How Not to Manage the Border

The US Fish and Wildlife Service manages the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge in south Arizona, on the Mexican border. So-called “humanitarian” groups have requested that the Refuge establish drinking water stations for the thousands of illegal border crossers who travel through the Refuge.

Plan would clear way for water stations on Buenos Aires refuge

Dale Quinn, Arizona Daily Star, April 4, 2010 [here]

Officials are asking for public input on a proposal to establish and maintain drinking water stations in the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge to prevent migrant deaths in the rugged terrain southwest of Tucson.

The proposal signals a resolution to a standoff between refuge officials and humanitarian groups that have left gallon-jugs of water on illegal immigrant trails southeast of Arivaca.

“We tried to reach a happy medium,” said refuge manager Michael Hawkes.

Refuge staffers and representatives from the aid organizations have been working together for months on ideas about positioning water stations in a way that causes the least impact to sensitive wildlife, said Gene Lefebvre, a retired minister and co-founder of No More Deaths.

Volunteers from No More Deaths, Samaritans and Humane Borders have received littering tickets in several instances over the past two years for putting out jugs on refuge land.

A prosecutor recently asked the court to dismiss charges against 13 people who had placed water jugs, Lefebvre said. …

“Humanitarian aid” is not what that plan would achieve. Encouraging illegal border crossers leads to frequent deaths of the illegals and to legal residents, via murder and other violence. Border deaths in Arizona exceed 200 per year. Enticing illegal transit through a wildlife refuge is a crime against humanity and the environment.
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Global Warming Is To Blame For Everything

It’s global warming’s fault. No matter what it is, global warming did it. As reported [here]:

Among the items on the list: acne, alligators in Britain’s Thames River, brain-eating amoebas, childhood insomnia, the risk of an asteroid strike, attacks from killer jellyfish, the death of the Loch Ness monster, killer cornflakes, the extinction of salmon, and a change in the tilt of the Earth’s axis.

Also on the list: frogs with extra heads, frostbite, witchcraft executions, traffic jams, UFO sightings, a walrus stampede, an invasion of king crabs, indigestion, short-nosed dogs, and nuclear war.

An outfit called Number Watch has compiled a list of 756 dire outcomes allegedly caused by global warming. But they can’t keep up. Yesterday Science Daily presented #757: Swiss needle cast.

Forests at Risk: Swiss Needle Cast Epidemic in Douglas-Fir Trees Unprecedented, Still Getting Worse

ScienceDaily, Apr. 12, 2010 [here]

The Swiss needle cast epidemic in Douglas-fir forests of the coastal Pacific Northwest is continuing to intensify, appears to be unprecedented over at least the past 100 years, and is probably linked to the extensive planting of Douglas-fir along the coast and a warmer climate, new research concludes.

What warmer climate? The climate in Oregon is the same as it has been for the entire Holocene. If anything, it is COOLER now than it was 6 to 9,000 years ago, albeit by only a degree or two.

Last December we reported [here] that glacial runoff from glaciers along the Gulf of Alaska are enriching near shore marine ecosystems with organic debris. The debris has been carbon-dated and is 2,500 to 7,000 years old.

The evidence strongly suggests that forests existed along the Gulf of Alaska between 2,500 to 7,000 years ago but have been subsequently covered by glaciers. The crushed organic matter from those forests is being expelled by the glaciers there today. From 2,500 to 7,000 years ago the coast of Alaska was warm enough to grow forests. That is not the case today.

Neoglaciation has been occurring for the last 6,000+ years, ever since temperatures started to decline from the Holocene Climatic Optimum, entirely consistent with the decline in solar insolation due to Milankovitch cycles, which peaked ~10,000 years ago.

The Earth has been cooling for 6,000+ years as we head toward another Ice Age, a pattern that has been repeated ~18 times over the last 1.8 million years.

To make matters in Oregon cooler, 2 to 3 years ago the Pacific Decadal Oscillation [here] shifted into its cool phase, bringing cooler water to Oregon’s coast and cooling our weather patterns. Cooler, cooler, cooler cooler.

Hence, therefore, and ergo, it can’t be warmer weather that is causing the Swiss needle cast epidemic, since our weather here is cooler now.

Note: it’s 40 deg F right now. Which is a good thing because it didn’t frost last night on the fruit blossoms. However, we had hard frosts earlier this week and more are expected. Orchardists are smudging from Medford to Hood River.

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The Largest Tax Gouge in the History of the Planet

Four days after Tax Day, 2010, a bill enacting the largest tax increase in the history of the world is set to appear on the floor of the U.S. Senate.

Tax-Zilla is couched as an energy and climate bill by the “Three Tax-a-teers” Sens. John Kerry, Lindsey Graham, and Joe Lieberman.

Crunch time for climate change bill

By Ben Geman, The Hill, 04/12/10 [here]

It’s crunch time for the climate bill in the Senate.

As Congress returns from recess, the Senate trio crafting a compromise global warming bill are under pressure to gain the traction needed for floor action this year.

Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) plan to unveil their long-awaited energy and climate bill the week of April 19. Earth Day is April 22.

