02.14.22

Daines, Rosendale Urge Biden Admin to Finalize Rule to Reverse Disastrous Cottonwood Decision

U.S. CONGRESS – U.S. Senator Steve Daines and Representative Matt Rosendale are leading their colleagues in urging the Biden administration to resolve challenges stemming from the disastrous Cottonwood decision which threatens Montana forest management projects.

“During a congressional hearing on October 2021, the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) testified that unless action is taken to resolve challenges stemming from the 2015 Cottonwood Environmental Law Center v. U.S. Forest Service, (Cottonwood) decision, the agency will have to go through re-consultation, regardless of the merit, on over one-hundred forest plans that “will take years and cost millions of dollars,” threatening to undermine the Administration’s 10 Year Wildfire Crisis Strategy. Despite the impending deadline, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) continues to delay finalizing a rule that would provide immediate relief to the agency,” the letter states. “We urge you to work together to finalize the proposed rule, “Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Regulations for Interagency Cooperation,” in order to preserve the forest planning process, remove legal ambiguities that obstruct important forest projects, and ensure finite agency resources are no longer diverted from conservation needs for this purely procedural exercise.”

To read the letter Daines and Rosendale sent to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Acting Director Martha Williams, click HERE.

Last week in a Senate Energy Subcommittee Hearing, Daines discussed his legislation to reverse the 2015 Cottonwood decision and prevent frivolous litigation from tying up Montana forest projects, including deferred maintenance projects funded under the Great American Outdoors Act.

cottonwood

To watch and download Daines’ remarks, click HERE.

Dave Sheets, owner of DS Jr. Trucking in Greycliff, Montana discussed the importance of forest management for healthy landscapes and communities in Montana and expressed his gratitude for Daines’ fight to promote commonsense forest management reform.

DSJR trucking

To watch Dave’s testimonial, click HERE, for TV elements click HERE.

In February 2021, Representative Rosendale, and Senator Risch and Senator Daines sent a letter to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service in support of the proposed rule change to section 7 of the Endangered Species Act. Read more HERE.

In February 2021, Representative Rosendale introduced the Forest Information Reform (FIR) Act, which would amend the Cottonwood requirements for re-consultation in Forest Service plans when new information is found. Read more HERE.

In July 2021, Senator Daines introduced a bill to reverse the disastrous Cottonwood decision and prevent frivolous litigation from tying up Montana forest projects. Daines’ bill was discussed at a U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing in October.

In January 2021, Representative Rosendale published a statement in support of the proposed rule change to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act. Read more HERE.

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Contact: Rachel Dumke,  Katie Schoettler