Prescribed Fire Hampered by Aussie Greens

Burnoffs following Victoria bushfires a ‘threat to biodiversity’

Siobhain Ryan, The Australian, February 12, 2009 [here]

CONTROLLED burning would be declared a key national threat to biodiversity under a new proposal before government that has been slammed as dangerous to life and property.

While Environment Minister Peter Garrett yesterday gave Victoria carte blanche to do all it needed to control its deadly bushfires, without review by federal environment laws, it emerged he will be asked next year to decide whether prescribed burning to reduce fuel loads puts plants and animals at risk.

A Department of Environment spokeswoman confirmed yesterday it had received a public submission to list controlled burning as a “key threatening process” - the same category that applies to climate change, land clearing and feral cats, pigs and foxes.

“This recommendation is due by late 2010,” she said.

Victoria’s bushfire tragedy has focused attention on the management of its state forests, national parks and other Crown land, which make up a third of the state but contributed four-fifths of the fires started since Australia Day.

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Environmental Policies Kill - Again!

by Iain Murray, Competitive Enterprise Institute, February 11, 2009 [here]

One of the main themes of my book, The Really Inconvenient Truths [here], is that misguided environmental policies often lead to humanitarian and environmental disaster. We’ve just seen another example in Australia, where fires have claimed many lives. Distraught survivors are certain they know at least part of the reason why the fires were able to do so:

During question time at a packed community meeting in Arthurs Creek on Melbourne’s northern fringe, Warwick Spooner — whose mother Marilyn and brother Damien perished along with their home in the Strathewen blaze — criticised the Nillumbik council for the limitations it placed on residents wanting the council’s help or permission to clean up around their properties in preparation for the bushfire season. “We’ve lost two people in my family because you dickheads won’t cut trees down,” he said.

It’s called bushfire season for a reason: the bush catches fire. If you want to reduce the effects, you cut back the bush. Policies that stop this are criminally dangerous.

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It’s Time to Push Back

If We Don’t Fight Now—When?

by Harriet M. Hageman

My father was a member of the Wyoming House of Representatives for 24 years. He always fought against granting general fund moneys to the Game and Fish Department, arguing that the moment any State does so, it would destroy our game and fish populations. He explained that if their funding was dependent upon the hunting and fishing industries, they would manage and protect our wildlife. If, on the other hand, the Game and Fish Departments received general funding, they would immediately turn towards the radical “enviro” anti-hunting, anti-management, anti-protection, pro-predator mentality.

He also said that we should never compromise our food supply by inserting into your energy chain.

He also said that the only way to protect our environment is to protect the caretakers, not the absentee owners that live (and govern) thousands of miles away.

My father passed away in 2006. He was right on many counts.

My contribution is this. The people in the resource management and use industries have created a utopia for the people who have never lifted a finger to do anything other than file lawsuits and send money to the Sierra Club. We have provided food and water resources for the wildlife. We have created and protected magnificent open spaces. We have provided food and water resources to our citizens. We have been the foundation of the prosperity in this Country for the last century (and before). We have created a standard of living that is unrivaled in the world. We have made life easy for many, many, many folks and, to my chagrin, made it possible for people to believe that you could continue to take from the producers, and give to the non-producers.

We are now on the brink of disaster, and I do not mean the economic situation. We are on the brink of disaster because, under the false pretense of addressing our economic situation, there are people who are crafting a spending package in Washington, D.C., that is designed to take all of that away (through regulations, taxes, introduction of predators, global warming hysteria, lawsuits, federally-controlled health care, etc.).

While I am worried about the future, I also believe that the only way to restore some common sense to our government and to our society is for this disaster to play itself out. We have always provided a buffer between the rhetoric (a chicken in every pot, universal health care is a constitutional right, we can solve the worlds problems by spreading the wealth around) and reality. As a result, we have been blamed, vilified, hung in effigy, hated, attacked, regulated beyond rational thought, and ridiculed. As Ayn Rand said, ” you can ignore reality, but you cannot ignore the consequences of reality.” By our sheer productivity and determination, even in the face of being regulated and lawsuited to death, we have made it possible for the citizens of our Country to not only ignore reality, but to ignore its consequences. Perhaps more dangerously, we have allowed our judicial, legislative, and executive branches to do so as well.

I believe that the current situation will be difficult (that is probably an understatement). It has become obvious to me, however, that we will never fix this problem, until the masses understand what the problem is. We have given them easy scapegoats (with the press failing miserably to tell the truth). We have made it easy for our educators to shovel misinformation to our students, because there have been no consequences for doing so. An example are the teachers in Wyoming who teach global warming propaganda, while ignoring the fact that coal pays their salaries. We have made it easy for people to wonder at the “beauty” of a wolf as it frolics in the meadow, because we have provided a steady, sustainable, healthy and safe food supply not only for our citizens, but for the wolves as well. We have made it easy for people to believe that government is the savior, because we have been able to succeed despite their intervention, bureaucracy, and inefficiency. We have made it easy to yell at oil and gas companies, because when the latest political rally and rock concert is over, everyone can go home to a heated home or unlimited air conditioning.

