30 Sep 2008, 2:11pm
2007 Fire Season
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More Resource Damage From Payette Fires

In 2007 over 470,000 acres were burned on the Payette National Forest. We have posted about that tragedy many times [here, here, and here, for instance].

The party line from the USFS and their “enviro” partners is that the fires benefited resources.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Vegetation, habitat, soils, streams, roads, and comunities were severely affected.

Yet another example of the damages wrought is described in the latest news release from the Payette NF. It seems that the fires killed trees and the resulting snags fell over, littering the landscape with debris. Over 400 miles of trails were cleared this summer, but that was only a portion of the trail system needing repair.

For the News Release, click , <Read more> below.
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30 Sep 2008, 10:46am
The 2008 Fire Season
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Tuesday Morning Fire Updates

The 2008 Fire Season is not over, by any means. The following fires are active this morning:

The Rattle Fire (North Fork Complex) [here] is 18,838 acres. Fire size increased by ~450 acres yesterday. Nearly the entire Boulder Creek Wilderness (19,100 acres) has been incinerated. It will be, and then some, by the time this fire is out. The Boulder Creek Wilderness was set aside because it was considered to be a rare, low to mid elevation old-growth forest. It’s not that anymore, having been converted by the Rattle Fire to early successional tickbrush.

The Rattle Fire was ignited by lightning on Aug 13 and was under control at 960 acres as of Sept 3. But the Umpqua NF was not pleased and the Northwest Oregon IMT (West) was ordered off the fire. Subsequently the fire has blown up under the noses of various IMT’s. To date over $29 million has been spent burning rare, low to mid elevation old-growth.

The NWO IMT (West) was subsequently detailed to the Gnarl Ridge Fire [here] in the Mt Hood Wilderness where they have successfully contained that fire at 3,280 acres. Fortunately the Mt Hood NF did not have a burn, baby, burn mentality and allowed the NWO IMT to do their thing.

Ironically, the NWO IMT had previously contained the Gnarl Ridge Fire back on Aug 21 at 516 acres, and turned over mop-up duties to the Mt Hood NF. But the MHNF failed to do the mop-up and the fire erupted again a month later. So the NWO IMT was recalled. To date $13,400,000 has been spent fighting this fire twice.

The Middlefork Fire (Lonesome Complex) [here] south of Crater Lake, OR, is now over 20,000 acres and 45 percent contained. The fire extends from Crater Lake NP south to the Seven Lakes Wilderness and has been burning for nearly 6 weeks. The fire increased another 300 acres yesterday. While not an official WFU, the Middlefork Fire has been allowed to burn the entire watershed of the Middle Fork of the Rogue River. Over $17,000,000 has been spent on monitoring and backburning. Portions of Crater Lake National Park, the Rogue River-Siskiyou NF, and the Fremont-Winema NF have been burned.

The Wizard Fire [here] north of Camp Sherman, OR, is now 1,150 acres. Originally supposed to be a 30 acre prescribed fire, over $1.5 million has been spent to contain this USFS-set wildfire. Eastside old-growth spotted owl forests along the Metolius River near Wizard Falls have been incinerated. The area was one of the last remaining patches of old-growth in the Metolius watershed, most of which has been burned in the last ten years by such fires as the B and B Fire, Eyerly Fire, Black Crater Fire, GW Fire, Cache Mtn Fire, etc. Over 170,000 acres of old-growth owl forests have been destroyed on the Deschutes NF in those fires.

The Kitson Fire [here] east of Oakridge, OR, is 808 acres and 60 percent contained. The Central Oregon Type 2 IMT (Rapp) has this fire well in hand. Heavy fuels continue to burn, however, and there are areas of intense burning within the fire perimeter. South and east winds have not fanned flames to the extent expected. Costs to Date: $2,663,203.

In California a new fire has erupted in the Ventana Wilderness south and east of Big Sur. The Chalk Fire [here] is over 2,000 acres but it is unclear how much over that number it is (meaning it could be 10 times that size). Homes have been evacuated, just as they were in the Basin/Indians Fires earlier this summer. That complex burned 244,000 acres of the Los Padres NF but surprisingly there is more to burn!

The Hidden Fire [here] in Kings Canyon National Park is 3,660 acres and 98 percent contained. It has cost $8,720,000 to date. Meanwhile the Tehipite Fire [here], also in KCNP, is over 10,500 acres and 0 percent contained. Information on the Tehipite Fire is difficult to obtain although it has been burning since July 19. The National Park Service does not issue 209’s like other agencies. The NPS is very secretive about their management of our national parks, and with good reason: if the public knew what goes on with that agency the entire system would be purged of slackers today!

Today is the last day of fiscal 2008. While there is no official accounting, the USFS fire budget has been overspent by $600 million dollars or more. This despite the fact that in calendar year 2008 only 4,728,614 acres have reportedly burned, about half the acreage reported on this date in the previous four years.

The enormous drain on the USFS regular budget has been noted by Congress, who have cavalierly done nothing about it. Congressional leaders did, however, attempt to loot the US Treasury for $700 billion dollars to stuff in the pockets of wealthy investment bankers. That record graft action has been short-stopped for now, but do not underestimate the corruption in Washington D.C. The leaching of the taxpayers on behalf of multi-millionaires is not over by any means.

Nor is the 2008 Fire Season.

The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008

As of Sunday afternoon, the draft Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 is 110 pages long. The full text (at this time) is [here]. A summary and Section-by Section description may be found [here].

The bill will be introduced in the House of Representatives Monday morning and then head to the Senate. An analysis by Market Watch [here] concludes:

Under the proposed bill, the Treasury Department can use a combination of tactics to buy bad loans, focusing on mortgages and mortgage-backed securities but also including other types of loans under certain conditions. Treasury could purchase the bad debt through an auction process as well as by buying loans directly…

The proposed legislation also allows companies to participate in an insurance program, whereby Treasury would guarantee troubled assets, charging companies a premium “sufficient to cover anticipated claims,” according to the bill.

The government would get a stake in companies receiving bailout funds so that taxpayer money could be recovered if those companies grow in the future, according to the bill. …

In some cases, the bill requires companies limit executive pay, but those limits vary depending on the method by which Treasury purchases a firm’s troubled assets, and how much Treasury antes up.

“When Treasury buys assets at auction, an institution that has sold more than $300 million in assets is subject to additional taxes, including a 20% excise tax on golden parachute payments triggered by events other than retirement, and tax deduction limits for compensation limits above $500,000,” according to a synopsis of the text of the bill.