From there, they have just weeks to build momentum and show Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) that it has a strong chance of surpassing 60 votes, observers say. …

Banking on the fear generated by Algore’s global warming hoax, the Tax-a-teers hope to inflict the largest tax hike ever on an economy already reeling from runaway government deficit spending.

Socialist Obamaloids are drooling at the prospect of socking America with $10,000 per year exactions on every man, woman, and child in America. The blood-sucking will come from new taxes on energy which will cause immediate price inflation on every commodity across the nation.

But the Obama administration wants something more ambitious. White House officials are working with KGL on their legislation and pressing the Senate not to abandon emissions caps.

“We are very clear that we want comprehensive legislation,” White House energy and climate adviser Carol Browner said April 6. “Every now and then you will hear talk about maybe an energy-only bill. We think that would be unfortunate.”

Yesterday long-faced John Kerry dropped the H-bomb analogy, comparing global warming to thermonuclear annihilation [here] in an effort to inflame paranoia about what many have called the Greatest Hoax in History. Rest assured the impacts of his history-making tax gouge will far surpass any imaginary effects of putative “climate change”.

With the American economy in tatters, record home foreclosures, and double-digit unemployment, all the U.S. Congress can think of to do is tax to the max like there’s no tomorrow.

Meanwhile millions of angry voters will be protesting outrageous government theft on April 15th in TEA Parties at city halls and state capitols from sea to shining sea.

Congress is unfazed, however, knowing full well that American voters are the most gullible fools since lemmings were invented. Acne-ridden Acornistas and the hysterically paranoid set would vote for Mao Tse Tung if they had the chance. In fact, we may have already elected a Mao clone for president.

If you haven’t had enough of Socialism yet, get ready. There’s an economic train wreck coming like none ever seen before in America.

Blame the Victims: The Mill Flat Whoofoo Cover-up

The US Forest Service has issued a “Lessons Learned” report blaming the citizens of New Harmony, Utah for burning their own homes down in a whoofoo (wildland fire use fire).

The Mill Flat WFU Fire (2009, Dixie NF, 12,607 acres) [here] was “monitored” until it blew up. The fire roared into New Harmony, Utah, forced the evacuation of 170 New Harmony residents, destroyed three homes and damaged eight buildings. The fire eventually cost over $6.5 million to suppress.

Now the USFS blames the victims for failing to express their wishes that the Agency put the fire out before it blew up. The Mill Flat Fire Review (4.5 MB PDF) was posted 4/2/2010 at the Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center (WFLLC) [here]. (Note: The WFLLC is part of the National Advanced Fire & Resource Institute (NAFRI) [here], an “interagency consortium” supported by the USFS, BLM, NPS, BIA, and USFWS.)

Background [here]: The Mill Flat WFU Fire ignited July 25, 2009, in the Dixie National Forest. Bevan Killpack, Pine Valley District Ranger and Rob MacWhorter, Forest Supervisor for the Dixie NF, decided the fire should be allowed to burn unchecked. One person was assigned to monitor the fire and a 29,000 acre “maximum manageable area” was designated. The Mill Flat Fire was declared a foofurb, a “fire used for resource benefit”, despite the fact that no benefits were elucidated, no EIS created, and no public involvement or hearings held.

Note: Foofurb is the new (2009) designation for whoofoo. After eight years of promoting “wildland fire use” (WFU or whoofoo), the propaganda meisters decided to change the name to foofurb, “fire used for resource benefit”. In fact, whoofoos and foofurbs are Let It Burn fires. The USFS hates the term “Let It Burn” so they desperately seek obfuscations.

As of August 22 the fire was 550 acres. Then a week later the wind came up, the fire blew up, and by August 31 the fire was 10,382 acres. The fire roared into New Harmony, Utah, forced the evacuation of 170 New Harmony residents, destroyed three homes and damaged eight buildings.

Some benefit, eh?

At the time Utah Governor Gary Herbert criticized the USFS [here]

“It appears the Forest Service started the fire,” Herbert said Sunday. “They should take responsibility.” …

Herbert also took aim at restrictions on federal wilderness areas. The Mill Flat fire started July 25 within the Pine Valley Mountain Wilderness Area.

Before Congress designated the area as protected wilderness, livestock grazing controlled vegetation overgrowth that causes fires to burn more intensely when they do start, he said.

“With wilderness, our hands are tied behind our backs,” Herbert said. “It sets us up for a tragedy.” …

Fire spokesman Kenton Call said questions about cost and the decision not to fight the fire earlier will be addressed at a later date.

The later date has arrived and the questions answered: the fire blow up and destruction it caused were the fault of the New Harmony residents, not the USFS.

According to the Lessons Learned report, one of the factors that led to the fire reaching town was that residents failed to inform the USFS that they did not wish to be burned out:

Several folks interviewed shared that although they had concerns or doubts about continuing with the strategy to manage the Mill Flat Fire after August 25, 2009, they did not speak up.

Evidently if you don’t scream in their ears, the USFS cannot hear you. Officious blobs of stupid will incinerate you, and then blame you for not explaining to them what a poor decision choice that might be.