In short, we have to stop protecting the nitwits from the consequences of their decisions. We have to let them learn what it means to bow down to the god of global warming (a five-fold increase in heating and air conditioning bills — for a start); what it means to allow predators to decimate our ungulate population, and eventually our livestock industries (substantial increases in food costs); and what it means to allow the government to control everything from your health care decisions to what kind of a car you can drive.

I am, for the first time in a long time, optimistic about our future. I see a light at the end of the tunnel. I see that those of us out here in the hinterlands will not be bearing their bad decisions on our own. I see a Country of people that are far too spoiled, too satisfied, too safe, too prosperous, too independent to allow our government to go the way of Europe.

Now is the time to push back. Force the federal government to take responsibility for this mess. Do not let them foist this onto the States. We can win this battle if we turn our backs on Washington, D.C., and force them to do our bidding rather than the other way around. The States have the power, not the feds. We have forgotten this for far too long.

Note: Harriet M. Hageman of Hageman & Brighton, P.C., Cheyenne WY is a member of the Board of Directors for the Wyoming Water Association, the Advisory Board of the Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute, and the Steering Committee for the Wyoming Business Alliance. She is also Contributing Counsel to Good Neighbor Law [here].

29 Jan 2009, 11:54am
Politics and politicians Saving Forests
by admin
1 comment

Bailing Out Forests

The hugely irresponsible Stimulus Bill will probably send the country over the edge into economic oblivion. Spending a trillion dollars that do not exist on earmarked pork barrel projects is, in effect, looting the future incomes of Americans for generations.

The flushing away of the U.S. into a financial sewer, however, may have one tiny bright spot floating on top. H.R. 1, “The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009″ or Stimulus Bill passed by the House yesterday, promises $1.5 billion for forest improvement and maintenance.

The whole Bill (647 pages; 1.10 MB) is [here]. The page and a half dealing with forests reads:

pp. 119-120 of 647 pages

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FOREST SERVICE

CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT AND MAINTENANCE (INCLUDING TRANSFER OF FUNDS)

For an additional amount for ‘‘Capital Improvement and Maintenance’’, $650,000,000, for reconstruction, capital improvement, decommissioning, and maintenance of forest roads, bridges and trails; alternative energy technologies, energy efficiency enhancements and deferred maintenance at Federal facilities; and for remediation of abandoned mine sites, removal of fish passage barriers, and other critical habitat, forest improvement and watershed enhancement projects on Federal lands and waters:

Provided, That funds may be transferred to ‘‘National Forest System’’:

Provided further, That the amount set aside from this appropriation pursuant to section 1106 of this Act shall be not more than 5 percent instead of the percentage specified in such section.

WILDLAND FIRE MANAGEMENT (INCLUDING TRANSFERS OF FUNDS)

For an additional amount for ‘‘Wildland Fire Management’’, $850,000,000, of which $300,000,000 is for hazardous fuels reduction, forest health, wood to energy grants and rehabilitation and restoration activities on Federal lands, and of which $550,000,000 is for State fire assistance hazardous fuels projects, volunteer fire assistance, cooperative forest health projects, city forest enhancements, and wood to energy grants on State and private lands:

Provided, That amounts in this paragraph may be transferred to ‘‘State and Private Forestry’’ and ‘‘National Forest System’’:

Provided further, That the amount set aside from this appropriation pursuant to section 1106
of this Act shall be not more than 5 percent instead of the percentage specified in such section.

The legal language is arcane and non-specific. There is no telling what the grasping greedhead bureaucrats will actually do with the funny money. But there is a slight chance that some restoration forestry might possibly take place (after everybody and their brother skims the graft off, of course).

The verbiage does include the words “forest improvement and watershed enhancement” and “restoration activities on Federal lands.” The word “rehabilitation” is also used, thereby implying a distinction between restoration and rehabilitation, which is a good thing.

Rehabilitation is treating incinerated forests after they have burned. Restoration is treating forests before they are roasted by fire in order to protect them from total incineration.

Whether any of either actually happens as a result of the Stimulus Bill is anybody’s guess. The Bill still has to pass the Senate and be signed by the President. The forestry language could be gutted from the Bill by then (who knows?). The funny money may never be allocated. The bureaucrats may not (I guarantee you they don’t) have a clue as to what to do with it if and when they get the money. The entire nation could be circling the bowl by then.

All manner of terrible slips ‘tween cup and lip could happen, but there is also a glimmer of hope that something good for forests might possibly come from this craziness.

We will continue to track this mad bus as it careens down the road. God Bless America.

26 Jan 2009, 2:13pm
Politics and politicians Saving Forests
by admin
10 comments

Montana Bill to Reduce Wildfire Risk

Sen. Dave Lewis, R-Helena, representing Senate District 42 in the Montana Legislature, has introduced Senate Bill 34 that extends the authority of counties to reduce fire hazards on USFS lands.

SB 34 is [here]. It passed the Montana State Senate last Saturday by a vote of 42 to 7. Now it remains for the Montana House and Governor Gov. Brian Schweitzer to sign on.

