26 Mar 2008, 9:43am
Politics and politicians
by admin
5 comments

Two on Rural Politics in Oregon

Here are two recent news articles on rural politics in Oregon. Just to let you know how we high rate out here.

Number One:

Rural areas will lose a voice in Salem [here]

MATTHEW PREUSCH, The Oregonian Staff, March 23, 2008

BEND — Among the victims of Oregon’s darkening fiscal picture this year is the state’s only rural policy director.

Not that rural Oregonians are surprised. As they’ll tell you, getting the short end of the stick sort of comes with the territory.

In April 2004 at the Elks Lodge in John Day, Gov. Ted Kulongoski signed an executive order creating the Office of Rural Policy.

“The new Office of Rural Policy will assist the state in better understanding the unique needs and issues of rural Oregon,” Kulongoski said as eastern Oregon leaders looked on. Many hoped it would help bridge the state’s much-maligned urban-rural divide.

But the hope of some of those people who stood beside the governor has turned to bitter disappointment. At the end of this month, the office will disappear and its director and only full-time employee, Jim Azumano, will be out of work.

“From start to finish, it has been one of the most sorry situations I have ever been a party to,” Laura Pryor, a former Gilliam County executive and one of the office’s early supporters, said in a recent e-mail to colleagues.

The office never received regular allocations from the state’s general fund, relying instead on short-term federal grants and other miscellaneous funds.

Last year, the governor’s office asked for $400,000 to support the office, but the 2007 Legislature authorized only enough to keep it running for nine months. Lawmakers also asked Azumano and office supporters to come back with a report justifying its existence.

“I don’t know what they’ve done, other than have on the governor’s masthead a recognition that this administration cares about rural issues,” Sen. Betsy Johnson, D-Scappoose, a Ways and Means committee member, said during a hearing on the office last June.

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24 Mar 2008, 2:22pm
Federal forest policy
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Letter to Congress re FLAME Act from Former USFS Chiefs

The five most recently retired Chiefs of the U.S. Forest Service have sent a letter to Congress in support of HR 5541, the proposed Federal Land Assistance, Management and Enhancement Act (FLAME Act). The purpose of the FLAME Act is to create a budget mechanism for funding wildland fire suppression without penalizing the rest of the USFS land management programs. The letter is posted in full below:

March 24, 2008

To the Honorable Nick J. Rahall II, Chairman, Committee on Natural Resources, U.S. House of Representatives

Dear Mr. Chairman

This letter expresses our support for HR 5541 – the Federal Land Assistance, Management and Enhancement Act (FLAME Act).

Last year we wrote to you of our concern about the way funding of fire suppression on the National Forests was handled in the Federal budget. We pointed out that it was putting the Forest Service in an untenable financial position. We urged you to find a way to finance emergency firefighting costs outside of the agency’s discretionary budget. We believe the FLAME Act will accomplish this.

Unfortunately, since we wrote to you the situation continues to deteriorate. Proposed funding for fire suppression, reflecting the rising ten-year average cost, increases by $148 million in the FY2009 proposed budget. Fire funding is approaching 50 percent of the Forest Service budget. As a result, staffing for basic stewardship of the National Forests is well below that needed to protect and manage these valuable public lands. In the last six years, the available staff on the National Forest System has declined 35 percent. The number of resource specialists available for basic inventory and monitoring has declined 44 percent; the number of personnel to provide services to the 192 million annual recreation visitors have declined 28 percent, and the number biologists and technicians available to manage some of the most important fish and wildlife habitat in the nation has declined 39 percent. Loss of these essential personnel is intolerable. Our nation must find a way to fund the increasing costs of protecting these lands from fire without decimating the organization needed to protect and manage them for the American people.

Mr. Chairman, thank you for taking the initiative, along with Congressman Grijalva and Congressman Dicks, to separate the costs of emergency fire suppression from the discretionary budget of the Forest Service and the other land management agencies. We also appreciate the recognition by the Agriculture Committee of the need to solve the problem. If money is appropriated for the FLAME Fund, we believe this will create the opportunity to rebuild the capability of the Forest Service to protect and manage the resources of the National Forest System for the benefit of the American people. We urge enactment of HR5541 – the FLAME Act.

