21 Mar 2012, 3:40pm
Federal forest policy
by admin

A Voice for Local Government in Our National Forests

Note: the following testimony is the personal statement of Marcia Armstrong. Her personal website is [here]. Mrs. Armstrong is a Supervisor of Siskiyou County, CA, and very ably represents her constituency, but the full County Board of Supervisors statement that was submitted to Congress on this matter is somewhat different and may be found [here]. Mrs. Armstrong has also served as Executive Director of the Siskiyou County Farm Bureau and Siskiyou County Cattlemen’s Assoc. Mrs. Armstrong’s testimony may be downloaded in pdf format by clicking [here].- Admin (Mike Dubrasich, Exec. Dir, W.I.S.E.)

Testimony of Marcia H. Armstrong, Supervisor District 5, Siskiyou County, CA

To the House Natural Resources Committee, Sub-committee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands
United States House of Representatives
1324 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
March 20, 2012

Re: Additional comments for recent oversight field hearing on “Explosion of Federal Regulations Threatening Jobs and Economic Survival in the West” held in Elko, NV

To Whom It May Concern:

Siskiyou County representatives were unable to attend the recent Subcommittee Field Hearing held in Elko, NV that was focused on the “Explosion of Federal Regulations Threatening Jobs and Economic Survival in the West.” It is our understanding that comments submitted prior to March 22, 2012, will be accepted as part of the Field Hearing record. Thus, please accept this paper as part of that official record.

My following statements will describe:

(1) In detail, how our local economy and public health and safety has declined precipitously since the advent of the Northwest Forest Plan, the listing of various endangered species, and implementation of other environmental and land/water management regulations;

(2) The scope of environmental and land management regulations that affects access to and the continued productive use of local natural resources for the economic benefit, health, safety and enjoyment of local communities;

(3) Certain specific international credos, policies, platforms and programs that have unduly influenced various Administrations, the scientific community, Federal agencies, and influential environmental groups;

(4) How those international agendas have been specifically implemented in Siskiyou County;

(5) An Appendix showing timber harvest trends for the past two decades on several of our local National Forests.

Siskiyou County joins with other western counties in asking for your assistance in: (a) restoring balance to the management of our National Forests; (b) recognizing the direct relationship between active forest management and multiple use and the economic health, cultural vitality and prospects of our local communities and Counties; (c) mandating a real and substantive voice for local government to communicate local needs and provide input on the management of our Federal lands; (d) recognizing the value of retaining our surviving timber infrastructure and the need for a stable supply of material for our wood products industries;(e) stepping up the pace and scale of wildland fuel reduction in the name of public safety (HR 1485 Herger Catastrophic Wildfire Community Protection Act [here]) - providing and supporting new opportunities for biomass utilization; and (f) passing reforms to the Equal Access to Justice Act so that a handful of special interests from outside our area cannot hold the active management of our National Forests hostage for profit.


Background on Siskiyou County and its Economy

Sixty-three % (63%) of the land base in Siskiyou County is in Federal (or state) ownership. There are portions of the Klamath National Forest; Shasta-Trinity National Forest; Six Rivers National Forest; Modoc National Forest; and Rogue Siskiyou National Forest in Siskiyou County. The Klamath National Forest’s 1.7 million acres alone comprises 42% of Siskiyou County’s land base. The KNF has 381,100 acres allocated to wilderness, 396,600 acres allocated to late-successional reserves for the northern spotted owl and old growth species and another 458,000 acres allocated to riparian reserves for species such as salmon. 161,500-acres are designated an Adaptive Management Area. The remaining 300,000 acres (approx. 17.6% of KNF lands) are “matrix lands” or general forest where timber harvest may be conducted, (although not all matrix lands are even technically suitable for timber production.)

(Ref: Charnley, Dillingham, Stuart, Moseley, and Donoghue (2008) Northwest Forest Plan—The First 10 Years (1994–2003): Socioeconomic Monitoring of the Klamath National Forest and Three Local Communities Northwest Forest Plan. General Technical Report PNW-GTR-764, August 2008 [here])

The county also includes the Tule Lake and Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuges, as well as the Lava Beds National Monument. There are various BLM lands administered by the Redding, Medford, Ashland and Susanville BLM offices. There are lands held in tribal trust for the Karuk and Quartz Valley Indian tribes.

The entire land base of Siskiyou County is 4,038,843 acres or 6,287 square miles. Of this, 1,153,246 acres is in farmland, however only 138,000 acres of these are irrigated. 2,525,216 acres is considered rangeland/woodland/ forest. Our population of 44,301 classifies the county as “frontier.” There are nine small incorporated cities that date back to the California Gold Rush.

All communities in Siskiyou County are listed on the August 17, 2001, Federal Register (Notices) as “Urban Wildland Interface Communities Within the Vicinity of Federal Lands That Are at High Risk From Wildfire.” Approximately 3.2 million acres in the county are in a high, very high or extreme fire hazard severity zone. There have been 564 fires in the county since 2005 that burned 330,000 acres and caused in excess of $3.6 million in property damages. The fifth largest fire in California since 1932 occurred in Siskiyou County in 2008. The Klamath Theater Complex fire, which started by lightning, burned 192,038 acres and caused two fatalities. Since the year 2000, the county has seen an average of 95 wildfires a year with an average of 55,000 acres burned each year. The value of buildings and contents exposed to damage by wildfire are $1,855,175,933 in moderate fire areas; $964,520,981 in high risk fire areas; and $1,346,823,331 in very high risk fire areas. In total, 671 critical public structures are located in areas at risk of wildfire.

The economy of Siskiyou County is based on small business. In 2008, there were 6,857 non-farm proprietors in Siskiyou County. According to 2007 data, 61% of non-farming establishments in Siskiyou County had less than 4 employees; 82% had less than 10 employees and 93% had less than 20. The Small Business Association has documented that the cost of regulations hit small businesses disproportionately hard.

In the year 2000, the average unemployment rate for the year was 7.5%. By 2008, it had risen to 10.2%, rising again to 15.8% in 2009. In January of 2012, the unemployment rate was 18.6%, ranking Siskiyou 53rd out of 56 counties in the state. There are many forest-dependent communities in our county where local unemployment is estimated from 30-40%. The average wage per job in 2008 was $32,707. That was only 63% of the state average. The median household income was $36,823 –- or 60% of the state median. Non-household median income is currently $27,718 — a ranking of 47th in the state. The AP Economic Stress Index ranks Siskiyou County as the 14th most economically stressed county in the United States.

Agriculture is a major economic sector of the county. Our 2010 Siskiyou County Annual Crop and Livestock Report indicates that the agricultural valuation in the county was $195,711,956 (gross and excluding timber.) According to the USDA Ag Census, in 1992 Siskiyou County had 647,446 acres in farms. By 2007, this had been reduced to 597,534 acres. In 2000, there were 895 farm proprietors in Siskiyou County. This declined to only 730 in 2008. The county lost 81 livestock ranches from 1992 to 2007, with an accompanying loss of 20,882 fewer cattle and calves in inventory. According to the CA D.O.T. Siskiyou County Economic Forecast, since 1995, Siskiyou County’s agriculture industries have experienced substantial job loss of about 586 jobs, declining almost 45%.

During the past 20 years, there has also been a restructuring of size and sales in agricultural operations. Since 1992 to 2007, there has been an increase in the number of small farms: farms under 10 acres doubled to 80. Farms under 50 acres increased 59% to 229. Farms 50-179 acres increased 27% to 228. Farms from 180-449 acres remained about the same at 79. However, there was a 19% reduction in farms 1000 acres or more to 100 farms in 2007. One aspect of this is land conversion from private to Federal lands. Since 1999, 8,625.71 acres valued at $3,922,179 have been converted to Federal land. Another 11,236 acres of ranch land in the Shasta Valley is currently proposed for conversion to a new wildlife refuge. In addition, the proposed Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement seeks to convert 44,479 acres of farmland in the Upper Klamath Basin to wetlands, (some of which may be in Siskiyou County.) It also proposes to secure 21,800 acres of farmland by acquisition or conservation easements in the Scott and Shasta Valleys of Siskiyou County.]

At the same time, farms having less than $2,500 in sales increased 105% to 359. Farms selling $2,500-9,999 stayed about the same at 151. Farms selling $10-$24,999 decreased 10% to 95. Farms selling $25,000-$49,999 decreased about 18% to 60. Farms selling $50,000 to $99,999 decreased 45% to 44 and farms with sales in excess of $100,000 increased by 28% to 137.

Siskiyou County accounts for 15% of the timber harvested in California. At one time, it was the second largest timber production area in the state. However, our forest industries have been devastated by Federal and State regulations. For instance, the forestry section of Siskiyou County’s 1972 Conservation Element of the General Plan indicated that there were 17 sawmills in the county (employing 2,055 people or 24% of the employment base) and 8 wood processing facilities (employing 294 people or 3% of the employment base). There were 46 logging contractors and support establishments employing 501 people or 5% of the employment base. By 2007, all 17 sawmills were gone. The census indicates that there were a total of 6 wood products manufacturing establishments (including veneer mills) employing 380 people (one mill has subsequently closed in Butte Valley). There were 38 Logging, Forestry and Support Establishments employing 157 employees.

There is no doubt that the restrictions on timber harvest from public lands under the Northwest Forest Plan have played a significant role in this decline. In 1978, 239 MMBF of timber was harvested from the Klamath National Forest (KNF), 274 MMBF from the Shasta Trinity National Forest (STNF) and 73 MMBF from the Six Rivers National Forest (SRNF.) In 2008, 20 MMBF was harvested from the KNF, 22 MMBF from the STNF and 8 MMBF from the SRNF (see Appendix A).