SB 34 adds to the “Community Decay” provisions of state law the words “the natural accumulation of fuel, INCLUDING NOXIOUS WEEDS, for fire that poses a threat to public health or safety.”

The bill would allow allow officers and employees of the county to enter upon Federal property for the specific purpose of abating the fire hazard and to assess the Feds for the actual costs for the abatement.

Sen. Lewis authored a guest column at Headwaters News [here] that explains SB 34:

Montana bill would reduce wildfire risk

By Sen. Dave Lewis, Guest Column, Headwaters News, Jan 26, 2009

What would Thomas Jefferson do?

I proposed a bill to the Montana Interim Fire Committee last summer. The concept was, effectively, if a federal agency let fuel build up on its land to the point that such buildup threatened private property owners then Montana counties could step in and reduce those fuels.

The point of the legislation is that since the Forest Service is hampered by lawsuits every time a timber sale is proposed, county governments would have the ability to step in and reduce the risk, which might enable the work to get done. The committee recommended the bill and I presented in on the floor of the state Senate last week. It passed 42-7 on Saturday.

I was pleased that senators understood the risk to the people of Montana brought on by the build-up of fuel in the national forests. The bill exempted private land used for agricultural purposes, which would be any land used to grow trees or grass for grazing. I believe that it is clear that only federal land is affected. It was a good long debate with lots of good questions.

The biggest problem with the bill is that it may violate the federal Constitution. My theory is that if you allow yourself to be slowed down by something like that, then you will never get anything done.

The Supremacy Clause of the federal Constitution that says state and local governments have no say about how federal lands are managed. That provision has never been tested, to my knowledge, on the basis that the buildup of fuel on federal lands puts the property and lives of the neighboring landowners at risk. I think that it is time to test it. Sometimes you have to keep driving until you hear glass breaking!

I thought long and hard about challenging the U.S. Constitution. However, I kept coming back to the people who drafted it 250 years ago. I cannot imagine that Thomas Jefferson and the other people who developed this language ever imagined that we could have situation where citizens of this state would have to literally run for their lives in front of out-of-control fires.

Consider the impact of millions of acres of federal land being devastated by the beetle epidemic we are now experiencing. There will be tons of fuel added to every acre of our forests. This will give us fires of an intensity that we can not even imagine. There is a potential for a fire like the 1910 wildfire that burned most of North Idaho and Western Montana. We have a lot more people and development in this area than we had in 1910.

So when you see that your senator sponsored a bill that may violate the federal Constitution, please know that he can sleep at night because he knows that Thomas Jefferson did not intend to put our lives at risk..

Now we just have to convince the House, Gov. Brian Schweitzer, and the federal courts. If we do not try, then we are going to regret it. Those fires are coming!

In related news, a bipartisan group of senators led by OR Sen. Ron Wyden are urging that the stimulus package include $1.52 billion in funding to log and thin national forests to reduce the potential for huge fires. See [here].

Oregon Governor Flips Wig

The Salem Lookout reports that Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski is having religious visions regarding global warming. They quote Strange Ted:

[Al] Gore is like John the Baptist in the Christian gospels, Kulongoski says. “He’s the prophet that tells you what’s coming.”

Teddy the Torch has never been all that mentally stable. While the largest fire in Oregon history was burning (the 2002 Biscuit Fire - 500,000 acres) Ted proclaimed, “Healthy forests stink… they just stink.”

The Outlook story [here] hints that Ted has finally gone over the edge. Some excerpts:

Salem climate change: Kulongoski earning green stripes

Global warming agenda pushed for 2009 session

By Steve Law, Pamplin Media Group, Jan 15, 2009

State crackdowns on polluters during Ted Kulongoski’s reign as governor have been timid or even toothless, according to many critics.

The governor’s early bid for a signature environmental achievement——cleaning up the Willamette River——ran aground.

But Kulongoski has found his green niche, and maybe his place in Oregon history, with an aggressive campaign to forestall global warming by reducing carbon emissions.

Under his stewardship, Oregon is swiftly becoming a world manufacturing center of solar energy materials, and a hotbed for wind and wave energy development.

Note: the sun has pierced the clouds over the Willamette Valley all of twice, for an hour or two, in the last three months. Oregon is famous for rain, not sunshine. Ted Screwloose wants to tear down the hydroelectric dams (renewable energy produced by our abundant runoff) and install solar panels where the sun don’t shine.

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Bribery In Action: Mt. Hoodgate

In September, 2006 SOS Forests reported on Mt. Hoodgate, a sweetheart bailout package for a multi-million dollar company and its tycoon owner [here]. The Oregonian reported it too, in a full-color editorial that called for the American taxpayers pony up the cash and land to buyout/tradeout a private company.

Well, it happened. S. 22, the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009, was passed Sunday by Harry Reid and the US Senate, their very first action of 2009. The entire Act is 1,264 pages and may be downloaded [here].

I haven’t read the whole thing yet (it’s 1,264 pages long), but right there on pages 62 to 66 is the sweetheart landswap with the millionaire, laid out in black and white or more properly red ink for taxpayers. All that is missing is the quid pro quo that sleazed into Sen. Ron Wyden’s back pocket.

