13 May 2008, 9:17pm
2007 Fire Season Federal forest policy
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Enviros OK Salvage Logging

I missed this one. You people are supposed to keep me in the swim. But here it is anyway, two weeks late.

Oregon Senator Ron Wyden wrote a letter to Mark Rey, Undersec for the USFS at the USDA, asking him to expedite salvage logging on the Shake Table and Egley burns of last summer. Not only that, but sue-happy enviro outfit OregonWild gave their benediction, promising not to sue over this particular salvage logging deal. How generous of them!

From the Ogre-onian [here]:

Wyden pushes for quick OK on logging Salvage - Timber firms and environmentalists work out an agreement for two counties hit by fires

by Matthew Preusch, Thursday, May 01, 2008, The Oregonian

BEND — Sen. Ron Wyden is asking the U.S. Forest Service to speed approval of logging in areas of eastern Oregon burned by two recent wildfires.

The two salvage logging sales are the subject of a proposed agreement between the timber companies and environmentalists that would log about 38 million board feet of timber in Grant and Harney counties.

“The conservation community, the timber industry and the local elected officials in Eastern Oregon have proposed an agreement that will salvage valuable timber, provide needed product for local lumber mills and aid the ailing economies in a rural area of my state,” Wyden, D-Ore., said in a letter Tuesday to Mark Rey, the undersecretary for Natural Resources and Environment at the Department of Agriculture.

Eastern Oregon’s timber industry has been teetering during the recent downturn in home construction.

One of Grant County’s three mills shut down last year. Another, Malheur Lumber in John Day, furloughed its 80 employees more than two weeks ago and has been idle since because of a lack of logs, said Mike Billman, the mill’s timber manager.

The quarter-century-old pine mill, which supplies lumber for window and door manufacturers, gets about 10 percent of its logs from the surrounding Malheur National Forest. In 2006, about 16 million board feet was cut from the Malheur National Forest. That’s about 5 percent of what it was 20 years ago.

Environmentalists traditionally oppose salvage logging, citing harm to soils and habitat. Tim Lillebo, east Oregon field representative for the group Oregon Wild, said his organization is making an exception in this case because it wants to ensure that local mills survive the present economic downturn so the timber industry can perform future thinning and conservation projects on public lands.

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10 May 2008, 10:59am
2007 Fire Season Federal forest policy
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Long Valley Voices

The incineration of the Payette NF (and the Boise NF) did not go unnoticed by the local residents. The following words and photos are excerpted from Discover McCall Idaho, a local promotional website, and the McCall Star-News. Special thanks to Joe B. for providing the links. Satellite photo courtesy NASA.

July 19, 2007 [here]

Loon Lake Fire marches toward vacation homes — Secesh residents advised to evacuate

by Tecla Markosky, The Star News

Residents of Secesh Meadows northeast of McCall were advised to evacuate their homes on Wednesday in the face of the growing Loon Lake Fire. …

About 80 people attended a community meeting Tuesday night. Estimates says between 40 and 50 buildings are in the area occupied by between 50 and 100 part-time residents.

The atmosphere was congenial at the beginning of the meeting but immediately switched when the fire management team began its presentation. …

Bob Frye of the fire management team said firefighters can work to protect a home from igniting, but do not have the training to fight a house fire.

“If a house is on fire, it’s gone,” Frye said.

Elsewhere on the Payette, the Krassel Complex includes four lightning fires being allowed to burn through the forest where they can improve forest health, managers said.

These fires started on June 17 and may burn throughout the fires season as long as they continue to be beneficial, said Jack Horner, public information officer for the California team watching those fires.

July 26, 2007 [here]

Secesh residents breathe easier as Loon Fire quiets

by Tecla Markosky, The Star News

… Vern Peterson, a 20-year fulltime Secesh resident, said he is frustrated with the Forest Service over the management of the local lands.

“As thick as that forest is, the Forest Service knows that if they don’t de fuel it, we’re going to continue to have this problem,” said Peterson, a retired logger.

“Yet they don’t have timber sales,” he said. “This is totally out of control. It was a time bomb waiting to happen.”

Last weekend, Peterson had especially good visibility of the encroaching flames.

“My neighbors a few homes down could see the trees go off like roman candles,” he said.

Sept. 20, 2007 [here]

Acres burned this year blow away previous records

by Michael Wells, The Star News

This year’s forest fire season has shattered previous record years for both the Payette and Boise national forests.

Fires have burned 394,313 acres on the Payette forest as of Tuesday, Payette forest spokesperson Denise Cobb said.

The previous record on the Payette forest was 343,347 burned acres in 2000.
Fires have burned 243,316 on the Boise forest this year, Boise forest spokesperson David Olson said.

The previous record on the Boise forest was 207,000 acres in 1992.

This year’s burned area represents 16 percent of the Payette forest’s 2.3 million acres and 9 percent of the Boise forest’s 2.6 million acres.