While the proposed bill prevents companies from signing new golden-parachute deals with top executives after Treasury gets involved, it does not change the terms of already-existing contracts, apparently in an effort to encourage companies to participate in the bailout program. …

The bill puts oversight provisions in place, including creating the position of an inspector general as well as a congressional oversight panel to monitor the program, plus a requirement that the Treasury secretary regularly report to Congress the details of all loan purchases. …

The bill also contains some provisions to help families in financial distress avoid foreclosures, in part by creating a plan to “encourage services of mortgages to modify loans” and allowing the Treasury to use loan guarantees to avoid foreclosures. …

more »

28 Sep 2008, 3:10pm
Federal forest policy
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Gearing Up For the Deja Vu Fire

The counties of Northeastern Oregon just got hit with another ton of bricks from the US Forest Service. In light of the severe fire hazard created by un-management of federal forests, the USFS has decided to make the situation worse by tearing out the road system.

No roads means no fuels management and constrained fire control. The upshot is that the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest is being primed to be burned in a megafire — on purpose, with malice aforethought, by our “benevolent” federal government.

From the Baker City Herald last week:

Counties’ question: How would forest road closures affect people

By MIKE FERGUSON, Baker City Herald, September 25, 2008 [here]

BAKER CITY, Ore. — Five Eastern Oregon counties are considering how road closures in the largest national forest in the Northwest could affect them.

The proposed travel management plan for the 2.4 million acre Wallowa-Whitman National Forest is expected to have both a social and economic impact on Baker, Grant, Umatilla, Union and Wallowa counties.

The U.S. Forest Service plans to publish a draft environmental impact statement next spring on potential effects of each of six alternatives under the plan.

But the counties have only until Nov. 30 to report on the possible impact to their region.

“The counties are coming into the process a little bit late, and I have been trying to play catch-up,” said Bob Messinger of Summerville, who’s representing the five counties.

Bruce Sorte, an Oregon State University Extension economist now working at Eastern Oregon University, is studying the impacts of each alternative on jobs, wages, hotel and campground occupancy, and other sectors of the economy.

Baker County previously hired Sorte to help study the impacts on the designation of bull trout as a threatened species, and some of that data will be applied to the travel plan.

Ken Anderson, a retired mining geologist, said he worries that a plan to close forest roads will make it even more difficult for miners to test their claims, gain approval and set up their operations.

He said that if 100 miners were allowed to mine in the Wallowa-Whitman and each found an ounce of gold per day, the financial impact figured with a multiplier effect used by the U.S. Geological Survey’s Statistical Division would be $4 million a day, “new wealth that adds to the economy.”

“We need access to and use of the land,” Anderson said.

Messinger said economic models, census and Oregon Employment Department data can be used to compile potential economic impacts for each of the alternatives so he is relying on counties to provide an estimate of the social impact.

“It is a broad category, and it may rely on a qualitative analysis, on interviews and public input, not on numbers,” Messinger said. “It is lifestyle and attitude.”

Jan Kerns, chairwoman of a Baker County advisory committee on the plan, said one example is the possible effect on families that venture into the forest annually to pick huckleberries. Those trips may not be possible without motorized access on roads to get the family to their favorite spots.

The more specific the examples, the better, Messinger said.

“Are those huckleberries food in the larder, or is picking huckleberries a social event that creates family bonds?” he said. “Family bonding is a strong social issue.”

The ranger of the Whitman District, who also happens to be named Ken Anderson, said that even after the draft environmental impact statement is published next spring, more alternatives for the travel plan could emerge.

“If you find data that suggests we look other alternatives, that would be considered,” he said.

Prior to being transferred to the WWNF, Ranger Ken Anderson was District Ranger at Sedona on the Coconino NF. There he presided over the Brins Fire (2006). The Brins Fire burned primarily within the Red Rock-Secret Mountain Wilderness, one of a few nationally-designated wildernesses that actually butt up against city limits. In Sedona there is an actual Wildland-Urban Interface, marked by a chainlink fence in places. The Munds Mountain Wilderness is another such wilderness smack up against the city limits of Sedona.

The Brins Fire was 4,317 acres and cost $6,400,000 to suppress. It shut down Sedona at the height of the tourist season, striking a severe economic blow to a town that is totally dependent on tourism. And it demonstrated emphatically the danger of roadlessness.

Now Anderson is in Oregon shutting down roads here in an overstocked, fuel-laden forest. No roads means no rapid initial attack and no effective firefighting. The USFS is gearing up to burn the Wallowa-Whitman NF in a catastrophic megafire.

They have already adopted WFU (wildland fire use) into their Fire Plan, albeit with absolutely no public notice or public involvement of any kind.

That’s right. Unlike the road destruction (closure) plan, when adopting whoofoo the WWNF issued no request for input from the County Commissioners or any other member of the public, other than secret meetings with radical anti-forest “enviro” cults.

When it comes to burning down America’s forests, the USFS has no peer.

By the way, if Ranger Ken Anderson is looking for “data” suggesting alternatives other than destruction of the WWNF road system, he might look in the mirror and recall the Brins Fire. No roads meant no way to contain the fire until it hit town. The roadless plan failed in Arizona to protect the forest and residents. It will fail in Eastern Oregon as well, with dire and disastrous consequences.

DeFazio Opposes Bailout

My Congressperson, Rep. Peter DeFazio, Fourth District, Oregon, and I rarely see eye-to-eye on most issues. But on this $700 billion bailout scam, Pete and I are on the same page.

DeFazio opposes the bailout for various reasons, as he states in the email (below) sent to me today. I take certain pause at his wording in places, but I am otherwise in total agreement.

(For instance, DeFazio calls the investment bank bailout “the Bush Administration bailout.” However, Dems like Reid, Pelosi, Frank, and others are pushing hard for the bailout with repellent vigor. Hence, wherever it started, the bailout plan is now a D.C. baby with many illegitimate parents. I can rise above DeFazio’s petty partisanship in this case. I hope you can, too.)

DeFazio’s email of 09/28/2008:

Dear Mr. Dubrasich:

Thank you for contacting me about the Bush Administration bailout. I am vehemently opposed to this bailout.

I was the first Member of Congress to take to the House floor and stand up in opposition to this $700 billion bailout. The financial crisis we face today does not need to be resolved by forking over $700 billion from the taxpayer to the “Masters of the Universe” on Wall Street.

The fundamental premise of the $700 billion Bush Administration bailout is flawed, reckless, and foolish. It is flawed because it is not clear it will achieve its stated objective of injecting commercial banks with liquidity and it ignores the needs of main street America, it is reckless because there are better alternatives, and it is foolish because giving away $700 billion will limit our ability to deal with the myriad of other problems we face such as healthcare, energy independence, and job creation.