SEC. 1206. LAND EXCHANGES.
4 (a) COOPER SPUR-GOVERNMENT CAMP LAND EXCHANGE.—
6 (1) DEFINITIONS.—In this subsection:
7 (A) COUNTY.—The term ‘‘County’’ means
8 Hood River County, Oregon.
9 (B) EXCHANGE MAP.—The term ‘‘exchange map’’ means the map entitled ‘‘Cooper
11 Spur/Government Camp Land Exchange’’,
12 dated June 2006.
13 (C) FEDERAL LAND.—The term ‘‘Federal
14 land’’ means the approximately 120 acres of
15 National Forest System land in the Mount
16 Hood National Forest in Government Camp,
17 Clackamas County, Oregon, identified as
18 ‘‘USFS Land to be Conveyed’’ on the exchange
19 map.
20 (D) MT. HOOD MEADOWS.—The term ‘‘Mt.
21 Hood Meadows’’ means the Mt. Hood Meadows
22 Oregon, Limited Partnership.
23 (E) NON-FEDERAL LAND.—The term
24 ‘‘non-Federal land’’ means—

1 (i) the parcel of approximately 770
2 acres of private land at Cooper Spur identified as ‘‘Land to be acquired by USFS’’
4 on the exchange map; and
5 (ii) any buildings, furniture, fixtures,
6 and equipment at the Inn at Cooper Spur
7 and the Cooper Spur Ski Area covered by
8 an appraisal described in paragraph
9 (2)(D).

In September of 2006 we reported that the US Government Accountability Office investigated the deal, and the investigators had serious problems with the land appraisals. It seems the appraised land values on the acres the private company, Mt. Hood Meadows Oregon, Limited Partnership, wishes to convey to the government were hugely overstated.

The parcel of land that the private company wants to exchange is roughly 770 acres of fresh clearcuts. It is almost worthless. The land used to belong to Hood River County, up until a few years ago, when the private company swapped their Dog River 850 acres for HRC’s 770 acres. The HRC Forestry Department had previously clearcut 80 to 90 percent of the 770 acres over the last 20 or so years.

At the time of the land swap, the company was led to believe they could put a destination resort on the clearcut land, a land use the county had denied them on the Dog River property. Then the old switcheroo was pulled by HRC, and the company was left holding a bag of clearcut land they couldn’t use.

Business is business. Everybody went into the deal open-eyed. If both parties’ vision was clouded by greed, it is their own fault. If there were contract faults or mis-performances, then sue. Don’t ask the American taxpayers to bail out millionaires!

However, Oregon’s Congressional Delegation did exactly that, setting it up via S. 22 so that American taxpayers bail out the company. S. 22 calls for swapping 120 USFS acres in Government Camp for the 770 acres in HRC. The problem is, the 770 acres is nearly worthless, and the Government Camp acreage is worth millions.

Furthermore, the USFS has no desire for the clearcuts. They already have enough of that. The 770 acres does not block them up, but spreads Federal ownership out into private lands in an intrusive smear. This is in direct opposition to their Congressionally mandated land trade/acquisition policies.

The 770 acres has no special resource values. If it did at one time, the people of HRC took care of that by clearcutting it. If the 770 acres still has resource values, then the clearcuts didn’t impair them, and there is no need for the government to acquire the clearcuts to “protect” anything special.

The whole deal is out of the norm for USFS land swaps, to say the least. Frankly, the whole deal is a scam to enrich the rich at taxpayers’ expense. The actual parcels are just symbolic fronts for vast sums to be drained from the Federal Treasury to wealthy donors and to Ron Wyden.

Quid pro quo. You jam money at the Senator and he will reach into the Federal Treasury and pay you back a hundred-fold with the taxpayer’s land and money. That’s the way the bribery game works. He’ll write a special sweetheart law just for you, if you reward him handsomely for it.

Government land for sale or trade cheap, to the land sharks who play the game.

Note: more to come on S. 22. It is 1,264 pages after all, and there is enough sleaze in it to choke an elephant.

Senate Pushes Massive Forest Holocaust Act

In the very first act of the 2009 Congress the US Senate pushed through a catastrophic incineration bill that guarantees megafire holocausts across Oregon the West.

While the national economy collapses, the US Senate fiddled and earmarked 200,000 acres in Oregon and 2 million acres in eight other states for wholesale destruction by raging wildfire. It is important to note that those fires will not stop at the newly designated holocaust boundaries, either.

The Oregonian reported today [here]

WASHINGTON — Crashing through a barrier that blocked popular wilderness bills for more than a year, the Senate on Sunday voted overwhelmingly in favor of legislation that would permanently protect more than 200,000 acres of threatened “natural treasures” near Mount Hood and other Oregon locations, as well as 2 million acres in eight other states.

The 66-12 vote on a rare weekend session cleared the way for final passage later this week of a sprawling public lands bill that extends formal wilderness status and protection to federal land across a wide swath of the country in addition to expanding national parks.

Though many senators grumbled about a Sunday session, the vote was a happy milestone for Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., who has been pushing the Oregon elements for more than a year only to be blocked by objections from a single Republican lawmaker.

