17 Dec 2010, 11:34am
Uncategorized
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Holiday Thoughts from Bear Bait

Years ago, due to end of fiscal quarter issues, the time between Christmas and New Years was full of USFS timber auction sales that needed my attention. Lots of snowy traipses in the woods, chaining up the pickmeup truck. I would guess now the timber staff and the business offices are empty, with employees off to the far corners of the country and the earth, taking is easy and some time off from sitting in front of computers creating scenarios never to be carried out, scenarios that are only conjecture at best.

The real issue to pound into the ground is the stake through the heart of Oregon’s once enviable economy. Oregon is now a colony, even having been abandoned by the MegaPulps and the TimberGiants. REIT and TIMO business plans do not include log processing. I had occasion to drive up the freeway to Wilsonville and passed several log trucks hauling nice looking second growth export logs with Weyerhaeuser tags on them. Gotta supply the new industrial nations of the world with raw material.

And a trucking outfit, that I once knew as a log hauler for Longview Fiber gyppo loggers, passed me dragging a Schnitzer Salvage trailer full of scrap metal. That, too, will be sliced and diced and shipped off the Far East in containers to be hand gleaned for metal other than ferrous, and then smelted to make that doodad you can’t live without which Walmart carries. Colony USA feeding the machinery of the former third world.

So we don’t use our Federal timber, and we really don’t have the building industry or dollars needed to build homes, so it does not matter at this time. We have logs on private land in surplus, and the need for quarterly profits to feed the shareholders of the REITS and TIMOs. Ergo, export logs are rolling down the highways. That is a blessing, you know, because it does represent domestic jobs from the woods to the cargo dock and onto ships. The ships and sailors are not American, though.

The place where the trees once grew is now a contact zone for the sun with the soil, and soon the herbicides will have killed all the plant life and through that dead zone will be planted new conifers, free of competition for several years, and the trees will flourish and grow and soonn be an unhealthy, crowded forest due to regulatory overplanting to avoid fines and poor publicity. Regulated forestry requires successful replanting of Douglas-fir and total tree cover in a set number of years. None of those nasty opening in the canopy for meadows, fens, brakes, prairies. Total tree cover. Non-diverse total tree cover. Think about it.

So not cutting and preserving is like buying the best cottage cheese and putting it in the refrigerator. Sooner than later the cottage cheese will grow mold and then slowly turn to slimy sludge. Forests do the same, but over a longer time frame.

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18 Sep 2010, 4:23pm
Climate and Weather
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Alaska Not Warming

by Ken Schlichte

A recent article in the Tacoma News Tribune quotes an ecologist from the University of Alaska Fairbanks as saying Alaska temperatures will increase by 11 degrees F by 2100 and turn interior Alaska into prairie.

Warming Could Turn Interior Into Prairie, UAF Scientist Says

AP, Tacoma News Tribune, 09/18/2010 [here]

“The projected warming of the planet could give Fairbanks the same weather as the midwestern Canadian prairies, according to a University of Alaska Fairbanks professor.

Rich Boone, an ecosystem ecologist at the College of Natural Science and Mathematics, used the climate around Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, as an example of what might be in store for Alaska’s Interior, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported.

Fairbanks faces a roughly 11-degree temperature increase by 2100 if moderate climate-change models are used, Boone said during a talk Wednesday.

If that happens, the Interior no longer will be characterized by permafrost and boreal forests, he said.

“That’s very realistic,” Boone said. “We’d be in a zone that would potentially be prairie.”

Models used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predict worldwide temperatures will increase by about 6 degrees Fahrenheit during the next century. Arctic regions have been warming at roughly twice the rate of other parts of the globe, Boone said.

Based on indicators that include ice cores, tree rings and other data, Boone said the only other known period of such rapid change was the end of the last ice age about 12,000 years ago.

Earth’s climate has been remarkably stable during the past 1,000 years, he said, allowing humans to develop reliable agriculture and the civilization that accompanies it.”

The UAF professor suggests that Fairbanks faces a roughly 11-degree temperature increase by 2100, but the Alaska Climate Research Center figure (below) and their discussion of it indicates that Alaska had a large temperature increase in 1976 due to a phase shift in the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, and since 1977 little additional warming has occurred in Alaska.

Mean Annual temperatures departure from “normal” for Alaska, 1949-2009

Pacific Decadal Oscillation Index, 1925-2010

From the Alaska Climate Research Center:

Considering just a linear trend can mask some important variability characteristics in the time series. The figure at right [1st figure above] shows clearly that this trend is non-linear: a linear trend might have been expected from the fairly steady observed increase of CO2 during this time period. The figure shows the temperature departure from the long-term mean (1949-2009) for all stations. It can be seen that there are large variations from year to year and the 5-year moving average demonstrates large increase in 1976. The period 1949 to 1975 was substantially colder than the period from 1977 to 2009, however since 1977 little additional warming has occurred in Alaska with the exception of Barrow and a few other locations. The stepwise shift appearing in the temperature data in 1976 corresponds to a phase shift of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation from a negative phase to a positive phase. Synoptic conditions with the positive phase tend to consist of increased southerly flow and warm air advection into Alaska during the winter, resulting in positive temperature anomalies.

The professor’s statement that the earth’s climate has been remarkably stable during the last 1,000 years also conflicts with the significant temperature decreases that occurred between the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age and the significant temperature increases that have occurred since the Little Ice Age.