The Klamath National Forest alone went from having 636 employees in 1993 to 441 in 2003, a loss of 31%. This job loss was related to a decline in the forest budget of 18% between 1993 and 2002 and had a strong impact on local employment opportunities. Declining budgets and staffing caused some of the KNF’s Ranger District offices to close or consolidate in the 1990s. Between 1990 and 2002, the KNF spent a total of $44.5 million procuring land management services. Most of this spending (64%) took place between 1990 and 1993. After 1993, contract spending on the KNF dropped off sharply. Between 1990–1992 and 2000–2002, contract spending declined 78%.

(Ref: Charnley, Dillingham, Stuart, Moseley, and Donoghue (2008) Northwest Forest Plan—The First 10 Years (1994–2003): Socioeconomic Monitoring of the Klamath National Forest and Three Local Communities Northwest Forest Plan. General Technical Report PNW-GTR-764, August 2008 [here])


Regulatory Environment in Siskiyou County

Siskiyou County has suffered through more than its share of environmental regulations and has experienced long-standing regulatory fatigue.

* Several local species have been listed under the state and Federal endangered species acts: bald eagle; great gray owl; Lost River and shortnose sucker fish; northern spotted owl and associated old growth species, including those under “survey and manage”; northern CA coastal coho salmon; vernal pool fairy shrimp; Shasta crayfish; delta smelt; California red-legged frog; western yellow-billed cuckoo; western pond turtle; Siskiyou salamander; Scott Bar salamander; California wolverine; Swainson’s hawk; peregrine falcon; greater sandhill crane; Sacramento splittail fish; bank swallow; marbled murrelet; northern goshawk and Oregon spotted frog (candidates.) We have also experienced endangered species reviews of the green sturgeon; Pacific lamprey; Pacific fisher; steelhead trout; McCloud redband trout; and spring, fall, and winter run chinook salmon (currently under additional review in the Klamath River System and proposed for re-introduction in the Sacramento River system in Siskiyou County.) Consultations and opinions are a regular factor in the delay of processing timber sales, water quality and other permits. Endangered Species provide rich fodder for outside of the area environmental litigation, particularly on National Forest projects.

* Forest Litigation by out-of-county Environmental Groups mostly on the Klamath National Forest projects:

1998 Upper South Fork Timber Sale — Klamath Forest Alliance (KFA) Appeal [here]
1998 Little Horse Peak Research Timber Sale — KFA Appeal [here]
1998 Jack Timber Sale — KFA, Klamath Siskiyou Wildland Center (KSWILD), Wilderness Coalition, ONRC Lawsuit [here]
1999 Bald Elk/Hard Rock Timber Sale — KFA Appeal [here]
1999 Happy Thinning Sale — KFA Lawsuit [here]
1999 Little Deer/Davis Cabin YG Timber Sale — Forest Guardians (FG) Appeal [here]
1999 Bogus Thin Chip Timber Sale — FG Appeal [here]
1999 Kelly Pass YG Timber Sale — FG Appeal [here]
1999 Twice Helicopter Timber Sale — KFA Appeal [here]
2000 Salmon River Flood Road Damage Project — KFA Appeal [here]
2001 East Fire Salvage Project — KSWILD Lawsuit [here]
2001 Jones CT Timber Sale — National Forest Protection Alliance Appeal [here]
2002 Knob Timber Sale — KFA, KSWILD, Environmental Protection Center (EPIC) Lawsuit [here] [here] [here]
2003 Beaver Creek — KSWILD EPIC KFA Lawsuit [here]
2003 Little Grider Fuelbreak — EPIC Appeal [here]
2003 Five Points Timber Sale — KSWILD Appeal [here]
2004 Westpoint Westpoint Vegetation Treatment Project — KSWILD EPIC Lawsuit [here]
2005 Meteor Timber Sale — KSWILD, EPIC, American Lands Alliance, Cascadia Wildlands Project Lawsuit [here] [here]
2005 Pomeroy Timber Sale — KSWILD Appeal [here]
2005 Elk Thin Timber Sale — KSWILD Appeal [here]
2006 Tamarack Timber Sale - KSWILD, Calif. For Alternatives To Toxics Appeal [here]
2007 Tennant WUI Hazardous Fuel Reduction - KSWILD Appeal [here]
2007 Happy Camp Fire Protection Phase 2 (HFRA) - KSWILD Objection [here]
2007-08 Pilgrim Vegetation Management Project (Shasta Trinity NF) - KFA, Conservation Congress lawsuit [here]
2008 First Creek Forest Health Project - American Forest Resource Council Appeal [here]
2010-2011 Elk Creek/Panther Salvage — KSWILD, EPIC, KFA, Center for Biological Diversity lawsuit [here]

* Use of the Federal forest lands of the county, particularly for timber harvest, has been severely reduced by the Northwest Forest Plan and Aquatic Conservation Strategy. The current critical habitat designation for the northern spotted owl is anticipated to sequester more land from harvest (see previous section on economy and Appendix A).

* In 2001, The Biological Opinions for sucker fish and salmon, shut down the headgates for water delivery to Federal Klamath Water Project farms. This caused mass economic hardship with farmers losing their farms and migrant farm workers becoming stranded without work. Protests were held at the headgates and a civil disobedience event called the “Bucket Brigade” drew 20,000 people.

* With the concurrent Federal and state listing of the SONCC coho salmon, an attempt was made to create a programmatic incidental take permit (ITP) and watershed-wide streambed alteration permit. This was challenged by environmentalists and the permit defeated in court as not being restrictive enough. With some of the oldest water rights in the state dating back to the 1850-70s allocated by long-standing adjudications, permitting requirements and imposed conditions are being used in an attempt to redirect private water to instream flows for fish. Currently, two lawsuits are underway regarding permitting for irrigation diversion and the regulation of groundwater use under public trust for fish. Just this week, an environmental group filed a notice of intent to sue a municipal water district to remove an earthen dam under the claim that it “takes coho salmon.”

* Recently, a Federal agent from NOAA accompanied by a state fish and game warden in full armed flack jacket regalia visited a local rancher on a complaint by an environmentalist that they had dewatered a stream through irrigation, therefore “taking” listed coho. The rancher was told they were looking into whether to prosecute the rancher civilly or criminally. For the past several years, many public hearings on fish and water issues now take place with armed game wardens present.

* In 1996, the “17 rivers” lawsuit against the U.S. EPA and the SWRCB (CA State Water Resources Control Board) brought water quality regulation to the county’s major northern water-bodies (Klamath, Scott, Shasta, Salmon Rivers.) The lawsuit directed the establishment of Total Maximum Daily Loads for sediment, temperature, dissolved oxygen and nutrients. Considerable (expensive) efforts must be made to reduce sediment sources from roads. Tailwater recapture and recycling systems are being installed and one irrigation district has been given a mandate of donating a portion of its adjudicated water right to instream flows for fish. New requirements throughout the Klamath River system will require permits for irrigated agriculture.

* Siskiyou County was also among the counties impacted by the state legislature’s moratorium on suction dredge mining for gold –- an important historic industry to the area. Gold miners are unable to exercise their Federal mining rights.

* Local agricultural operations have been affected by the California Wildlife Protection Act of 1990. This protected mountain lions, which are a livestock and wild game predator. Local deer herds have been decimated by predation, depressing a once robust tourism opportunity for hunters. Depredation permits are issued annually and sheep operations have been particularly affected. Siskiyou County is the first county in California to see a gray wolf stray into its environs –- another dangerous predator. Environmentalists have already petitioned the state for protection of the species.

* In 1996, the Federal government initiated plans to acquire additional lands. In 1998, the National Forests commenced road decommissioning and implemented buffers of non-use around wilderness areas. In 1999, the Presidential “roadless policy” was implemented to declare additional areas off limits. This impacted the Klamath National Forest which had scheduled an Annual Planned Offer from Inventoried Roadless Areas of 1.49 MMBF, which was 4% of Average Volume Offered, 1996-1998. The Shasta Trinity National Forest had an Annual Planned Offer from Inventoried Roadless Areas of 3.68 MMBF, or 6% of Average Volume Offered, 1996-1998. Last year, local USFS began another round of road recognition, leading up to abandonment and decommissioning of additional roads. In 2003, a road that had been closed had to be re-opened for wildfire fighting. Its condition contributed to the death of eight firefighters when the engine rolled.

* “Rangeland Reform” restricted traditional use of public land grazing allotments for century-and-a-half-old local ranches. In addition, the State Board of Forestry has further restricted the management and use of private timber lands. Integrated Pest Management has affected lease lands on Federal refuges. Five-hundred-foot pesticide use restrictions will soon affect riparian farmlands on salmon streams.

* There are more than 152 miles of wild and scenic rivers in the County.

* Large areas of northern Siskiyou County have been under discussion for designation as National Monuments. In 2000, President Clinton declared the Cascade Siskiyou National Monument over the border in Oregon. This was originally proposed to include a portion of northern Siskiyou County, but was locally opposed. Documents appear to indicate that the Obama Administration is again considering expanding the Oregon Monument into Siskiyou. Also, a second 200,000 acre National Monument appears to have also been put forth for consideration, known as the “Siskiyou Crest.” This is widely opposed by local residents. Periodically, expansion of our already substantial Wilderness Areas in Siskiyou County has been proposed. For instance, in 2007, the proposed California Wild Heritage Act, S. 493, proposed the addition of 64,160 acres to the more than a quarter of a million acre Marble Mountain Wilderness; 19,360 acres to the 12,000 acre Russian Wilderness; and 51,600 acres to the 19,940 Red Butte Wilderness in Siskiyou County. This would have brought Wilderness right to the edge of Wildland Urban Interface areas. Portions of the 525,000 acre Trinity Alps Wilderness and the 182,802 acre Siskiyou Wilderness also fall into Siskiyou County. Also, the Castle Crags Wilderness and Mt. Shasta.