With Sunday’s vote, those objections have been overcome and the path to additional protection for land and streams in Oregon has largely been cleared.

Protection? Guaranteed destruction is more like it. Last summer alone catastrophic fires incinerated old-growth forests, habitat, and heritage in the Boulder Creek Wilderness, Sky Lakes Wilderness, South Sierra Wilderness, Jarbidge Wilderness, and Ventana Wilderness. The damages beyond the Wilderness boundaries from smoke, fire, and watershed destruction were severe and will be long-lasting.

Other designated wilderness areas subject to catastrophic fires since designation include Alpine Lakes, Bandelier, Black Canyon, Bob Marshall, Bull of the Woods, Frank Church-River of No Return, Golden Trout, Gospel Hump, Hells Canyon, Lake Chelan-Sawtooth, Manzano Mountain, Marble Mountains, Mount Adams, Mount Hood, Mount Jefferson, Mount Washington, Okefenokee, Rogue Umpqua Divide, Saddle Mountain, Selway-Bitterroot, Siskiyou, Tatoosh, Yolla-Bolly, San Rafael, Dick Smith, Three Sisters, Kalmiopsis, Matilija, and many others.

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Global Warming Jackanapes

Hot off the wire: debunked and defrocked former Washington State Climatologist Philip Mote has been hired by Oregon Goober Ted Chokeandgagme to head a new political office of “climate change”. From the Capitol Press [here].

Climate expert hired for Oregon research institute

CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) - Washington state climate scientist Philip Mote, who helped write major reports on global warming, will head an Oregon research institute focused on climate change.

Mote, Washington’s state climatologist, will lead the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute. The institute is at Oregon State University but is shared by the statewide university system.

Mote will be a professor in OSU’s College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences [COAS].

Mote has led research on climate changes in the Pacific Northwest and was a lead author of a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which received a Nobel Prize.

The institute will support Oregon’s new Global Warming Commission, created by Gov. Ted Kulongoski.

The perceptive Rogue Pundit (the best eclectic blog in Oregon) reported this travesty [here]:

Scientific Integrity Not Required

January 06, 2009

Almost two years ago now, there was an embarrassing public battle at the University of Washington’s Department of Atmospheric Sciences over the snowpack reduction in the Northwest (previous blog here). Supposedly, the snowpack had been cut in half since 1950. However, a couple of professors got studying the data and found that was overstated. First, they noted that using 1950 as the baseline was cherry picking, because the previous decade had been unusually snowy. Going back to a more normal 1940, the reduction in snowpack today is 10-15 percent. And, there has been little change in the snowpack over the last 30 years.

That revision didn’t sit well with one of their compatriots-Philip Mote, whose career had been propelled in part by his claims of a dramatic decrease in the snowpack here in the Northwest. The Department chair had to mediate the squabble and do some damage control. He published a revised number regarding the snowpack reduction…30 percent since 1945. Yet Mote not only kept on citing a higher number, but tried to suppress the dissenting views of his colleagues-none of whom can be called skeptics of climate change. Yikes.

Guess where the discredited Philip Mote has gotten a new job?

Washington state climate scientist Philip Mote, who helped write major reports on global warming, will head an Oregon research institute focused on climate change. …

The institute will support Oregon’s new Global Warming Commission, created by Gov. Ted Kulongoski.

In Obama and Biden’s Plan for Science and Innovation, their lead bullet is:

Restoring integrity to U.S. science policy to ensure that decisions that can be informed by science are made on the basis of the strongest possible evidence.

OSU and the Governor obviously aren’t on board with that goal

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AGW Alarmist Wacko Reveals Marxist Agenda

James Hansen of NASA took time out from his busy schedule of shouting, “The seas are going to boil! The seas are going to boil!” [here] to write a letter to incoming dimbulb B. Obama. The substance of the chief wacko’s missive: hammer the US with carbon taxes as a “wealth redistribution” scheme.

NASA’s Hansen to Obama: Use Global Warming to Redistribute Wealth

By Noel Sheppard, NewsBusters, January 1, 2009 [here]

Climate realists around the world have contended for years that the real goal of alarmists such as Nobel Laureate Al Gore and his followers is to use the fear of man-made global warming to redistribute wealth.

On Monday, one of Gore’s leading scientific resources, Goddard Institute for Space Studies chief James Hansen, sent a letter to Barack and Michelle Obama specifically urging the president-elect to enact a tax on carbon emissions that would take money from higher-income Americans and distribute the proceeds to the less fortunate.

Dear Michelle and Barack,

…A rising carbon price is essential to “decarbonize” the economy, i.e., to move the nation toward the era beyond fossil fuels. The most effective way to achieve this is a carbon tax (on oil, gas, and coal) at the well-head or port of entry. The tax will then appropriately affect all products and activities that use fossil fuels. The public’s near-term, mid-term, and long-term lifestyle choices will be affected by knowledge that the carbon tax rate will be rising.

