Logging on our National Forests

Don Baccus dhogaza at pacifier.com
Mon Nov 10 12:28:32 EST 1997

In article <MPG.ed062f38bc30fb2989799 at news.cloudnet.com>,
Darren J. Young <dyoung at mcwi.com> wrote:

>Back at you.  No matter how good the job, somebody will always want more 
>and file law suits.

How can a government agency do a good job when it routinely breaks the law,
as the USFS has done?  The agency has publicly admitted to having cut at
about twice the sustainable yield rate in Region 6 (OR/WA) during the Reagan
administration, despite the fact that the NFMA mandates sustainable yield
management.  The agency's own Spotted Owl Habitat Management Plan gave the
species a "poor" likelihood of existing on National Forests in the Region
despite the NFMA's management that the Service is to maintain species 
throughout their range on National Forests (many folks don't realize that
the injunction against harvesting old-growth forests in Region 6 came
about because of this NFMA requirement - the listing of the owl under the
ESA was a catalyst only).

And why do you think conservationists file lawsuits?  Because we win a
majority of them.  Why do we win?  Because the USFS has a history of
ignoring the law.

Even the timber industry has given up claiming otherwise, their current
strategy is to simply rewrite the laws so these pesky provisions for
considering wildlife habitat and recreation opportunities as being
equally valid management goals as timber production by getting rid
of the "multiple use" mandate.  They wish to replace it with a "timber
first" mandate.

(A humorous aside: the timber industry was less then pleased with the
grazing legislation introduced a year or so ago that would've made
*grazing* the primary use of lands with AUM allotments - making timber,
wildlife, and recreation secondary uses).

>It's the way this country is run.  Happens in the 
>forestry industry just like every other segment of society.

If you believe that we should accept routine lawbreaking by federal
agencies as a way of life, God help America.

>So are you saying that because it's poorly managed it produces more than 
>had it been managed responsibly?  You're not making any sense.

He means poorly managed from the conservation point of view.  The fact
that conservation is not part of a corporation's mission leads them to
more intensly manage their forests for wood products.  Which is the way
it should be.  Federal agencies

>> That's nuts. It may go up but it won't triple. There is so much
>> potential on private land that the price will stabilize without going up
>> much.

>Are you an economist?

We've already hit the trough of federal timber production, which is beginning
to increase.  The Region 6 injunction was lifted a couple of years ago, and
the Clinton Forest Plan is coming online.  Housing prices didn't triple when
timber production on federal lands hit the trough, why should they triple
now that production is slowly increasing?  And, long before tripling occurs
(at least, tripling due to material costs as opposed to tripling due to
other reasons) it will be economical to replace wood frame construction with
steel stud construction, as currently is done in many jurisdictions for commercial
building (for fire reasons).

>I'm sure the folks there appreciate this dreadful thread.

If you made sense, it wouldn't be quite so dreadful, would it?

Personally, I don't support zero cut on National Forests, but that doesn't
stop me from learning a few facts about the management of our these forests.

- Don Baccus, Portland OR <dhogaza at pacifier.com>
  Nature photos, on-line guides, at http://donb.photo.net

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