Sincerely,

signed:

R. Max Peterson, Chief, Forest Service 1979 – 1987
F. Dale Robertson, Chief, Forest Service 1987 – 1993
Jack Ward Thomas, Chief, Forest Service 1993 – 1996
Michael P. Dombeck. Chief, Forest Service 1997 – 2001
Dale N. Bosworth, Chief, Forest Service 2001 – 2007

22 Mar 2008, 5:49pm
Federal forest policy Saving Forests
by admin
3 comments

Dispelling Myths About Old-Growth

Excellent testimony was given by Paul H. Beck, Timber Manager, Herbert Lumber Company, Riddle Oregon, to the U.S. Senate on March 13th. His talk was designed to dispel eight myths about old-growth, forestry, and sawmilling here in Oregon. I think he succeeded.

Paul’s full testimony is [here].

Selected excerpts are [here].

Kudos the Paul Beck. He hit every nail square on the head. Whether the Senators understood a word he said is another matter, but I did and I liked every sentence. He quoted Charles Kay on anthropogenic fire, who in turn cited M. Kat Anderson and Stephen Pyne. He explained how modern fires are different and threaten the existence of our forests. He gave the correct prescription for saving our forests through scientific thinning, fuels management, prepared fire, and advanced forest restoration treatments. He clearly described the manner in which a variety of sawmills and wood products manufacturers must play a vital role.

Paul Beck gets it. Please read his testimony. It is filled with the truth.

Comments are welcome here.

22 Mar 2008, 7:50am
2007 Fire Season Saving Forests
by admin
3 comments

Angora Fire Repercussing

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

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

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

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

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

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20 Mar 2008, 4:44pm
Federal forest policy
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Spring Devolution

by Bear Bait

I’d be lying if I said I was sitting here contemplating my navel. I am too fat to see it and too dumb to contemplate it.

What I am really doing is reading my American Art Review Magazine [here] that came today. I like to look at art. Even went to a chichi art auction this week. Saw some truely beautiful works.

Here on the Left Coast we see California plein aire paintings all the time. The dudes and dudettes that went out into the country erected their easels and went about painting what they saw. Sort of like photography but with paint brushes and palette knives. In both media the artistes collected visions of a place in a time.

It would be a damned interesting art show that could put a collection of early 20th century paintings together with photos of the same places at that time in California, Oregon, and the rest of the West, and contrast them with photos of the same places today.

My guess is that the vegetative conditions pictured today would not be the one that drew artists and photographers to those spots so long ago. And therein would lie my argument that “preservation” is a charade. I don’t think even art is “preserved” but instead “conserved” for the long haul. Old oils need periodic attention to keep their luster, clarity, and brightness.

I would also say that about forests, but that would draw lots of loud opposition. The very idea that forests need “conservation” to keep their luster, functions, clarity, and brightness is anathema to many. Or at least enough so that our forests continue to decline, even in their “preserved” state (sort of like pickles in Grandma’s pantry).

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19 Mar 2008, 11:14am
Federal forest policy Saving Forests
by admin
15 comments

What Is “Forest Renewal”?

In the Notice issued by the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest regarding amending that Forests’ Land and Resource Management Plans “to allow for the full range of Appropriate Management Response strategies for the management of wildland fires” [here], the RR-SNF Forest Supervisor Scott Conroy is quoted as saying:

“Land managers throughout the West have learned over the last forty years that there are ecological benefits of having fire on the landscape as it can provide for a renewal of the Forest. It is a natural cycle of life in a forest,” said Conroy.

To reiterate, Conroy said the ecological benefit of forest fires is “forest renewal.” What then is “forest renewal”? What is he talking about?

The old purpose (old as in yesterday) of forest management on the RR-SNF was to protect old-growth forests, or in the parlance of the USFS, “late successional stands.” No cutting, no thinning, no roads, no human impacts of any kind are allowed currently, because the ancient forests are to be preserved.