* Siskiyou County is the home of three of the four hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River that a bi-state group of several parties, including Federal agencies, wants removed. Siskiyou County does not want the dams removed. There has already been some litigation on this and it is likely that there will be more. Despite: 1) several local water adjudications with continuing jurisdiction by the Superior Court; 2) the Klamath River Basin Compact between the States of Oregon and California, ratified on April 17, 1957 which delegates in-county, non Federal project jurisdiction over surface water to the Siskiyou County Water Conservation District; and 3) state law which leaves jurisdiction over groundwater use to the county; the proposed Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement (KBRA) establishes a new chartered regional governance structure called the Klamath Basin Coordinating Council (KBCC). The Council will implement the KBRA resource, water management and fisheries restoration plan in contravention of County and District jurisdiction. The KBCC will include Federal and state agencies, tribal representatives, two counties (not Siskiyou,) certain Klamath Project water districts, environmental and commercial fishing groups.

* The Bureau of Reclamation has included the Klamath River system in its WaterSMART (Sustain and Manage America’s Resources for Tomorrow) program [here]. A study will look at the impacts of climate change on water resources and develop potential adaptation strategies. The program will create another multi-party regional group to manage water. Although a letter has been sent to the Bureau of Reclamation asking for coordination with the Siskiyou Flood Control and Water Conservation District and Siskiyou County, it has been ignored.


Sustainable Development, Ecosystem Management, Biodiversity and Re-wilding

“The American system of policymaking has a clear set of principles governing the relations between various actors in the process. Congress, acting on the preferences of the voters who elected it, makes laws that establish the objectives for programs. Administrative agencies, with congressional grants of authority and appropriations of funds, implement the objectives established by Congress. In pursuing their statutory mandates, agencies are expected to marshal expertise, from both within and outside the agency. The role of the courts is to ensure that agencies do not deviate from their statutory mandates.” Congress and the Administrative State by Lawrence C. Dodd, Richard L. Schott, 1979

This section uncovers the reasons for the confusion felt by Counties when comparing the statutes with current Forest Service management direction. It explains where we seem to have gone off track and why our National Forests no longer contribute much to the social and economic well-being of local communities and rural Counties. It explains why our National Forests experience huge, severe fires that threaten forest communities and leave our summers choked with smoke. For some reason, we no longer appear to be governing or managing for the people and human communities. It is like people are now a parasite to be protected against.

It is why the proposed Planning Rule stated:

The requirements for ecological sustainability would require responsible officials to provide plan components to maintain or restore elements of ecological sustainability. The requirements for social sustainability would require plan components to guide the unit’s contribution to social and economic sustainability. sets of requirements recognizes the Agency has more influence over the factors that impact ecological sustainability on NFS lands (ecological diversity, forest health, road system management, etc.) than it does for social and economic sustainability (employment, income, community wellbeing, culture, etc.). National Forest System lands can provide valuable contributions to economic and social sustainability, but that contribution is just one in a broad array of factors that influence the sustainability of social and economic systems.

Congress authorized presidents of the United States to reserve certain forest lands from the public domain by what is now called the Forest Reserve Act of 1891, and provided for management of these forest reserves by the Organic Act of 1897

…to improve and protect the forests… securing favorable conditions of water flows, and furnish a continuous supply of timber for the use and necessities of United States citizens.” In a later court decision, the court ruled that the Secretary of Agriculture may also consider the economic well-being of the citizens of a state wherein timber is located in administering national forest lands “for the use and necessities of citizens of the United States.

As the National Forest System evolved to its current size of almost 193 million acres, the US Forest Service managed these lands to provide an increasingly wider range of multiple uses and benefits in terms of commodity and amenity resources for the American people. Later, the Multiple Use-Sustained Yield Act of 1960 (MUSYA) provided that the plans for forest management “…shall provide for multiple use and sustained yield of goods and services from the National Forest System” [36 C.F.R. § 200.1(c)(2) (1997). Section 219.1] and that administration of the Forests should be “…for outdoor recreation, range, timber, watershed, and wildlife and fish purposes…” Multiple-use was defined as “management of all the various renewable surface resources of the National Forest System so that they are utilized in the combination that will best meet the needs of the American people.” Sustained yield was defined as the “achievement and maintenance in perpetuity of a high-level annual or regular periodic output of the various renewable resources of the National Forest System without impairment of the productivity of the land.” [36 C.F.R. § 219.3 (1997)]

In 1970, the Bolle Report criticized the Forest Service’s emphasis on timber production and its reliance on clearcutting, and a court decision against the Forest Service in the Monongahela National Forest clearcutting case lead to the subsequent passage of the National Forest Management Act (NFMA). A fatal flaw in the 1976 NMFA opened the door to management according to an international platform never intended by Congress. NFMA requires that forest planning “provide for diversity of plant and animal communities based on the suitability and capability of the specific land area in order to meet overall multiple-use objectives” [16 U.S.C. sec. 1604(g)(3)(B)]. Congress ordered the Forest Service to set a goal of diversity in developing its forest plans, but it did not define the meaning of diversity.

In 1982 National Forest System Land and Resource Management Planning Regulations [here] for developing forest plans transformed this general guideline into a stringent requirement: Sec. 219.19 Fish and wildlife resource “Fish and wildlife habitat shall be managed to maintain viable populations of existing native and desired non-native vertebrate species in the planning area. For planning purposes, a viable population shall be regarded as one which has the estimated numbers and distribution of reproductive individuals to insure its continued existence is well distributed in the planning area. In order to insure that viable populations will be maintained, habitat must be provided to support, at least, a minimum number of reproductive individuals and that habitat must be well distributed so that those individuals can interact with others in the planning area. fish and wildlife habitat shall be managed to maintain viable populations of existing native and desired non-native vertebrate species in the planning area.” Sec. 219.26 Diversity. “Forest planning shall provide for diversity of plant and animal communities and tree species consistent with the overall multiple-use objectives of the planning area. Such diversity shall be considered throughout the planning process.”

That regulation directs that effects of alternative management plans be measured by “management indicator species” (both vertebrate and invertebrate species) because their population changes are believed to indicate the effects of management activities. The second management directive included a requirement that “management prescriptions… shall preserve and enhance the diversity of plant and animal species, so that it is at least as great as that which would be expected in a natural forest.”

This regulation would eventually lead to a fundamental transformation of forest policy when Judge Dwyer ordered the Forest Service to develop “revised standards and guidelines to ensure the northern spotted owl’s viability” by March 1992. Then Dwyer proceeded to reject the Forest Service’s attempt to adopt the Interagency Scientific Committee to Address Conservation of the Spotted Owl report of 1990, requiring the agency to address viability issues related to other species in addition to the spotted owl, which led to the creation of the Forest Ecosystem Management Assessment Team (FEMAT). In developing a response, the Forest Service relied on the new science of conservation biology, which had helped to formulate an international agenda. Although the act was explicitly designed as a multiple-use statute, the implementation of its viability regulations forced the agency to subordinate timber production and other economic outputs to the preservation of ecosystems.

Ref: Science, Politics, and U.S. Forest Law: The Battle over the Forest Service Planning Rule. George Hoberg, June 2003, Discussion Paper 03–19 [here]


US Involvement in an International Platform

See: History of Dialogue Related to U.S. Government Commitment to Sustainable Forest / Resource Management — Updated October 2002 by Ruth McWilliams of the USDA-Forest Service [here])

1968 — UNESCO held a Biosphere Conference on “ecosystems” and ecological planning. Recommendations were to establish natural areas for the preservation of species.

1970 — the Man and the Biosphere (MAB) program established a statutory framework for a world network of biosphere reserves. The reserves were to contain three elements: one or more core areas securely protected for conserving biological diversity; a clearly defined surrounding buffer zone used for compatible sound ecological practices; and an transition area that might contain agriculture activities or settlements where resources are managed collaboratively on a sustainable basis. This pattern was later to be followed by the USFS in the designation of Late Successional and Riparian Reserves, Adaptive Management Areas and Matrix Lands.

1980 — the World Conservation Strategy - Living Resource Conservation for Sustainable Development [here] was formulated as an international framework for the preservation of species and sustainable development by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) in cooperation with the U.N. Environmental Program (UNEP) and World Wildlife Fund (WWF), FAO and UNESCO.

1983 — UNESCO and UNEP jointly convened the First International Biosphere Reserve Congress in Minsk, in cooperation with FAO and IUCN. The Congress’s activities gave rise in 1984 to an Action Plan for Biosphere Reserves which was formally endorsed by the UNESCO General Conference.

1987-88 — The Brudtland Commission Report, or Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development: Our Common Future [here] popularized term “sustainable development.” It defined sustainable development as “…development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

Note how this is reflected in the current stated USFS mission: “The mission of the USDA Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations.” That is not the mission as stated by the Organic Act or MUSYA.

1990 — Congress directed the Forest Service under The Global Climate Change Prevention Act to establish an Office of International Forestry under a new and separate Deputy Chief in the Forest Service to assume a greater role in international environmental affairs.

International Forestry, a new “leg” of the Forest Service (along with the National Forest System, Research, and SaPF), was established in 1991 to coordinate and cooperate with other countries on matters dealing with forestry and the environment. Although previous programs had worked closely with other countries to provide expertise and experience in these matters, the International Forestry program area has given higher priority to engaging in dialogue and cooperation with other countries to solve global resource problems. The 1992 signing of the Forest Principles and Agenda 21 at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED)—the “Earth Summit”—was coordinated by this new branch of the agency. [here]

1990 — The USFS shifted emphasis from “sustained yield to sustaining ecosystems” including “biological diversity and ecological function” or “ecosystems” as exemplified in a paper by USFS research scientists entitled “New Perspectives for Sustainable Resource Management” (by Kessler, Salwasser, Cartwright and Caplan (1992) Ecological Applications, Volume: 2, Issue: 3) also known as “New Forestry” or “ecosystem management.”

