2 Sep 2010, 3:38pm
Federal forest policy
by admin

Comments Requested on Draft Cohesive Strategy

The newly reconstituted Wildland Fire Leadership Council (WFLC) has embarked on a “Cohesive Strategy” planning process [here, here, here, here, here].

The “Cohesive Strategy” was mandated by the Federal Land Assistance, Management and Enhancement or FLAME Act [here, here, here].

A draft report entitled National Wildfire Management Report to Congress and Cohesive Strategy Draft has been issued [here, 3.2 MB]

The timeline for this report is extremely tight since it is due to Congress by November. As a result, public involvement opportunities have been limited, which means many in the natural resource and wildfire communities may have not had a chance to provide comments. In haste, the WFLC is missing opportunities to hear from people with years of experience in natural resource management and fire use and protection.

The future of the report is uncertain since Congress has more than enough issues to consider. However, it would be a mistake for as many knowledgeable and experienced people as possible not to go on record with their thoughts. If the report surfaces and Congress decides to follow some or all of its recommendations the impact on federal agencies, state, local fire and natural resource as well as governments and land owners in general could be significant. For this reason it important for the fire and natural resource community to provide WFLC with good counsel.

W.I.S.E will gather your comments as best it can with this short response period and craft a response which we will post.

If you are able to provide input and would like to share it, you can do that by making it into a comment and placing it at the bottom of this post.

Thank you,

Mike Dubrasich, Exec Dir W.I.S.E.

4 Sep 2010, 7:50am
by Larry H.

I read bits and pieces of the report and have a few suggestions that might be pretty obvious.

1) There is NO reason to keep meetings closed. We need full transparency and access to the process.

2) If they are going to allow eco-groups to participate, they have to open it up to more representation from other points of view.

3) Making National policies on wildfires cannot hope to satisfy local conditions and situations. Flexibility and responsiveness are keys to making treatments and activities the best fit for the land.

4) Use only established and non-anonymous peer reviewed studies in decisions. Studies MUST address the fact that humans have always lived in our forests.

5) All plans MUST follow formal NEPA laws. This not-so-simple process includes essential features that the public deserves to know and comment about.

4 Sep 2010, 9:54am
by scott amos

Having secret closed door meetings is a bad idea. Especially when it favors one group’s input over another. It promotes bias, close-minded-ness and spurs mistrust and suspicion amongst those who were purposely left out of the process. The group which is feeling left out right now is a small, unimportant group the USFS refers to as “the American people/taxpayer.”

National policies towards fire management do not work. What is good for West Virginia doesn’t always work in Washington State or Utah and Arizona.

More public involvement, transparency should be considered. And more emphasis should be put on public comment instead of bad science. I grew up at the gateway of the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness. The good intentions of overeducated scientists and bureaucrats have laid 80% of said wilderness in ruin, ashes, out-of-control-insect/disease infestations. Thousands of endangered species have died in out of control wildfire, needlessly. The fires have destroyed critical endangered species habitat and only the highly flammable sub-species of vegetation have come back, which will make future fires more frequent and more out of control.



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