According to the Lessons Learned report, the public was “confused” by the “multiple terms for various management options for wildland fire”.

“Fire for Resource Benefit”, “Suppression Fire” and “Benefit Fires” are terms and ideas that continue to narrow our vision. Labels can narrow one’s vision of management options and perhaps contribute to reduced situational awareness. … There were misconceptions among the participants regarding the interactions between wilderness and fire management policy.

One of the narrow visions that confused the public was that the USFS fuel break designed to protect the community of New Harmony would be effective at stopping a fire. The report clarifies that misunderstanding:

* The fuel break had not been maintained for years…

* The original design of the fuel break required all vegetation to be left in the drainages. This resulted in two “wicks” that, if left untreated, provided a clear path for the fire to cross. …

* The fuel break was built on the USFS property boundary; in many cases this was not best tactical location to be effective.

* The width of the fuel break was not adequate for the fire behavior that occurred.

* The fuel break was never intended to “stop” a fire but rather to reduce fire intensity to a more manageable level by reducing fuel loading and breaking the continuity between the wildlands and the community.

The fuel break was a joke. The residents of New Harmony should have known they were being played. They were told that “public safety” was the principal concern of the USFS in any fire situation. The residents were gullible enough to believe that, when the policy of the USFS over years and years was to ignore public safety with a fake fuel break that the USFS knew was inadequate and poorly designed.

Now the USFS says the purpose of the fuel break was NOT to stop fires from burning into town. The residents should have known that all along.

The Lesson Learned conclusions:

The team found that managers performed within the context of their experience and training. Their actions were reasonable based on what they knew and what they expected to happen and the policy available to guide their decisions.

Fire managers consistently made firefighter and public safety the highest priority on the Mill Flat Fire. Strong interagency relationships helped communicate with partners on fire status.


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1 Apr 2010, 10:39pm
Useless and Stupid
by admin
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Language Baboons Loose and Running Amok

Disclaimer: this is not an April Fools joke post. This is real. I think.

Has the English language outlived its usefulness? Might as well butcher it and hang it up in a meat locker.

That’s the apparent attitude of a mysterious “working group” who seek to reconstruct our common tongue for what looks suspiciously like political purposes.

I don’t know who these baboons are, or how they got out of their cages, but would somebody please call the zookeeper and let him know?

New Report: Environmental Justice and the Green Economy

Team WE ACT, March 22, 2010 [here]

Can the climate be stabilized without a fundamental transformation of the global economy? Can we go green while billions go hungry? Can the environment be made healthy for those who can afford it, while people of color and the poor continue to live in degraded conditions? A group of US environmental justice leaders say “no” to all of the above. In a newly released report, these leaders advance a vision in which sustainability and justice - “justainability” - must be simultaneous results; that one simply cannot happen without the other.

The report includes case studies from low income communities and communities of color in Los Angeles, Navajo Nation, Harlan County Kentucky, Miami, Chicago, San Diego, New York, and Richmond California. Our cases show a diverse environmental justice movement shaping the future of the green economy at a very critical stage. As Stimulus funds are distributed and green economy resources are earmarked for “infrastructure” projects, it is vitally important for tools such as this report to be available and visible. The report concludes with 3 broad categories of recommendations for policy makers at all levels that:

1. Strive for full democratic participation.

2. Build capacity for a truly sustainable infrastructure and green economy.

3. Create and share “green” wealth.

We hope that you will use this publication in your organizing, leadership development, policy making, research, and public education efforts. Please help distribute this report to all who are striving towards a “justainable” future. …

We are now on the cusp of a great transition, as profound as that of the Industrial Revolution. Whether we emerge as a sustainable and healthy new world or fall into ecological collapse depends on the choices we make in this moment. President Obama has set a new tone for our democracy, based on making the right choices for our children and generations to come.

The unprecedented American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (“Stimulus” or ARRA) is a unique opportunity to promote change on a scale that has not been seen since the New Deal. How we spend $787 billion of our Federal funds may be the start of the greatest legacy our generation leaves to the future. …

As the “canaries in the coal mine” coming from “fence-line” communities, environmental justice communities have tremendous experience fighting unfair burdens and shaping sustainable and just alternatives.

My translation? Self-appointed ACORNistas want a piece of Porkulus, so they make up a new words like “justainability” and “fence-line communities” to impress the bureaucrats who are mucking out the Federal Treasury.

Team WE ACT are more like leaches than canaries. The great transition is your money to their pockets. They are Obama’s spawn. They wish to share your wealth.

The green economy will look a lot like the red economy of the Soviet Union under Stalin.

The saving grace here is that Team WE ACT are dumpster divers who had to collect spare change on the sidewalk to fund their website. They are not a force to be reckoned with.

But what do I know? It could be that Bill, Denise, Kalila, Penn, Burt et al will be millionaires a year from now. Welfare is the new boom industry. And we could all use a little more justainability in our lives, right?

Excuse me while I go burn my dictionary.