1991 — “Caring For The Earth: A Strategy for Sustainable Living” [here] was published by the IUCN-The World Conservation Union, UNEP-United Nations Environment Programme, and WWF-World Wide Fund For Nature. Items included: 4.1. Adopt a precautionary approach to pollution; 4.3. Reduce greenhouse gas emissions; 4.5. Adopt an integrated approach to land and water management, using the drainage basin as the unit of management; 4.6. Maintain as much as possible of each country’s natural and modified ecosystems; 4.8 protect large areas of old-growth forest; 4.9. Complete and maintain a comprehensive system of protected areas.

1991-1992 — A series writings from USDA Forest Service employees described changes happening at the USFS. “Research in a New Role” by Winifred B. Kessler, Asst. Director for Research and Development, New Perspectives Staff, USDA Forest Service, states:

The research goal for New Perspectives is to enhance the scientific basis for managing the national forests and grasslands in an ecologically sound and socially acceptable manner… New Perspectives presents new research and management challenges that must be addressed from a whole-system perspective. The new challenge is to sustain the integrity of landscapes and ecosystems with their diverse values, rather than simply sustaining a flow of use outputs… Increasingly, scientists must take a landscape-level approach in the study of ecosystems and natural resource interactions. The time has never been better, as new developments in remote sensing and geographic information systems provide unprecedented capability for landscape-level research. [here]

In addition in 1992, Dave Iverson talks about “ecosystem management” and “overcoming organizational sickness” in “Building Quality into National Forest Management” [here].

1992 -

The Forest Service participated in a January 1992 conference called “Defining Sustainable Forestry.” This conference was attended by “[e]cologists, foresters, economists, and sociologists.” The purpose of the conference was to develop the idea of ecosystem management. The participants’ ideas were reduced to chapters in a book entitled Defining Sustainable Forestry which was updated and published in 1993. In a chapter written by Forest Service officials, the Forest Service outlined “four principles to guide the evolution of ecosystem management”:
1. Protect land health by restoring or sustaining the integrity of soils, air, waters, biological diversity, and ecological processes, thereby sustaining what Aldo Leopold (1949) called the land community and what we now call ecosystems.
2. Within the sustainable capability of the land, meet the needs of people who depend on natural resources for food, fuel, shelter, livelihood, and inspirational experiences.
3. Contribute to the social and economic well-being of communities, regions, and the nation through cost effective and environmentally sensitive production and conservation of natural resources such as wood, water, minerals, energy, forage for domestic animals, and recreation opportunities, again within sustainable capability of the land.
4. Seek balance and harmony between people, land, and resources with equity between interests, across regions, and through generations, meeting this generation’s resource needs while maintaining options for future generations also to meet their needs.

(from The U.S. Commitment to Agenda 21: Chapter 11 Combating Deforestation - The Ecosystem Management Approach Susan Bucknum. [here])

1992 -

The first objective of a strategy for conserving biodiversity must be the development of national and international policy frameworks that foster the sustainable use of biological resources and the maintenance of biodiversity… Additionally, national networks of protected areas must be strengthened and expanded to cover all key biomes and ecosystems, and the management objectives of protected areas must be harmonized with those for the surrounding ecosystems and human communities.

(from Global Biodiversity Strategy Guidelines for Action to Save, Study, and Use Earth’s Biotic Wealth Sustainably and Equitably; World Resources Institute (WRI), The World Conservation Union (IUCN), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), in consultation with Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) “Building a Sustainable Society: The Context for Conserving Biodiversity.” [here])

1992 — Rio Earth Summit, President George H.W. Bush signs the Framework Convention on Climate Change, endorses the Rio Declaration [here], the Forest Principles [here], and adopts Agenda 21 [here] on behalf of the United States of America. This was coordinated by the new International Forestry branch of the U.S. Forest Service.

Agenda 21 Section II, Conservation and Management of Resources for Development, Chapter 11, Combating Deforestation, Section A: Sustaining the multiple roles and functions of all types of forests, forest lands and woodlands is [here].

According to Hal Salwasser et al., (in Salwasser, Hal; MacCleery, Douglas W.; Snellgrove, Thomas A. 1993. An ecosystem perspective on sustainable forestry and new directions for the U.S. National Forest System. In: Aplet, Gregory H.; Johnson, Nels; Olson, Jeffery T.; Sample, Alaric V.; eds. Defining Sustainable Forestry. Washington, D.C.: Island Press. 44-89) Section A posed a mandate for change to U.S. Forest Service policy. The historic management policies of the Forest Service “focus[ed] on producing and renewing selected resources (such as timber, game fish, and livestock forage) or single sectors of forest-related enterprises (such as wood products, recreation, and cattle industry).” The selected-use policies only considered sustaining certain resources and not protecting the forest as a whole. In order for the United States to fulfill its commitment to Chapter 11, it needed to assess its management directives and implement sustainable management practices which was not management for multiple uses but rather for sustaining the forest ecosystem as a whole. The recommended “activity” for attaining sustainable management was to adopt planning techniques that protect the biodiversity of a forest.

Agenda 21 Section II, Section A, Chapter 11.4 required data collection as to land classification, land use, forest cover, endangered species, ecological values, traditional/indigenous land use values, biomass and productivity, correlating demographic, socio-economic and forest resources information. GAP Analysis - Land use classification and biological assessment [here] was later used as a tool to identify areas for set asides/roadless/wilderness and for private land regulation or acquisition.

Agenda 21 Section II, Section B has the major goal for nations to plan for the maintenance of their forests as a whole, and not for consumption of particular resources. Enhancing the protection, sustainable management and conservation of all forests, and the greening of degraded areas, through forest rehabilitation, afforestation, reforestation and other rehabilitative means was specified in Chapter 11.13:

(b)Establishing, expanding and managing, as appropriate to each national context, protected area systems, which includes systems of conservation units for their environmental, social and spiritual functions and values, including conservation of forests in representative ecological systems and landscapes, primary old-growth forests, conservation and management of wildlife, nomination of World Heritage Sites under the World Heritage Convention, as appropriate, conservation of genetic resources, involving in situ and ex situ measures and undertaking supportive measures to ensure sustainable utilization of biological resources and conservation of biological diversity and the traditional forest habitats of indigenous people, forest dwellers and local communities.
(c) Undertaking and promoting buffer and transition zone management;

This is the Man and Biosphere system of core areas, buffers and transition areas.

Prior to the adoption of Agenda 21, the US Forest Service’s management objectives were directed toward providing for multiple-use and sustained yield of resources via the Multiple Use - Sustained Yield Act of 1960 (Public Law 86-517). Multiple-use management means managing renewable surface resources so that they are utilized in a way that best meets the needs of the American public. It does not include consideration of effects on sustaining biodiversity.

Ref: The U.S. Commitment to Agenda 21: Chapter 11 Combating Deforestation - The Ecosystem Management Approach Susan Bucknum [here].

From the Rio Declaration, Annex III Non-legally Binding Authoritative Statement of Principles for a Global Consensus on the Management, Conservation and Sustainable Development of All Types of Forests [here]:

Preamble (d) These principles reflect a first global consensus on forests. In committing themselves to the prompt implementation of these principles, countries also decide to keep them under assessment for their adequacy with regard to further international cooperation on forest issues…

Principles/Elements 1.(b) Forest resources and forest lands should be sustainably managed to meet the social, economic, ecological, cultural and spiritual needs of present and future generations.

Principles/Elements 3.(a) National policies and strategies should provide a framework for increased efforts, including the development and strengthening of institutions and programmes for the management, conservation and sustainable development of forests and forest lands.

Principles/Elements 8.(e) Forest management should be integrated with management of adjacent areas so as to maintain ecological balance and sustainable productivity.

Principles/Elements 8.(f) National policies and/or legislation aimed at management, conservation and sustainable development of forests should include the protection of ecologically viable representative or unique examples of forests, including primary/old-growth forests, cultural, spiritual, historical, religious and other unique and valued forests of national importance.

Principles/Elements 13.(c) Incorporation of environmental costs and benefits into market forces and mechanisms, in order to achieve forest conservation and sustainable development, should be encouraged both domestically and internationally.

1992-1993 — President Bush did not sign the Convention on Biological Diversity in 1993. It was signed by President Clinton in 1994, although never ratified by Congress. From Article 8. In-situ Conservation [here]:

(a) Establish a system of protected areas or areas where special measures need to be taken to conserve biological diversity;
(b) Develop, where necessary, guidelines for the selection, establishment and management of protected areas or areas where special measures need to be taken to conserve biological diversity;
(c) Regulate or manage biological resources important for the conservation of biological diversity whether within or outside protected areas, with a view to ensuring their conservation and sustainable use;
(d) Promote the protection of ecosystems, natural habitats and the maintenance of viable populations of species in natural surroundings;
(e) Promote environmentally sound and sustainable development in areas adjacent to protected areas with a view to furthering protection of these areas;
(f) Rehabilitate and restore degraded ecosystems and promote the recovery of threatened species, inter alia, through the development and implementation of plans or other management strategies; …
(i)Endeavour to provide the conditions needed for compatibility between present uses and the conservation of biological diversity and the sustainable use of its components;…
(l) Where a significant adverse effect on biological diversity has been determined, regulate or manage the relevant processes and categories of activities.

This is the document upon which the infamous map [here] entitled “simulated reserve and corridor system to protect biodiversity” was based.

