I have often criticized the Trump Administration for its environmental policies from blocking climate control measures to rolling back on pollution regulations to developing pristine natural areas, including recent changes to hunting rules in Alaska. Now the Forest Service is being sued over its failure on how expanded grazing operations are impacting gray wolf populations. Given the ruling on DACA yesterday on the failure of the Administration to satisfy basic procedures requirements under the Administrative Procedure Act, this litigation will hopefully succeed in forcing a reevaluation of the operations of these private businesses on federal lands.
I have previously expressed my view that federal lands, and particularly federal parks, should be protected from development. I admit to being an ardent environmentalist and national parks have always been a defining part of my life. The Trump Administration’s environmental policies are, in my view, a disaster for this country. However, the Administration seems to hold a particularly antagonistic position against our national parks, which remain the most popular federal governmental areas with the public. At a time when the public is flooding our parks and we have overcrowding on roads and open spaces, the Trump Administration is expanding development and removing protected lands.
WildEarth Guardians, Western Watersheds Project, and the Kettle Range Conservation Group are suing over the impact of grazing operations at the Colville National Forest as an “epicenter of wolf-livestock conflicts” in Washington State. Cattle grazing is allowed in the national forest and dozens of wolves have been killed as a result. Since 2012, 31 wolves have been killed and 26 were allegedly killed on behalf of grazing permittee Diamond M Ranch. DMR is the largest cattle producer in Washington and has been the focus of criticism by environmentalists.