Ag Chief Orders Increased Logging, Mining, and Grazing in Public Forests

by | Jun 18, 2020

In a new “blueprint for the future,” Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue directed the Forest Service to “streamline” planning and approvals for energy and minerals development, as well as to “promote active management on Forest Service lands.” Both moves translate to weakened reviews and an emphasis on logging over conservation. Purdue also directed the USFS to increase grazing permits for national grasslands, and speed up both grazing and logging permit processing. Status: Memorandum published June 12, 2020.

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Amy Westervelt is the editor-in-chief of Drilled News, creator and host of the Drilled podcast, and founder of the Critical Frequency podcast network, named AdWeek's Podcast Network of the Year in 2019. An award-winning print and audio journalist, Amy has contributed to The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post, as well as KQED, The California Report, Capital Public Radio, and many other outlets. She is the 2015 winner of the Rachel Carson award for "women greening journalism," and a 2016 winner of an Edward R. Murrow award for her series on the impacts of the Tesla Gigafactory in Nevada. In 2019, the Drilled podcast won the Online News Association's "Excellence in Audio Storytelling" award.

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Emily J. Gertz is senior editor of Drilled News. A longtime environmental reporter and editor, her work has appeared in HuffPost, Reveal, Arctic Today, The Guardian, Popular Science, Scientific American, Sierra, and more.