Yellow Journalist Lies Again

Noted extreme lefty journalist Rocky Barker of the Idaho Statesman yesterday accused Congressional Republicans of delaying a forestry bill:

Republican protest holds up Risch’s beetle bill

Submitted by Rocky Barker on Fri, 03/26/2010 [here]

Idaho Senator Jim Risch’s efforts to protect forests against the ravages of pine bark beetles hit a snag this week.

It wasn’t radical environmentalists who opposed the bill, co-sponsored by Colorado Democrat Mark Udall, because it would make some logging easier on national forests. No, the bill that would speed up thinning of beetle-threatened timber near communities to reduce the threat of wildfire was held up this week by Republicans.

It’s all about the health care bill and their anger that the Democrats passed it over their objections. In response Senate Republicans used a rule to stop hearings from occurring more than two hours after the start of the Senate’s daily session.

That stopped a hearing on Risch’s and Udall’s bill cold. That leaves logging contractors waiting to get into the woods across the West cold.

Hold on there, Rocket. It’s the Democraps who control Congress. How can a tiny of minority of Republicans stymie the majority party?

Didn’t we just witness the specter of one-party rule with the $trillion dollar grab of the health care industry? Even though every single Republican opposed Obamacare, it didn’t matter one iota to the jackbooted Democraps, who marched through Congress like Hitler’s Brownshirts at a beerhall putsch.

But now it’s Republican recalcitrance holding up a beetle thinning bill? Rocky, Rocky, Rocky. Everybody knows the Democraps don’t give one about forests. Your party is the Arsonist Party. Your party favors megafire destruction of forests.

Rocky Barker himself is the author of “Scorched Earth: How the Fires of Yellowstone Changed America,” a (poorly written) book that extols the virtues of million-acre holocausts and prescribes wholesale forest destruction for the entire country. Rocky is famous for defending the incineration of Idaho in 2007. He spit on the 10 Oregon firefighters who died in in 2008, before their families even had a chance to bury their dead. Rocky wants to ban fire retardant so even more firefighters get killed.

Rocky Barker has never seen a forest he didn’t wish to burn to the ground for his own sick, twisted, homicidal pleasure.

Just to set the record straight, there are no “logging contractors waiting to get into the woods”, sitting in their pickups with the engines idling while they wait for Risch’s bill to pass. It isn’t going to pass. Not because the Republicans have stymied Congress, but because the Democraps control the Hill and Democraps are arsonistic forest-haters.

No pack of lies from an anti-forest, anti-forestry, pro-holocaust jerk like Rocky Barker is going to change that fact.

The Latest Fad in Enviro Lawsuits: Climate Change

U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy in Missoula suspended 61 oil and gas leases on BLM land in Montana the other day, because the BLM failed to review the lease sales for climate change.

Climate change cited as Mont. leases suspended

By MATTHEW BROWN, AP, Washington Post, March 18, 2010 [here]

BILLINGS, Mont. — A federal judge has approved a first-of-its-kind settlement requiring the government to suspend 38,000 acres of oil and gas leases in Montana so it can gauge how oil field activities contribute to climate change.

At issue are the greenhouse gases emitted by drilling machinery and industry practices such as venting natural gas directly into the atmosphere.

Environmentalists - who sued when the Montana leases were sold in 2008 - argued the industry has allowed too much waste and uses inefficient technologies that could easily be updated.

Under the deal approved Thursday by U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy in Missoula, the Bureau of Land Management will suspend the 61 leases in Montana within 90 days. They will have to go through a new round of environmental reviews before the suspensions can be lifted.

“We view this as a very big deal, if a modest first step, in the BLM addressing climate change in oil and gas development,” said plaintiffs’ attorney Erik Schlenker-Goodrich. “It’s quite a dirty process, but there are ways to clean it up.”

Plaintiffs in the case were the Montana Environmental Information Center, the Oil and Gas Accountability Project and Wild Earth Guardians.

A parallel lawsuit challenging 70,000 acres of federal lands leased in New Mexico remains pending.

Judge Molloy is the same guy who threw out wolf delisting, by the way. And WildEarth Guardians is one of the most litigious eco-extremists groups ever. Between 2000 and 2009, Forest Guardians (now known as WildEarth Guardians) filed at least 180 lawsuits in the federal district courts and at least 61 appeals in the federal appellate courts [here].

Put activist eco-judges and sue-happy EAJA hogs together with “climate change” and the entire US economy will soon be shut down by “rulings” from the loony bench. The specter of government gone insane looms in the offing.

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More Junk Forest Science from OSU

By Mike Dubrasich

Destruction and Sabotage

I write this essay with a heavy heart. As a professional forester for 35+ years, I have always professed good forest stewardship backed up by the best forest science. But over the last 20 years or so, forest science has been polluted and degraded by political advocacy of a pernicious and destructive nature, and so too have our priceless, heritage forests been destroyed by horrendous and catastrophic fires.

There is a crisis in our forests and in our forestry schools and those crises are interconnected. Bad forest science, junk or pseudoscience if you will, has sunk to the level of promoting forest destruction. Instead of commitment to saving forests from destruction, our forestry schools now promote that destruction on the most tenuous and disingenuous grounds.