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9 May 2008, 9:12am
2007 Fire Season Federal forest policy
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The Incineration of the Payette

Since 1993 over a million acres of the Payette National Forest have been incinerated. In 1994 300,573 acres burned. In 2000 343,347 acres burned. In 2006 over 70,000 acres burned. And in 2007 a whopping 470,529 acres of the Payette NF went up in smoke. That’s 1.27 million acres in 4 of 14 years (I don’t have data for the other intervening years).

The Payette NF is 2.3 million acres in size, so using the data available, 55 percent has burned in the last 14 fire seasons. I have been told but cannot confirm (because I don’t have all the data) that the actual burn percentage is 70 percent .

The nearly half million acres of the Payette that burned in 2007 was more or less deliberate on the part of the US Forest Service. They planned it, and then carried it out.

Following the 2006 fire season (70,000 acres) USA Today ran the following article [here]:

Forest fire strategy: Just let it go, USA Today, November 2006

In the worst year for wildfires in nearly half a century, it may seem odd to celebrate how well some of them burned. But the Payette National Forest in central Idaho is doing just that.

“It was a real long season, but we got some nice fire effects,” says Sam Hescock, a fire management officer on the 2.3-million-acre forest where more than 150 fires this summer and fall burned about 70,000 acres. “We’re pretty happy with what we got.”

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Painful Plea Copped in Tahoe 3 Tree Scandal

Speaking of restitution…

The poor woman charged with accidentally cutting three trees on the Lake Tahoe lot adjacent to her own [see here], which unfortunately (for her) belonged to the US Forest Service, has agreed to a plea deal. Instead of 20 years in the Federal penitentiary (more than any recently convicted eco-terrorist received) she will pay a $100,000 fine and perform 80 hours of community service.

Although the homeowner was busted by thug enviro cop functionaries of the arson-minded Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, the fine will be sucked into the bottomless maw of the arson-minded USFS. From KRNV TV [here]:

Plea deal in cutting of Lake Tahoe Forest Service trees

A plea deal has been made for an Incline Village woman who was charged with two felonies after she hired a company to chop down trees on national forest land to enhance her view of Lake Tahoe. The deal with federal prosecutors will likely keep her out of prison.

Patricia Marie Vincent, 57, will pay $100,000 in restitution and do 80 hours of community service in exchange for her guilty plea today to a lesser charge.

She was indicted in January by a federal grand jury in Reno on felony charges of theft of government property and willingly damaging government property. Vincent faced up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each of those original counts if convicted. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ron Rachow agreed to drop the felony charges and charge her with one misdemeanor count of unlawfully cutting trees on U.S. land.

That crime carries a maximum sentence of one year in prison, a $100,000 fine and possible restitution. But Rachow said under the plea agreement, she would face a year of probation, 80 hours of community service and pay $100,000 in restitution, $35,000 of which would go to the U.S. Forest Service and $65,000 to the National Forest Foundation.

The ultimate sentence will be decided by U.S. District Judge Brian Sandoval on June 3.

In contrast, the incompetent pigs who burned down 254 homes last year at Lake Tahoe got off scott free. Oh yeah, that would be the nazi-like functionaries of the USFS, working in tandem with the nazi-like functionaries of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency.

Funny how justice works in this country, or doesn’t work, or works for some power factions and gangs, especially powerful outside agencies of the bloated, corrupt, ruthless, legally-immune and dangerous-to-all Federal Government and their running dog, unelected, affiliate local gangs, but not for regular citizens.

Stubbing Their Tahoe Again

The Burn It Down contingent at Lake Tahoe are up to their old tricks again. Some authoritarian thugs never learn. The latest eco-nazi eruption at the Sierran lake was featured in the Sac Bee last week [here]:

Lake Tahoe resident could face prison over tree removal

By Todd Milbourn - Sack-a-tomatoes Bee, April 9, 2008

Environmental cops at Lake Tahoe say Patricia Vincent deserves a prison sentence and a huge fine.

Her alleged crime: chopping down three trees on federal land that improved her backyard view of the lake.

The enviro cops in question are functionaries of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, recently lambasted by the emergency California-Nevada Tahoe Basin Fire Commission [here] for creating the fire hazard that led to the Angora Fire (which incinerated 3,100 acres of public forest and 254 private homes, and caused an estimated $140 million in damages) last June.

Vincent says it was an honest mistake, but now she’s believed to be the first target of criminal charges of illegally cutting Tahoe trees.

It’s the clearest signal yet of how serious coniferous crime has become as regulators fight to preserve the Sierra Nevada jewel Mark Twain once deemed “the finest view the world affords.”

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22 Mar 2008, 7:50am
2007 Fire Season Saving Forests
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Angora Fire Repercussing

The Angora Fire last June erupted on mismanaged USFS land adjacent to South Lake Tahoe, exploded into a fire storm, incinerated 3,100 acres of public forest and 254 private homes, and caused an estimated $140 million in damages.

Since then a great deal of soul-searching has gone on. The Governors of Nevada and California appointed an emergency California-Nevada Tahoe Basin Fire Commission to investigate the fire and related matters, while the usual suspects and likely targets of their investigation scurried for cover.