The public will support the tax if it is returned to them, equal shares on a per capita basis (half shares for children up to a maximum of two child-shares per family), deposited monthly in bank accounts. No large bureaucracy is needed. A person reducing his carbon footprint more than average makes money. A person with large cars and a big house will pay a tax much higher than the dividend. Not one cent goes to Washington. No lobbyists will be supported. Unlike cap-and-trade, no millionaires would be made at the expense of the public. …

James and Anniek Hansen
Pennsylvania
United States of America

Let’s all drink Hansen’s Kool Aid! Tax the bejeebers out of carbon and divvy the proceeds equally (half shares to the kiddies). No bureaucracy needed!

Or else the seas will boil!!!!!

We don’t know what Jimmy has been smoking but he ought to share it with the hippies.

One saving grace in this letter: Hansen was careful to inform B.O. that Pennsylvania is in the USA. That saved B.O. the embarrassment of admitting ignorance on the subject. Yep, B.O., PA is one of our 57 states. You might want to bone up on this stuff, seeing as you are going to be POTUS and all that.

Some other choice quotes from Hansen’s letter:

[W]e must reduce greenhouse gases below present amounts to preserve nature and humanity

Coal plants are factories of death.

Burning all the fossil fuels will destroy the planet we know, Creation

Barack’s leadership is essential to explain to the world what is needed.

The End Is Near. The seas are going to boil! James Hansen’s solution: tax to the max and then hand out the money in shares to everybody, not just to Wall Street sharks and corporate bigwigs. Then we can all burn the cash to keep warm, since the power will be shut off.

Meanwhile, in other news, record winter cold seizes the Northern Hemisphere…

By the way, if a colder climate is so desirable, why do all those tens of millions of people choose to live in California and Florida while Alaska is mostly open space? Could it be that most folks secretly (and not so secretly) think that Warmer Is Better?!?!

Junk Science, GW Alarmist Hoaxers Take Over White House

The propaganda spin-meisters are out in full force as the next President has selected the worst crop of junk science, global warming hoaxers imaginable.

There is no global warming. The globe has been cooling for the last ten years. Greenhouse gas theories have been proved wrong by the empirical evidence. The climate models are not “skillful” in that their predictions have been falsified by reality. We are facing continued cooling for at least the next thirty years due to solar quiescence and oceanic oscillations [here].

Despite overwhelming evidence against global warming, the incoming administration plans to cripple our (already reeling) economy with cap-and-trade, carbon taxes, and skyrocketing energy costs. Nothing that they intend to do will affect global climates one iota, but the crushing economic depression will harm billions of people.

Moreover, warmer is better. Warmer means longer growing seasons, more rain, shorter winters, increased biological productivity, and expanding biological diversity. Equatorial regions are the most productive and diverse; polar regions the least. The planet has almost always been warmer than today, going back the hundreds of millions of years since life first appeared on dry land. We are current in a neo-glaciation phase, and the future holds another Ice Age with continental ice sheets two miles thick. Ice Age glaciations have occurred with clock-like regularity for 2 million years and all evidence suggests another looms.

But it is politically incorrect to say so. The best science has been hammered down by PC junk science for reasons of political authoritarianism. Real science has always been stifled by tyranny and thought control, and tragically the incoming administration embodies that fact.

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The Fix Is In — Lawsuit to Kill Old-Growth

The enviros are suing again, this time to promote, not prevent, the destruction of old-growth forests.

Shocking but true. I’ll say that again, just so you don’t get the message backwards. A slash pile of so-called “conservation” groups filed a lawsuit Nov. 24th against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to enjoin the Spotted Owl Recovery Plan. Their reasoning: the Plan allows for restoration forestry that would prevent and/or reduce the impact of catastrophic fire in Oregon old-growth forests.

Some background. The northern spotted owl was listed as endangered species in 1990. Finally, 18 years later, a recovery plan was presented last May [here], after the USFWS was forced to do so by court order. The reason given by the USFWS for NOT creating a recovery plan in all those years, something required within 3 years of listing under the Endangered Species Act, was that the Northwest Forest Plan satisfied that requirement. From the USFWS Press Release that accompanied the 2008 The Northern Spotted Owl Recovery Plan (NSORP):

A draft recovery plan for the northern spotted owl was completed in 1992 but not finalized due to the development of the Northwest Forest Plan, which amended 26 land and resource management plans (LRMPs) of the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management. These LRMPs serve as the basis of conservation for a wide variety of species, including the northern spotted owl. The draft recovery plan released today builds on the Forest Plan and solely addresses the recovery needs of the northern spotted owl.

The Northwest Forest Plan has been a catastrophic failure. Spotted owl populations have declined 60 percent or more, old-growth habitat has been incinerated in megafires, and the economy of the region, especially the rural economy, has been decimated. Absolutely no good has come from the Northwest Forest Plan. The years of suffering and tragedy associated have been a monumental waste.

A draft spotted owl recovery plan was proposed by the USFWS over a year ago, but withdrawn after wide criticisms. The draft plan promoted “wildland fire use” (whoofoos) in spotted owl forests. The final plan, the NSORP, threw out all the whoofoo language.