To put the sheer audacity of this bailout plan in perspective, a compromise has been talked about that reduces the initial payments to “only $250 billion”. $250 billion would more than double our investment in bridges, highways, transit, and rail in the United States for five years. Investing in infrastructure creates jobs and stimulates the economy. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, for every $1.25 billion we invest in infrastructure, we will create over 30,000 jobs and $6 billion in additional economic activity. In President Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration, we invested in building roads, bridges, dams, hydroelectric systems and other public works projects to mend our nation’s broken economy. That money trickled up to Wall Street from Main Street and rebuilt our economy. We did not just throw money at Wall Street with the hopes that the taxpayer might some day be paid back.

I think Congress should respond, but the basic premise of the Bush Administration bailout is flawed. Almost 200 economists wrote to Congress stating “As economists, we want to express to Congress our great concern for the plan proposed by Treasury Secretary Paulson” [here]. The letter went on to raise the issues of fairness, ambiguity, and the long-term effects.

The former chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp in the Reagan Administration wrote, “I have doubts that the $700 billion bailout, if enacted, would work. Would banks really be willing to part with the loans, and would the government be able to sell them in the marketplace on terms that the taxpayers would find acceptable?” [1] And James Galbraith, an economist at the University of Texas, has asked “Now that all five big investment banks — Bear Stearns, Merrill Lynch, Lehman Brothers, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley — have disappeared or morphed into regular banks, a question arises. Is this bailout still necessary?” [2] I believe the answer is No. I have called on my colleagues to slow down this debate and seriously debate the alternative proposals.

[1] Washington Post. A Better Way to Aid Banks. William M. Isaac. Sept 27, 2008. A19.

[2] Washington Post. A Bailout We Don’t Need. James K. Galbraith. Sept. 25, 2008. A19

For example, many economists have argued that directly helping mortgage holders save their houses would be astronomically cheaper and a more effective in resolving this crisis. And helping working Americans restructure their homer mortgage will increase the value of Wall Street’s depreciated assets. As the New York Time opinioned recently:

“We could make a strong moral argument that the government has a greater responsibility to help homeowners than it does to bail out Wall Street. But we don’t have to. Basic economics argues for a robust plan to stanch foreclosures and thereby protect the taxpayers .” [3]

[3] New York Times. Editorial. What About the Rest of Us? Sept., 26, 2008. A26.

Another serious consequence is the $700 billion hole in the budget deficit this bailout will create. The next administration, Democratic or Republican, will be unable to initiate new proposals as it charts a new course for our nation. The Bush tax cuts blew the surplus created by the last Democratic Administration and the Bush Administration bailout will prevent the next administration from implementing its mandate.

My biggest concern of this bailout is who pays the $700 billion tab. The $700 billion is to protect Wall Street investors, therefore the same Wall Street investors should pay for this infusion of taxpayer money. I have proposed a minimal securities transfer tax of one percent. A securities transfer tax would have a negligible impact on the average investor and provide a disincentive to high volume, speculative short-term traders. Similar tax proposals have been supported by many esteemed economists such as Larry Summers, John Maynard Keynes and Nobel prize winners Joseph Stiglitz and James Tobin.

There is considerable precedent for this. The United States had a similar tax from 1914 to 1966. The Revenue Act of 1914 levied a 0.2% tax on all sales or transfers of stock. In 1932, Congress more than doubled the tax to help finance economic reconstruction programs during the Great Depression. In 1987, Speaker of the House Jim Wright offered his support for a financial transaction tax. And today the UK has a modest financial transaction tax of 0.5 percent. This is a reasonable approach to protecting taxpayers and ensuring the federal budget doesn’t fall further into the fiscal hole.

I will continue to challenge this bailout every step of the way. Again, thanks for reaching out to me. Please keep in touch.

Klamath Co Commissioners Angry Over Conditions in National Forests

Beetle-kill areas are a last step in a sick forest’s evolution

by Pat Bushey, editor, Klamath Herald and News Tuesday, September 23, 2008 [here]

Klamath County Commissioners are right to be angry over the lack of support by the federal government for Oregon’s national forests.

Commissioners are primarily concerned about the Fremont-Winema National Forests in Klamath and Lake counties, but the points they made last week could be made about national forests throughout Oregon.

Commissioner John Elliott raised the issue of trying to get the federal forest lands ceded to the state if the federal government can’t take proper care of them. That concept has logic behind it, especially with the cutoff of the county payments program that compensated Oregon counties that have federal forest lands. Federal lands aren’t taxed, and thus don’t produce property tax revenue for such things as schools, roads and law enforcement provided from local funds. But the proposal for local or state control of federal forest land has come up before and never got much traction.

The Association of O&C Counties tried something along those lines in 2006. It offered a plan which would have put 1.2 million of the 2.4 million acres of O&C lands permanently off limits to logging and sold the rest to private buyers to create four trust funds that would have supported: Oregon schools; schools across the nation that have shared in forest receipts; Oregon counties; and management expenses for the 1.2 million acres being preserved. The proposal didn’t go anywhere.

The O&C lands were a land grant more than a hundred years ago to the Oregon and California Railroad Company. After the railroad didn’t resell the land to settlers as promised, the land was reclaimed by the United States in 1937, with the understanding that it would be managed primarily for timber production.

Disaster threatens

Last week, Klamath County commissioners railed at the potential disaster in eastern Klamath County and Lake County as an infestation of the pine beetle turns thousands of acres of once-green forests an ugly red. They’re full of tinder and only a lightning strike away from an inferno.

Meanwhile, the Forest Service is being forced to curtail thinning operations in order to find money for fighting wildfires, the cost of which has soared from 13 percent of its 1991 annual budget to almost half.

There’s more wrong than the pine beetle, though. Insect infestations usually are one of the final steps that a sick forest evolves through. Unfortunately, there’s no way to undo the past forest practices that encouraged development of large stands of even-aged lodgepole pine trees crowded together competing for water and nutrients. The forests have to be thinned. Failing to do so creates more kindling for disastrous wildfires.

The Fremont-Winema had to cancel five thinning projects along with projects reducing hazardous fuels this year so the money could be used for fighting fires.

Let’s hope next summer we aren’t staring through smoke-filled air at the eastern horizon’s red glow while flames roar through a tangled mess of dead timber.

26 Sep 2008, 8:00pm
Saving Forests
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Wildfires leave lasting impact on water

Guest Opinion by Norman Pillsbury, Ph.D, Capital Press, September 26, 2008 [here]

People used to take air for granted. We breathe it in and out, and it sustains our very existence, but people seldom thought about it.

This year’s fires have changed all of that.

