13 May 2008, 9:17pm
2007 Fire Season Federal forest policy
by admin

Enviros OK Salvage Logging

I missed this one. You people are supposed to keep me in the swim. But here it is anyway, two weeks late.

Oregon Senator Ron Wyden wrote a letter to Mark Rey, Undersec for the USFS at the USDA, asking him to expedite salvage logging on the Shake Table and Egley burns of last summer. Not only that, but sue-happy enviro outfit OregonWild gave their benediction, promising not to sue over this particular salvage logging deal. How generous of them!

From the Ogre-onian [here]:

Wyden pushes for quick OK on logging Salvage - Timber firms and environmentalists work out an agreement for two counties hit by fires

by Matthew Preusch, Thursday, May 01, 2008, The Oregonian

BEND — Sen. Ron Wyden is asking the U.S. Forest Service to speed approval of logging in areas of eastern Oregon burned by two recent wildfires.

The two salvage logging sales are the subject of a proposed agreement between the timber companies and environmentalists that would log about 38 million board feet of timber in Grant and Harney counties.

“The conservation community, the timber industry and the local elected officials in Eastern Oregon have proposed an agreement that will salvage valuable timber, provide needed product for local lumber mills and aid the ailing economies in a rural area of my state,” Wyden, D-Ore., said in a letter Tuesday to Mark Rey, the undersecretary for Natural Resources and Environment at the Department of Agriculture.

Eastern Oregon’s timber industry has been teetering during the recent downturn in home construction.

One of Grant County’s three mills shut down last year. Another, Malheur Lumber in John Day, furloughed its 80 employees more than two weeks ago and has been idle since because of a lack of logs, said Mike Billman, the mill’s timber manager.

The quarter-century-old pine mill, which supplies lumber for window and door manufacturers, gets about 10 percent of its logs from the surrounding Malheur National Forest. In 2006, about 16 million board feet was cut from the Malheur National Forest. That’s about 5 percent of what it was 20 years ago.

Environmentalists traditionally oppose salvage logging, citing harm to soils and habitat. Tim Lillebo, east Oregon field representative for the group Oregon Wild, said his organization is making an exception in this case because it wants to ensure that local mills survive the present economic downturn so the timber industry can perform future thinning and conservation projects on public lands.

Under the proposal, conservation groups would support some salvage logging in parts of the Malheur National Forest burned by the Shake Table and Egley fires. In return, the timber companies would agree to not log in sensitive areas.

“If a project can stay out of those key areas — the unroaded stuff, the Wild and Scenic River stuff, the core areas for wildlife — maybe we can agree to this as a one-time thing,” Lillebo said.

In 2006, the Shake Table fire burned about 14,500 acres near John Day. Last July, a lightning bust sparked the Egley complex of fires, which eventually covered more than 140,000 acres around Burns.

In addition to dropping challenges to the Thorn salvage sale proposed by the Forest Service for the Shake Table fire, environmentalists would encourage the agency to expedite an environmental review of the Egley salvage sale.

That would mean logging would start there as early as this summer, putting Billman’s mill back on line if it successfully bids for the contract.

“Not that industry and environmentalists are going to agree on everything, but I think they are recognizing the need to work together to satisfy the interests of both parties,” said Mark Webb, a Grant County judge.

Considering that OregonWild has sued to halt nearly every salvage logging operation in Oregon over the last umpteen years, even back when they called themselves Oregon Natural Resource Calamity (ONRC), this is a major breakthrough.

No protests. No sitting in trees for months! No heaving bags of excrement at “the Freddies.” No slam-bam lawsuits. No sneaking around in the dark sabotaging logging equipment. No wailing in the newspapers about the evil Timber Industry. No be-in rendezvous in the ashes with ring-in-the-nose traveling “activists.”

What will “your people” think Tim? Has Spotted Hal heard about this? But no matter, you did the right thing, this time. Maybe some day there will be another salvage logging operation you can magnanimously approve. For the good of all. I certainly hope so.

14 May 2008, 9:46pm
by bear bait

The Franklinites and the Johnsonians must have heard their spiel that logging, and a lot of it, sooner than later, must happen to protect the crown jewels of wildkingdom from the Wicked Witch of Fire… and some forward thinking dude or dudette thought that mills shuttering for lack of logs most likely did not have a predictable or long life ahead. So the salvage deal is to let those mills have enough to stay in business and to be the future market of those logs allowed to leave the forest that it might be a forest of other than black snags turning white as the years advance. All that brings a glimmer of hope. But, me, I think Lucy will pull the ball back just before Charlie’s foot gets there.

14 May 2008, 10:06pm
by Mike

Four years ago, at the 10th Anniversary party of the NW Forest Plan at the Memorial Coliseum, I stood outside the door holding a sign that said “Stop Incinerating My Forests” and handed out a screed that said the NWFP was a colossal failure.

Every single person who walked through that door stared at me and was handed the screed (though some refused to take it).

Norm came by and said, “I should have known it was you.”

Lillebo commiserated with me on the tragedy of the Biscuit Burn.

JW Thomas said, “I agree with you, Mike.”

Forsman was questioned about my screed in the meeting hall, and said my numbers were conservative, the owl pop had declined by 30% or more in his estimation.

All this before SOS Forests was even invented.

You folks think I’m just a nut with a blog. I beg to differ. I am a pro, I am well-known by all the players, have been for a very long time, and SOS Forests is making a difference.

The Franklinites and Johnsonians may just now be getting the message. Franklin and Johnson themselves have already got it. Lillebo has got it. OregonWild has got it. They all may be somewhat constrained by their ignorant supporters, who have certain political expectations, and so they mince their words. But make no mistake. They got the SOS Forests message and are trying to come to grips with it, because they know I’m right. They all know that I know a hundred times more about forests than they do.

Maybe I should be a little gentler on them. Maybe I should cut them some slack. But I don’t feel like it. Too much destruction of magnificent forests has already occurred. That can’t be fixed. The job now is to save what we have left. There is an urgency to the situation. So I forge ahead without compromise.

Don’t look now, but we are changing the paradigm. Day by day. Inch by inch.



web site

leave a comment

  • Colloquia

  • Commentary and News

  • Contact

  • Follow me on Twitter

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

  • Meta