Forest Service

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A nonprofit environmental group has negotiated a truce with federal agencies after a long-running lawsuit over the threatened Mexican Spotted Owl. WildEarth Guardians sued the U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2013, saying the agencies failed to monitor owl populations in Southwestern forests and assess the effects of thinning and burning. The new agreement promises to remedy that on all eleven national forests in Arizona and New Mexico. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny spoke with John Horning, executive director of WildEarth Guardians.

Melissa Sevigny

It’s common now to see smoke in the air around Northern Arizona in the fall. Prescribed burns have become the norm for managing forests—especially around Flagstaff, which is a national model for forest management in an age of megafires. But nationwide, there’s a shortage of people qualified to do those burns, and funding is limited. The Nature Conservancy is trying to fill that gap by offering training for future “Burn Bosses.”  KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports.


Melissa Sevigny

A new study by The Nature Conservancy shows forest thinning and prescribed burns cause a short-term loss of carbon to the atmosphere, but save carbon in the long run. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports, that’s because healthy forests have bigger trees and experience fewer catastrophic wildfires.


Brady Smith, Coconino National Forest

The U.S. Forest Service is proposing to expand its list of projects that don’t require environmental review. The agency says the change is needed to make forest restoration among other things more efficient, but critics say it eliminates public involvement. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports.


Matt Pace/Coconino National Forest

Coconino National Forest crews are working to manage a lightning-caused wildfire near Clints Well that started last week. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius reports, they were forced to halt aerial firefighting operations after spotting a drone flying in a restricted area. 


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