Note: It should also be considered that prairies are not wholly the result of temperature in that they occur across a wide range of climatic zones. There are prairies in Amazonia, for instance. Prairies result from very frequent fire in low rainfall regions. And sometimes high rainfall regions. There are remnant prairies in coastal Washington, for instance, where it rains buckets (see [here]). Much study has revealed that anthropogenic (human-set) fires have driven prairie formation and maintenance worldwide during the Holocene. - Mike Dubrasich

Enviro-Extortion Is the New Game

OPINION EDITORIAL
FROM: KAREN BUDD-FALEN
BUDD-FALEN LAW OFFICES, LLC
DATE: SEPTEMBER 7, 2010
RE: GETTING PAID TO GO AWAY - AND THE TAXPAYER AND CONSUMER GET TO PAY AGAIN

It is no surprise that there is a big difference between legal requirements, radical opinion, political power, private extortion… and then there is the rest of the story.

With regard to the payment of attorneys’ fees to radical environmental groups, radical opinion and political power seem to often win and legal requirements are ignored. In fact, political power supporting radical opinions forced payment of at least $4,697,978 in taxpayer dollars to 14 environmental groups in 19 states and the District of Columbia.

Political power payments for radical opinions happens 21% of the time when attorneys’ fees are paid.

And then there are the cases where these same radical environmental groups are extorting millions from major corporations and local governments as payment to drop appeals and protests. For example, recently Western Watersheds Project (“WWP”) and Oregon Natural Desert Association (“ONDA”) extorted $22 million from El Paso Corporation to drop their protests of the Ruby Pipeline project. In another case, the Center for Biological Diversity (“CBD”) extorted almost $1 million from Alameda County, California to drop its protests to a City’s approval of a residential and commercial development project. The general theme is that money changes hands, development moves forward and the taxpayers and consumers get stuck with the bill.

The story goes like this:

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8 Sep 2010, 12:43pm
Climate and Weather The 2010 Fire Season
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Garbled Warming

USA Today today reports that the 2010 Fire Season has been a mild one, due to the weather, not “climate change” of course.

USA catches a break this year with mild wildfire season

Both in terms of total number of wildfires as well as acres burned, 2010 is the least active year of the past decade.

By Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, September 8, 2010 [here]

The USA is enjoying an unusually quiet year for wildfires, the least fiery of the past 10 years, according to data from the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise.

Both in terms of total number of wildfires as well as acres burned, 2010 is the least active year of the past decade.

Weather conditions have been ideal this year for a calm wildfire season, particularly in the fire-prone West.

“It’s been a combination of rain at the right time of year in the right place,” says Robyn Heffernan, assistant fire weather program manager of the fire center.

“The weakening of El Nino (and eventual transition to La Nina) brought abundant spring rain to the Northwest and kept a persistent West Coast trough of low pressure throughout the summer,” she adds. “This kept (wildfire) fuels moist in the Northwest quarter of the country into the summer fire season.

“It was the perfect combination for little fire activity in the lower 48.”

As of Sept. 3, 43,470 fires had burned in the USA, slightly less than the 45,152 that burned in 2003, according to the fire center. This amount is 71% of the average of 61,219 fires.

The total acres burned across the USA has been less than half of an average year. So far in 2010, 2.6 million acres have burned nationally; in a typical year, 5.7 million have been scorched, to date.

Also thanks to El Nino, the spring was very wet in the Southern tier of states, reports Heffernan, which is typically that region’s most active season.

“Last winter was under the influence of an El Nino, which gave the Southern tier of states moist conditions going into the spring fire season,” Heffernan says.

Many of the wildfires this year have been in Alaska. “They were busy in their peak of fire season, which is in June,” she adds.

Alaska burned around 150% of its normal number of fires and in excess of 200% of normal acreage.

“If you took those fires out, the lower 48 total would be significantly lower.” …

That’s not to say that there haven’t been devastating fires. Thousands of acres of spotted owl forests have been incinerated in various Let It Burn fires, and homes destroyed in numerous others.

Note: the worst of this year’s home-destroying wildfires is burning right now west of Boulder, CO. The Four Mile Canyon Fire [here] has burned more than 50 homes so far. The West Fire [here] and Bull Fire [here] in Kern County, CA burned 30+ residences in July. And the typical fall wildfire season in Southern California has not kicked in yet.

But the numbers don’t lie; this year has been a relatively mild fire season to-date.

The “conventional” wisdom has been that the globe is heating up like a frog in a microwave oven, though. The “models” are off the charts. Some “experts” like NASA’s James “Venus Syndrome” Hansen believe the seas are going to boil away into outer space if we don’t stop driving SUV’s [here].

It has been a popular alarmist refrain that early snowmelt and increased spring and summer temperatures have occurred and are driving increases in wildfire acreage. A single speculative paper is most often cited: Westerling, A.L.; Hidalgo, H.G.; Cayan, D.R.; Swetnam, T.W. 2006. Warming and earlier spring increase Western U.S. forest wildfire activity. Science, Vol. 313: 940-843 [here] for this dire report.

Of course, one unchallenged study using uncertainty-laden computer models does not equal truth. That hasn’t impeded AGW (anthropogenic global warming) alarmists from trumpeting it, however. The Draft Cohesive Strategy [here], for instance, was written by Westerling et al. true believers.

The problem with the alarmist theories is that the weather won’t cooperate with the climate models. Despite the overwhelming consensus of People Without a Clue [here, here, here, for instance], colder-than-usual weather keeps contradicting the Incredible Warming Models.