But now the RR-SNF proposes to “renew” those forests by burning them down. To me that means killing all the old-growth trees, indeed killing all the live trees, and replacing them with new seedlings and/or germinants, or whatever sprouts back after the catastrophic, stand-replacing fire.

What else can “forest renewal” mean?

I ask you: do you know what “forest renewal” means? Do you have some definition of it? Please feel free to comment on this post and explain it to me.

I am quite familiar with the laws and regulations governing the USFS and their management activities. Nowhere that I know of is “forest renewal” mandated, or for that matter, even mentioned. I could be wrong, however.

Is “forest renewal” one of the tasks the U.S. Congress has assigned to the USFS? In what law or regulation is that directive found? How is “forest renewal” defined in that directive, if it exists?

Another possibility is that Conroy is making it up, that no directive for “forest renewal” exists. If so he is operating outside the law. That would imply some sort of extra-legal activity. One could even construe that behavior as criminal, in that potential case.

But before I call for a Justice Department investigation of the RR-SNF Forest Supervisor for high crimes and misdemeanors, it behooves me to determine just what “forest renewal” means and if it is a real thing or not. It appears to be forest murder and catastrophic destruction of living trees, particularly protected old-growth stands. But that might not be the case.

Does anyone reading this have any legal knowledge or expertise regarding “forest renewal”? It is legal? Is Conroy operating within the law, or committing a horrendous crime?

I would appreciate your sharing any citations or legal verbiage indicating one way or the other. Thank you.

18 Mar 2008, 8:05am
Climate and Weather Saving Forests
by admin
16 comments

Answering Some Questions About Smoke

Janet writes:

I noticed in news stories about Mr. Bonnicksen study that it was not peer reviewed and the study was funded by a foundation that gets money from logging companies. Also, some other experts who were interviewed for a story said Bonnicksen’s estimates were on the high end. Seems like you folks had a problem with a certain study out of OSU that wasn’t peer reviewed so I’m wondering why you are fine with this latest Bonnicksen study not being peer reviewed?

Janet, Holy cow! Did you ever get all that backasswards and twisted around! Let me try to straighten you out so you won’t be so desperately confused and disoriented.

1. Dr. (not Mr.) Bonnicksen, Ph.D., is Professor Emeritus of Forest Science at Texas A&M University, Visiting Scholar at The Forest Foundation, and the author of the greatest book ever written about our forests, America’s Ancient Forests – From the Ice Age to the Age of Discovery.

Dr. Bonnicksen holds a bachelor’s degree in forestry, and master’s and doctorate degrees in wildland resource science (he studied under Drs. Harold Biswell and Ed Stone at UC Berkeley). He has researched the history and ecology of ancient forests for more than 30 years, and has authored more than 80 papers and articles on forest ecology and resource management.

2. Dr. Bonnicksen is the originator of restoration forestry. His work has emphasized the fact that Native Americans were an integral part of America’s forests. The forests and the people who lived here formed an inseparable whole that developed together over millennia. He has endeavored to return our forests to sustainable, historical conditions and to protect, maintain, and perpetuate America’s forests.

3. Yes, Dr. Bonnicksen’s recent work was supported by the Forest Foundation, and that organization includes a timber company among its benefactors. But did you ever stop to think that every academic pursuit in California is supported by timber companies, through taxes, grants, and by the lumber that holds up the buildings on campus as well as your house?

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14 Mar 2008, 7:03pm
Climate and Weather Saving Forests
by admin
8 comments

Bonnicksen on GHG Emissions from Wildfires

Please note that W.I.S.E. has just added two Very Important Papers to our Library:

Thomas M. Bonnicksen, Ph.D. The Forest Carbon And Emissions Model. 2008. Prepared for The Forest Foundation, Auburn, CA.

FCEM Report No. 1 — (Description of the Beta Version)

FCEM Report No. 2 — Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Four California Wildfires: Opportunities to Prevent and Reverse Environmental and Climate Impacts.

For a review with selected excerpts and links to the papers, see [here].

Comments on these papers should be submitted to this post.

13 Mar 2008, 10:12pm
Climate and Weather
by admin
2 comments

From Climate Alarmism to Climate Realism

By Vaclav Klaus, President of the Czech Republic

Remarks delivered at the 2008 International Conference on Climate Change, New York, March 4, 2008 [here].

Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen,

I would like first of all to thank the organizers of this important conference for making it possible and also for inviting one politically incorrect politician from Central Europe to come and speak here. This meeting will undoubtedly make a significant contribution to the moving away from the irrational climate alarmism to the much needed climate realism.

I know it is difficult to say anything interesting after two days of speeches and discussions here. If I am not wrong, I am the only speaker from a former communist country and I have to use this as a comparative — paradoxically — advantage. Each one of us has his or her experiences, prejudices and preferences. The ones that I have are — quite inevitably — connected with the fact that I have spent most of my life under the communist regime. A week ago, I gave a speech at an official gathering at the Prague Castle commemorating the 60th anniversary of the 1948 communist putsch in the former Czechoslovakia. One of the arguments of my speech there, quoted in all the leading newspapers in the country the next morning, went as follows: “Future dangers will not come from the same source. The ideology will be different. Its essence will, nevertheless, be identical — the attractive, pathetic, at first sight noble idea that transcends the individual in the name of the common good, and the enormous self-confidence on the side of its proponents about their right to sacrifice the man and his freedom in order to make this idea reality.” What I had in mind was, of course, environmentalism and its currently strongest version, climate alarmism.

This fear of mine is the driving force behind my active involvement in the Climate Change Debate and behind my being the only head of state who in September 2007 at the UN Climate Change Conference, only a few blocks away from here, openly and explicitly challenged the current global warming hysteria. My central argument was — in a condensed form — formulated in the subtitle of my recently published book devoted to this topic which asks: “What is Endangered: Climate or Freedom?” My answer is clear and resolute: “it is our freedom.” I may also add “and our prosperity.”

What frustrates me is the feeling that everything has already been said and published, that all rational arguments have been used, yet it still does not help. Global warming alarmism is marching on. We have to therefore concentrate (here and elsewhere) not only on adding new arguments to the already existing ones, but also on the winning of additional supporters of our views. The insurmountable problem as I see it lies in the political populism of its exponents and in their unwillingness to listen to arguments. They — in spite of their public roles — maximize their own private utility function where utility is not any public good but their own private good — power, prestige, carrier, income, etc. It is difficult to motivate them differently. The only way out is to make the domain of their power over our lives much more limited. But this will be a different discussion.
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13 Mar 2008, 3:51pm
Saving Forests
by admin
1 comment

My Judgment

Nobody asked me, but here is my judgment regarding the entire Plumas matter.

Everybody involved is in the wrong. The Plaintiffs, the Defendants, the Judges, all parties involved, are acting manners that will hurt the American people, that will harm wildlife, and that will destroy priceless heritage forests.

No one is seeking to protect, maintain, or perpetuate THE FOREST. As a result, the forest will be destroyed, along with the animals that live there and likely the adjacent communities as well.

The Plaintiffs don’t care if a megafire holocaust blows up in the Plumas National Forest, in fact they welcome it. Their “experts” routinely call for no initial attack, no fire retardant, no firefighting, Let It Burn, and good riddance. It is their stated objective to “reintroduce” fire to America’s forests come what may. If spotted owls are killed and their habitat destroyed, so what. If old-growth trees are incinerated, so much the better; they wish to “renew” forests by burning them down. If the skies and waters are filled with smoke, ash, and soot, hooray for our side.

The Plaintiffs come to these issues not from long experience in caring for forests, but from a radical political agenda that seeks to overthrow the U.S. Government and institute a communist/fascist dictatorship. They are closet anarchists and America-haters. In fact, they hate the entire human race.

The Defendants are a corrupt federal bureaucracy that seeks to incinerate the forests under their charge, and any and all private properties, homes, or communities within 30 miles of public land. They know nothing about forests or forestry, and seek public funds and power to destroy that which they were hired to protect.

The Defendants routinely create faulty plans that they know are out of accord with the laws that govern them, seek to cut corners in every case, appoint idiot lawyers who know nothing about anything, and display an incompetence that borders on criminal negligence. No, not borders, IS criminal negligence full blown.

