Guerrilla Forest Planning

In secrecy, in the dead of night, beyond the view of the public, the US Forest Service has altered Forest Plans across the nation.

Over 30 National Forests today have adopted Let It Burn into their Forest Plans, with no public notice, no public hearings, no peep to the Media, no announcements in the Federal Register, no word to the wise at all.

Like Viet Cong guerrillas, USFS officials have donned black pajamas and ski masks to creep with stealth into the document vaults, and they have pasted whoofoo (WFU, Wildland Fire Use) between the lines in Fire Plans from Washington to New Mexico, from Montana to California.

The Fire Plans are part and parcel of the Forest Plans. Such Plans are required by law (NEPA) to be presented to the public for open and transparent evaluation prior to adoption or alteration. The USFS leadership knows that, but their jiggering of Fire Plans and injecting Let It Burn was so offensive and improper that they knew the public would reject it. So they did it in secrecy.

Like the eco-terrorists who have burned Ranger Stations and schools, USFS leaders perpetrated the Burn Baby Burn Plans under the cover of darkness.

And now, when the terrorist planning is coming to light, the USFS is claiming that the Plans are inviolate and must be obeyed. They are the law, even though they were created illegally.

And now millions of acres of our forests have been in incinerated in whoofoo Let It Burn fires perpetrated by the selfsame guerrilla agents who doctored the Fire Plans.

There was no public announcement, no NEPA process, when the Sawtooth NF scribbled whoofoo provisions into their Fire Plans. This summer the Sawtooth NF burned 38,500 acres in the South Barker WFU Fire [here], in accordance with their altered Fire Plan. When questioned about the lack of NEPA compliance, the excuse given was “we didn’t have time for that.”

The NEPA process would have revealed that Let It Burn wildfires in the middle of summer damage vegetation, wildlife, watersheds, airsheds, public health and safety, recreation, roads and infrastructure, and cost $millions (in the case of the South Barker WFU Fire, $7,041,364 in “suppression” costs alone, but inflicting 10 to 20 times that much in resource losses).

Nobody bothered to inform the public when the Ochoco NF adopted whoofoo. But altered Fire Plan verbiage was the excuse given to the public when the Ochoco NF burned the Mitchell Watershed in the Bridge Creek WFU Fire [here] this summer. That fire jumped the property line and burned 2,000 acres of private land, too. When the private landowners complained, the USFS spokesperson sneered at them and told them to “file a claim.” Yet no public filing was done when the Ochoco NF wrote secret whoofoo language into their Fire Plan.

Mum was the word at the Sequoia NF when they adopted WFU. But it was tough to hide the Clover WFU Fire (15,300 acres, $8,315,000) [here].

Dead-of-night secrecy was the strategy at the Humboldt-Toiyabe NF, Okanogan-Wenatchee NF, Gila NF, Bitterroot NF, Caribou-Targhee NF, Boise NF, Wallowa-Whitman NF, and dozens of others.

The latest rumor is that 30 National Forests have altered their Fire Plans to include whoofoo. The number of public hearings in that regard? Zero. The cost? $2 billion in direct costs this year alone and perhaps $50 billion in resource damages.

Government functionaries sneaking around altering documents in the dead of night, alterations that “legally” allow them to incinerate vast tracts of public forest, is not the way “open government” is supposed to work. It is more akin to totalitarian-style government.

It is time to root the guerrilla terrorist public employees out their spider holes. We need an office by office search to round up the midnight document forgers. It is time to shine the bright light of public scrutiny on the agents of darkness and to unmask the secret scribblings of the Let It Burn subversives.



web site

leave a comment

  • Colloquia

  • Commentary and News

  • Contact

  • Follow me on Twitter

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

  • Meta