Even the President and Chief Alarmist Barky Obama had to concede last winter that Snowmageddon had arrived [here]. Al “Sex Poodle” Gore bought a mansion on the beach, indicating his money doesn’t go where his mouth does [here]. Record salmon runs have filled western rivers [here], in response to the PDO shift [here] to colder waters. And despite their best efforts, the Nation’s Interagency and Interdepartmental Wildland Fire Management Community has not been able to burn as many acres as they had hoped for. $Billions in FLAME Act funds are not getting spent, much to everyone’s chagrin.

Our cold, wet Spring and the Shortest Summer On Record have pretty much shot the Incredible Warming Models full of holes. Which was also predicted [here]. It’s that darn weather. It just won’t cooperate.

World Governments are doing all they can to raise taxes and inflict economy busting regulations, and they need evidence to justify their Luddititude. But the evidence keeps undermining the Alarmist wonkies. The seas won’t boil, the fires won’t burn, and the weather won’t do what the models tell it to do.

Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody seems to be able to make it do what they want.

But not to worry. The Lame Ducks will quack things up. Get out your check books, or sell your kids if you have to. The Largest Tax Hikes in History are coming. They’ll cure what ails the weather, or my name isn’t Quetzalcoatl.

Climate Change Foils Fire Nazis

As the unusual August rain today pours down on dozens of Let Burn Fires across the West, the best laid plans of the holocauster forest destroyer “community” have been washed away.

Even napalm won’t work when the humidity is this high and the temperatures this low.

The climate change that has altered the Pacific Northwest is due to the shift in the Pacific Decadal Oscillation which has taken place over the last 3 years or so. Colder water is upwelling in the northern eastern Pacific, a condition absent over the last 30 years, but now back for a 3-decade term.

Add to that the growing La Nina in the central Pacific (more cooling of the water off our shores), and a cold wet spell has engulfed us.

Last winter was the coldest and wettest on record, summer was two months late, and now fall is a month early. As the saying goes, summer was the nicest day we had this year.

Great plans were afoot to burn umpteen million acres of America’s priceless heritage forests this summer, and the fire nazis did their best. Not only were numerous wildfires unfought, but arsonistic sub-functionaries attempted to torch off more and more acres — using drip torches and ping pong balls filled with gasoline, dropped from helicopters.

Before the fire season started, various fire pundits predicted a monstrous burning summer. The cold, wet winter and spring had spurred more than the average growth, you see, and all that excess biomass was going to fuel the fires of their dreams.

No mention was made of the biomass that had been building up for 100 years or more. Just this year’s early growth was all that mattered to the pundits. They also tore their hair out over the “early snowmelt” and “late fall” and “extended burning season” indicated by their funk-tastic models. Don’t measure anything — real data aren’t necessary — just plug fantasy into creative equations and voila!, garbage spews out.

But their models were wrong, completely wrong, utterly wrong. Bang the Gong Show gong. Summer was late and fall has come early, just the opposite of the predictions of the chrome domes.

The Alarmist consensus turned out to be a confederacy of dunces. Cue the clown music…

Far be it from me to rub it in, but I TOLD YOU SO!!!!!

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All Lands Management, Government-Style

Once again the US Forest Service is blaming everybody but themselves for catastrophic megafires that arise on unkempt, fuel-laden Federal lands and are exacerbated by the USFS’ own Let It Burn policies.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack blames all those private homes, including those that haven’t been built yet, within 30 miles of the unmitigated hazards the USFS has created.

The solution: eliminate all homes with 30 miles of Federal lands. In other words, strip the Western U.S. of all residents. Heck, strip the eastern half, too.

The Federal Government can’t prevent illegal immigrants from pouring over the border, but they are all hot to get the bayonets and cattle cars out to drive legal resident humanity off the continent.

When the Station Fire burned down 89 residences, when the Angora Fire burned down 254, when the Cedar Fire burned 3,241 homes and killed 16 people, whose fault was that? Not the folks who mismanage and unmanage the Federal Estate. Nope, it was the victims who were so self-interested and disregarding of the commonweal as to build a home within 30 miles of Federal land.

Vilsack Highlights Report Showing Threats to Private Forested Lands

Forest Service study supports “All Lands” approach outlined by Vilsack last year

USDA Press Release No. 0401.10, August 11, 2010 [here]

Washington, D.C. - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today held a national conference call to highlight a USDA Forest Service report entitled Private Forests, Public Benefits [here], showing that privately held forests in the U.S. are under substantial stress from development and fragmentation, and that increased housing density in forests will exacerbate other threats to forests from wildfire, insects, pathogens and pollution. These threats to the important goods and services provided by privately owned forests — which make up 56 percent of all forested lands — emphasize the importance of the collaborative, cross-boundary approach to conserving and restoring our forests as laid out by Secretary Vilsack in a major address last year.

“Americans rely on their forests for a wide range of social, environmental and economic benefits, including clean water, wood products, habitat for wildlife, and outdoor recreation,” said Vilsack. “The Private Forests, Public Benefits report shows that now, more than ever, we need to take an ‘all lands’ approach to managing our nation’s forests, whether they are national forests or under the stewardship of state or private entities.” …

The study touted above is a product of the USFS Open Space Conservation Strategy [here], the brainchild of former USFS Chief Gail Kimbell.

There is no (none, zero, nada) stautory directive from Congress to engage in the Open Space Conservation Stategy. The civil servants thunked it up all by their lonesomes.

Congress did not order it, the Pipple did not order it, it has never been through any democratic process. It’s just another wild and crazy scheme drawn up by overpaid, underworked, government functionaries with too much power and too much time on their hands. With your money.