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Magistrate Laporte Thumbs Nose at Judge Brimmer

Tuesday Magistrate Elizabeth Laporte of San Francisco reinstated Clinton’s Roadless Rule, again, in spite of US District Judge Clarence A. Brimmer’s issuance of a permanent national injunction against that Rule last August [here].

Magistrate Laporte decided that the Clinton Roadless Rule would stand in the Ninth District (and New Mexico), but not the Tenth District. In “the spirit of comity” Laporte decided Judge Brimmer’s national injunction was regional only, and her magistrateship would trump Judge Brimmer’s in California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Idaho, and Montana, and New Mexico, too, even though the latter is the Tenth District [see US District Court map here].

Some comity, eh? More like a game of chicken. Magistrate Laporte’s decision is [here]. Specifically, she

… set aside the State Petitions for Inventoried Roadless Area Management Rule (“State Petitions Rule”) (70 Fed. Reg. 25,654 (May 13, 2005), reinstated the Roadless Area Conservation Rule (“Roadless Rule”) (66 Fed. Reg. 3,244 (Jan. 12, 2001) and enjoined Defendants “from taking any further action contrary to the Roadless Rule without undertaking environmental analysis consistent with this opinion.”

In so many words, Magistrate Laporte enjoined the State Petitions procedure because implementation of that procedure was done without an Environmental Impact Statement as required under NEPA (the National Environmental Policy Act).

Now this is complicated, so I hope you follow it. Clinton’s Roadless Rule (locking up 58.5 million acres) was done as a last minute act just before Slick Willie departed the Oval Office. His Rule was jammed through by then USFS Chief Mike Dombeck without proper NEPA analysis. After Bush II took office, a number of states sued the USFS under NEPA. Wyoming’s petition was heard by Judge Brimmer. He ruled, in 2003, that Clinton’s Roadless Rule was arbitrary and capricious because it violated NEPA.

Get it? The original Rule violated NEPA. The USFS was in a quandary. What to do, what to do? They didn’t want to throw out Slick Willie’s and Dombeck’s junk Rule, but they were ordered to do so by the Tenth Circuit Court. Indeed, fourteen additional courts found the same flaws that Judge Brimmer did. So Bush II’s USFS Chief, Dale Bosworth, decided to let the individual state’s have some say so in whether they wanted all that acreage declared roadless or not.

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14 Nov 2008, 10:40am
Politics and politicians Saving Forests
by admin
6 comments

Omnibus Monstrous Disastrous

The lame duck Congress has gone quackers. Harry Reid (D, Mafia) has honked his intention to burden American with the morbidly obese Omnibus Lands Bill. Dirty Harry has scheduled Monday as the day when he puts a gun to the head of rural America, and pulls the trigger.

The Omnibus Lands Bill is a humongous land grab that will shut down and lock up millions of acres of public land. Made up of over 150 separate pieces of legislation, the Omnibus Lands Grab designates millions of acres of Wilderness in eight states, at least three wild and scenic rivers, four national trails, and authorizes dozens of land exchanges and land conveyances.

Congresspersons are lining up to hang pet projects on this pig. Vicious little subversive acts that would never stand on their own have been larded onto the Omnibus Lands Bill. No due process, no public hearings, no consideration of public will, and no evaluation of environmental impact are the hallmarks of this sausage-making.

While families across the country struggling with their mortgages, excessive gas and food prices, and uncertain financial conditions, the Senate is scheduled to spend the few remaining legislative days of 2008 forcing through a bill that not only ignores these problems, but will exacerbate them.

The Omnibus Lands Bill will lock up land for holocaust incineration in megafires the likes of which this country has never seen. It will prohibit energy exploration on vast tracts of the public estate. It will restrict the use of the Federal domain for wealth-creation, recreation, wise-use, unwise use, and any use whatsoever.

Massive lock up, devaluation, and wholesale destruction of millions of acres of public lands is the most irresponsible program imaginable, especially when the country is reeling under an economic crisis that portends another Great Depression.

Harry has lost his mind. The King of Earmarks has finally gone completely bonkers. The Senate Majority Leader, fresh from stealing all the water in Nevada, now wishes to inflict a reign of terror across America. Burn Harry Burn was NOT elected by the People two weeks ago. He wasn’t on my ballot. I would have voted to dump Harry in Lake Mead wearing cement shoes, but that was not one of the measures we got to vote on.

Lame ducks are planning to steal your land. The heist is scheduled for Monday. Some of the myriad attachments include shoveling money to extremist cults. That kind of thing is all the fashion these days in ACORN-ville. Shakedown slush funds for eco-terrorist groups were also missing from the ballot, but not from the Omnibus Lands Bill grab bag.

The Omnibus should be thrown under the bus. We don’t need these multiple stabs in the back from Congress. Call your Congressperson and Senators today and explain to them why stealing from you is a no-no. They are dense, so be explicit.

Mt. Hood Wilderness Expansion Is Bad Public Lands Policy

Wilderness designation is fatal to forests. As we pointed out in our (not yet completed) series entitled Fraudulent Wilderness [here, here, here], wilderness designation destroys forests, wildlife, habitat, watersheds, airsheds, heritage, and other environmental values by eliminating stewardship, stewardship that has been ongoing in the Americas for 13,500 years.

