Wyden Proposes the End of Forest Stewardship in Eastern Oregon

With much fanfare [here], Sen. Ron Wyden has announced a bill that will end forest stewardship in Eastern Oregon. The announcement was hailed by radical enviros as “the end of timber sales in public forests east of the Cascades.”

The proposed bill, the “Oregon Eastside Forests Restoration, Old Growth Protection, and Jobs Act of 2009″ or OEFROGPJA is [here].

The bill is a morphing of the peripatetic “Oregon Forest Restoration and Old Growth Protection Act of 2009″ [here] trotted out Wyden last April.

OFROGPA, as Wyden’s original bill was acronymized, was dead on arrival. Both that bill and the new one are poorly written bastardizations of the Forest Landscape Restoration Act of 2009 [here].

The Forest Landscape Restoration Act of 2009 was tacked onto the Omnibus Public Lands Act of 2009, and was passed by Congress and signed into law by the President last March. The Forest Landscape Restoration Act, co-sponsored by Sen. Wyden, created the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration (CFLR) Program [here], which was funded to the grand tune of $10 million.

The conflicts between the new law (FLRA) and Wyden’s new OEFROGPJA bill are numerous and significant. Here are just a few:

1. FLRA (the new law) calls for restoration treatments within landscapes that are at least 50,000 acres in size. OEFROGPJA limits treatment landscapes to less than 25,000 acres [Sec. 3 (11)].

This embarrassing shrinkage is unsupported by any argument. Megafires routinely burn 250,000 to 500,000 acres at a crack, from 5 to 10 times the minimum treatment area in the new law (FLRA). The dinky treatments envisioned in OFROGPA are a step backwards.

2. OEFROGPJA will establish an “Eastside Forest Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel” and ignores the FLRA advisory panel completely, despite the fact that FLRA is the law right now.

3. OEFROGPJA would regulate every cutting prescription by statutory limits on the size of tree removed — no trees larger than 21 inches in diameter may be cut.

(1) LARGER TREES — Subject to paragraph (2) and except as provided in paragraph (3), the Secretary shall prohibit the cutting or removal of any live tree located in the covered area, the diameter of which exceeds 21 inches measured at breast height.

But that’s not all. OEFROGPJA also puts limits on cutting trees smaller than that, too:

(2) SMALLER TREES — The Secretary shall prohibit the cutting or removal of a live tree located in the covered area, the diameter of which is less than 21 inches measured at breast height, if the Secretary determines that the prohibition is—
(A) consistent with the goals described in 18 subsection (a)(1);
(B) consistent with the advice relating to the conservation and restoration of old growth provided by the advisory panel; and
(C) carried out in consultation with the affected collaborative group.

Further, OEFROGPJA codifies no-touch riparian zones 300 feet wide on either side of streams (or “two site-potential tree heights).

None of that has anything to do with science. Twenty-one inch trees are NOT old-growth. Maybe they are in Siberia, but not in Oregon. Diameter is only partial correlated with age, and truly old trees around here are much larger than 21 inches. “Site potential tree height” is a complete cludge and fabrication, cannot be measured, and is the most worthless forestry “metric” imaginable.

Similar “eastside screens” promulgated by the USFS have crippled forest stewardship in Eastern Oregon, and now Wyden wants them written into law (much as his original bill was aimed at codifying the Northwest Forest Plan, a catastrophic disaster).

Wyden’s efforts to cut the throat of forest management are supported by radical, litigious enviro groups including Oregon Wild, The Nature Conservancy, the Pacific Rivers Council, and Defenders of Wildlife. The Sierra Club and the Wilderness Society have NOT signed on yet. OEFROGPJA will be the end of forest stewardship in Eastern Oregon, but it will not be the end of lawsuits from the Hysterical Left.

Nor will it affect in any way the spate of megafires that have ravaged Eastern Oregon and the rest of the West for 20 years. In fact, OEFROGPJA will result in more and larger fires.

Wyden has decided to crap all over the Forest Landscape Restoration Act of 2009, a bill he co-sponsored and voted for. Ronnie Holocaust cannot get enough of forest destruction by megafire, resource destruction, economic collapse, pain and suffering, and horrendous junk science.

OEFROGPJA is not a bill to save forests, in fact it is the opposite. It has nothing to do with science and everything to do with the Politics of Social and Environmental Destruction.

We’ve seen the same crap issuing from Jon “Nomex Ninny” Tester [here].

Now is not the time to bog down in failed programs and fetid debate from 15 years ago, but unfortunately we cannot move past the past with Ronnie Holocaust, the Nomex Ninny, and their band of radical arsonistas at the wheel.

17 Dec 2009, 10:44am
by Tim R.

It matters not if you are in Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, Washington, or Oregon. Everywhere there is national forest system lands, there is a push to convert renewable resource management into a socially acceptable, unscientific, ecosystem manipulation program! Whatever that is!!!

The OEFROGPJA is so much like “The Forest Jobs & Recreation Act” (S1470) it is frightening! Today the committee will hear arguments on Senator Tester’s Wilderness Bill. If this legislation makes it out of Committee, we will be able to confirm that there is no common sense in any elected or appointed official in Washington. Worse yet, there is not any representation of the people for the future of this nation.

The Ballot Box will be our salvation!

Thank you Mike for all W.I.S.E. is doing to expose the truth!

Merry Christmas to all and looking forward to a more prosperous New Year in America!

19 Dec 2009, 3:15pm
by Bob Frankly

Mike - Where is the link to your statement:

“The announcement was hailed by radical enviros as ‘the end of timber sales in public forests east of the Cascades.’”

