The Environmental Quality Council convened a special conference call on July 12 urging USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue and Department of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to take action on two wildfire-related issues.
In a joint letter to Perdue and Zinke, the EQC said it is illogical that a bureaucratic technicality prevents helicopters operated by the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation from being certified for initial attack on federal land, except in cases of imminent threat to life. The EQC also asked Zinke to bolster the Bureau of Land Management's firefighting resources in eastern Montana to combat wildfire that could consume valuable sage grouse habitat.
During the call, the EQC renewed its objection to a rule proposed by the Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks for dog training in upland game bird nesting areas. The council will consider that issue further at its September 27-28 meeting.
For more information on the committee’s activities and upcoming meeting, visit the committee’s website or contact Hope Stockwell, committee staff. A full agenda and meeting materials will be posted approximately two weeks in advance of the meeting.