Board Feet From Logs?

Larry Caldwell larryc at
Sat Oct 18 16:50:18 EST 1997

In article <876843772.2639 at>, mcready at wrote:

> The national forests contain only 17 percent of U.S. timberlands, they
> account for only 4 percent of U.S. timber production and, within three
> years, recreation in those forests is expected to pump $100 billion into
> the national economy.
> By comparison, the Forest Service's timber sales are expected to
> generate $3.5 billion. And the forest activists stressed that the sales
> program is heavily subsidized by taxpayers, costing more to administer
> than it earns.

You can prove anything with statistics, can't you?  I wonder if anyone
ever wonders why 17% of the timberlands only account for 4% of the
harvest?  At the moment, national forest harvest levels are very much
reduced due to overcut in the 1980's.  However, trees grow, and the
national forests will eventually recover.  

Meanwhile, private timber is being overcut at an unsustainable rate
because of high stumpage prices.  

> Also, there's little expectation that a zero-cut bill, or even a call
> for tougher logging restrictions, will get far in the pro-business,
> Republican-controlled Congress. Nor is the Clinton administration, which
> has frustrated environmentalists with its shifting positions on forest
> issues, apt to endorse such a sweeping measure.

I have a sort of local slant on this issue.  The chair of the House
Agriculture Committee is Bob Smith, from Oregon.  Bob is a republican,
but has been steering clear of *any* ideology.  He's about as pro
conservation as he is pro business.  He has been working hard to
clean up the federal mismanagement mess in the national forests and
BLM holdings.  

He has a very influential seat in congress.  He has made it plain that
nothing like Zero Cut will even make it to the floor of the house, but
neither will anything like the Salvage Rider ever be voted on either.
He's been hosting forest tours for urban congressites, trying to educate
them in wildlife management, multiple use and rural economic issues.
He won't let a bill out of committee unless it complies with the ESA.

Needless to say, both the tree huggers and the Limbots despise him, but
his constituents love him.  If he was from my district, I'd vote for him
in a minute.  

My district rep is Peter DeFazio, a democrat, with the same orientation
from the other side of the aisle.  He also has plenty of seniority, and
is very knowledgable about timber issues.
> "We're not going to get zero cut in this Congress," said Jim Jontz, a
> former Democratic congressman from Indiana who now heads a
> save-the-trees campaign in Washington, D.C. While in Congress he fought
> for tough forest-protection laws.

They're not going to get zero cut from the next congress either.  It's 
obvious why this guy is an ex-congressman.  People got tired of electing
a loon.
> This fall, a historic bill will be introduced in Congress by Rep. Cynthia
> McKinney (D-GA) that will put a stop to the wasteful, destructive
> national forest logging program.  This legislation, to be known as the
> National Forest Protection & Restoration Act (NFPRA), will end the
> century-long plunder of our national heritage on more than 250 million
> acres of federal lands.  The Sierra Club is poised to lead this campaign
> and change the political debate over forest management in this country,
> forever.

I wonder what Ms. McKinney does besides warm a seat cushion.  Does anyone
know her committee assignments?  I'll lay 10 to 1 that NFPRA never gets
to a vote.
-- Larry

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