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Bringing Back the Dark Ages

There is a curious irony that may (or may not) have troubled you: given that the public lands are already communally-owed, that is, communized, why do the Communists wish to destroy said lands?

The Extreme Left is more than fashionably Socialist; they are Marxists, i.e. Communists. Of that there is no doubt. The most Extreme Leftists are Revolutionary Communists. Oh sure, you have your Marxist anarchists who are indeed dangerous crazies, but they are only “scum”, as Marx put it, not the “vanguard of scientific socialism”.

The “dangerous class”, the social scum, that passively rotting mass thrown off by the lowest layers of the old society, may, here and there, be swept into the movement by a proletarian revolution; its conditions of life, however, prepare it far more for the part of a bribed tool of reactionary intrigue. — Karl Marx, in his famous Manifesto [here]

It’s not the dangerous scum anarchists who wish to destroy the public lands (street people couldn’t care less about forests); it is the vanguard of proletarian revolution, the scientific socialists.

Which is ironic. They won the class struggle, at least vis-à-vis public lands. In Oregon fully 60% of the land base, and possibly more, is communally-owned. Ditto many other Western states. Hurrah for Marxism!

But instead of holding up public lands as a shining example of the virtues of Communism, the vanguard of scientific socialism wish to destroy those lands in catastrophic megafires. They oppose any and all nurturing treatments that might mitigate against wholesale destruction, and instead advocate No Touch, Let It Burn, Watch it Rot across vast dehumanized tracts.

So what gives? Why is the vanguard so anxious to wipe out their own holdings?

The answer is: they don’t give a rap about forests or watersheds or whether the land is publicly-owned or not. What true Communists care about is fomenting violent revolutionary war.

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Wyden Guzzles the AGW Kool Aid

It is not surprising. Our New York based Oregon Senator Ron Wyden is a full-blown AGW (anthropogenic global warming) alarmist.

Ron thinks, no he is positive, that human beings impact the global climate, and that Americans should be saddled with punishing taxes designed to strangle our economy in order to “fix” the “problem”.

In actual fact, global warming is not happening. The globe has been cooling steadily for the last 12 years or so, and cooling unsteadily for the last 6,000 years. There is no causal connection between atmospheric CO2 and global temperatures. Therefore humanity cannot be blamed for global warming, nor can we do anything about it, nor should we since global warming would be a good thing if it were to happen, which it is not.

All of that logic is wasted on Ron Wyden, who is New York based and completely out of touch with reality on oh so many levels. He supports Cap-N’-Taxilla and the crushing demise of our economy.

I know it sounds crazy, and it is, but here you go:

Subject: Response from Senator Ron Wyden to your e-mail
From: Senator Ron Wyden
To: Dr. Gordon Fulks, Ph.D.
Date: Fri, 23 Jul 2010

Dear Dr. Fulks:

Thank you for contacting me to share your concerns about climate change legislation. I appreciate hearing from you on this issue.

As you know, on June 26, 2009, the House of Representatives passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (H.R. 2454), comprehensive legislation to address climate change. The Senate is currently considering similar legislation, the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act (S. 1733).

I respect the right of everyone to form their own opinion about global climate change. As a U.S. Senator, however, it is also my job to make decisions based on the best scientific evidence available — the overwhelming majority of which suggests human actions do impact the world’s climate. While I am concerned about recent revelations of potential data misuse by a university in the United Kingdom, decades of peer-reviewed research has consistently shown that climate change is real and is a critical threat to our planet. Underscoring this point, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded with 90 percent certainty that human activities are significantly responsible for climate change. This report is among the latest evidence to confirm the likelihood of global warming, and it lists hotter weather, droughts, and stronger hurricanes as foreseeable consequences of our continued actions. We have also had testimony before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, of which I am a member, that climate change is likely increasing the environmental stress on our forests and contributing to a growing threat of catastrophic forest fires. Accordingly, I believe the time has come to act on this critical environmental challenge in a way that will not undermine our economy.

That is why I have supported bipartisan legislation that would implement climate solutions on a gradual basis. For example, the Lieberman-Warner bill I supported in the 110th Congress would have gradually reduced America’s greenhouse gas emissions from factories and power plants by the year 2050. The bill did not regulate emissions from the agricultural and timber sectors, but those sectors could contribute to reducing emissions of green houses gases, on a voluntary basis. It would have also established a market-driven system of tradable credits, which has been successful elsewhere in limiting emissions without placing an undue burden on businesses.

Please know that while I support action to address climate change, I will only support fair legislation that protects Oregon’s farming, ranching, and timber industries and recognizes the tough economic times that Oregonians are facing. Although we may disagree on this issue, I am sure there others on which we do agree. Again, thank you for keeping me apprised of your interest in this issue. If I may be of further assistance in the future, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely,

Ron Wyden
United States Senator

Douglas Co. Commissioner Joe Laurance July 15 Testimony

Today the House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands held an Oversight Hearing on “Locally Grown: Creating Rural Jobs with America’s Public Lands”. Among the testimonies [here] was that of Joseph Laurance, County Commissioner, Douglas County, Oregon.

Commissioner Laurance brought up many important points, not the least of which is that that our national forests today are unnaturally loaded with fuels. Over 110 million acres are in Fire Regime Condition Class 2 and 3, the most hazardous conditions.

The safest condition is FRCC 1, of which there are 60 to million acres. Commissioner Laurance noted that FRCC 1 closely approximates the natural, historic conditions “characteristic of the ‘anthropogenic’ forest in the year 1800, immediately prior to the European American presence.”