The root cause of both crises is a corrupt political movement that seeks to impose centralized control and oppression, authoritarianism if you will, in the name of environmental protection. But protection is the furthest thing from the minds of the advocates and activists; diminution of freedom and liberty is foremost. The propaganda about environmental protection is a smokescreen, and behind the smoke lays a wasteland of environmental abuse on a landscape scale.

This essay is not about the crass political motivations of the neo-authoritarians, however. It is about catastrophic forest fires and corrupted forest science, and how the two go hand-in-hand.

It is an essay written in grief, grief for the loss of our heritage, our rationality, our institutions of higher learning, and most especially grief for the priceless forests incinerated by exceedingly bad decisions founded on exceedingly hateful and hurtful lies.

The Rape of Forest Science

A case in point: an article in Science Daily dated Feb 25, 2010 and entitled More Frequent Fires Could Aid Ecosystems [here] (unsigned but “adapted from materials provided by Oregon State University”).

The article reeks, of myths, half truths, and out and out lies.

Its ostensible purpose is to promote a conference taking place today at OSU, where the pseudoscientific justifications for forest holocaust will be preached to the public, the paying public mind you, and we all pay for it in more ways than one.

Its actual purpose is promotion of catastrophic and irreparable forest fires.

The pernicious fallacies in the article are numerous, and I shall demolish them one by one. This exercise may be tedious, but I see no other way to thoroughly deconstruct the lies.

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16 Feb 2010, 10:04pm
Climate and Weather Useless and Stupid
by admin

Redwood Fog Bomfoggery

California fog is disappearing due to global warming! It’s a disaster! The redwoods will die!

“If the fog is gone, we might not have the Redwood forests we do now.”

So says Professor Todd Dawson, Director of the Center for Stable Isotope Biogeochemistry at UC Berkeley, according to Richard Alleyne, Science Correspondent, UK Telegraph [here].

Fog over San Francisco thins by a third due to climate change

The sight of Golden Gate Bridge towering above the fog will become increasing rare as climate change warms San Francisco bay, scientists have found.

By Richard Alleyne, Science Correspondent, UK Telegraph, 15 Feb 2010

The coastal fog along the Californian coast has declined by a third over the past 100 years – the equivalent of three hours cover a day, new research shows.

And it is not just bad for scenery, the reduction in the cooling effect of the fog could damage the health of the huge Redwood Forests nearby.

“Since 1901, the average number of hours of fog along the coast in summer has dropped from 56 per cent to 42 per cent, which is a loss of about three hours per day,” said the study leader Dr James Johnstone at the University of California.

He said that it was unclear whether this is part of a natural cycle of the result of human activity, but the fog is receding because of a reduction in the difference between the temperature of the sea and the land. …

Professor Todd Dawson, co-author, said the decline could be disastrous for the nearby ecosystems.

“Fog prevents water loss from Redwoods in summer, and is really important for both the tree and the forest,” he said. “If the fog is gone, we might not have the Redwood forests we do now.”

This news is all over the MSM (Main Stream Media). It’s in the Orange County Register, the SF Chronicle, Reuters, the NY Times. Science Daily, USA Today, and who knows where else. It’s on all the TV news. It’s a Big Deal, a science breakthrough!

Or is it?

Could it be that it’s all a steaming pile of bull manure?

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Battling Over the Forest Restoration Meme

When does “forest restoration” mean “abandonment to catastrophic destruction”? Answer: in the “Green Budget 2011″ proposal.

A coalition of quangos (quasi-governmental non-governmental organizations) is playing games with words. They want the word “restoration” to mean the opposite of what it actually means, prompting a battle over the meme.

The “Green Budget 2011″ [here] was prepared by 34 “environmental” lobbying groups including perennial litigation-happy bullies such as Defenders Of Wildlife, Earthjustice, Environmental Defense Fund, National Audubon Society, Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, The Wilderness Society, and the World Wildlife Fund. Note that these same groups are the big pigs at the EAJA trough, raking in $billions from the government to sue the government in order to sabotage restoration programs [here].

The Green Budget 2011 defines “restoration” this way:

Restoration management should be viewed as a way to recover the natural processes, structure, composition and function of a healthy forest ecosystem; it is an intentional effort to restore land, air, and water degraded by human activities to a more natural state, enhancing our forests’ ability to adapt and be resilient to disturbances and change. This is a separate and distinct vision from traditional logging or hazardous fuels reduction; while these activities may have a place on national forests, the goals and objectives are not necessarily consistent with ecosystem restoration, and the terms should not be used interchangeably.

In other words, to the quangos “restoration” means No Touch, Let It Burn, Watch It Rot.

In actuality, real forest restoration means active management to bring back historical cultural landscapes, historical forest development pathways, and traditional ecological stewardship to achieve historical resiliency to fire and insects and to preclude and prevent a-historical catastrophic fires that decimate and destroy myriad resource values.

