EPA Procedural Move Threatens Wildlife Habitat Management

In a move questioned by the Ruffed Grouse Society, other wildlife conservationists and the Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has further politicized wildlife habitat management on our nation’s public and private forest lands by promulgating a revised forestry rule on the eve of the high court’s consideration of the issue.

In August, 2012, the Ruffed Grouse Society (RGS) filed a brief with the Supreme Court in a case affecting wildlife habitat management across the nation. The case in question was filed by preservationists who suggest that rainwater runoff from forest roads should be classified as an “industrial pollutant” and regulated by the federal government if as the rainwater flows downhill it passes through a culvert. The 9th Circuit Court in California agreed with the preservationists and overturned an effective and reasonable rule used by the EPA for 35 years to aid in controlling rainwater runoff.

Should the federal regulatory mandate imposed by the 9th Circuit’s decision be allowed to stand, the owners of family farms, ranchlands and forested tracts could face costly, cumbersome and needless regulatory hurdles simply to manage their lands to enhance habitats for game, non-game or imperiled wildlife.rf

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