Similarly, many Californians today take water for granted. Turn the tap and out it comes.

But our growing population has had an effect on water quality and availability. California is putting unprecedented demands on its water supply.

Most Californians live far removed from the front lines of water quality.

Being disconnected from our water sources does not mean Californians can afford to be in the dark about the forest-water connection. The trend of restricting forest management, often in the name of protecting water quality for salmon and other aquatic species, is having serious, negative consequences on California’s water quality.

Well-managed forests play a critical role in assuring that Californians have abundant, clean water. Sustainable forest management can reduce the cost of providing clean drinking water, provide spawning gravels and cool temperatures fish need, and mitigate the effects of storm flooding and mudslides.

Forests where “hands-off” management prevails, conversely, are more prone to overcrowding, wildfire and mudslides that can degrade water quality for years.

Healthy forests act like a filter and a sponge, helping to remove impurities and to control runoff. In well-managed forests, the canopy, or tree branches and leaves, intercept rainfall, absorbing their erosive energy. Roots bind soils to resist erosion and stabilize slopes.

Despite the commonly held misperception, forest management or harvesting trees rarely leads to unacceptable increases in erosion or sediment reaching streams. In fact, studies have shown many cases where harvesting has led to no increase in sediment delivery to watercourses.

Forested watersheds “left to nature,” however, can wreak havoc on water quality for aquatic species and human consumption. Unmanaged forests can become overgrown, and create overly dense stands of trees stressed by the competition for nutrients.

Nature will ultimately thin its forests. But how? Over many decades, insufficient soil moisture will lead to increased tree mortality. Disease and insect infestation will set in, creating conditions ripe for wildfire. Fire becomes the thinning agent, with more devastating effects on water quality than harvesting could produce.

Fire burns away the vegetation and duff that protects soils, exposing them to rain and erosion. Catastrophic fire - increasingly common in California where a century of fire suppression has led to unnatural fuel accumulations in many forests - does the worst damage. High-intensity fires create a crust-like hydrophobic layer below the surface, an oil-based film that greatly slows the penetration of water.

When rain follows catastrophic fire, water quickly saturates the exposed topsoil and hits the hydrophobic layer about 2 inches underground. Since the water cannot seep into the ground any further, the topsoil, ash and debris gets washed away. Mud fills nearby watercourses, devastating wildlife habitat and polluting drinking water.

This cycle of fire and erosion plays itself out all too frequently in California, where this year’s fire becomes next year’s flood. Every significant wildfire leaves its costly mark on the state’s water quality.

Managing forested watersheds to reduce the threat of catastrophic wildfire and enhance aquatic species habitat can help.

The danger lies not only in the next inevitable fire, but in Californians sitting on the sidelines unaware of the connection between forest management and water quality. Our forests and water are at stake, right now and for the years to come.

Norman Pillsbury, Ph.D., professor emeritus of forest hydrology and watershed management at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, has conducted research into watershed systems for more than 30 years.

26 Sep 2008, 10:19am
Politics and politicians
by admin
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No to the Bailout

The proposed $700 billion bailout of NYC investment bankers is the largest graft event in world history. It must be stopped. Please email your Congressional delegation today.

Tell them that if they vote for mega-graft, you will not vote for them.

This country and our economy will be fine. There is no reason to tax every man, woman, and child $3000+ to give to crooks and politicians.

How does this deal affect forests? Please recall that Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson is the former president of the Nature Conservancy, a multi-billion dollar multinational real estate corporation whose stock-in-trade is gobbling up private property at a discount and reselling it at a premium to the government.

That is exactly the program offered by Paulson today, with the usual 25% “finders fee” attached. At least $200 billion of the “bailout” will go directly into the pockets of fats cats who are already millionaires and whose ill-gotten gain came from gaming the system.

Paulson, Obama, Frank, Reid, Pelosi, et al have become wealthy not from hard work but from payoffs. The slush fund they wish to create will rob from poor and give to the rich.

Our public forests and private homes are the resource bases that are the real equity of this nation. The grafters wish to destroy that equity and have been destroying it at an alarming pace. That catastrophic destruction must be halted or the wealth of the USA will be dissipated and transferred into the hands of traitors.

Email and/or call everyone you can think of. Stop the graft, stop the corruption, stop the bailout of billionaires. Do it today!!!

BLM - Enviro Lobbyist Scandal Probed

E&E Daily, a subscription-only Web news service, has broken a story regarding illegal collusion between Bureau of Land Management officials and environmental lobbyists groups:

IG investigating coordination by BLM and enviro groups, congressman says

Noelle Straub, E&E Daily reporter, Sept 20, 2008

The Interior inspector general is investigating possible illegal coordination between lobbyists for environmental groups and federal officials of the National Landscape Conservation System, Rep. Rob Bishop said yesterday.

Interior officials informed his office about the investigation into the NLCS, which is a division of the Bureau of Land Management, the Utah Republican said in a statement.

E-mails and other documents show extensive coordination between top NLCS officials and environmental lobbyists, said Bishop, the top Republican on the National Parks, Forests and Public Lands Subcommittee.

The main groups involved appear to be the Wilderness Society and the National Wildlife Federation, a House GOP aide said. At some point NLCS officials had weekly meetings with these and other groups, often at the Wilderness Society’s office, to coordinate lobbying strategy and messaging, the aide said.

E-mails show that NLCS officials requested environmental groups to write budget language, the aide added. E-mails also talk about coordinating lobbying efforts, setting up NLCS events, sending out draft memorandums for each other to review and preparing for congressional hearing.

The federal and advocacy officials exchanged resumes and job announcements in their respective organizations and BLM, the aide said. Travel documents are still being collected and reviewed and will be part of the investigation, the aide added.

Federal law generally prohibits federal employees from using appropriated funds or their official positions to lobby Congress.

The National Landscape Conservation System is a sub-agency of the BLM. The NLCS website is [here].

The NLCS was established in 2000 by Interior Secretary Babbitt

The System contains more than 850 federally recognized units

It encompasses approximately 27 million acres of public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Managements

The NLCS has four categories of federally designated areas:

National Monuments, National Conservation Area (NCAs) and similar designations. ‘Similar designations’ includes National Recreation Areas, Cooperative Management and Protection Areas, Outstanding Natural Areas, and Forest Reserves

Wilderness. This category includes Designated Wilderness and Wilderness Study Areas

Wild and Scenic Rivers

National Trails. This category includes National Historic Trails and National Scenic Trails

more »

Algore the Domestic Terrorist

Former VP and nearly POTUS Al Gore has called for rioting in the streets in the name of Global Warming. From Reuters yesterday:

Gore urges civil disobedience to stop coal plants

By Michelle Nichols [here]

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Nobel Peace Prize winner and environmental crusader Al Gore urged young people on Wednesday to engage in civil disobedience to stop the construction of coal plants without the ability to store carbon.