I find no reference at all to that statement in the news articles and I’m curious as to who these “radical enviros” are.


19 Dec 2009, 5:11pm
by Mike

Foes Unite to Support Bill on Old-Growth Forests

By LESLIE KAUFMAN, NY Times, December 16, 2009 [here]

… Environmentalists praised the bill nonetheless, noting not just the legal prohibitions on logging but also the positive mandate to manage the forest for health and preservation.

“The nutshell that is different is that they will be planning for restoration projects rather than timber sales,” said Sean Stevens, a spokesman for Oregon Wild, one of the conservation groups who helped negotiate the agreement. …

10 Jan 2010, 10:36am
by Dan H

Senator Wyden is taking his cues from Senator Tester in calling this Wilderness Bill a “Jobs Bill”. Eliminate good forestry management practices and get rid of the timber industry and somehow this is good for the environment and creating jobs? The only jobs that these bills will create in the long run are government jobs working in the unemployment and welfare offices.

It is amazing how many people that have never lived anywhere near a forest (New York City for instance) seem to know so much more about environmental issues than those of us who have worked, lived on, and cared for the land. Our livelihoods for generations. Representative Carolyn Mahoney, the sponsor of HR980, a 26 million acre wilderness bill, lives in Manhattan, NY!!!

The more folks you get to know in the “environmental movement”, the more you realize how few of these people have even the most rudimentary understanding of earth science. If you want to really understand the natural environment, spend a few days living and working with a third generation farmer or rancher, not at a cocktail party in D.C., LA or NYC, or smoking pot with some brain dead hippie.

10 Jan 2010, 5:47pm
by Larry H.

Ms. Mahoney knows all too well that there are plenty more votes for wilderness in the populated east. She also knows that it is political suicide for politicians to NOT vote for wilderness outside of their home states. I do know that they want to establish a massive Rocky Mountain wilderness system. The lands that don’t qualify for true wilderness designation will be turned into “wildlife corridors”. These will also become much larger than the MMA’s they will surely replace. We’re facing the possibility of a million-acre wildfire, in some parts of the country.

I want to know just how much of that land is currently dead or dying. We need to eliminate the possibility of setting aside dead and dying forests as new “wilderness” or as “wildlife corridors”, as dead forests don’t fulfill the purposes of those kinds of designations.

11 Jan 2010, 9:53am
by Bob Z.

Larry H makes a good point, and I suspect he already knows the answer.

Most of the land being “managed” by agency foresters (”lawyers”) these days is being over-run with dead and dying trees. Invasives are killing off the last remnant stands of magnificent old-growth oaks, pine, madrone, Douglas-fir, spruce, hemlock, and true fir and replacing them with thickets of highly competitive even-age conifers (mostly Doug-fir and lodgepole in the Pacific Northwest). These invaders subsequently make great ladder fuels and hosts for bugs and diseases, laying the groundwork for the “stand replacement” firebombs we’ve been witnessing the past 20 years.

Passive management is a massive failure, whether measure economically, biologically, aesthetically, ecologically, culturally, or however. It doesn’t work, the evidence is overwhelming that it doesn’t work, and this misguided experiment should be ended ASAP before more damage is done.

Dan H is also right on target. Knowledge and intelligence are being replaced with politics and pseudo-science. How to make it stop?

11 Jan 2010, 10:28am
by Mike

Not with Wyden’s bill, which is a giant leap backwards. It’s too bad that Ron is such a raging dumbass.

People across the nation are waking up to the horror of one-party rule, something we’ve had in Oregon for 20 years or more. Travesty and tragedy compounded.

12 Jan 2010, 12:08pm
by Forrest Grump

What I don’t understand is why Tom Partin et al would cave in like this? 300 foot SMZ strips with no cut are chimney wood. Never mind the ladder fuel from a 21 inch plus white fir next to a 38 inch pumpkin.
Just a stupid shame. The only bright side to all this: The D party is stupid all across the board, and the voters seem to be catching on.

12 Jan 2010, 6:41pm
by YPmule

Photo to share of a couple of lovely ladies having “lunch”.


12 Jan 2010, 10:37pm
by Foo Furb


Tom Partin used to be a big wheel for John Shelk. Apparently he’s still on the payroll. What a disappointment.

And what a piece of crap legislation. Where are the eastern Oregon county commissioners when they have a job to do?

Two words: Andy Kerr. It’s a sleazy scam. Wyden’s being played like a cheap harmonica.

12 Jan 2010, 11:00pm
by Mike

The bottom line is that OEFROGPJA solves nothing and will result in more, not less, gridlock.

We really need to move ahead with true landscape-scale restoration forestry across the West. This bill is a dead end sidetrack, and as such is another impediment and delay to good stewardship. Very frustrating.

13 Jan 2010, 3:45pm
by YPmule

I forgot to say the lunch ladies were in a patch of dying Ponderosa that was underburned the wrong time of year - during the 2007 fires. So even tho the trees didn’t burn, they are so stressed that the beetles attacked them. (Just my theory, I’m no scientist.)

My point is, the things that are being done to our forests sometimes hurt them more than help them. Armchair science by people that do not live in or depend on the forest.

The forests are dying - and they spend millions on studies that get passed around and computer models played with - while more trees die or go up in smoke during (planned) catastrophic fires.

The forests are unhealthy and all the legal battles in court over cutting a stick of wood just wastes more time and money - and the forest gets ’sicker’.



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