in the 
>Lolo National Forest."
>But once again the truth, not Tester and Daines' 
>"alternative facts," tells a different story. A 
>total of four logging projects in lynx critical 
>habitat are on hold over concerns for lynx 
>critical habitat - which is a long ways from the 
>80 projects the senators claim. These are the 
>East Reservoir Timber sale in the Kootenai 
>National Forest, and the Bozeman Watershed, East 
>Boulder, and Greater Red Lodge timber sales in 
>the Custer-Gallatin National Forest.
>The Forest Service proposed clearcutting over 
>5,000 acres and bulldozing over 41 miles of new 
>logging roads in lynx critical habitat with just 
>these four timber sales, which is why they were 
>challenged in court. The harsh reality, 
>undeniably proven by all the best available 
>science, is that more logging leads to less 
>lynx. If we're going to protect critical habitat 
>and actually recover lynx as required by the 
>Endangered Species Act, it's time to say no more 
>road building and clearcuts in lynx critical 
>Furthermore, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals 
>only ordered clearcutting to be stopped in lynx 
>critical habitat in Region One, not in Regions 
>Four and Two as Tester and Daines claim. Our 
>senators also fail to mention that the Forest 
>Service already re-initiated consultation with 
>the Fish and Wildlife Service last November to 
>comply with the Court Order, and assured the 
>Court it would be done in a few months, thus 
>completely mooting Tester's and Daines' "the sky 
>is falling" scare tactic.
>Montanans deserve facts on public policy issues, 
>not D.C. lies. That means Pinocchio Senators 
>Tester and Daines must stop deceiving Montanans 
>with their "alternative facts" and start telling 
>the truth.
>Mike Garrity is the executive director of the 
>Alliance for the Wild Rockies and a fifth 
>generation Montanan.
>For Immediate Release, March 15, 2017
>Contact: Jamie Pang, <tel:(202)%20347-3737>(202) 
><mailto:jpang at biologicaldiversity.org>jpang at biologicaldiversity.org
>Senators Daines, Tester Introduce Bill Weakening 
>Protections for Endangered Species
>Another Attempt to Overrule Courts and Slow 
>Landscape-level Protections for Species
>WASHINGTON- A proposed bill in Congress would 
>reverse a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision 
>from 2015 that required agency re-consultation 
>for federal management plans regarding 
>endangered species. The bill was introduced 
>Monday by Montana senators Steve Daines, a 
>Republican, and Jon Tester, a Democrat, joined 
>by Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) and Rep. Collin 
>Peterson (D-Minn.).
>The ''Litigation Relief for Forest Management 
>Projects Act'' would exempt the U.S. Forest 
>Service and Bureau of Land Management from 
>consulting with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
>Service and the National Marine Fisheries 
>Service over already approved land-management 
>plans when new species are protected as 
>endangered or new critical habitat is 
>designated. Such consultations help ensure that 
>newly protected species are not jeopardized by 
>management. <https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/12/14/this-study-just-undermined-a-huge-myth-about-the-endangered-species-act/?utm_term=.d63e3a00016f>Astudy 
>from 2015 showed that not a single industry 
>project was halted as a result of Section 7 
>"This bill is just another cynical attack to 
>weaken a key provision of the Endangered Species 
>Act," said Kierán Suckling, executive director 
>of the Center for Biological Diversity. "We're 
>deeply disappointed to see Senator Tester and 
>Representative Peterson once again joining 
>Republican efforts to undermine the Endangered 
>Species Act. Federal land-management agencies 
>can - and should - make needed updates to plans 
>when new species are protected."
>The 9th Circuit held in the 2015 Cottonwood 
>Environmental Law Center v. U.S. Forest 
>Servicecase that the Forest Service had violated 
>the Endangered Species Act when it failed to 
>reinitiate consultation for a logging plan after 
>critical habitat on federal lands was designated 
>for the Canada lynx. The court also, however, 
>held that mere procedural violations were no 
>longer enough to show irreparable harm and 
>warrant injunctive relief, meaning that such 
>consultations are not a major impediment to 
>completing projects with little harm to 
>endangered species. The Forest Service has also 
>already completed or is near completing 
>consultations over the lynx, as required by the 
>court, calling into question the need for this 
>"The Forest Service and BLM typically have years 
>of notice before species or habitat receive 
>protection and have become more proficient at 
>working with the wildlife agencies to ensure 
>that endangered wildlife aren't negatively 
>impacted by logging, mining and other 
>activities," said Suckling. "There is just no 
>need for this legislation."
>The Center for Biological Diversity is a 
>national, nonprofit conservation organization 
>with more than 1.2 million members and online 
>activists dedicated to the protection of 
>endangered species and wild places.
>SOURCE: <http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2017/endangered-species-03-15-2017.php>http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2017/endangered-species-03-15-2017.php
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