The following is the full text of his remarks, with complementary photographs:

Testimony of Joseph Laurance, County Commissioner, Douglas County, Oregon before the House Natural Resources Committee, Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands, July 15, 2010.

Distinguished members of the committee,

At a meeting of Oregon county commissioners last summer, I complained to my colleagues that while endless debate continued in congress about how federal forests should be managed, fires were ravaging federal timberlands in my county and throughout the western United States. The worldwide financial crisis that was draining the national treasury made re-authorization of “Secure Rural Schools” funding seem doubtful, threatening many of Oregon’s 36 counties with social and economic ruin. Bad news just kept coming with the word that unemployment in Douglas County had reached 16.4% and if unreported joblessness was considered, was probably greater than the 19% experienced here during the height of the “Great Depression”.

Talks were ongoing in Copenhagen about greenhouse gas emissions while the three fires in my county burned toward an eventual total of 20,000 acres, equal to the greenhouse gasses emitted by one million cars in a year’s time. My fellow commissioners suggested that I craft a solution to the problems you of this body are all too familiar with. The resultant resolution* has been carefully considered by commissioners from across the western United States who helped in its preparation. It has been unanimously adopted by the Association of Oregon Counties, Western Interstate Region of Counties, and the National Association of Counties (NACo) Public Lands Committee and is expected to be adopted by NACo at its annual national conference next week.

Twenty years and twenty days ago the Northern Spotted Owl was listed as threatened under the federal “Endangered Species Act”. It was then thought that loss of old growth habitat through logging was the culprit causing a declining population. In response, federal timber harvests were vastly curtailed. The Umpqua National Forest in my county saw an annual harvest of 397 million board feet in 1988 reduced to 4 million board feet in 2002. In the years since a policy of “benevolent neglect” of federal lands has seen Spotted Owl numbers continue to decline through habitat destruction caused by increasingly numerous and intense forest fires and through predation by the Barred Owl which favors this new “unmanaged” forest habitat. Federal policy, which had been multiple use of the forest with an emphasis on industrial harvest, sought a new strategy which has yet to be formulated in all these intervening years.

The resolution presented you provides that needed new strategy, not only for Oregon but for all of our nation’s federal forests from Appalachia to Alaska. Federal forest managers would now have a clearly defined desired forest condition that must be obtained within a specified time. If this becomes the “Intent of Congress”, the Forest Service and BLM would join with private industry to restore forest health and rural economies without drawing on the national treasury.

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President Clueless About Wildfires

Obama is clueless about a lot of stuff, so it is no surprise that he is in the dark about wildfires.

Obama and his Admin have proved themselves useless in a crisis many, many times. Now as we enter the 2010 fire season, the White House is proving that wildfires — like oil spills, financial meltdowns, and other disasters — are completely beyond their ken.

Note the Presidential utterances of yesterday:

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release, June 22, 2010 [here]

President Obama Receives Update on Arizona Wildfires and Calls Governor Brewer
Earlier today President Obama was updated by senior staff on the ongoing response to the wildfires in Arizona and the Administration’s continued work with state and local officials to fight it. Under the President’s direction, both the U.S. Forest Service and FEMA have been in close contact with state and local emergency management officials and continue to monitor the fire activity. The U.S. Forest Service is actively working to support state and local forest fighting efforts and is managing the fires through high level, inter-agency management teams. The Governor of Arizona has made two requests for Fire Management Assistance Grants for the Hardy fire and the Shultz fire; both grants were awarded on the day the requests were made at the direction of the President.

The President also called Arizona Governor Jan Brewer to express his concerns about the wildfires threatening homes and businesses across the state and to assure her of the continued support of the federal government in helping state and local officials protect people’s lives and property. The President indicated that the U.S. Forest Service, under his direction, is actively engaged and working with state and local teams to manage the immediate response to the fires and reinforced that FEMA will continue to closely monitor the fires and remains in close contact with state and local officials. The President offered praise for the tireless efforts of the local and state emergency management officials working around the clock to fight and contain the fires, mobilize resources, carry out evacuations and coordinate shelters, and asked the Governor to keep him updated on additional support the State needs as the response continues.

Note that the press release states “the U.S. Forest Service and FEMA have been in close contact with state and local emergency management officials and continue to monitor the fire activity” and “the U.S. Forest Service, under his direction, is actively engaged and working with state and local teams to manage the immediate response to the fires.”

Those are just plain clueless misstatements. Federal IMT’s are fighting the fire, not monitoring it. The Schultz Fire [here, here] is not a local or state suppression operation, per se, although a variety of crews from a variety of locales across the Nation are involved. The fire began on unkempt Federal land, and the Coconino NF requested the Southwest Type 1 Incident Management Team, Dugger Hughes Incident Commander. Eight federally contracted air tankers are making the most significant impact and have saved North Flagstaff from incineration.

It is the Federal disaster response apparatus that is fighting the fire. The IMT’s are directed by the National Interagency Fire Center [here] headquartered in Boise, ID. The IMT’s also respond to disasters other than fires, such as floods, hurricanes, etc. They are not FEMA, nor are they the US Forest Service.

NIFC Mission [here]

The National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC), located in Boise, Idaho, is the nation’s support center for wildland firefighting. Eight different agencies and organizations are part of NIFC. Decisions are made using the interagency cooperation concept because NIFC has no single director or manager.

“The President offered praise for the tireless efforts of the local and state emergency management officials working around the clock to fight and contain the fires…” Well hey, everybody likes praise, but the actual job of fighting and containing the fire is being done by the Southwest Type 1 Incident Management Team, not local and state emergency management officials.