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Global Warming Lawsuits Are a Cash Cow for Eco-Litigious Groups

In September we posted a “memo” [here] from Wyoming attorney Karen Budd-Falen which noted that $billions have been paid to eco-litigious groups for suing the federal government.

Thousands of lawsuits have been filed over red-tape procedures, and win, lose, or draw, the eco-suers have received windfall “fees” in outrageous amounts.

Nonprofit, tax exempt groups are making billions of dollars in funding; the majority of that funding is not going into programs to protect people, wildlife, plants, and animals, but to fund more law suits. Ranchers and other citizens are being forced to expend millions of their own money to intervene or participate in these lawsuits to protect their way of life when they have no chance of the same attorney fee recovery if they prevail. In fact, they are paying for both sides of the case–for their defense of their ranch and for the attorney fees for environmental groups receive to sue the federal government to get them off their land. There are also numerous cases where the federal government agrees to pay attorney fees, but the amount paid is hidden from public view.

In October Karen Budd-Falen followed up with another memo [here] detailing some of the more egregious fee claims requested by and paid to the eco-litigation industry and the gross, Wall Street-level compensations paid to the fatcat CEO’s of the “non-profit” eco-law firms.

Bleeding the taxpayers dry and monkey wrenching government agencies with frivolous lawsuits is a never-ending tale of horror. Karen Budd-Falen’s fifth installment is entitled “Attorney Fees Tax Dollars Have Already Decided U.S. Is Globally Warming” [here]. Some excerpts:

… the United States federal government has paid millions in tax dollars to environmental groups to litigate over global warming already. These cases are NOT about whether global warming is or is not a scientific fact, but over timelines and procedures which seem to be impossible for the federal agencies to comply with… and getting paid handsomely to do it. …

[For instance] In the California litigation regarding the Delta Smelt (the 6-inch minnow that has so adversely impacted California’s Central Valley farmers), the federal court rejected a biological opinion because it “failed to consider” climate change data. …

Once a species is listed under ESA, the Sierra Club and other environmental groups then use the National Environmental Policy Act (”NEPA”) process to further their view of global warming. …

Attorney fee awards to environmental groups to continue to sue the federal government is big business… [I]n only 18 of the 50 states, 13 environmental groups have amassed total attorney fees payments of 30 million dollars plus extracting another four million dollars from businesses, all based on payments from federal attorney fee-shifting statutes. The vast majority of these are ESA cases and there are more to come. Recently the Wild Earth Guardians filed a single petition to list 206 species under the ESA, and the CBD [Center for Biological Diversity] has filed a petition to list 225 more species. According to the CBD’s website, this is an exercise in “strategic creative litigation.” There is no way that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service can make a “scientific” finding on all those 431 species within the 90 day time frame mandated by the ESA, making federal district court litigation (and the payment of attorney fees) inevitable and profitable.

All of Budd-Falen’s memos on EAJA abuse may be found at the Western Legacy Alliance website [here]. The links there are temporarily broken but should be fixed very soon.

20 Dec 2009, 10:59am
Federal forest policy Useless and Stupid
by admin

Survey and Manage Is Back

In 1994 The Northwest Forest Plan set aside 85% of Northwest federal forests as off-limits to logging. On the remaining 15% of the land, logging could occur if and only if over 1,000 species were surveyed and evaluated on each timber sale.

In 2001, Douglas Timber Operators (DTO) and American Forest Resources Council (AFRC) filed suit, seeking to roll back the survey-and-manage rule. The USFS agreed in a 2002 settlement to eliminate the survey and manage program, which they did in a March, 2004 Record of Decision.

But now a federal judge has reinstated the survey-and-manage rule:

Judge upholds surveys for species before logging

By JEFF BARNARD, AP, December 19, 2009 [here]

GRANTS PASS (AP) — A federal judge has upheld a requirement that Northwest national forests look for hundreds of hard-to-find but ecologically important species like snails, mushrooms and mosses before cutting down big trees.

The ruling Thursday from U.S. District Court in Seattle effectively strikes down the last surviving piece of the Bush administration’s strategy to boost logging in spotted owl territory. Judge John C. Coughenour did not immediately reinstate the so-called survey and manage rule. He wants to hear more from the government and conservation groups before issuing an order.

But he said in his ruling that the U.S. Forest Service failed to show that the rule was doing anything but what it was intended to do — protect the small but essential pieces that make an ecosystem work.

“The standard protects only truly rare and uncommon species, which as the court notes, are the ‘little things that run the world,’” said Pete Frost, attorney for the Western Environmental Law Center, which brought the lawsuit on behalf of conservation groups*. “These species allow healthy forests to function, because they do things like conserve water, filter sediment and provide food.” …

*The litigious “conservation” groups: Conservation Northwest, Gifford Pinchot Task Force, Environmental Protection Information Center, Klamath Forest Alliance, Umpqua Watersheds Inc, Siskiyou Regional Education Project, Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center, Oregon Wild, American Lands Alliance, Center for Biological Diversity and Northcoast Environmental Center

The Northwest Forest Plan has been a catastrophic failure. The NWFP had (has) four fundamental goals. It has failed spectacularly to meet any.