1993 — The Helsinki Conference defined “sustainable management of forests” as the stewardship and use of forests and forest lands in a way, and at a rate, that maintains their biodiversity, productivity, regeneration capacity, vitality, and their potential to fulfill, now and in the future, relevant ecological, economic, and social functions, at local, national, and global scales, and that does not cause damage to other ecosystems.

1993 — The United States became a signatory to The Montreal Process [here]. Countries identified the following seven criteria as essential components in the sustainable management of forest ecosystems, as well as 67 different indicators specific for each criteria [here] (1) Conservation of biological diversity; (2) Maintenance of productive capacity of forest ecosystems; (3) Maintenance of forest ecosystem health and vitality; (4) Conservation and maintenance of soil and water resources; (5) Maintenance of forest contribution to global carbon cycles; (6) Maintenance and enhancement of long-term multiple socio-economic benefits to meet the needs of societies; and (7) Legal, institutional and economic framework for forest conservation and sustainable management.

1993 — Eldon W. Ross Associate Deputy Chief for Research, USDA Forest Service submitted a statement [here] to the Second Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe indicating that “the United States believes that the conservation and sustainable management of forests is on of our most pressing global needs” and stating that

At a Forest Congress held on April 2, 1993, wherein all interests were gathered, the President proposed this fundamental question related to harmonizing human, biological, and economic imperatives: “How can we achieve a balanced and comprehensive policy that recognizes the importance of forests and timber to the economy and jobs of this region, and how can we preserve our precious old-growth forests, which are part of our national heritage and that, once destroyed, can never be replaced?”

This Forest Conference initiated an aggressive assessment, with ensuing announcements to be released this summer.

This situation is an example of a larger commitment by U.S. forest land management agencies towards implementation of Agenda 21. As announced in June 1992, all U.S. Federal forests are to be managed using an ecological approach. This policy will continue to uphold multiple-use, but with an emphasis on blending the needs of people and environmental values – with the result that our national forests and associated ecosystems will be diverse, healthy, productive, and sustainable.

1993 — Presidential Decision Directive/NSC-16 Environmental Policy on International Desertification, Forest Conservation and Fresh Water Security, The White House November 5, 1993 [here] stated

Our strategy includes bilateral programs to conserve forests and biodiversity and maintain existing carbon reservoirs, and support for appropriate activities in the proposed World Commission on Forests and Sustainable Development, the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, the Food and Agriculture Organization, and other fora to foster international agreement on forest management…

The United States is committed to a national goal of achieving sustainable management of U.S. forests by the year 2000.

1993 — Vice President Al Gore called for the Federal government to adopt an approach for ensuring sustainable economic development while also sustaining the environment through ecosystem management. An accompanying report of the National Performance Review, Improving Environmental Management [here] concluded “The President should issue a directive that: establishes a national policy to encourage sustainable economic development and ensure sustainable ecosystems through ecosystem management…”

The White House Office of Environmental Policy (OEP) took the lead for the Federal initiative on ecosystem management by establishing the Interagency Ecosystem Management Task Force (IEMTF) to carry out Vice President Gore’s mandate.

The EPA published an internal working document (NPR) [here] outlining the Administration’s environmental strategy: Evaluating National Policies/International Obligations:

The Executive Branch should direct Federal agencies to evaluate national policies on environmental protection and resource management in light of international policies and obligations, and to amend national policies to more effectively achieve international objectives. The State Department, USDI, EPA, USFS, NMFS, and other involved agencies should be directed to further develop national and international policies related to ecosystem management. In addition, the U.S. should to [sic] develop human population policies that are consistent with sustainable economies and ecosystems. Regional Landscape Planning: “EPA can take a number of actions that would stimulate land use planning by state and local governments in a constructive manner, and which would not result in an overly intrusive Federal role in land use planning. EPA should direct grants to states and local governments to form regional planning units around ecosystem protection and sustainability values. EPA should provide technical assistance to the state and local governments, and will develop a list of suggested criteria for use by the state and local governments in their planning decision making.

1993 — When Congress refused to pass legislation to establish the National Biological Service [here], DOI Secretary Babbitt unilaterally created it and shifted funding to it. In 1995, the NBS report Our Living Resources [here] outlined trends on the distribution, abundance and health of US plants, animals and ecosystems.

1993 — President Clinton created the Office of the Federal Environmental Executive, the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the President’s Council on Sustainability [here] by Executive Orders. The Council adopted the Brundtland Commission’s definition of sustainable development: Towards a Sustainable America: Advancing Prosperity [here], The Road to Sustainable Development: A Snapshot of Activities in the United States of America [here], Sustainable Communities Task force Report Fall 1997 [here], and Advancing Prosperity, Opportunity, and a Healthy Environment for the 21st Century, May 1999 [here].

1993 — The Forest Ecosystem Management Team (FEMAT) was chartered (Northern Spotted Owl case).

1994 — The Sierra Nevada Ecosystem Project (SNEP) was chartered.

1994 — the Ecosystem Management Coordinating Group (IEMCG), focused the resources of 20 Federal agencies to achieve “comprehensive integrated resource management” on an ecosystem basis (see CRS Report to Congress [here]).

1994 — President Clinton signed Executive Order 12906, “Coordinating Geographic Data Acquisition and Access: the National Spatial Data Infrastructure” [here]. (GAP Analysis)

1994 — United States GAO Report is issued on Ecosystem Management Ecosystem Management: Additional Actions Needed to Adequately Test a Promising Approach [here].

1995 — The GBA Global Biodiversity Assessment [here] is developed at the behest of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) with funding provided by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) provides a blueprint for implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Chapter 10.4 - Measures to Conserve and Restore Ecosystems: Ecosystem conservation measures seek to limit human activities in limited geographic areas where they may adversely impact populations of species or interfere with ecosystem processes. The goal of conservation biologists is to use conservation measures in enough areas to protect a representative array of ecosystems and their constituent biodiversity. - Protected Areas Protected areas are defined by the Convention on Biological Diversity as “a geographically defined area which is designated or regulated and managed to achieve specific conservation objectives.” - Corridors in Fragmented Landscapes Biotic: movement in a fragmented landscape requires movements between individual fragments (protected areas). Corridors of native vegetation linking fragments are commonly seen as a solution to this. - Protection and Management of Fragments: The protection and management of fragments requires a reduction in the deleterious effects of matrix-derived influences on remnants and an increase in the area and connectivity of habitat. This means that representative areas of all major ecosystems in a region need to be reserved, that blocks should be as large as possible, that buffer zones should be established around core areas, and that corridors should connect these areas. (This basic design is central to the “Wildlands Project” in the United States. Reed F. Noss, The Wildlands Project land conservation strategy. Wild Earth, Special issue, 1992).

10.4.4 - Restoration and Rehabilitation Landscape restoration aims at improving the design of the existing system of fragments by increasing habitat area and connectivity, and by providing buffer zones around existing fragments to protect them from external influences.

1995 — the President’s National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) established an Ecosystem Working Group. It concluded (1) that pursuit of improved quality of life often threatens the sustainability of ecosystems, (2) continued decreases in productivity and vitality of ecosystems which can result in increased deterioration of ecosystems that are incompletely understood, (3) the basis for human development has been the availability of healthy natural ecosystems and the resources they provide, and (4) that to sustain further human development, the ecological base to support it must be sustained.

1995 — The Seville Strategy and the Statutory Framework for the World Network of Biosphere Reserves [here] was completed under UNESCO:

1.1 1. Promote biosphere reserves as means of implementing the goals of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

1.1 2. Promote a comprehensive approach to biogeographical classification (GAP analysis) that takes into account such ideas as vulnerability analysis.

1.2 4. Link biosphere reserves with each other, and with other protected areas, through green corridors and in other ways that enhance biodiversity conservation, and ensure that these links are maintained.

2.1 2. Incorporate biosphere reserves into plans for implementing the sustainable use goals of Agenda 21 and the Convention on Biological Diversity.

3.1 7. Integrate biosphere reserves into regional planning.

In 1996 UNESCO began Implementation of the Seville Strategy and Statutory Framework of the World Network of Biosphere reserves [here]. The Intergovernmental Panel on Forests (IPF) [here] was established in 1995 by the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development to follow up the UNCED recommendations on sustainable forest management.

1995 — The US agreed to the Santiago Declaration [here], Statement on Criteria and Indicators for the Conservation and Sustainable Management of Temperate and Boreal Forests:

Affirming their commitment to the conservation and sustainable management of their respective forests… Endorse the non-legally binding Criteria and Indicators for the Conservation and Sustainable Management of Temperate and Boreal Forests annexed to this Statement as guidelines for use by their respective policy-makers…

1995 — Fourteen Federal agencies signed a Memorandum of Understanding to Foster the Ecosystem Approach (OEP 1996) [here].

The memorandum defines the ecosystem approach as A method for sustaining or restoring ecological systems and their functions and values. It is goal driven and it is based on a collaboratively developed vision applied within a geographic framework defined primarily by ecological boundaries. (Section 1 Definitions).

The goal of the Ecosystem Approach as stated in this interagency memorandum, was to: restore and sustain the health, productivity, and biological diversity of ecosystems and the overall quality of life through a natural resource management approach that is fully integrated with social and economic goals.

An Interagency Ecosystem Management Task Force issues The Ecosystem Approach: Healthy Ecosystems and Sustainable Economies Volume II Implementation Issues (Overcoming statutory and jurisdictional barriers to a unified approach) [here].

1996 — The President’s Council on Sustainability issues a report entitled Sustainable America: A New Consensus for Prosperity, Opportunity, and A Healthy Environment for the Future [here]. This report outlined goals for “economic prosperity, environmental protection, and social equity together” (known as the 3 e’s). An Excerpt on Sustainable Forest Management, Chapter 5, Natural Resources Stewardship [here] includes the statement:

In 1992, during the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro, the United States announced its commitment to carry out ecosystem management on all Federal forest lands. And, at the Second Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in 1993 in Helsinki, the United States declared its commitment to the goal of achieving sustainable management of all U.S. forests by the year 2000.