But the incompetence of the White House regarding forest fires goes deeper than mere cluelessness.

The fact is the Obama Admin has promoted Let It Burn by appointing anti-forest, pro-fire political operatives to the Wildland Fire Leadership Council, by expanding roadlessness and wilderness, and through backroom secret deals for more National Monuments.

The stacking of the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program Advisory Committee [here] with anti-restoration, Let It Burn types is the latest affront, but the push for more Fed land to be put off-limits to fire suppression has shown up in the Cohesive Strategy, global warming alarmism, National Park Service policy, National Forest policy, Federal “conservation” easements, roadless rule redux, transportation plan road decommissioning, wilderness expansion, etc.

Obama, our grad student President from Chicago or Kenya or somewhere, is himself clueless about natural resource and land management issues, but true to predictions he has opened the White House and his Administration to the kookiest people on the Left. The Executive Branch is crawling with fire bugs right now, and this summer we will suffer disaster after disaster if those bugs get in the way of fire suppression (as is their stated political mission).

The Schultz Fire outside of Flagstaff has been predicted for 30 years. Dr. Wally Covington, his Ecological Restoration Institute at NAU [here], the City of Flagstaff, and community groups like the Greater Flagstaff Forest Partnership [here] have all pushed and pushed for fuel treatments and restoration. Everyone with half a brain recognized that a-historical fuel loadings have accumulated in a wind tunnel/venturi between the mountain peaks, and the accelerated winds are aimed directly at Flagstaff. The ongoing efforts and pleadings by ERI, GFFP, foresters and others to reduce the hazards through restoration have been thwarted again and again by radical anti-stewardship groups, the very same groups that have been given high-ranking positions within the Obama Admin.

Obama operatives are opposed to the use of fire retardant, opposed to aerial firefighting, opposed to direct attack, opposed to dozers and other machinery on fires, and opposed to fuel reduction projects. Those kooks are in the inside now, not just kibitzing from the outside.

This summer the IMT’s are going to be caught between doing real fire suppression and political arm-twisting to Let It Burn. We have already seen that arm twisting in numerous fires this Spring [here] including the Medano Fire, South Fork Fire, Aspen Fire, Paradise Fire, and many fires in Alaska.

And fire season has just started!

It is clear that Obama and his spin doctors do not know who fights wildfires in America. They are not aware of the NIFC, or the Fed IMT system, or how wildfire disasters are dealt with. They think it’s a local operation monitored by the USFS. They are ignorant beyond belief. Even worse, the riff-raff Obama gave the keys to the Executive Branch to are pro-holocaust.

That is very dangerous. Obama and his Admin pose a threat to America. The Left has long been at war with the residents of the West. That war continues unabated, in fact exacerbated, on multiple fronts, from border to border.

Duck and cover. The worst is yet to come.

Sidenote: does anyone know where we can contribute to the Stan McChrystal for President in 2012 Campaign?

Climate Isn’t Responsible For Everything

World Climate Report [here] is World’s Longest Running Climate Change Blog. Much to the credit of its producers, WCR is an amazing source of excellent information on climate science. I highly recommend it. I am particularly interested in WCR articles related to forests, of which there are a goodly number.

There are many sub-issues that relate climate to forests, one of which is: how does climate change affect forest fires? Two articles at WCR on that topic are: Raining on Boreal Forest Fires, June 14, 2010, [here] and Wildfires: The Results of Cyclic Oceanic Variations or Global Warming?, March 27, 2007, [here].

The WRC reviews are reasonable, and fairly report the findings in the papers. However, both papers are flawed, as are so many others that deal with this particular question. The fundamental flaw that these papers share is a failure to consider two phenomena that are not related to climate (or weather) at all: biomass and human influences.

Biomass is the stuff that burns in forest fires. Biomass accumulation and continuity across the landscape are the principal factors in fire intensity and areal extent.

The chief human influence on forest fires has been ignition, deliberate and accidental, for millennia. Human beings are the only animal that makes fire, and we do so and have done so on every continent (save Antarctica) for the entire time we have been there. In the case of North and South America, for at least 13,500 years, the entire Holocene and part of the Pleistocene as well.

Forest fires occur in all climates, from tropical to boreal, wherever there are forests. They can occur in any season at any temperature, although inter-annual wet and dry cycles are key factors. Generally forest fires are less intense and smaller in wet seasons than dry. However, that is not always the case. What is always the case is that fuels (biomass) must be sufficient and continuous across the landscape for forest fires to occur.

What is also very often the case is that human beings lit the fire. The frequency, location, and season of fire is usually due to people, or hs been due to people in the past. Modern man is still a fire starter, but we also have developed fire suppression capabilities. So now we start and stop fires. It’s our choices both ways — the climate and climate change have little or nothing to do with it.

Those key factors, biomass and human ignition, overwhelm the influence of climate and certainly of climate change. That is, forest fires occur in every climate and during every climate cycle, and the key drivers (most significant explanatory variables) are biomass and people.

The papers cited above attempt to find climate phenomena as key variables in wildfire frequency and extent. Without going into detail, those findings are weakly supported by weak evidence, and the papers fail to even consider the actual key factors, biomass and people.

With all due respect to climate folks, they are barking up the wrong tree. There is an unhealthy tendency in climate science to look for, and find, climate to be a driver of all sorts of phenomena, from acne to prostitution. Some of those studies are laughable indeed. It just so happens that wildfire is another of those inferential stretches of climate science, but perhaps not so amusing.