The US Forest Service was the first to absolve themselves of blame, pointing the finger at homeowners while the fire was still burning. They followed that offensiveness with a glossy report written by Tim “Whoofoo” Sexton (the Father of Whoofoo flew out to Tahoe for some R&R, recalcitrance and recrimination). Old Whoofoo determined that the pathetic sub-merch thinning the USFS did in the Angora watershed “saved” the subdivision, even though the subdivision burned up. The Orwellian doublespeak would have made Joe Stalin proud.

Others to cover their tracks were the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA - pronounced “trippy”) and the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board (LRWQCB - pronounced “lackwits”). Those bleeding heart libby/fascist agencies have been monkey-wrenching every suggested fire safety measure for decades. Their mindset was that disturbing a pine needle on private land was a crime against Mother Nature, thus fueling potential holocausts all around the lake.

Supercilious BINGO-serving politicians have actually set up a program whereby the US Treasury is used to purchase building lots in the area, for the purpose of allowing them to fester in unmanaged condition. The USFS is now the confused owner of some 3,800 “urban intermix” lots, 1/4 acre mini-wildernesses in the otherwise privately-owned strip of land surrounding the lake. This useless waste of your money has created firetraps in every residential neighborhood, waiting to explode into flames. Furthermore, Trippy and Lackwits have prevented any fire hazard reduction on the “urban intermix” lots by concerned residents who were willing to do it for free, just to save their own homes from impending firestorms.

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24 Jan 2008, 8:39pm
2007 Fire Season
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Flash Floods on the Zaca Burn

The following collection of items extracted from the Web tell a story all by themselves.

ZACA FIRE UPDATE [here]

USDA Forest Service - Los Padres National Forest, Last Modified: 10/04/07

“The Zaca Fire burned in very steep and rugged terrain, and while there are islands of unburned vegetation, there are vast areas that are a moonscape now,” Forest Supervisor Peggy Hernandez explained. “With the vegetation gone, there is nothing to hold the soil in place, so the land is very unstable. Dry landslides, rockslides and other erosion is occuring on a daily basis. We expect mudslides and flash flooding when the rains come. Out of concern for public safety, and to allow the watersheds to begin to heal, I will keep the burned area closed to public entry at least through spring 2008,” she added.

“The burned or otherwise disturbed soils are very vulnerable, especially to wheeled vehicles, until vegetation gets reestablished,” said Hernandez. “We know people are anxious to get back into their national forest, but we are asking for their patience and cooperation.”

Preliminary surveys of the burned area show that many hiking trails have been severely damaged by the fire and are completely impassable. “Our volunteers are very anxious to get in there and help reestablish the trails. Unfortunately, it may be some time before the ground is stable enough to allow them to be rebuilt,” said Santa Barbara District Ranger Cindy Chojnacky.

The Zaca Fire started on July 4, and burned approximately 240,207 acres before it was contained on September 2. It is the second largest fire in California’s recorded history and the largest in Santa Barbara County’s recorded history.

……………………………………………………………………………………..

Dry ravel erosion has obliterated the Santa Cruz Trail near the San Rafael Wilderness boundary.
Photo Credit: Lori Rafferty
Courtesy the USDA Forest Service
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14 Jan 2008, 12:45pm
2007 Fire Season
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Suing the Feds For Incinerating Forests

The residents of Yellow Pine, ID, are preparing to sue the US Forest Service for deliberately burning 1,250 square miles of National Forests in and around Yellow Pine. The devastation is incredible, and the forests, wildlife, businesses, residents, and visitors of Yellow Pine have received an environmental and economic blow that they will not recover from [here, here, here].

The lawsuit is in discovery mode; no claim has been filed yet. SOS Forests has been asked to ask you, our wise and experienced readers, if you might have any information that might be pertinent. Are you aware of any claims filed against the USFS that involve the negligent build up of fuels and/or their Let It Burn policies. Are you aware of (and do you have documents relating to) the fire planning that preceeded the 2007 fires? Do you have information regarding the fire control efforts (or lack thereof) made by the USFS in the Yellow Pine fires of 2007.

If so, please send them to me, and I will forward them to the proper parties.

31 Dec 2007, 6:04pm
2007 Fire Season
by admin
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The 2007 Fire Season: A Year-End Recap

With over 9.3 million acres burned in wildfires nationally, the 2007 fire season was the second worst fire season in over fifty years (the 2006 fire season was the worst with over 9.7 million acres burned).

In terms of total acres burned, seven of the worst ten fire seasons since the early 1950’s have occurred in the last 12 years.

Average acreage per wildfire was nearly 110 acres, again the second worst in over fifty years (the 2005 was the worst averaging 131 acres per fire).

In terms of average acres per wildfire, nine of the worst ten fire seasons since the early 1950’s have occurred in the last 12 years.

The preceding graphs are based on data provided by the National Interagency Fire Center Wildland Fire Statistics [here]. The following is a recap of some of the high and low lights of the 2007 Fire Season.

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30 Dec 2007, 12:48pm
2007 Fire Season
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Fire Season Trend Graphs

The following graphs are based on data provided by the National Interagency Fire Center Wildland Fire Statistics [here].

 
  
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