1. The NWFP has failed to protect northern spotted owls

By most estimations, the northern spotted owl population has fallen 40 to 60 percent since inception of the NWFP. Millions of acres of spotted owl habitat have been catastrophically incinerated.

2. The NWFP has failed to protect spotted owl habitat

Since inception, millions of acres of spotted owl habitat have been wiped off the face of the earth by holocaust, and replaced by tick brush.

3. The NWFP has failed to preserve habitat continuity throughout the range of the northern spotted owl

The dozens of huge and catastrophic forest fires have left giant gaps in the range. The Biscuit Burn alone is 50 miles long and 20 miles wide.

4. The NWFP has failed to protect the regional economy

Since inception of the NWFP, Oregon has experienced 15 long years of the worst economy in the U.S., with the highest rates of unemployment, bankruptcy, home foreclosure, and hunger of any state. These are not just statistics, but indicators of real human suffering. Over 40,000 workers lost their jobs, and the rural economy has been crippled ever since.

Now things will get worse as totally unworkable and impossible survey-and-manage constrictions will eliminate the trickle of wood products coming from 25 million acres of federal land.

Note to Tom Partin and John Shelk of AFRC — do you understand yet that you can make a deal with the Devil, but the Devil will roast you in hellfire in the end?

AFRC Sells Out

The American Forest Resource Council [here] represents nearly 80 forest product manufacturers and forest landowners in twelve western states.

Our mission is to create a favorable operating environment for the forest products industry, ensure a reliable timber supply from public and private lands, and promote sustainable management of forests by improving federal laws, regulations, policies and decisions that determine or influence the management of all lands.

That’s nice rhetoric, but is it factual or just pretty words?

Yesterday we reported that Sen. Ron Wyden has announced a bill that will end forest stewardship in Eastern Oregon. The announcement was hailed by radical enviros as “the end of timber sales in public forests east of the Cascades” [here].

The Dead Tree Press (note the irony) is all agog over the support for Wyden’s bill coming from the AFRC.

New Senate Bill Aims to End ‘War’ Over Eastern Ore. Forests

By NOELLE STRAUB of Greenwire, New York Times, December 16, 2009 [here]

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) today unveiled legislation to revamp management of 8.3 million acres in six national forests in eastern Oregon with the backing of both timber and conservation groups that have long battled over the land. …

He acknowledged that the bill, which requires timber harvest on hundreds of thousands of acres in its first three years, would face “significant challenges” but noted the range of groups backing the bill. They include the industry group American Forest Resource Council and owners of several timber companies, along with Oregon Wild, the Nature Conservancy, Pacific Rivers Council, Defenders of Wildlife and the National Center for Conservation Science and Policy.

The measure also would establish protections for large trees with a diameter of 21 inches measured at breast height…

That’s a new thing, because six months ago the AFRC was deathly opposed to Wyden’s bill [here].

Despite Good Intentions, Wyden Bill Fundamentally Flawed

Single tree management is unworkable and inconsistent with forest science

PORTLAND, OR - A bill designed to protect old growth forests and improve forest health on federal lands in Oregon would likely lead to the opposite result, according to forestry experts familiar with the issue. The draft bill, released by Oregon Senator Ron Wyden today would prohibit cutting any tree older than 120 years in moist, westside forests and older than 150 years in drier forests on federal lands. On eastside forests, trees larger than 21 inches in diameter would be off limits to harvesting.

“Senator Wyden deserves credit for trying to solve a difficult political issue,” said Tom Partin, President of the American Forest Resource Council. “Unfortunately, his proposal has a fundamental flaw: Forests can’t be managed based on the age of individual trees.” …

Also, in December, 2008, the AFRC issued a press release that stated [here]

Harvests from Oregon’s federal forests are less than 10 percent of levels experienced in the early 1990s. A more sustainable level of harvest is needed to help the industry access reasonably priced local timber to remain economically viable in the face of intense domestic and international competition. Our federal forests are also in a dire need of increased management to address a growing forest health crisis.

But all that is thrown under the bus, now. The AFRC now supports [here] exactly the prescriptive regulation that they decried in April, and another cut in the harvest.

AFRC News Release: Timber Industry Reacts to Senator Wyden’s Bill

Timber Industry Encouraged by Wyden Introduction of Oregon Eastside Forests Restoration, Old Growth Protection, and Jobs Act of 2009

Portland, OR–The American Forest Resource Council, a timber industry trade association based in Portland, Oregon, is hopeful Sen. Ron Wyden’s (D-OR) introduction of the Oregon Eastside Forests Restoration, Old Growth Protection, and Jobs Act of 2009 and the program of work it envisions will benefit all Oregonians. AFRC appreciates the work of both Senator Wyden and members of the environmental community who, together with industry representatives in Eastern Oregon, were involved in crafting this template for moving forward.

Major flip-flop. Major trashing of their own integrity. AFRC drinks the Kool-aid and curls up to die. Along with Eastern Oregon’s forests.