One paper of interest on this topic is

Kay, Charles E. Are Lightning Fires Unnatural? A Comparison of Aboriginal and Lightning Ignition Rates in the United States. 2007. in R.E. Masters and K.E.M. Galley (eds.) Proceedings of the 23rd Tall Timbers Fire Ecology Conference: Fire in Grassland and Shrubland Ecosystems, pp 16-28. Tall Timbers Research Station, Tallahassee, FL. [here].

Dr. Kay found that,

[A]boriginal ignition rates were 270 to 35,000 times greater than known lightning ignition rates. Thus, lightning-caused fires may have been largely irrelevant for at least the last 10,000 years. Instead, the dominant ecological force likely has been aboriginal burning.

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3 Jun 2010, 10:59am
Useless and Stupid
by admin
2 comments

No Touch, Let It Burn, and You’re All Going to Die

Thermageddon is upon us, there is nothing our benevolent and caring government can do about it, forest fires are going to be biblical, and you are all going to be incinerated.

That’s the desultory and depressing message delivered at the recent May 21-23 Wild Idaho Conference. The End Is Nigh. Global Warming did it. We, the Government, are not to blame for the pending Ecopalypse. You are, you fools.

It’s science people! You can’t fight science.

Will climate change equal bigger fires?

Scientists say a warming Idaho will faced increased risk of longer wildfire seasons

by JASON KAUFFMAN, Idaho Mountain Express, June 2, 2010 [here]

According to ongoing research, the Idaho of the future will be a place where winter snowpacks melt out earlier and summer wildfire seasons arrive sooner and last longer due to climate change.

The effects of that will likely translate into bigger and longer-burning blazes that will be difficult or impossible to extinguish, one Boise-based researcher stated during the recent May 21-23 Wild Idaho Conference hosted by the Idaho Conservation League at Redfish Lake Lodge.

Further, there’s significant evidence that these changes on the local landscape are already visible across the forests and ranges of Idaho. According to Dr. Jennifer Pierce, an associate professor in the Department of Geosciences at Boise State University, Idahoans shouldn’t expect these trends to end.

And whose fault is all that? Why it’s YOUR fault, of course. You did it. You changed the climate through your greedheaded ways, and now you will pay, pay, pay!

Pierce, a geomorphologist who studies how natural processes such as glaciers, rivers and fires helped shape the Idaho we know today, is using this knowledge to investigate how human-induced climate change could impact how the state is shaped in the years to come.

Poor Jennifer. She tried to warn you. But would you listen? Nooooo. Now you have to die.

Unless… there a slight chance… if only you will give all your worldly wealth to the government and huddle in the cold and dark, maybe the Scientists can save your bacon and turn the climate around. With your wealth in tow, the Scientists will go upon the Mountain, speak the Incantations, sacrifice some virgins, and maybe Gaia will hear their pleas and beseechings.

Or there is one other possibility. It could be that the Scientists are blowing smoke, have no idea what they’re talking about, are essentially clueless, or lying, and there is no need to worry about climate change at all, because it isn’t happening or going to happen.

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Holocausters Seize the Day

The Obama Administration has gotten in bed with the Burn Baby Burn crowd. If all goes according to nefarious plan, the holocausters will take landscape-scale forest incineration to new heights.

Get ready, America, for record megafires.

Three recent news blurbs indicate the power that radical anti-human, pro-holocaust crazies now wield with our dysfunctional government. First, it turns out Interior Secretary Ken Salazar was lying [here] when he told a Senate committee last March that there is no “hidden federal agenda” to unilaterally designate national monuments in Utah and around the West.

Govt Met With Environmentalists On Land Takeover

Obama Administration Consulted Environmentalists in Secret About Creating New National Monuments

AP, CBSNews.com, May 15, 2010 [here]

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - Recently released documents show the Obama administration was getting ideas from environmental groups about setting aside millions of acres in the West, drawing the ire of land users who said discussions were being developed behind their back.

In the documents - most of which are e-mail messages - the environmental groups suggest various ways to protect land, such as by creating national monuments, buying private land or through conservation easements.

A subsequent internal Interior Department memo - which the agency said is simply the product of brainstorming - listed 2.5 million acres in Montana for a new bison range as one of 14 sites in nine Western states being considered as national monuments. …

Republicans who submitted an information request to obtain the documents blasted the information as proof that the administration was privately crafting large-scale land use plans. Federal agencies have so far produced only a fraction of the requested documents, they said.

“We now find references to plans that Montanans were told weren’t in the works,” said U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg, a Montana Republican. “This doesn’t pass the smell test.”

The e-mails show detailed discussions that went into brainstorming for the “Treasured Landscapes Initiative.” … [more]

The law allows the President to declare unlimited acres of Federal land as “national monuments”, a designation that, like wilderness and roadless, invites Let It Burn.

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Indoctrinating the Children in Oregon

Propagandizing your kids with your tax dollars, courtesy Oregon State University

Note the following authentic email (names have been changed to protect the guilty).

—-Original Message—-
Sent: Wed 5/5/2010 15:03
Subject: [GECO] Classroom Carbon Challenge- testers needed

Hello GECOs,

The Classroom Carbon Challenge folks are developing a board game for middle schoolers and would love your help! We need adult participants to try out the board game next Mon the 10th at 7:30pm, Location TBA, and give us feedback. Please email XXXX@oregonstate.edu to let us know if you can join us. In exchange you get to have some fun and eat some cookies!

