Milepost 1: Closing USFS Roads

Larry Caldwell larryc at
Sat Apr 18 14:32:02 EST 1998

Followups set to alt.forestry.

I haven't read it all, but so far the score is Baccus 1, Staples 0.

Don S, you are getting all hot and bothered about media lies.  I've posted
about this before, but whenever you see numbers in the press, alarm bells
should start going off.  Allow me to quote:

> From Texas:  "A report from the USFS indicated that the USFS chief was
> considering spending $218 million to close 3,500 miles of NF roads and
> then replant.

Big Lie number 1.  3,500 miles of road wouldn't even get you out of the
bushes in the USFS.  They hold and maintain over 1.4 million miles of
road, and are planning on closing about 70% of it.  That brings the
cost down to about $2 a mile for road closure.  

Sometimes I despair about this.  People don't realize that THE MEDIA LIES
TO YOU EVERY DAY!!!  You cannot trust what you read in the paper.  You
cannot trust what you see on TV.  If it seems absurd and unbelievable,
it probably is.  

Also, while Baccus is definitely PNW centric, that is where the national
forests are.  People who live in other parts of the country don't have
a sense of how huge federal holdings are in the west.  If you take Texas
as an example, Private land would be a strip along the coast about 60
miles wide, and everthing east of a line drawn from Houston to Dallas.
Everything else in the state would belong to the federal government.
About 3/4 of the original Oregon Territory is still in federal hands.

Careful studies have shown that older logging roads cause the majority
of landslides in national forests, and every stream in a PNW national
forest is either salmon bearing or tributary to a salmon bearing 
stream.  The feds have to pony up some serious green to fix their
mess.  Walking away from it is not an option.

While Don B. and I often disagree heatedly over how to fix forest
problems, we usually agree on the end product.  

-- Larry

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