The Judges are ignorant about forests, forestry, wildlife biology, fire, any and all environmental science, and are ignorant of the law as well. The 9th Circuit Court routinely issues ruling so out-of-whack with the U.S. Constitution and our laws that nearly every one of their decisions that makes it to the Supreme Court is overturned.

Nobody involved seeks to protect, maintain, and/or perpetuate forests, old-growth trees, wildlife populations, wildlife habitat, watershed values, or any other facet of forests.

Can forests be saved from catastrophic fire? Of course. Can owl habitat be protected from incineration? Of course. Can old-growth trees be saved and perpetuated? Absolutely.

What is required is professional forestry oriented to those missions. And that is exactly what is lacking.

The question is not what size of trees should be removed. The question is what trees should be left. The purpose is not to fill the mills with public logs, the purpose is to protect, maintain, and perpetuate the treasures that are our National Forests.

But nobody involved gets that. They all bury themselves in erroneous minutia and political posturings that do not address the actual forestry conditions or what might be necessary to save our forests from destruction. Nobody involved gives a rat about forests, or the various disasters that ensue when forests are destroyed. They all have agendas that are entirely separate from forest stewardship.

As a direct, planned, and authorized result, every summer our forests are visited by raging megafires that destroy all forest values, kill wildlife, foul air and water, and leave behind wastelands, scorched earth, and tick brush where once magnificent forests stood.

Every summer homes and communities are visited by those same fires, raging out of control off the Federal Estate, generated by the selfsame Parties Involved, with horrible consequences including billions of dollars in destruction and the deaths of innocent people.

My judgment: I condemn them all. I find all of the Parties Involved guilty as charged. I am sickened by their behaviors. If it was within my powers, I would throw every one of them in the penitentiary for 20 years to life, and let them rot in their tiny cells while they contemplate the error of their ways.

13 Mar 2008, 11:24am
Federal forest policy Saving Forests
by admin
4 comments

Nobody Gets It

Last November we reported (at SOS Forests, the old version) on a landmark decision made in a California forestry case [here, here].

On Oct. 16, Judge Morrison C. England of the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California issued a written judgment denying the injunctions demanded by the Plaintiffs, a coalition of environmental groups led by Sierra Forest Legacy, formerly known as Sierra Nevada Forest Protection Campaign. Others in the (losing) coalition are the Center For Biological Diversity, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Sierra Club, and the Wilderness Society.

The Plaintiffs sought a preliminary injunction on grounds that the Slapjack, Basin and Empire Projects risked irreparable harm to old forest habitat and imperiled wildlife including California spotted owls, Pacific fishers and American martens. However, no fishers or martens have been seen within 200 miles of any of the project areas during the last 40 years.

The Projects are forest thinnings in the Wildland-Urban Interface, that most dangerous of fire zones. The Empire Project will treat 2,500 acres immediately adjacent to five communities at risk: Quincy, Massack, Greenhorn, Keddie and Butterfly Valley. The 35,00 acre Slapjack Project is near the communities of Brownsville, Challenge, Clipper Mills, Dobbins, Feather Fall, Forbestown, and Strawberry Valley, which collectively are home to between 5,000 and 7,0000 people. The Basin Project is 1,300 acres of similar selective thinning.

The Plaintiffs appealed, and last week arguments were heard before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. A tape recording of the attorneys for the Plaintiffs and the Defendants is [here].

Various points were raised. The Plaintiff’s attorney argued that 20 inch trees are perforce old-growth based on their diameter. However, true old-growth trees are rarely that small. I have a Douglas-fir next my driveway that is 24 inches in diameter and 26 years old. Determining the age of trees is fairly simple. Why nobody involved bothered to do that in this case is beyond me. Perhaps if a real forester were hired, that kind of confusion could be ameliorated.

The judges seemed concerned that merchantable-sized trees would be harvested. I am aware of no law that limits the USFS to sub-merchantable size classes. However, there are numerous laws that require the US Government to supply timber to the national economy from federal lands. Why none of those laws were mentioned is again a mystery to me.