For example, this summer catastrophic fires incinerated old-growth forests, habitat, and heritage in the Boulder Creek Wilderness, Sky Lakes Wilderness, South Sierra Wilderness, Jarbidge Wilderness, and Ventana Wilderness. The damages beyond the Wilderness boundaries from smoke, fire, and watershed destruction were severe and will be long-lasting.

Other designated wilderness areas subject to catastrophic fires since designation include Alpine Lakes, Bandelier, Black Canyon, Bob Marshall, Bull of the Woods, Frank Church-River of No Return, Golden Trout, Gospel Hump, Hells Canyon, Lake Chelan-Sawtooth, Manzano Mountain, Marble Mountains, Mount Adams, Mount Hood, Mount Jefferson, Mount Washington, Okefenokee, Rogue Umpqua Divide, Saddle Mountain, Selway-Bitterroot, Siskiyou, Tatoosh, Yolla-Bolly, San Rafael, Dick Smith, Three Sisters, Kalmiopsis, Matilija, and many others.

The lame duck Congress is gearing up to declare millions more acres “wilderness” in contempt of the true nature of those lands and without regard for the environmentally disastrous consequences.

The following letter from Mr. John Marker, USFS (ret.) points out to Congress, once again, that wilderness designation is fraught with negative externalities, not the least of which is the inevitable destruction of watershed values. SOS Forests kudos to John for his unwavering devotion to good stewardship and indefatigable efforts to educate Congress about the on-the-ground realities.

10 November 2008

To: Senator Ron Wyden

Dear Senator Wyden:

Once again I write to you urging reconsideration of your support for expanded legislated wilderness on Mt. Hood. The past summer provided another wake up call of why wilderness expansion is a bad idea. The Gnarl Ridge Fire, the second major fire in the last five years on the North side of Mt Hood, burned 3280 acres, killing most of the trees on half of the burned area, and damaging trees on the remainder. The fire would have also destroyed Cloud Cap Inn and Tilly Jane recreation area, both historic sites, without several accurate air tanker drops and good luck. Control costs of the fire are estimated at $15 million.

The Gnarl fire burned through about 40% of the Crystal Springs Water District’s Zone of Contribution, land that collects snow and rain for Crystal Springs, a major source of domestic water for the Hood River Valley. Damage to the watershed is still being studied. Insect killed trees, heavy fuel loading from overstocked forests, topography and lack of access were major obstacles to control of this fire. Half of the land burned was in designated wilderness. Wilderness areas, as the two recent fires illustrate, neither save or protect Mt. Hood. Fire on the mountain with today’s fuel loading and changing weather conditions is not natural, but destructive, and healing the damage is in decades if not centuries. The expansion of legal wilderness area on the mountain is bad public policy, in my opinion, based upon 50 years as a forester.

The goal of protecting this magnificent natural resource is commendable, but proposed wilderness expansion will, in my view, place the mountain at greater risk of damage, and also increase risk of harm to neighboring lands and communities. The proposal also ignores the 1897 Organic Act’s mandate of sustained production of renewable resources from the national forests with water and wood priority. Wood supply may no longer be critical, but water is, and certainly from Mt. Hood.

Legislated Wilderness provides no protection for the land from impacts of fire, insects, disease, catastrophic storms, air pollution or climate change. This designation severely limits the ability to control or prevent damage from such forces by strictly limiting management and treatment options as well as access. Wilderness constraints jeopardize protection of adjacent non-wilderness areas such as Bull Run, Government Camp, Cooper Spur and other land and communities adjacent to the national forest.

Currently many areas of forest inside the proposed Wilderness expansions are threatened by aggressive insect and disease activity, plus the continuing build up of fire risk from dead and overcrowded trees. If, as many scientists predict, the Northwest climate pattern continues warmer and drier, the risk of destruction will expand as forest ecosystems are weakened by this change. The increasing human use of the mountain also raises the threat of damage to the land from overuse and abuse. To ignore these realities contradicts the stated goal of “protecting” and “saving” Mt. Hood.

An alternative for protecting Mt. Hood is available. It is development of the plan called for in the Walden-Blumenauer legislative proposal, starting with acknowledgement of the biological and climatic forces constantly at work on the mountain, which recognizes Mt. Hood’s critical role of providing clean and abundant water for more than a million people living in its shadow. The plan must also recognize the reality of federal budget constraints.

Once these fundamentals are understood, a plan for the mountain’s future, with watershed value as the critical resource, can be built. It will establish guidelines for protecting watershed values, the forests, recreation and other values. This process can be expedited by using the existing congressionally mandated national forest plan as a starting point.

To my way of thinking, recognition up front of the priority for Mt. Hood management, and understanding that locking up the land is not the way to save or protect against the challenges of people and nature. Stretching and bending the intent and provisions of the Wilderness Act to “protect” and “save” this land does a disservice to the intent of the act and those who created it, and to the public’s land.

Sincerely:

John F. Marker, Forester (ret.)

 
  
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