The former U.S. vice president, whose climate change documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” won an Academy Award, told a philanthropic meeting in New York City that “the world has lost ground to the climate crisis.”

“If you’re a young person looking at the future of this planet and looking at what is being done right now, and not done, I believe we have reached the stage where it is time for civil disobedience to prevent the construction of new coal plants that do not have carbon capture and sequestration,” Gore told the Clinton Global Initiative gathering to loud applause. …

In the proud tradition of Sinque, Abby Hoffman, Vladimir Lenin, and Hussein Obama confidant William “Weather Underground” Ayers, Nobel Peace laureate Albert Gore is fomenting civil disobedience, monkey wrenching, fire bombing, Communist revolution, and mass insanity.

Shut down the power grid today in the name of carbon dioxide! Take it to the streets! Especially you young people!

The Clinton Global Initiative? It’s a Clinton thing? Why am I not surprised?

Drop whatever you are doing, grab your milk jugs full of gasoline, and burn baby burn. Rioting, looting, pillaging! Crush the West!

The phony AGW hoax is dying. Now is the time to go completely insane and destroy America. Move on, move out, and up the Revolution!

Did you vote for Crazy Al? Are you ashamed yet?

Bloated mega-millionaire Algore was deeply partnered with Lehman Bros, the investment bank that plunged into receivership last week. No bail out for Al. Now he’s pissed. Riot On!!!!!!!!

Show your allegiance to Al’s corrupt bank fraud! Burn your local branch today!

Or better yet, commit to 50 years of punitive taxes to stuff in the pockets of NYC investment bankers who gambled away a trillion dollars. They need new 3-piece suits and limousines. You should be poor so they can be rich. You work while they play with your money.

Here’s the Plan of Congress, Algore, GW Bush, and all the fat cats: burn baby burn the equity of the USA in colossal megafires so that the entire world goes bankrupt. We could all live like they do in Kenya where Hussein Obama’s family scrabbles for a dollar a day in the dust.

Come the Revolution gonna be no more limousines! And no more forests, and no more USA. One World poverty and social upheaval because Mother Nature is mad at the human race. Follow your fearless leaders. They know what they’re doing. They have your best interests at heart. Riot on, America!

What is this country coming to? Did we already drink the koolaid? Has the entire populace gone nuts? If you are not insane, please let me know. I need some reassurance.

24 Sep 2008, 10:38am
2007 Fire Season Politics and politicians
by admin
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The Idaho Conflagration League

The 2007 fire season in Idaho was the worst in nearly 100 years. Almost 2 million acres burned, including 800,000 acres in one block stretching across the Salmon Mountains in Central Idaho. More than a quarter of a billion dollars were spent on fire suppression, and 10 times that amount in resource damages were suffered.

Just this month the Idaho Conservation League issued a report calling those fires “natural” and a boon to the state. From Fire in Idaho: Lessons for Human Safety and Forest Health, A Review of Idaho’s 2007 Fire Season, Idaho Conservation League, Written and Prepared by Jonathan Oppenheimer, Senior Conservation Associate, September 2008:

Idaho’s 2007 fire season represented a clear shift in how we manage wildfires. This shift is paying benefits that include better safeguarding of homes, property and human life, as well as wiser use of tax dollars and real benefits on the land. …

These Wildland Fire Use fires carried several benefits. Money that would have been spent fighting them could be directed to more destructive fires. Firefighters were kept out of harm’s way. And dead trees and brush that had built up for years were cleared, making the forest healthier and reducing the odds for a major blow-up in the future.

The Idaho Conservation website is [here]. Their stated goals include ending “commercial logging, roadbuilding, and phosphate mining” in Idaho. Ostensibly they also seek to preserve “Idaho’s clean water, wilderness, and quality of life.” The ICL works to “safeguard communities against agricultural activities that threaten public health and the places we live” and to “defend communities against polluting power generation facilities.”

The ICL is opposed to smoke:

Microscopic bits of material, called particulate matter (PM), are carried up in the smoke and carried by the wind. The by-products may cause health effects such as:

irritated eyes, nose, mouth
increased coughing and wheezing
increased respiratory illness
decreased lung function
possible development of lung disease

These inversions cause serious health consequences, especially to those people who suffer from chronic lung diseases including asthma, emphysema, cystic fibrosis, and other types of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

The ICL wants clean streams:

We must also protect the quality of our lakes and rivers as more and more people move here. Streamside areas serve as important habitat for wildlife as well as buffer zones that protect our water and help keep it clean. We must maintain these important areas as a way to preserve clean water and beautiful places that contribute to the excellent quality of life we enjoy as Idahoans.

The destruction by fire of over a million acres of Idaho forests did not yield clean water, clean air, or quality of life. The 2007 megafires that ravaged Idaho’s forests fouled air, polluted streams, destroyed habitat, caused massive erosion, uglified scenery, and degraded the “quality of life” for thousands of residents.

Yet the Idaho Conservation League is blind to that destruction and celebrates the incineration of Idaho’s forests. They call forest holocaust “natural” as if “natural” justifies disaster.

In fact the fires were not natural. They were far outside the historic norms. For thousands of years Idaho has been home to human beings who modified the fire regimes so that mega disasters could not occur. The ICL is in utter denial about that, instead claiming that Idaho was untrammeled wilderness before the white man arrived. The fires of 2007 were larger, hotter, and did far more environmental damage than historical fires.

ICL’s historical/scientific revisionism is quite racist. The paeans to “naturalness” also smack of Luddite sensibilities. The ICL board and staff do not run around naked. They live in wood-framed houses. They eat food grown by agriculturalists. If they get sick they go to medical doctors, not “natural” healers. There is even a MD on their Board.

Proper forest management includes thinning forests so that fires drop to the ground and do not become canopy fire storms. The ICL opposes such treatments. They oppose commercial logging. They favor fire storms because they believe such fires are “natural.”

In their recent report they display a photograph of a 100 percent mortality snag patch, formerly green trees killed by the 2007 fires. The caption reads “Pine needles on the forest floor can significantly reduce erosion after fires.” However, no pine needles can be seen in the photo because they were incinerated.

The erosion caused by the 2007 Idaho fires has been horrendous and is ongoing.

The ICL reported contributions, gifts, and grants in the amount of $1,208,035 in 2006. The recent report was funded by the Wilberforce Foundation [here] and the Wyss Foundation [here]. It is interesting to note that both those foundations are bankrolled by high tech fortunes. Perhaps the wealthy techies feel that incinerating forests in megafires is appropriate penance for their sins of “unnaturalness.”