The Plaintiff’s attorney claimed irreparable harm would be done to martens and fishers that do not exist within 200 miles of the treatment areas. That seemed like a stretch of the truth. He also argued that thinning would impair spotted owl habitat, again a falsehood.

The Defendant’s attorney seemed to know nothing whatsoever about forestry, or forests, or wildlife habitat, or much else. She seemed, from the tape recording, to be nervous, confused, and ill-prepared.

I personally do not think the 9th Circuit Court should be a training ground for rookie attorneys, particularly when so much is a stake. The purpose of the proposed projects is to SAVE forests, not destroy them, to SAVE habitat, by preventing incineration of it, and to SAVE the homes and lives of the resident citizens from catastrophic megafire. That’s not a joke or a practice game for greenhorns.

The Plaintiffs seemed not to care one tiny whit whether forests, habitat, homes, or lives are destroyed by raging infernos. They are holocauster life-haters, evidently. That kind of evil must be countered with some serious effort. Unfortunately, no one involved seems to get it.

12 Mar 2008, 5:40pm
Saving Forests
by admin
2 comments

We Had to Think Ahead

Guest Post by Bear Bait

If you depend on science alone, the effort fails. There is art involved. Forestry is science and art combined. My experience over 49 years getting a paycheck from the woods, or from imparting some consultation to someone who needed my help. Science and art…

Diversity is having 10,000 groups of 100 or less people managing their little part of the landscape to provide for their sustenance, the survival of their DNA to another generation. All will do things a little bit differently. Their diet preferences will differ, as will how they adorn themselves or shelter themselves. And by happenstance or serendipity, they will move plants and animals and change the local landscape with accidental or set fire, changing a stream’s flow a little bit to spread water, cleaning under a tree so as to prevent ground fire from killing it and losing the annual nut crop. Slow, little tiny needed change. And it all becomes diversity.

Now compare that with a Forest Plan. An EIS for a watershed. A directive from the Chief’s office. That is a dulling one size fits all policy, and that is armor-plate without art. That is mindless dreck piled on more mindless dreck. The land now shows that. The whole of the National Forests and BLM lands now reflect top down planning. No subtle differences on the ground, no preferences for some one thing over another. Mindless lock step march to sameness, all in the name of diversity. Human diversity, forest diversity, plant diversity, animal diversity. Cookie cutter forestry. Paint by the numbers forestry.

That is what got us Swiss needle cast in off-site Doug fir in the fog belt. That got us high elevation Idaho Doug fir seed planted in the Hebo Burn oh so long ago. Super trees. Ten by ten spacing. And the industrial foresters will tell you if you don’t overplant, you end up with limby ice cream cones. So they grow their trees, and the govt should grow their own.

Hay-Soos Crisco, Shotgun, where in the hell did all the meadows go? The fens, the wet meadows, the wide riparian zones, the lakeside meadow, the savanna? All are now trees. You hike into the wilderness and the sign says you can’t gather firewood or camp anywhere near the lake. Like sure, dude. The Molalla Indians had those signs everywhere. Don’t! No! Cease! Can’t!… At least they burned off the grass in late summer or fall, and it all grew back thrifty and strong the next year. Now that meadow by the lake has been lost to encroachment of trees.

In the whole of the west side of the Cascade range, on USFS land, there is only one grazing allotment and I think they are trying or have eliminated that one to cutthroat trout issues. The rest were lost to tree encroachment. Or deliberate tree planting. The Feds planted the meadows with trees. Is planting trees in a meadow as egregious a strike against nature as cutting all the trees down in a clear cut? I would think so.
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12 Mar 2008, 9:55am
Climate and Weather
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The Pro-Human Faction

[Note: I wrote the following comment in response to another comment at W.I.S.E. Forest and Fire News, but am so enamored of my own writing that I am placing it here as a post.]

Re the “alarmist” appellation [as in Global Warming Alarmist]: the climate debate was declared over by political types. Those who disagree with the UN [IPCC] conclusions were (are) labeled “deniers” in reference to Holocaust deniers. Vast Draconian “solutions” have been subsequently adopted worldwide, with more to come.