1996 — A Framework for Ecosystem Management in Interior Columbia Basin (including parts of the Klamath and Great Basin ) was released

1996 — The Secretary of Agriculture established Dept.-wide policy on Sustainable Development (Scty. Memorandum 9500-6) focusing on sustainable agriculture, sustainable forestry, and sustainable rural community development.

1997 — The President’s Council on Sustainability released Building on Consensus: A Progress Report on Sustainable America [here]. It recommended:

Fully Participate in International Sustainable Development Activities in 1997. Next year’s observance of the fifth anniversary of the Earth Summit in Rio will provide several opportunities for the United States to demonstrate continued international leadership on sustainable development. We encourage you to ensure that the U.S. government fully participates in these fora.

1997 — The Rio Earth Summit+5 Resolution [here] adopted by the General Assembly includes:

We reaffirm that Agenda 21 remains the fundamental programme of action for achieving sustainable development… Progress has been made in incorporating the principles contained in the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development - including the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, which embodies the important concept of and basis for international partnership; the precautionary principle; the polluter pays principle; and the environmental impact assessment principle… Economic development, social development and environmental protection are interdependent and mutually reinforcing components of sustainable development…. Sustainable development strategies are important mechanisms for enhancing and linking national capacity so as to bring together priorities in social, economic and environmental policies… In integrating economic, social and environmental objectives, it is important that a broad package of policy instruments, including regulation, economic instruments, internalization of environmental costs in market prices, environmental and social impact analysis, and information dissemination, be worked out in the light of country-specific conditions to ensure that integrated approaches are effective and cost-efficient… Unsustainable patterns of production and consumption, particularly in the industrialized countries, are identified in Agenda 21 as the major cause of continued deterioration of the global environment. While unsustainable patterns in the industrialized countries continue to aggravate the threats to the environment, there remain huge difficulties for developing countries in meeting basic needs such as food, health care, shelter and education for people. All countries should strive to promote sustainable consumption patterns; developed countries should take the lead in achieving sustainable consumption patterns; developing countries should seek to achieve sustainable consumption patterns in their development process, guaranteeing the provision of basic needs for the poor, while avoiding those unsustainable patterns, particularly in industrialized countries, generally recognized as unduly hazardous to the environment, inefficient and wasteful, in their development processes…

1997 — The Nairobi Declaration [here] of the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme on the Role and Mandate of UNEP is issued, in which the role of UNEP is confirmed as “the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda, that promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system and that serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment…”

1997 — Information Provided by the Government of United States to the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development — Implementation of Agenda 21: Review of Progress Made Since the United States Conference on Environment and Development, 1992 [here] includes the statements:

Chapter 10: Integrated Approach to the Planning and Management of Land Resources

…With respect to Federal lands, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Department of the Interior (USDI) have embraced the Ecosystem Approach to land management. The Ecosystem Approach to land management entails a comprehensive evaluation of all natural resource areas when making land management decisions within both Federal and non-Federal territory… TNC [The Nature Conservancy] has also helped establish a network of “Heritage Programmes” which are in place in all fifty states. These programmes inventory endangered and threatened species and provide the scientific basis for prioritizing and guiding development away from critical habitat areas… The USDI National Biological Service (NBS) is establishing mechanisms to collect and assess biological information that will assist decision makers in developing management and protection strategies.

Chapter 11: Combating Deforestation

…The U.S. is moving forward to enforce its commitment to sustainable forestry by several measures, including: establishing an ecosystem approach to sustainable forest management, inventorying forest area by ecosystem, and adjusting the balance between environmental and commercial use of publicly owned lands. It also includes developing domestic criteria and indicators for sustainable management of U.S. forests and participating in the development of internationally agreed criteria and indicators for the conservation and sustainable management of temperate and boreal forests.

1997 — The Kyoto Protocol of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, adopted at the third Conference of the Parties makes explicit reference to land use change and forestry under several of its articles.

1997 — A Committee of Scientists is appointed “to provide scientific and technical advice” to the Secretary of Agriculture and the Chief of the Forest Service on improvements that can be made in the National Forest System Land and Resource Management planning process. Instead, the Committee declared that ecological sustainability should be given priority over social and economic sustainability. In their report entitled Sustainability: The Overarching Objective of National Forest Stewardship (no longer available online) they wrote:

Accordingly, based on the statutory framework for the national forests and grasslands, the first priority for management is to retain and restore the ecological sustainability of these watersheds, forests, and rangelands for present and future generations. The Committee believes that the policy of sustainability should be the guiding star for stewardship of the national forests and grasslands to assure the continuation of this array of benefits…Sustainability is broadly recognized to be composed of interdependent elements, ecological, economic, and social. It operates on several levels. As a collective vision, sustainability means meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. As an approach to decision making, it calls for integrating the management of biological and ecological systems with their social and economic context, while acknowledging that management should not compromise the basic functioning of these systems.

In Ecological Sustainability: “A Necessary Foundation for Stewardship is the statement:

Ecological sustainability entails maintaining the composition, structure, and processes of a system. The National Forest Management Act (NFMA) establishes the goals of maintaining species’ diversity and ecological productivity; these goals are consistent with the concept of ecological sustainability. The Committee recommends that ecological sustainability provide a foundation upon which the management for national forests and grasslands can contribute to economic and social sustainability. This finding does not mean that the Forest Service is expected to maximize the protection of plant and animal species and environmental protection to the exclusion of other human values and uses. Rather, it means that planning for the multiple use and sustained yield of the resources of national forests and grasslands should operate within a baseline level of ensuring the sustainability of ecological systems and native species. Without ecologically sustainable systems, other uses of the land and its resources could be impaired.

1997 — The fifth Council on Sustainable Development and the 19th Special Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGASS) endorsed the Intergovernmental Panel on Forests’ (IPF) outcome and recommended a continuation of the intergovernmental policy dialogue on forests. Subsequently, the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) established the Intergovernmental Forum on Forests (IFF) to continue this work under the auspices of the CSD. In its final meeting in 1997, the UN Ad Hoc Intergovernmental Panel on Forests recommended more than 150 Proposals for Action to the international community to address a range of forest problems that countries should address at the domestic level. The IPF Proposals cover five themes: 1) Implementation of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) decisions related to forests at the national and international levels; 2) International cooperation in financial assistance and technology transfer; 3) Scientific research, forest assessment, and development of criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management; 4) Trade and environment in relation to forest products and services; 5) International organizations and multilateral institutions, and instruments, including appropriate legal mechanisms. See A Brief to Global Forest Policy [here].

1998 — A UN Workshop on the Ecosystem Approach produced the Malawi Principles [here], twelve principles/characteristics of the ecosystem approach to biodiversity management which were presented at the Fourth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity.

1998 — Secretary Dan Glickman made these opening remarks [here] at the Sustainable Resource Management Meeting:

It is my hope and expectation that the same level of commitment that led to international development and agreement on the criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management, will now occur at the national level as we work to implement and build on this framework.

1998 — G-8 Foreign Ministers, including President Clinton, approved an Action Program on Forests [here]. The action program commits G-8 countries (the world’s major industrial democracies) to take specific actions in five areas: monitoring, remote sensing data and assessment, national forest programs, protected areas, private sector, and illegal logging. G-8 members are providing financial and technical resources for work to utilize remote sensing, promote decentralization of forest management, consolidate establishment of cross-boundary Peace Parks, encourage public-private partnerships, and strengthen forest law and governance.

1999 — The Presidents Council on Sustainable Development issued a report entitled Natural Resources Management and Protection Task Force Report [here] which stated:

Convene a National Forestry Advisory Council comprised of a representative balance of stakeholders to define and help achieve sustainable management of forests on a national basis by the year 2000.

…this recommendation would include reviewing the possible classification of public and private forestlands in states by management goal categories…

The United States announced its commitment to implement ecosystem management on all Federal forestlands at the Earth Summit in June 1992 at Rio de Janeiro. The United States also made a commitment to a national goal of achieving sustainable management of U.S. forests by the year 2000 at the Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in June 1993 at Helsinki, Finland.

1999 — Doug MacCleery, Assistant Director of Forest Management for the USDA/Forest Service, wrote in Ecological Sustainability, Consumption and NIMBYism [here]:

Over the last two decades there has been a substantial shift in the management emphasis of public lands in the United States. This shift has increased the emphasis on managing for biodiversity protection and amenity values, and reduced commodity outputs. Terms like “ecosystem management” and “ecological sustainability” are used to describe this change in management emphasis, which is often referred to as a “paradigm shift.”

McCleery goes on to decry the fact that consumption patterns have not decreased, redirecting timber production to Canada and private forests. He advocates for an individual behavioral ethic of reduction in personal consumption.

1999 — The Board on Sustainable Development, Policy Division, National Research Council at the National Academy of Sciences released Our Common Journey [here] to address the research needs for the global commons of atmosphere, land, and water as well as to respond to the Academies’ desire to reinvigorate the role of science and development in sustainable development.

1999 — The UNCED Committee on Forestry, Inter-governmental Panel on Forests (IPF) [here] issued a final report containing 143 proposals for action in four areas relating to the implementation of UNCED decisions: (1) formulation and implementation of national forest and land use plans, (2) international cooperation in financial assistance and technology transfer, (3) forest assessment and development of Criteria and Indicators for sustainable forest management, (4) trade and the environment relating to forest products and services, international organizations and multilateral institutions and instruments, including appropriate mechanisms.