After all, the type of irrational and flaming hypocrisy demonstrated by the ICL can be described as religious fanaticism. What their religion is, exactly, is less clear.

For future reference, the Board of Directors of the Idaho Conservation League consists of:

Pat Haas (Chair), Boise
Mike Richardson (Vice Chair), Naples
Sharon Steiner (Secretary), Ketchum
Perry Brown (Treasurer), Boise
Matt Bullard, Boise
Claire Casey, Challis
Brad Chilton, Pocatello
Maureen Finnerty, Idaho Falls
Elaine French, Ketchum
Walt Minnick, Boise
Rick Price, Sandpoint
Gayle B. Poorman, Meridian
Janice Simpkin, Twin Falls
Jerry Sturgill, Boise
John Warren, Boise
Michael Wise, Ketchum

A Holocaust Party

The USFS is planning to celebrate megafires and the wholesale destruction of America’s forests. It’s a Party!!! according to Brett French of the Billings Gazette:

New method of fighting wildfires to get airing

By BRETT FRENCH Of The Gazette Staff, September 23, 2008 [here]

In a conference at Jackson, Wyo., dedicated to wildfire issues, Timothy Engalsbee sees a “coming-out party” of sorts for the Forest Service’s latest means of directing responses to wildfires.

Appropriate Management Response (AMR) will be discussed by its authors Thursday at “The ‘88 Fires: Yellowstone and Beyond.”

Engalsbee calls it a coming-out party because AMR has largely been drafted in secrecy, he said.

Tim Engalsbee of Eugene, Oregon was featured in a series by the Eugene Weekly, Flames of Dissent: The local spark that ignited an eco-sabotage boom — and bust [here].

But Tim has graduated from all that and is now allegedly a spokesperson for firefighters. At least, the Billings Gazette thinks so:

As executive director of Firefighters United for Safety, Ethics and Ecology [acronym: FUSEE, like the pyrotechnic device also called a flare] and a former wildland firefighter [among other pursuits, read Flames of Dissent], Engalsbee sees AMR as the best way to guide fire management in the future.

But all that aside, the USFS is having a party, a festival of fire. There will fun and games. Fire is the new toy of the USFS, according to Brett French:

The Forest Service has toyed with AMR for years. It was employed in 2007 on fires in southwestern Montana, where it met with mixed reviews by firefighters, the public and fire managers.

The idea behind AMR is that a fire is allowed to burn in areas where it’s deemed ecologically appropriate, such as a wilderness area, while being fought if it is next to valuable resources, such as homes, or where it threatens lives.

As it was initially written, under AMR one fire could be managed for both scenarios if it were burning on the edge of a wilderness area near a community. But directives implemented by the Bush administration in 2003 overrode that scenario, requiring that a fire either be suppressed or allowed to burn. The directives also required suppression of all wildland fires if they were human-caused - again defying the original intent of AMR.

Fun and games with fire, that is, and AMR has replaced whoofoos as the arsonistic game of choice. The “original intent” of AMR is a matter of some speculation, but French is right in that the Bush Administration did not create it and tried to put the kibosh on it.

The decision to rewrite AMR and turn it into a Let It Burn program was made this year, not by the Bush Administration per se, but by the Wildland Fire Leadership Council (WFLC), the federal advisory board that oversees the National Fire Plan [here]. The WFLC has been captured by radical environmental groups, none of whom support or have ever supported George W. Bush. Sadly, GWB has lost control over the Executive Branch and pro-holocaust crazies have subverted the WFLC.

More from Brett French and the Billings Gazette:

With implementation of AMR, the Forest Service would do away with Wildland Fire Use - or allowing naturally ignited fires to burn in remote and roadless areas where they don’t threaten property, lives or other valuable resources. Managing a fire for such ecological benefits is based on fuels, weather forecasts and the terrain in which the fire is burning.

What ecological benefits? That contention is so far off the mark as to be from the Planet Neptune. There are no ecological benefits from catastrophic fire. None. Zip, zero, nada.

Catastrophic mid-summer fires in dense and overgrown forests cause massive biological death, erosion, air and water pollution, and lingering effects such as conversion of forest to fire-type brush. The impacts to vegetation, wildlife habitat, recreation, scenery, fisheries, downstream water users, and forest-based communities are deleterious and debilitating.

Fire hazard is not abated by burning forests. Often there is more dead fuels after the fire than before. Instead of being precluded, future fires are made more frequent and more catastrophic. The Silver Fire (1987, 100,000 acres) was followed 15 years later by the Biscuit Fire (2002, 500,000 acres). The Marble Cone Fire (1977, 187,000 acres) was followed by the Indians/Basin Fire (2008, 244,000 acres). And so on.

The USFS has NEVER made the scientific case for ecological benefit from fire. The process to do that is via NEPA, but AMR (like WFU) has never been subjected to any NEPA examination. No Environmental Impact Statement has ever been written for AMR. No scientific analysis of the alleged benefits and/or obvious detriments of AMR has seen the light of day.

The USFS is toying with AMR. They are not experimenting. There has been ZERO scientific evaluation. All the pro-AMR contentions are specious nonsense without foundation in the environmental sciences.

In full realization of the above, the USFS wants to change the subject of the AMR debate from science to economics. From French’s article:

Yet AMR would contain many of the same tenets as Wildland Fire Use. In 2007, federal firefighting agencies defined AMR as moving “from aggressively attacking wildfires of all sizes to a more risk-informed performance-based strategy that will reduce costs by increasing flexibility in wildland firefighting decisions.”

Saving money is one of the main reasons for implementing AMR. As wildfires have grown in size and intensity because of drought, climate change and reduced logging, the costs of fighting them has also increased dramatically. Last year, more than 85,700 wildfires burned 9.3 million acres at a cost to the Forest Service of $1.4 billion. The Interior Department spent an additional $450 million.

The plan to “save money” (if in fact there ever was one) has failed utterly and miserably. In 2008, the year of AMR implementation (new fangled version), the USFS has spent over $2 billion dollars on fire “suppression” when only 4.7 million acres have burned. That does not include DoI expenditures. Toying with AMR has resulted in a 40 percent increase in expenditures despite burning only half the acres!

It doesn’t take an economist to see the bankruptcy of the “save money with AMR” notion.

What about those glaring facts that contradict the Government babble? French has an answer:

The increasing number of homes being built near public lands has also escalated suppression costs. This year, almost half of the Forest Service’s budget was dedicated to fighting fires, an amount that has been exceeded in part because of large fires in populated areas of California.

