14 Jun 2009, 1:10pm
Federal forest policy Saving Forests
by admin

Ninth Court Rules Against Wackos, Approves Thinning in Kootenai NF

Note: Sorry for the delay in posting this. We have been too busy this Spring but are trying to catch up.

On April 17 the Ninth Circuit Federal Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling (by Donald W. Molloy, US District Judge for the Montana District) that allowed the Kootenai National Forest to proceed with nine planned forest health thinnings.

The thinning projects were challenged by the WildWest Institute and The Ecology Center. The plaintiffs made a number of specious and defective claims that were summarily rejected by a three-judge panel made up of justices Thomas M. Reavley,Richard C. Tallman and Milan D. Smith, Jr. The decision is [here].

The Bristow Area Restoration Project, Fortine Project, West Troy Project, Pipestone Timber Sale and Restoration Project, Lower Big Creek Project, South McSwede Timber Sale and Restoration Project, Alder Creek Project, Cow Creek Project, and McSutten Project may now proceed.

14 Jun 2009, 7:29pm
by bear bait

I see Gordon Smith’s brother is still working like a judge that knows something in the natural resources area’s.

When will someone tell the world there is a difference between thinning to maximize returns on timber husbandry, and thinning to effect a change in forest structure and fire behavior?

14 Jun 2009, 9:00pm
by Larry H.

In reading through the decision, I was amazed at how complex and how lucky the Forest Service was to win this time. You can bet that the eco’s will learn from this and come up with more loopholes and search through Forest Plans for tiny flaws in their quest to eliminate tree cutting anywhere they find it.

It’s not about nature anymore. It’s about political control, lawsuit booty and the death of capitalism.

15 Jun 2009, 8:23am
by Larry H.

I’m seeing a little movement within the Waxman-Markey bill regarding biomass. They are changing the definition of Federal biomass to include SOME of it as “renewable energy”.


They want to restrict biomass that comes from “old growth stands”. Unfortunately, eco’s contend that almost all of our National Forests are “old growth” in sharp conflict of their common statement that “only 2% of old growth still exists”. This really only polarizes the issues even more, as litigation will be stepped up by preservationists even more.

In the end, it may just be a way for Congress to show the public that they tried to do “something” about unhealthy forests and fires.

17 Jun 2009, 8:08am
by Matthew Koehler

Not so fast there Mike. Just for you I’ve put a copy of our petition for a re-hearing or re-hearing En Banc on our website and you download it at the link below.

Turns out your buddy Senator Smith’s brother on the 9th ended up re-writing science from the bench! Since you waxed on and on about that with the Lands Council case, I assume you’ll be upset at Judge Smith from playing scientist from the bench. But then again….Anyway, I’m sure my post here will be met with insults and such. But heck, that’s about all you got so I can deal with it. Have a great day.


17 Jun 2009, 10:56am
by Mike

Petulance will get you nowhere, Matt. Try working for stewardship goals instead of holocaust. Think about the long-term environmental impacts, not your petty political anarchist dreams.

17 Jun 2009, 7:25pm
by Matthew Koehler

Thanks Mike. But mainly my dreams are about nature and elk hunting, that type of stuff. Oh…and I also have a reoccurring dream about playing high school football and sometimes basketball. Bet you didn’t know my younger brother Mike was the third all-time leading scorer in high school in Wisconsin history.

17 Jun 2009, 8:35pm
by Larry H.

My own main thoughts are that preservationism is not a sustainable activity in our ever-changing forests. A true environmentalist will do what is essential and necessary for the forest using site-specific cutting-edge science. We cannot expect judges, legislators and armchair eco’s to understand how to apply it to complex ecosystems. Putting all of that into a document that meets the laws and understanding of the general public is an almost impossible task.
Instead, some people choose to do nothing in the face of this situation, and are willing to accept disaster instead of trusting our most respected forest scientists.



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