2000 — The UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), responding to recommendations of the ad hoc Intergovernmental Forum on Forests (IFF), outlined an international arrangement on forests and established a new permanent subsidiary body, the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF). The international arrangement and UNFF were established to facilitate implementation of the IPF/IFF Proposals for Action, provide forum for policy dialogue, enhance coordination of work of international organizations, foster international cooperation, monitor and assess progress, and enhance political commitment to sustainable forest management.

2000-2005 — The UN Forum on Forests (UNFF) operated under a multi-year program of work from 2000-2005, focusing on thematic areas related to sustainable forest management, including: deforestation, forest restoration, biological diversity, forest health, forest products, economic aspects of forests, forest-related scientific knowledge, social and cultural aspects, traditional forest-related knowledge, and monitoring, assessment and reporting. Also through this process, the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF) [here], a partnership among international forest-related organizations, was established to provide a means for United Nations agencies and multilateral donors to improve coordination of their efforts to facilitate sustainable forest management. The interagency partnership, which includes fourteen key institutions, is contributing to international cooperation through work, among other things, on: Sourcebook on Funding Sustainable Forest Management [here]; Streamlining Forest-Related Reporting [here]; Harmonizing Forest-Related definitions [here]; Establishing a Global Forest Information Service [here]; Forests and Climate Change [here].

2000 — A Federal MOU was signed on Sustainable Forest Management Data [here] making data available on an ongoing basis related to the Montreal Process Criteria and Indicators.

2000 — Sustainable Forest and Resource Management, Domestic Actions of the Forest Service, List of Actions Being Taken was issued [here], as was the Integration Of Sustainable Resource Management and Criteria And Indicators In The USDA Forest Service [here].

2000 — The USFS published its USDA Forest Service Strategic Plan (2000 Revision) [here] listing “Ecosystem Health” as its #1 Goal — Promote ecosystem health and conservation using a collaborative approach to sustain the Nation’s forests, grasslands and watersheds. Goal #2 was “Multiple Benefits to People” — Provide a variety of uses, values, products, and services for present and future generations by managing within the capability of sustainable ecosystems.

2000 — Ruth McWilliams (USDA Forest Service) gave an address to the National Planning Conference on “Healthy Ecosystems… Healthy Communities” [here], stating “Sustainability is the goal” and “Collaboration is the Approach”.

2000 — At the Federal Interagency Leadership Meeting on Sustainable Forest Management, USDA Deputy Secretary Richard Rominger spoke on the U.S. Commitment to Sustainable Forest Management [here]. Rominger stated:

Sustainable forest management… builds on and advances the work of the Brundtland Commission that articulated sustainable development in 1987…

Action on sustainable forest management is at a critical juncture – internationally and domestically.

* Internationally, the United Nations is establishing a new Forum on Forests. This should expedite implementation of existing agreements, provide a policy framework, and coordinate the work of international organizations.

*Domestically, the multi-stakeholder Roundtable on Sustainable Forests is using the framework provided by the Montreal Process Criteria and Indicators to move us closer to achieving sustainable forest management. As the Roundtable moves from its first phase of building understanding, to assessment and reporting, it’s important that we clearly identify the Federal leadership role.

2000 — Regarding the Roundtable on Sustainable Forest, Phil Janik wrote [here]:

I am the Federal lead for the Roundtable. In that capacity, I advocate the use of the Criteria and Indicators as a common framework for the discussion and dialogue at Roundtable meetings. I participate personally in related national and international activities. For example, I chaired the eleventh meeting of the Montreal Process Working Group, and I work with State Foresters to promote the use of the Criteria and Indicators in their endeavors within states.

2001 — Doug MacCleery, USDA/Forest Service, wrote a memo on Measuring SFM (Sustainable Forest management) : What are some of the elements and scales? [here]

2001 — In an address to the Executive Leadership Meeting of the Roundtable on Sustainable Forests entitled The Forest Service’s Commitment to Sustainable Forest Management And the Roundtable on Sustainable Forests [here], Forest Service Chief Dale Bosworth stated:

Work done by the Brundlandt Commission during the 1980s, the agenda identified at the Earth Summit in 1992, and efforts now underway by Montreal Process countries on the Criteria and Indicators for the Conservation and Sustainable Management of Temperate and Boreal Forests define the basic elements of sustainable development and serve as anchors for Federal policy…

Last year the Forest Service incorporated these ideas into an updated expression of the agency’s mission. Our long-term Strategic Plan states: “The mission of the USDA Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations.”…

At the national level I do intend to continue strong support for sustainability. We are advancing use of the Montreal Process Criteria and Indicators as a common framework for measuring progress. For example, we used the seven Criteria to organize the 2000 Assessment of Forest and Range Lands, and we are applying the Criteria and Indicators to local conditions on six national forests in the east and west to test their usefulness and better understand how to integrate processes across scales… More work is underway at the ecoregional, national, and global levels –- and so now the key is to integrate our local to global efforts in ways that make sense.

Bosworth reiterated these ideas in a speech to the Society of American Foresters entitled The Forest Service’s Role in Fostering Sustainability [here].

2002 — The Pinchot Institute published Linkages Between the IPF/IFF Proposals for Action and the Montreal Process Criteria and Indicators [here].

2002 — The Johannesburg Plan of Implementation was agreed upon at the World Summit on Sustainable Development (Earth Summit 2002) [here]. It affirmed UN commitment to “full implementation” of Agenda 21, alongside achievement of the Millennium Development Goals [here] and other international agreements. The Millennium Development Goals Report 2010 Environmental Sustainability [here] includes: Target 7.A: Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes and reverse the loss of environmental resources; Target 7.B: Reduce biodiversity loss, achieving, by 2010, a significant reduction in the rate of loss.

2002 — A memorandum [here] was issued outlining the US Forest Service Responsibilities for Covering and Coordinating Activities at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg.

2002 — A memorandum from Joel D. Holtrop, Deputy Chief State and Private Forestry, talked about their attendance at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in South Africa and discussed the USFS’s commitment to championing sustainable development, including chairing the Roundtable on Sustainable Forests (Montreal Process).

2002 — Chief Dale Bosworth addressed Leadership for Sustainable Development within the Forest Service [here], attaching a Sustainable Development Portfolio of Work [here], which included such items as: United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) – Proposals for Action; US assessment underway; World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) – Follow-up to Earth Summit with preparations through Federal interagency, USDA, and FS teams; World Forestry Congress – Preparations for 2003 event getting underway; WO-Sustainable Development Issues Team (SDIT) – Chartered by Ecosystem Sustainability Corporate Team (ESCT) to advance use of CI through annually updated Action Plan.

2007 — After 15 years of discussions and negotiations on a global approach to protect the world’s forests, countries (meeting at United Nations Headquarters in New York ) adopted an agreement on international forest policy and cooperation (International Forest Policy - the instruments, agreements and processes that shape it [here]), as well as a new multi-year program of work through 2015. The new agreement, although not legally binding, aims to promote both international cooperation and national action to reduce deforestation, prevent forest degradation, promote sustainable livelihoods and reduce poverty for all forest-dependent peoples. Another area of disagreement that has long plagued forest negotiations concerned a financing mechanism to mobilize funding for sustainable forest management. The agreement calls on countries to adopt, by 2009, a voluntary global financing mechanism for forest management.

2008-2009 — A briefing paper entitled “Completion and Outcomes of the United Nations (UN) Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD), Third Implementation Cycle (2008-2009), Policy Session on Thematic Areas: Agriculture, Rural Development, Land, Drought, Desertification, and Africa” described the USDA and Forest Service’s close association with the CSD. This report is no longer available on the Net. One section more than adequately documents the fact that USFS policies and rules have been heavily molded and driven by an international agenda embraced by the Administration, rather than Congressional statute.


Implementation in the Siskiyou County/Klamath Area

Tom McDonnell wrote in his Technical Review Of The Wildlands Project And How It Is Affecting The Management Of State, Federal And Private Lands In The United States [here]:

In the introduction to the Wildlands Project, Dave Foreman states that this project serves as a coming together of grass-roots conservation activists and as a foundation for their active vision of how to protect and perpetuate native species and systems across the North American continent. He states, “Our vision is continental…we seek to bring together conservationist, ecologists, indigenous peoples, and others to protect and restore evolutionary processes and biodiversity.” He then states that areas such as National Parks and wildernesses are insufficient for they are designed “to protect scenery and recreation, or to create outdoor zoos.” He goes on to state that the “Wildlands Project in contrast calls for reserves established to protect wildlife habitat, biodiversity, ecological integrity, ecological service and evolutionary processes — that is vast interconnected areas of true wilderness.” “[W]e see wilderness as the home for unfettered life, free from industrial human intervention.” He also says that this wilderness will be “extensive areas of native vegetation in various successional stages, off-limits to human exploitation. Vast landscapes without roads, dams, motorized vehicles, powerlines, overflights, or other artifacts of civilization.” Over half the North American land mass is envisioned as making up this massive wilderness reserve system.

The project calls on the establishment of systems of core wilderness areas where human activity is prohibited, linked with biological corridors. Around these core reserve areas and their interlinking corridors, buffers are to be established. The buffer areas are to be managed to restore ecological health. Human activity associated with civilization — agriculture, industrial production, urban centers — will be allowed to continue outside these buffered regions.

Using the Noss model, the activist groups will identify and map all existing protected areas including Federal and state wilderness areas, parks and wildlife refuges, heritage areas, monuments, BLM Areas of Critical Concern (ACC) and USFS Research Natural Areas (RNA). To assist in this step, activists rely on a variety of other maps including: National Park system maps, National Wildlife Refuge maps, Forest Service RNA maps, Bureau of Land Management ACC maps, BLM Wilderness Status maps and Nature Conservancy preserve maps.