The game has players make decisions about GHG-emitting behaviors and consider how to budget a fair share of “carbon emissions”. It’s part of ongoing development of classroom activities about climate change.

If you like middle schoolers, we’ll be playing the game out with real live kids Thur 13th at 1pm and you’re welcome to join us. If you’re interested but can’t make these sessions, we’d still love to hear from you.

Hope you’re enjoying spring!

Thanks,

XXXX, YYYY, and ZZZZ

Yep, sports fans. The Big U has a propaganda program to indoctrinate kids in the Global Warming Hoax. It’s the Algore Youth Brigade, coming to your middle school, coming from your university.

Check it out. GECO is the Global Environmental Change Organization [here], an “interdisciplinary avenue for Oregon State University students, researchers, and professors to pool resources, energy, and knowledge about global change.”

It’s a student group with an Idea Bank. Some of GECO’s ideas:

* Campus symposium
* Communicating to kids about climate change
* Writing editorials
* Panel discussion
* Inviting speakers
* Fundraising for exciting events
* Low carbon BBQ
* Writing group
* Lab tours - Ice core lab!

GECO’s faculty advisor is none other than College of Forestry professor Bev Law, notable for the Donato-Law paper “Post-Wildfire Logging Hinders Regeneration and Increases Fire Risk”, published in Science BREVIA, Jan., 2006 [here, here, here].

GECO is linked to the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute (OCCRI), headed up by Dr. Philip Mote - Director.

History buffs may recall the Great State Climate Debate [here] in 2007 when Oregon State Climatologist George Taylor debated Washington State Climate Alarmist Phil Mote at at a meeting sponsored by the Oregon Chapter of the American Meteorological Society and hosted by the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI).

George cleaned Phil’s clock in that debate, which irked Governor Ted Kulongoski. Teddy the Torch, a tool of the Goldschmidt Machine, subsequently closed the Oregon State Climatologist’s office at OSU and forced George Taylor into early retirement. Then Teddy created OCCRI and hired loser Phil Mote.

It’s all political. In Oregon, the Governor circumvents all established procedures and academic freedoms and personally hires and fires faculty at OSU, based on their political leanings. It’s a novel system, not practiced elsewhere in the Free World but typical of communist dictatorships and banana republics like Cuba (of which Teddy the Torch is inordinately fond).

But anyway, the latest craze to come out of the Oregon State Marxist Re-Education Facility is a climate board game for kids. Created by the Classroom Carbon Challenge folks, your kids can learn how to reduce your carbon footprint. In the old days the kids wanted to drive Pop’s car. Now they learn in school that the best thing is to sabotage it by cutting the brake lines. It’s positively Khmer Rouge!

The kids are ready for Climate Monopoly. After all, they have been brainwashed by Algore’s movie, slide shows from Algore operative (and now Goobernatorial candidate Phil Bonehead), and daily torture by union thugs from the Oregon Education Association. Your little darlings have been more or less lobotomized.

They have learned that no challenge to “the basic tenets of anthropogenic global warming (AGW)” is permitted and “the evidence in support of AGW is unequivocal.” Any climate change skeptic who questions “the basic tenets of climate change” is “wrong and/or ignorant” [here].

Is it any wonder that Oregon is ranked 49th out of 50 states in the quality of public education [here]?

However, Oregon leads the nation in political indoctrination of children. Nobody has taken a poll that I know of, but I’m sure we’d win the blue ribbon in that category. Credit goes to our one-party government system run by convicted child molesters.

The Meaning of Restoration

Did USFS Chief Tom Tidwell say what journalist Rocky Barger said he said? One can never tell with these two word twisting characters. It’s worth a look-see.

According to Rocky [here], Tidwell said:

… when Tidwell talks of restoration he isn’t talking about restoring the forest to the way it was in the past.

What? Let’s look at the definition of the word “restoration”:

res·to·ra·tion [rèste ráysh'n] res·to·ra·tions (plural)

NOUN

1. restoring of something removed: the return of something that was removed or abolished — “calls for the restoration of curfews”

2. restoring of something to former condition: the restoring of something such as buildings or furniture to an earlier and usually better condition — “Restoration work will begin next week.”

3. thing restored: something, especially a building, that has been brought back to an earlier and usually better condition

4. model: a model made to resemble or represent something in its original condition — “a restoration of a Neanderthal dwelling”

Synonyms: reinstatement, reestablishment, return, restitution, reinstallation
Synonyms: refurbishment, renovation, repair, renewal, rebuilding

The prefix “re” means back, against, again, anew.

Forest restoration is, without any doubt, to return the forest to the way it was in the past, to bring it back to an earlier and better condition. There is no other meaning to the word “restoration”.

If Chief Tidwell wants to make forests into something they have never been before, he should not use the word “restoration”.

He could use the word “transmogrify” as in, “Our objective is to transmogrify our priceless heritage forests into something completely different, unlike anything they have ever been before.”

That would be honest, if that was what he really means, and according to Rocky that IS what Tidwell really means when he uses the word “restoration” unartfully and incorrectly.

Rocky notes in the article linked to above that Tidwell went to Idaho schools. Maybe in Idaho they don’t speaka da English too gouda. Maybe the schools there teach kids the wrong meanings of words. Maybe they teach that up means down and hot means cold, and that “restoration” has nothing whatsoever to do with past conditions.

If so, then Idaho schools should be transmogrified into something they have never been before — decent places to educate kids.

But regarding the restoration of forests, the meaning and goal of the practice is to return forests to the structures and conditions of prior eras. Restoration has everything to do with the past.

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