20 Dec 2009, 10:59am
Federal forest policy Useless and Stupid
by admin

Survey and Manage Is Back

In 1994 The Northwest Forest Plan set aside 85% of Northwest federal forests as off-limits to logging. On the remaining 15% of the land, logging could occur if and only if over 1,000 species were surveyed and evaluated on each timber sale.

In 2001, Douglas Timber Operators (DTO) and American Forest Resources Council (AFRC) filed suit, seeking to roll back the survey-and-manage rule. The USFS agreed in a 2002 settlement to eliminate the survey and manage program, which they did in a March, 2004 Record of Decision.

But now a federal judge has reinstated the survey-and-manage rule:

Judge upholds surveys for species before logging

By JEFF BARNARD, AP, December 19, 2009 [here]

GRANTS PASS (AP) — A federal judge has upheld a requirement that Northwest national forests look for hundreds of hard-to-find but ecologically important species like snails, mushrooms and mosses before cutting down big trees.

The ruling Thursday from U.S. District Court in Seattle effectively strikes down the last surviving piece of the Bush administration’s strategy to boost logging in spotted owl territory. Judge John C. Coughenour did not immediately reinstate the so-called survey and manage rule. He wants to hear more from the government and conservation groups before issuing an order.

But he said in his ruling that the U.S. Forest Service failed to show that the rule was doing anything but what it was intended to do — protect the small but essential pieces that make an ecosystem work.

“The standard protects only truly rare and uncommon species, which as the court notes, are the ‘little things that run the world,’” said Pete Frost, attorney for the Western Environmental Law Center, which brought the lawsuit on behalf of conservation groups*. “These species allow healthy forests to function, because they do things like conserve water, filter sediment and provide food.” …

*The litigious “conservation” groups: Conservation Northwest, Gifford Pinchot Task Force, Environmental Protection Information Center, Klamath Forest Alliance, Umpqua Watersheds Inc, Siskiyou Regional Education Project, Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center, Oregon Wild, American Lands Alliance, Center for Biological Diversity and Northcoast Environmental Center

The Northwest Forest Plan has been a catastrophic failure. The NWFP had (has) four fundamental goals. It has failed spectacularly to meet any.

1. The NWFP has failed to protect northern spotted owls

By most estimations, the northern spotted owl population has fallen 40 to 60 percent since inception of the NWFP. Millions of acres of spotted owl habitat have been catastrophically incinerated.

2. The NWFP has failed to protect spotted owl habitat

Since inception, millions of acres of spotted owl habitat have been wiped off the face of the earth by holocaust, and replaced by tick brush.

3. The NWFP has failed to preserve habitat continuity throughout the range of the northern spotted owl

The dozens of huge and catastrophic forest fires have left giant gaps in the range. The Biscuit Burn alone is 50 miles long and 20 miles wide.

4. The NWFP has failed to protect the regional economy

Since inception of the NWFP, Oregon has experienced 15 long years of the worst economy in the U.S., with the highest rates of unemployment, bankruptcy, home foreclosure, and hunger of any state. These are not just statistics, but indicators of real human suffering. Over 40,000 workers lost their jobs, and the rural economy has been crippled ever since.

Now things will get worse as totally unworkable and impossible survey-and-manage constrictions will eliminate the trickle of wood products coming from 25 million acres of federal land.

Note to Tom Partin and John Shelk of AFRC — do you understand yet that you can make a deal with the Devil, but the Devil will roast you in hellfire in the end?

21 Dec 2009, 10:14am
by Larry H.

I’ll bet that after soooo many years, they still don’t even have survey protocols for each and every species. That opens up each and every survey to litigation and it takes only one to stop a project.

In California, we would exclude significant riparian zones from the projects, altogether, just to avoid water issues over the whole project. While this strategy COULD help in Oregon and Washington, that means more labor-intensive planning and implementation costs. I’d bet those costs could be re-couped by not having to do some surveys for those “wet species”.

Which brings up another question… If the Feds are going to have to do NEPA work for their “Let-Burn” program, will they also have to survey for each and every ESA species, as well?!? *smirk*

22 Dec 2009, 12:26pm
by Forrest Grump

This gives Wyden even more leverage in browbeating AFRC. Good point on the let it burn….
I think I checked out the S and M protocol for salamanders once and it was completely nuts. Yeah, I can just see a prescription burn going over real big. But a NATURAL fire is GOOD.

22 Dec 2009, 7:01pm
by bear bait

Take a hard look at any process and legislative agenda in Congress at this time with this Congress, and tell me where you see one iota of sanity. The whole of the process of our democracy has been purchased by social restructuring leftists. We have no printed press left to speak of. Anything digital can be adulterated in a heartbeat to something far from the truth. Science is conclusions pre-ordained by money. Up is down, and left is right. Black is white. Our elected officials vote on bill they have no, zero, idea of what they are about or mean, while slipping their own little zingers in there to be passed without ever being seen by another member of Congress or read by another member of Congress. Anarchy is just around the corner. And we deserve it.

Houston is 2,200,000 souls, 28% of whom are 17 or younger. 1,600,600 are of voting age. The winner of the recent mayoral election got 83,000 votes and the loser 78,000. Less than ten percent of the eligible age to vote persons voted, and it took less than 5% of the electorate to elect the mayor. America is run by those who show up at the polls. Damned few do. Therefore, we are either to live with this crapola governance we have, or start being a part of the process to grass roots an electorate to change things.

My point is few now participate in the democratic process, and the crooks in Congress have few obstacles to their criminal behavior. Hell, they even get their six figure Congressional pensions while serving time in prison for getting caught being a criminal. “Got your back, buddy” has to be the Congressional Creed.



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