Wyden Proposes the End of Forest Stewardship in Eastern Oregon

With much fanfare [here], Sen. Ron Wyden has announced a bill that will end forest stewardship in Eastern Oregon. The announcement was hailed by radical enviros as “the end of timber sales in public forests east of the Cascades.”

The proposed bill, the “Oregon Eastside Forests Restoration, Old Growth Protection, and Jobs Act of 2009″ or OEFROGPJA is [here].

The bill is a morphing of the peripatetic “Oregon Forest Restoration and Old Growth Protection Act of 2009″ [here] trotted out Wyden last April.

OFROGPA, as Wyden’s original bill was acronymized, was dead on arrival. Both that bill and the new one are poorly written bastardizations of the Forest Landscape Restoration Act of 2009 [here].

The Forest Landscape Restoration Act of 2009 was tacked onto the Omnibus Public Lands Act of 2009, and was passed by Congress and signed into law by the President last March. The Forest Landscape Restoration Act, co-sponsored by Sen. Wyden, created the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration (CFLR) Program [here], which was funded to the grand tune of $10 million.

The conflicts between the new law (FLRA) and Wyden’s new OEFROGPJA bill are numerous and significant. Here are just a few:

1. FLRA (the new law) calls for restoration treatments within landscapes that are at least 50,000 acres in size. OEFROGPJA limits treatment landscapes to less than 25,000 acres [Sec. 3 (11)].

This embarrassing shrinkage is unsupported by any argument. Megafires routinely burn 250,000 to 500,000 acres at a crack, from 5 to 10 times the minimum treatment area in the new law (FLRA). The dinky treatments envisioned in OFROGPA are a step backwards.

2. OEFROGPJA will establish an “Eastside Forest Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel” and ignores the FLRA advisory panel completely, despite the fact that FLRA is the law right now.

3. OEFROGPJA would regulate every cutting prescription by statutory limits on the size of tree removed — no trees larger than 21 inches in diameter may be cut.

(1) LARGER TREES — Subject to paragraph (2) and except as provided in paragraph (3), the Secretary shall prohibit the cutting or removal of any live tree located in the covered area, the diameter of which exceeds 21 inches measured at breast height.

But that’s not all. OEFROGPJA also puts limits on cutting trees smaller than that, too:

(2) SMALLER TREES — The Secretary shall prohibit the cutting or removal of a live tree located in the covered area, the diameter of which is less than 21 inches measured at breast height, if the Secretary determines that the prohibition is—
(A) consistent with the goals described in 18 subsection (a)(1);
(B) consistent with the advice relating to the conservation and restoration of old growth provided by the advisory panel; and
(C) carried out in consultation with the affected collaborative group.

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Climate Follies: Chapter 54,873

The Climate Hoax folks are are firing all their guns at once and exploding into space. The Ether waves are jam-packed with egregiousness due to the high hat circus in Gropenhogging. Here are a few flips, flops, and flounderings from the Alarmist self-immolation spectacle.

First, NOAA was forced to admit the planet is cooling. They don’t know why, and they just hate it, but there’s no way to hide the facts any more:

North American 2008 Cooling Attributed to Natural Causes

Cool sea surface temperatures overrode warming

NOAA news release, December 4, 2009 [here]

Cooler North American temperatures in 2008 resulted from a strong natural effect, and the overall warming trend that has been observed since 1970 is likely to resume, according to university and NOAA scientists.

“Our work shows that there can be cold periods, but that does not mean the end of global warming. The recent coolness was caused by transitory natural factors that temporarily masked the human-caused signal,” said Judith Perlwitz, lead author of the study and a researcher with the Cooperative Institute for Research Environmental Sciences, and NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory, both in Boulder, Colo. The paper will be published Dec. 8 in Geophysical Research Letters. [We have it, see here] …

The analysis included historical data and climate model simulations that were conducted in the U.S. and internationally. The science team discerned both natural and human-caused influences for 2008.

“North American temperatures would have been considerably colder in 2008 had there been no human-induced warming influence present,” Perlwitz said.

From the paper:

There is increasing public and decision maker demand to explain evolving climate conditions, and assess especially the role of human-induced emissions of greenhouse gases. The 2008 North American surface temperatures diverged strongly from the warming trend of recent decades, with the lowest continental average temperatures since at least 1996.

In our diagnosis of 2008, the absence of North American warming was shown not to be evidence for an absence of anthropogenic forcing, but only that the impact of the latter was balanced by strong natural cooling. Considering the nature of both the 2008 NA temperature anomalies and the natural ocean variability that reflected a transitory interannual condition, we can expect that the 2008 coolness is unlikely to be part of a prolonged cooling trend in NA temperature in future years.

Hahahahahahaha!!!! So it’s “natural cooling” that has swamped Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming (CAGW)? Just natural variability, something never considered before in their junk models. But not to worry; it’ll be getting warmer soon, according the uncorrected junk models. They have never been right in their predictions yet, but that doesn’t stop them from trying.

Not today, however, as the temps around Oregon are setting new LOW records. It’s 12F here in the Willamette Valley this morning. Brisk.

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