False. The expensive megafires in California were mostly in UNPOPULATED areas. Megafires burned 640,000 acres in NorCal in the least populated area of the state at a “suppression” cost of nearly $400 million and not one home has burned. That’s AMR for you.

On the Central Coast behind Big Sur the Indians/Basin Fire burned 244,000 acres at a “suppression” cost of $120 million where 28 residences were burned. But the bulk of the money was not spent defending residences in the Ventana Wilderness where there are no homes. In fact, when the fire reached homes the federal firefighters turned tail and ran, and homeowners had to crash road barriers to defend their own homes without federal assistance. It was Katrina all over again. (Surprising that the Mainstream Media was so agog about the lack of federal assistance in New Orleans during Katrina but so nonchalant about it in Big Sur during the Basin Fire).

The doubletalk jabber coming from the Mainstream Media could explain a problem the USFS is having: they can’t seem to communicate the wonderfulness of AMR:

Explaining Appropriate Management Response to the public, firefighters and fire managers poses its own problems.

A Forest Service study found confusion over exactly what AMR entails, outlining the difficulty the agency has in explaining the program to the public, as well as to its own personnel and cooperators.

“Describing AMR as new, or as a significant policy change, had confused agency personnel, interagency partners, and the public,” a 2007 report stated.

The report goes on to state that “many unresolved issues remain,” including getting state agencies to buy into the concept.

Buy in? We have already bought into the tune of $2 billion. The buy-in is so enormous that the 2008 budget of the USFS has been shredded and blown away on Let It Burn. With no public oversight whatsoever. Just like the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac fiasco. Taxpayer dollars heaved into a burn barrel by secret conspirators holding secret meetings, jamming their pockets with our money and jamming the gears of good government.

But let’s have a party to celebrate all that. Whoopee. Have some cake. The peasants can eat fire.

Firefighters Engage Middlefork Fire

After five weeks of Let It Burn firefighters have finally engaged the Middlefork Fire in SW Oregon. Last night’s 209 report indicated that direct fireline construction has been implemented in Crater Lake National Park to stop the northerly spread of the fire. Also, direct checking action by two 20-man crews has begun on the Fremont-Winema National Forest on the east side of the Cascades.

The Middlefork Fire [here] was ignited by lightning on August 16th on the Rogue River-Siskiyou NF near the Middle Fork of the Rogue River. To date the fire has consumed 18,238 acres including the entire Middle Fork watershed. The fire has spread 8 miles east across the Pacific Crest Trail and is within 3 miles of the upper Klamath Valley. It has also spread 12 miles to the north into Crater Lake NP to the north side of Union Peak.

To date the Middlefork Fire has cost $11,380,951 in “suppression” expenses although little or no suppression has taken place.

Click map for larger image [1.9 MB].

From Aug 16 to Sept. 10 a skeleton crew from the RR-SNF watched the fire burn. By then it had grown to 3,500 acres and was pluming (fire storm vortex) and spotting in every compass direction. The RR-SNF had spent $4.5 million by that date. On Sept. 11 the Blue Mountain Type 2 IMT (Batten) was assigned and they brought in over 350 firefighting personnel.

Still, no direct suppression was employed. Backburns were attempted from contingency lines miles away from the actual fire. On Sept. 13 over 500 personnel were engaged in not fighting the fire, which had grown to 6,000 acres. The new Region 6 Regional Forester Mary Wagner sent a Review Team to evaluate fire planning.

But no substantive change in firefighting tactics resulted. Between Sept 13 and Sept 18 the Middlefork Fire blew up and tripled in size.

Old-growth forest has been incinerated in repeated firestorm canopy fire events that have formed massive smoke plumes. Heritage sites of human occupation and use dating back thousands of years have been obliterated. The soil has been roasted and sucked away in the vortex fire plumes. Spotted owl nesting stands have been utterly destroyed. Recreational use has been curtailed, the trails and campgrounds closed, and the scenery converted to charred snags punctuated by ashy dust storms. The Rogue River has been polluted with ash and soot and will run chocolate with eroded sediment next year.

Today over 1,000 personnel are on the fire. The Blue Mountain Type 2 team is being replaced by the PNW Team 3 Type 1 IMT (Pendleton). And for the first time, direct attack is being utilized.

The direct attack is taking place in a National Park and a designated Wilderness Area on the north and east flanks of the fire. This is unusual because the NPS generally eschews direct attack. For instance, two fires are burning freely today in Kings Canyon NP. Tehipite Fire [here] began July 19 and is still burning two months later. It has plumed and grown to over 10,000 acres. While not an official WFU, like the Middlefork Fire it has been monitored, not fought. The Hidden Fire [here] began Sept 10 and is being managed using the Wildland Fire Decision Support System. That also means no direct attack and massive backburns on one side of the fire. The Hidden Fire has grown to over 1,500 acres and is being Let Burn on the KCNP side.

The Middlefork Fire was predicted, indeed threatened by the RR-SNF. In March 2008 Scott Conroy, Forest Supervisor of the RR-SNF issued a Notice indicating that he intended to alter the RR-SNF Fire Plan by incorporating WFU and AMR (Appropriate Management Response). The Notice was supposed to be a first step in preparation of an EA (Environmental Assessment) as required under NEPA (the National Environmental Policy Act). W.I.S.E. submitted comments as requested and authorized under NEPA process guidelines [here].

The RR-SNF never responded. They evidently bagged the NEPA process and adopted WFU and AMR anyway. Or perhaps not; there is no way of knowing. In June W.I.S.E. requested the RR-SNF Fire Plan under the Freedom of Information Act. The RR-SNF refused to comply and has not sent their Fire Plan to us as required by federal law.

These repeated violations of law culminated in the Middlefork Fire. W.I.S.E. warned every county commission in SW Oregon that the RR-SNF intended to do Let It Burn and that another Biscuit Fire was in the offing. Those county commissions did not respond. Maybe they thought it was a joke.

But it was not a joke. The RR-SNF had every intention of promulgating another megafire and indeed have done so.

The weather is expected to dry with strong winds arising by the end of the week. Hopefully direct attack can halt the progress of the Middlefork Fire before then. If not, expect another 10,000 acres of priceless heritage forests to be incinerated.

22 Sep 2008, 6:54pm
Federal forest policy
by admin
1 comment

Wilderness Designation Lays Waste to the Land

by Julie Kay Smithson, property rights researcher, recreationist, and lover of truth [here]This email in its entirety, including headers, is to be accepted and construed at my official public comments regarding the “Colville and Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forests Potential Wilderness Area Evaluations.”