Yet the debate is not over. Numerous scientists, including over 100 top experts who attended the NY Climate Conference, make the claim that recent global warming is minor, natural (not human caused), largely over, and a good thing (warmer is better).

Those points of view are roundly excoriated by the worldwide Media. Those of us who hold those views feel very marginalized and deeply insulted by the alarmists’ lack of open mindedness. Friends of mine have lost their jobs for holding “contrarian views” on this issue, by purely political witch-hunting.

The “solutions” offered have driven up the prices of energy and food. Great suffering has resulted in the poorer countries of the world. None of the “solutions” will affect the Earth’s temperature one iota, but the suffering is now and it is real.

Those who would starve the poor are indeed heartless. Those who would impose a new world order regardless of the pain they inflict are indeed authoritarian and totalitarian. Megalomania has not miraculously disappeared. It is alive and expanding on this planet.

It is a common thing to blame one’s fellow man for “problems” real and imaginary. That is the thread that has run through totalitarian movements throughout history, with horrendous repercussions. Blame Humanity is popular these days, just as it was in fascist dictatorships prior to World War II. “Too many people” is an old and deeply corrupt philosophy!

The corollaries to that philosophy are profoundly anti-human, racist, and evil. It the philosophy that created Auschwitz.
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11 Mar 2008, 8:37am
Saving Forests
by admin
12 comments

The Only Task

This just in from a SOSF fan, forester, and long-time contributor:

Now that the eco’s AND the Bush Administration are united in burning our forests to the ground, what can foresters do? It looks like the shift will have to go with salvage logging. The stage is set for foresters to make their stand in court on the benefits of salvage logging. Too bad the government lawyers know almost nothing about forests. And in a battle of lawyers, which lawyer would you trust on environmental issues? (No, you DO have to choose!…LOL) — Backcut

This is sarcastic commentary, tongue-in-cheek, and I am afraid many newer readers may not understand the nuances. Please let me explain a few things.

I personally do not give a dead rat about salvage logging. Salvage logging is not forestry. That’s not what foresters do.

Hello, World! Catch a clue! Forestry is not about the logs!!!!!!

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Forestry is about the forests. It’s about protecting, maintaining, and perpetuating living forest ecosystems!!!!!!!!!

NOT ABOUT THE LOGS!!!!!!!

Look, I know that you all live in wooden framed structures made of boards that came from trees, or else in concrete Stalinist tenements that were built using wooden forms. Naturally, you are concerned about the price and availability of construction lumber since your very lives depend on them.
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The Planned Incineration of the Rogue NF

Maybe it is not clear to the newest readers of SOS Forests that when the USFS says “the full range of Appropriate Management Response strategies for the management of wildland fires,” they mean whoofoos. They mean Wildland Fire Use, and Let-It-Burn. They mean no rapid response initial attack. They mean holocaust, catastrophic megafire ala the Biscuit Fire (2002).

The USFS has announced their intention to burn down the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest [here]. That is their intention.

Appropriate Management Response encompasses a range of possible responses to unplanned fires, from monitoring (watching the fire burn to ensure objectives are being met) to full suppression (putting the fire out).

Watching the fire burn is code for Let-It-Burn. Watching is not firefighting, it is watching.

During the 50,000 acre Tatoosh Fire (2006) [here, here] on the Okanogan NF, watching consisted of a fly-over once a day. During the Little Venus Fire (2006) [here] on the Shoshone National Forest, watching consisted of sending “monitoring” crews with a defective radio system into tight canyons where they got burned over and nearly killed. In any case, watching is NOT containing, controlling, or extinguishing the fire.

“The goals of Appropriate Management Response are to allow more acres to be affected by fire where we believe it will benefit forest health, obtain desired ecological conditions, and reduce the risk of damage over the long term” said Scott Conroy, Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest Supervisor.

Scott Conroy is wrong. Let-It-Burn wildfires in unmanaged forest are stand-replacing (kill all the trees) and do not reduce the risk of damage; they realize it!

Wildfires do not benefit forest health; they destroy forests and convert them to brush!

The desired ecological conditions in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest are NOT incinerated forests converted to brush!

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