After all the currently protected areas are laid out onto a single map, the third step is to overlay this map of currently protected areas with a map of large roadless areas. Roadless areas, also called Big Outside Areas, are defined as roadless areas of 100,000 or more acres in the West, and 50,000 or more acres in the East. These roadless areas may include state, Federal and private land. Roadless maps may include protected areas such as National Parks, and unprotected areas such as Federal multiple-use lands, state lands and private lands. The only qualify factors of this roadless area map is size in term of acreage and the fact that there are no roads. The Wildlands Project’s central Tucson office has at least 385 maps of large roadless areas available and has been working the last year on the development of more detailed state maps to assist regional groups in their work.

The fourth step is to analyze the geographical arrangement of the map of currently protected areas, with its overlay of roadless areas, for logical complexes of wild places and probable linking corridors. The protected areas such as wildernesses and National Parks within the Big Outside (roadless) areas are identified as key core areas. Protected areas found outside identified roadless areas are examined to see if they can “serve as beads in Biological Corridors linking Core Wilderness together.” Identified roadless areas that are not already protected with National Park, wilderness or other similar designations, are considered unprotected and given the highest priority for conservation. Unprotected roadless areas which are Federal and state lands are targeted for future wilderness bills, heritage sites or other protective legislation. Private lands within these areas are given the highest priority for public agency or trust group acquisition.

In addition to legislation, this map also establishes the priorities for appeals and litigation. As stated within Wildlands documents, “It is usually more important … to stop an old-growth timber sale within a Big Outside area or in a corridor between two core areas than to stop an old-growth sale in a fragmented area far from potential cores or corridors. It is usually more important to establish a Wilderness Area that is part of a large complex, than one isolated in a matrix of intensive human use.

Siskiyou County, specifically the Klamath River Basin, has long been a target for implementation of rewilding strategies under “biodiversity,” “ecosystem management” and “sustainable development.” Drs. Michael Soule and Reed Noss recognized three independent features that characterize contemporary rewilding: large, strictly protected core reserves (the wild), connectivity, and keystone species (aka the 3C’s: Cores, Corridors, and Carnivores). Ref: Soule, M., and R. Noss. 1998. Rewilding and biodiversity: Complementary goals for continental conservation. WildEarth 8(3):18-28.

Noss indicated that in selecting keystone or focus species, he would (1) identify and protect populations of rare and endangered species; (2) maintain healthy populations of species that play critical roles in their ecosystems (keystone species) or that have pragmatic value as “umbrellas” (species that require large wild areas to survive, and thus if protected will bring many species along with them) or “flagships” (charismatic species that serve as popular symbols for conservation); (3) protect high-quality examples of all natural communities; and (4) identify and manage greater ecosystems or landscapes for both biodiversity conservation and sustainable human use.

Core reserves are wilderness areas that supposedly allow biodiversity to flourish. These typically followed the pattern of UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere (MAB) program with the set-aside of “protected” or “core” areas; “managed use areas” or “buffer zones”; and “zones of cooperation” or “transition Areas.” These strategies were adopted under FEMAT for the Northwest Forest Plan for the northern spotted owl, as well as the Sierra Nevada Framework.

In his article “The Wildlands Project,” Wild Earth, Special Issue, written in 1992, Noss stated that “It is estimated that large carnivores and ungulates require reserves on the scale of 2.5 to 25 million acres… For a minimum viable population of 1,000 (large mammals), the figures would be 242 million acres for grizzly bears, 200 million acres for wolverines, and 100 million acres for wolves. Core reserves should be managed as roadless areas (wilderness). All roads should be permanently closed.”

In 1985, an effort was made by Reed Noss, author of the Wildlands Project, to have four million hectares of the Klamath/Siskiyou area designated a UN Biosphere Reserve. The NGO coordinating the work was the Klamath Forest Alliance. The project sought not only to develop a successful bioregional plan for Klamath/Siskiyou, but also to develop methods for planning and implementation that were transferrable to other regions. The Klamath Corridors Project selected large unfragmented habitat areas to be protected, connected by wide corridors to be set aside for migration and genetic biodiversity. The area covered approximately four million hectares, about one-third in Oregon and the balance in California. The project was funded by the W. Alton Jones Foundation, the Foundation for Deep Ecology, The Wildlands Project, the U.S.D.A. Forest Service, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

In 1992 the World Conservation Union declared a 12 million acre area of the Klamath-Siskiyous to be an Area of Global Botanical Significance. This was one of seven such areas in North America and was classified by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) as a Global 200 site [here].

In 1995, work began on an ambitious Klamath-Siskiyou Biodiversity Conservation Plan, sponsored by the Siskiyou Regional Education Project of Cave Junction, in partnership with the World Wildlife Fund. In 1997 The First Conference on Siskiyou Ecology was held and a petition was sent from the conference to President Clinton, calling upon him to preserve “for posterity the principal values of biodiversity, ecological stability, and aesthetic enrichment which the Klamath-Siskiyou Province represents.”

In 1999, Noss and Strittholt completed A Science-based Conservation Assessment for the Klamath-Siskiyou Ecoregion. In 2001, Noss and the World Wildlife Federation set forth recommendations for preservation of the Klamath-Siskiyou Forests. A proposed “roadless map” with designated wilderness was developed for the region. Recommendations included: the elimination of grazing; the listing of the fisher and wolverine; reintroduction of wolves and grizzlies; halting of all logging; establishing a system of parks and reserves; protecting roadless areas; and purchasing of private lands for endangered species. This was accompanied in 2002 by a case study of the Klamath-Siskiyou Ecoregion on the “Importance of Roadless Areas in Biodiversity Conservation in Forested Ecosystems.”

In 2000, the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument was established in southern Oregon. Siskiyou County successfully fought the portion proposed in its county. In 2003, the Klamath Basin Coalition of environmental groups produced “A Conservation Vision for the Klamath Basin” with a map of proposed “protected areas. “In 2004, the Klamath Basin was named among the Top 10 “Most Endangered Areas” in California. In 2005, the World Wildlife Fund named the Klamath among California’s Most Threatened Wild Places.

In 2004, the Nature Conservancy conducted an Assessment of the Klamath Mountains Ecoregion. The California Wilderness Coalition modeled a network of habitat linkages in the Klamath-Siskiyou Region. The 2004 Siskiyou Private Lands Conservation Assessment identified 19 areas of private lands to be targeted for their high conservation values.

In 2006, the Siskiyou National Monument was proposed to establish corridors for biodiversity conservation.

In 2007, the CA Wild Heritage Act proposed several areas of Wilderness expansion in Siskiyou County. The California Wildlife Action Plan prepared for the California Department of Fish and Game by the UC Davis Wildlife Health Center. The document listed 76 bird, 26 mammalian, two reptilian and 42 fish taxa on the “Special Status Vertebrates List” and an additional 71 invertebrates on the Special Animals List. The report targeted water management; instream gravel mining; forest management; fire; agriculture; urban development, livestock grazing and invasive species as “stressors” to wildlife habitats.

In 2009, California Wild 2009 created another map targeting Wilderness Expansion, additional Wild Rivers designation, roadless area designation and reserve designs in the county. In 2009, another group proposed 3,500,000 acres in California and Oregon to be called the Ancient Forest National Park. The National Park Service has established the Klamath Vital Signs Network of regional parks to be to be inventoried and monitored. Documents appear to indicate that the Obama Administration is again considering expanding the Oregon monument into Siskiyou. Also, a second 200,000 acre national monument appears to have also been put forth for consideration known as the “Siskiyou Crest” by KS WILD.

By 2011, the Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the Federal government had acquired 100,000 acres of private farms and ranches from the Upper Klamath Basin and converted them to wetlands. The Secure Act allocates WaterSMART funding for studies and a “trade-off” analysis leading to a cooperative watershed management program. This would focus on sustainable development; climate change; water supply and demand; endangered species; flow; and flood control.

As mentioned in the prior section, since 1999, 8,625.71 acres have been converted to Federal land. Another 11,236 acres of ranch land in the Shasta Valley is currently proposed for conversion to a new wildlife refuge. In addition, The proposed Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement seeks to convert some 44,479 acres of farmland in the Upper Klamath Basin to wetlands, (some of which may be in Siskiyou County.) It also proposes to secure 21,800 acres of farmland by acquisition or conservation easements in the Scott and Shasta Valleys of the county.

For several years, a campaign has been waged for the removal of four (three hydroelectric) dams on the Klamath River. Three of those dams are located in Siskiyou County. The Board of Supervisors is firmly against dam removal and the associated Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement that accompanies it. Negative impacts will be severely felt by the people who live in Siskiyou County.

I sincerely thank you for this opportunity to comment.

Marcia H. Armstrong
Supervisor District 5
Siskiyou County
P.O. Box 750
Yreka, CA 96097


Appendix A

Timber Harvest Levels on the Major National Forests in Siskiyou County

(Portions of the Shasta Trinity and Six Rivers lie outside of Siskiyou Co.)

*Data supplied by CFA (California Forestry Assoc.)

In 2009, the Klamath NF sold 50.06 MMBF. It had a net growth of 125.7 MMBF and an annual mortality of 90.1 MMBF

In 2009, the Shasta Trinity NF sold 12.07 MMBF. It had a net growth of 459.7 MMBF and an annual mortality of 99.4 MMBF

(Data Source Western Core Table Reports [here] and 2009 Accomplishment Report. Data from growing stock on available, productive forestland.

22 Mar 2012, 8:12am
by bear bait

If you don’t forward this to your local legislative and congressional representation, with the admonishment that their political futures are on the line with this planned takeover of America and our submission as a viable economy and population to that of a slave state to World Government, the path to the Caliphate dreamed of by the oil sheiks of the Middle East, and the emerging manufacturing and idea economies of Asia. This is national suicide in a nutshell.



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