My recommendation is that the USDA Forest Service add zero (0) acres of “recommended wilderness areas” in its latest Draft Environmental Impact Statement, or DEIS. I also direct this federal agency and its partners to cease adding any acres to the current obscene number of acres that have been “declared” to be “wilderness” — many of which are not “wilderness.” There is no need for such “designations” or their accompanying restrictions. They are fraught with language deception.

One of the thickly baited hooks in the “Roadless” scheme was/is “Inventoried Roadless Areas.” From that illegitimate, language deception loaded plan came “Recommended Wilderness Areas.” My considerable research and study on these and other related matters helps me conclude that such things were hatched in order to “create wilderness” where there is none and to forbid people in such areas, where people have been since time immemorial.

Thus, the Forest Service and other various and sundry agencies of the Departments of the Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, etc., are using a false premise in order to lay waste to many things related to these areas.

I describe these actions as laying waste because they grind timber harvest and other related, responsible resource providing uses to a halt and incrementally eliminate access by those with grazing, mineral, gas, timber, and recreational interests. All these things are important to the economic health of America. None of these uses may be falsely served up at the altar of “protection” or “management” when both “protection” and “management” is actually lock-up and Control.

According to one of federal government’s most conspicuous “public-private partners,” “The Nature Conservancy,” each and every place, both in America and worldwide, is special, in and of itself, and is “in need of protection.”

Since each of these places is special in its own right, according to “The Nature Conservancy” and its methodology of determining “last great places,” each is a separate and distinct recreational experience and as such, cannot be lumped with any other location/locale. Every place I choose to recreate — be it by over-the-snow vehicle, off-road vehicle, horseback, on foot (by foot, snowshoe or snow ski), or by dogsled — is separate and distinct, and has its own facets of the “Recreational Opportunity Spectrum.” Some facets are visual; others delight in other ways (smell, air quality, water quality, the mix of forest types, open meadows, rock formations, and many more: too many to count!).

I find it highly offensive that any agency, organization or individual would seek to stop access by over-the-snow and/or other motorized vehicle to these places. Not everyone is as physically fit or mobile as “wilderness restrictions” demand. Would the Forest Service deny a Vietnam or Iraq or Afghanistan or Desert Storm or World War II veteran the joy and experience of visiting these places simply by the Closed sign that a “wilderness” designation would mean to them? Irreparable harm is done to every American that needs motorized recreation and access for their health and well-being. Congress just passed the No Child Left Inside Act — but any further addition of “wilderness designation” means more places that are Closed to all but the most fit Americans and others that visit America from around the world (family and friends of Americans).

Think about this and its implications when these patriot veterans cast their votes on Election Day! No, Forest Service employees aren’t elected, but elected officials do have a say in who staffs your agency and others.

None of these places warrants, needs or belongs in a “wilderness” category of any type. These places are home to many roads, from old logging roads to “wildlife roads” to “pioneer roads,” but each is a road, just the same, so none are “wilderness” areas.

To reiterate: My recommendation is that the USDA Forest Service add zero (0) acres of “recommended wilderness areas” in its latest Draft Environmental Impact Statement, or DEIS.

I didn’t just ride into town last week on a turnip wagon. The word “protection” is false, as is “management.” What is sought is the Control of what is tantamount to everywhere. No conquering hordes of Romans, Huns or Vikings ever lusted after Control of the World like government and its allies. The use of unconstitutional (and according to Marbury v. Madison, null and void) legislation, which is repugnant to the Constitution, is being employed to decimate property rights and resource providing in America. “Wilderness designation” is one of several ways in which Control of property — resources, water, access — is being wrested from those who have responsibly utilized that property for many years. It appears that unadulterated greed is driving this runaway train of “wilderness designation,” a runaway train that must be stopped or derailed ASAP.

From timber growing and harvest to subsistence and other hunting; from commercial and recreational fishing to winter recreation, both motorized over-the-snow vehicle access and other motorized access at other times of the year; from usage of “endangered,” “threatened,” “candidate,” “at-risk,” and other terms associated with the “Endangered Species Act,” to other concocted “threats” to places whose only threat is government interference; this “Potential Wilderness Area” “evaluation” smacks of false premise, from A to Z.

In closing: My recommendation is that the USDA Forest Service add zero (0) acres of “recommended wilderness areas” in its latest Draft Environmental Impact Statement, or DEIS.

Additional facts:

There are 663 wilderness areas in the United States covering almost 106 million acres. This is an area larger than the state of California, or about the size of Oregon and Washington put together.

Alaska has 48 wildernesses that contain a total of 57,425,569 acres of designated wilderness

California has 138 wildernesses that contain a total of 14,335,878 acres of designated wilderness

Colorado has 41 wildernesses that contain a total of 3,390,635 acres of designated wilderness

Idaho has 6 wildernesses that contain a total of 4,005,754 acres of designated wilderness

Montana has 15 wildernesses that contain a total of 3,443,038 acres of designated wilderness

Nevada has 68 wildernesses that contain a total of 3,450,986 acres of designated wilderness

Oregon has 40 wildernesses that contain a total of 2,273,614 acres of designated wilderness

Utah has 16 wildernesses that contain a total of 900,614 acres of designated wilderness

Washington has 30 wildernesses that contain a total of 4,317,099 acres of designated wilderness

Wyoming has 15 wildernesses that contain a total of 3,111,232 acres of designated wilderness

21 Sep 2008, 9:40pm
In Memorium
by admin
6 comments

In Memorium: Kris Fairbanks

Forest Service Law Enforcement Officer Kris Fairbanks was shot and killed by a convicted felon Saturday. Fairbanks was a certified canine officer with 15 years in the USFS. She leaves behind a teenage daughter and her husband, a Fish and Wildlife officer. See [here] for a press report.

Don Svetich, Engine Captain and Forest Protection Officer on the Olympic National Forest sent the following email to friends:

It is with very heavy heart that I write this note.

Yesterday, Sept 20, 2008 a friend, co-worker, partner and protector was killed in the line of duty.

I will miss Kris Fairbanks. She and I worked together on a regular bases, Kris and her K-9 partner Radar, were there to control the situation and to cover my back when I needed it most. (The same goes for the other LEOs that work on the Forest.)

I will miss her love of the Forest and her job, the energy she put into it and her desire to serve the people who visited the Olympic National Forest. Thanks Kris! for keeping this fat old man out of deeper crap, thanks for the memories.
Please keep Kris and her family in your thoughts and prayers!

To all Forest LEOs, thank you for the job you are willing do, thanks for being there when most are not.

Thanks for backing us up when we need it!!

Thanks again Forest 951, I will miss you !!

 
  
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