Logging on our National Forests

Michael Hagen mhagen at mail.olympus.net
Fri Nov 14 12:03:05 EST 1997


Don Baccus wrote:
> 
> In article <346B8B0A.7517 at mail.olympus.net>,
> Michael Hagen  <mhagen at mail.olympus.net> wrote:
> 
> >Leaving a net change of zero. This isn't the way policy change should be
> >done, but unfortunately is the way it IS done.  There were at least
> >three different timber bills mentioned in the November SAF newsletter
> >and the skinny seemed to be that the "no cut" one was already down the
> >drain.
> 
> Of course.  It never had a chance of passing or even reaching a floor
> vote.  But, it has caused interesting ripples, like the Des Moines
> daily's editorial in support, which must cause the timber industry
> a great deal of anxiety.

So what good are "ripples"? They only provide opportunity for sound
bites and righteous posturing. I'd rather have a modest local timber
harvest program and some sanity from both sides. Folk here can't even
cut firewood on the Forest.

> >I'd love to discuss the details of each but thoughtfully used the
> >paper to light my stove a few days back. Washington's reality is not the
> >reality out here.
> 
> It's a pity you take that point of view, because it's not really a viable
> one.  People in Indiana apparently paid little attention to the argument
> over the Salvage Rider which caused this whole zero-cut movement to
> begin - but were then startled (and to some degree angered) to learn
> that National Forests in their state which hadn't been open to logging
> in many, many years were all of a sudden being cut.

And there must have been a need for cutting after all that time. What
are you talking about? You seem to toss your facts around with pretty
little in the way of ground data to back them up. Are you including
Indiana in the "salvage rider" category. Bug killed Oaks?  Overcrowded
machine plantations of Norway Pine? Are you saying that the USFS,
illegally and without public process, logged in Indiana where nought but
corn should ever be cut?  I'm beginning to see where you're coming from.
> 
> > The SAF's rightward lurch of the last year has made many members
> >unhappy.  When the choice is between No Cutting and "timber first, last
> >and always" it shows the dismal state of forestry and communication
> >about it.
> 
> Yes, it does.  After the Clinton Forest Plan passed legal muster, both
> sides here in the PNW made public statements about moving forward.
> Indeed, since I'm a board member of Portland Audubon (one of the
> co-plaintiffs in the lawsuit driving all this) I can tell you that
> we'd pretty much back-shelved westside timber issues, turning to
> eastside (ponderosa pine) issues.

I see...   Apparently the mass cut being done off forest is no concern
or is that the bargain with big timber?

  Then, the Congressional victory
> by the Repubs and immediately the timber industry changed its tune.
> Back came the swagger and the "we'll bury you!" and the shoe-pounding
> mentality of the old days.  The Salvage Rider was the visible result
> of this, the invisible result were rewrites of the NFMA and ESA that
> were begun in anticipation of Clinton's defeat in '96.  Which didn't
> happen, of course. 

Of course. No rational people wanted to toss those out. But a lot of
smoke and noise sure got generated for individual political gain. On
both sides.

 Many in the conservation community seems to have
> viewed that turnabout (among other effects, the intent of all this
> timber industry action was to attempt to shit-can the Clinton Forest
> Plan which just shortly before they'd pledged to live with) as the
> last straw.

The FEMAT plan was actually well thought of around here, and had few
except the lunatic fringe trying to dump it.> 

> Think of it as a "three strikes, your out!" policy towards the industry.
> Death sentence, baby - for logging on National Forests, that is.

Nice sound bite. Running for office?
> 
> The industry has only itself to blame.  If it had showed restraint
> after the Congressional elections that gave the Newties control, the
> zero-cut option wouldn't be out there.

There are idiots in every business and there are horse traders.  You
seem to enjoy listening to the yutz's and pass over the one's willing to
bury the hatchet and get back to work. 
> 
> Now that the zero-cut option is  out there, it will be there forever.  I suspect
> eventually we'll see it pass.  I know the industry, which displays a sort of bipolar
> or manic depressive psyche towards the future, has mumbled that they expect
> it to eventually.  It's kinda like they *know* putting a loaded pistol to
> their own head and pulling the trigger isn't good for their long-term
> health, but they can't help themselves.  The Salvage Rider being the
> loaded pistol in this case - the long-term harm they caused themselves
> far exceeds the short-term gain in timber.

jeez...cut back on the coffee, Don.   This is why we tried to split off
from this group. The guilty will be hoist on their own petard. 
> 
> It reminds me of hawks we catch that at times perch warily, looking at
> our lures and traps and nets, going "I know this isn't right!  I know
> this isn't right!  But I CAN'T HELP MYSELF!".  You can see it in
> their eyes, in their twitchiness, and then - bam!  They jump right
> into the friggin' net.
>




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