23 Jul 2010, 9:53am
Monkeywrenching forests The 2010 Fire Season
by admin

Schultz Fire Aftermath: Placing Blame

The sue-happy Center for Biological Disaster has attempted (unsuccessfully) to deflect criticism after the Schultz Fire [here, here]. The community is well-aware, however, that the the multi-million dollar, super-litigious, anti-forest, pro-holocaust “activist” group headquartered in Tucson has thrown legal monkey wrench after legal monkey wrench into any and all stewardship efforts in and around Flagstaff.

The CBD does it for the money. The Feds pay CBD tens of $millions every year to sue the USFS, USFWS, and other agencies via something called the Equal Access to Justice Act [here]. The EAJA is an endless gravy train of our money that is poured into the coffers of radical (Maoist) pro-holocaust groups whose original goal was violent Communist revolution but now is corrupt scam and profit.

It is abundantly clear that the CBD has zero ecological goals. That myth is a cruel joke, but nobody is laughing.

The Arizona Daily Sun ran this guest column Wednesday by Jim Wheeler, Deputy Fire Chief and Fire Marshal of the Flagstaff Fire Department:

Coconino Voices: Use collaboration, not obstructionism,on forest thinning

by Jim Wheeler, Guest Column, Arizona Daily Sun, July 21, 2010 [here]

I take issue with the recent op-ed piece by the Center for Biological Diversity (”Schultz fire: Setting the record straight,” July 11) that seeks to divert personal responsibility for wildfire damage because of “the market” and “untested practices.” As a founding member of the Greater Flagstaff Forests Partnership, I can attest that this smokescreen could not be further from reality.

The federal government does not have the money to thin forests to the level necessary to protect communities and forests and taxpayers do not have to bear the burden to fund projects. Thinning is done by contractors, who either get paid by tax dollars or make a small amount of money on the wood they remove. When controversy arises, contractors go elsewhere.

Appeals by the Center for Biological Diversity that attempt to force arbitrary diameter limits on thinning projects affects the market.” Contractors cannot make money here in Flagstaff when arbitrary diameter limits are placed on projects because the small-diameter utilization industry is not here at this time. While we are all working to bring sufficient industry to our area, we cannot wait to thin the forests. We must work with what we have now! Waiting invites disaster — just like the recent Schultz Fire.

The market is also affected by the fact that an appeal has been filed. Why would any contractor pursue a project that is engrossed in an appeal? The fact than an appeal is in place affects the viability of any project, which in turn tells contractors that there is no guarantee of a supply; thus again affecting “the market.”

The CBD affected the market of the Jack Smith/Schultz Project and then attempts to hide behind “the market” in order to deflect accountability. The Center for Biological Diversity is an outside gunslinger from Tucson negatively affecting the local Flagstaff condition. Just take a look at the east side of the Peaks to see the results of their actions.

On the subject of “untried practices,” the public should know that the Jack Smith/ Schultz project was the last of 10 or so projects fostered by the Greater Flagstaff Forests Partnership (GFFP).

GFFP is one of the most highly successful collaborative ecological restoration and wildfire reduction initiatives in the United States. Having the CBD contend in their appeal that the Forest Service is using “untried practices” flies in the face of the broad collaborative of the GFFP Partners that have worked so hard with the Forest Service since 1997 to thin from Freidlein Prairie Road northwest of town, Woody Mountain, Kachina Village, Mountainaire and East Flagstaff, using the same or similar thinning treatments that were proposed on Schultz Pass.

How sad that other local conservation groups such as the Grand Canyon Trust and the Nature Conservancy, who have collaborated on this initiative, have now been trumped by those who prefer to obstruct rather than collaborate.

Our local practices have used the best available science from the NAU Ecological Restoration Institute and the collective efforts of other professionals and conservation groups who were willing to collaborate instead of obstruct local fire risk reduction efforts. Adaptive management has also “tweaked” projects to improve them based on past projects.

Our “practices” are some of the leading practices of restoration and wildfire reduction in the nation and we have been using them since 1997. To say they are “untried” is ludicrous and untrue. Forest treatments work to allow firefighters to be effective and to protect values such as homes and the surrounding forest itself.

How sad that the GFFP’s efforts have now been usurped by a catastrophic wildfire that will continue to wreak havoc on our community and landscape for years to come. Arguments over thinning around communities must stop! No one is going to cut old-growth trees. No one is going to clearcut anything. Wildfire reduction and forest restoration efforts go hand-in-hand in maintaining and improving the ecosystem and our collective quality of life. Obstructionism does the exact opposite.

23 Jul 2010, 10:43am
by Bob Zybach

Good for Jim Wheeler. He has this exactly right. It is good to see the greedy “obstructionists” of the environmental industry called to task and be held responsible for their actions.

It is about time — these actions and their results should have been obvious ten and 20 years ago. Why these problems have been allowed to fester and escalate is a curiosity perhaps best addressed by political theorists and sociologists.

It is past time that Congress do something about this problem. It is one they created, and one probably only they can resolve. We are in desperate need of new leadership in Washington, DC, and in particular, leadership with common sense and rudimentary knowledge of forest biology and rural economics.

23 Jul 2010, 11:07am
by Larry H.

We’ve already seen the slant of the Obama Forest Service. They have chosen to follow junk science that says there are no catastrophic wildfires, there is no forest health emergency and that dead forests don’t burn. They say they can handle any real problems that might come up in the future. They also ignore modern man as a part of the forests, eliminating any concern about accidental ignitions in an overstocked and unhealthy forest. Yes, there are some realities where they choose not to go. There can be no forest emergency until the casualties number in the triple digits. Only then will Congress act.

27 Jul 2010, 6:01pm
by Martha G.

I think the CBD should be held accountable for all the damage done by flood waters because if the forest had been thinned, neither the fire nor the flood would have been as bad as they were.



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