DEBATE OF '98- wilderness?

Don Baccus dhogaza at
Fri Apr 24 18:45:36 EST 1998

In article <3541105E.100D at>,
Don Staples  <dstaples at> wrote:

>Wilderness Area, created in a near urban area in response to pressure
>applied by the Big Thicket Association, and the local Sierra Club
>affiliate.  50 years ago it was a stump pasture.  Other southern states
>have had "Pearls" created from federal land under prompting from the
>conservation groups.  The creation of a Wilderness Area eliminates some
>normal useage of the area, cattle grazing for one.

Grazing is allowed in many Wilderness Areas.  I know this to be a fact.
The Eagle Cap Wilderness in Oregon's one example.  There is no grazing
in many of the wilderness areas in my state - exactly those in which
there was no grazing before designation.  I'm fairly sure that grazing
has not been banned from any wilderness area in which allotments 
existed at the time of designation in Oregon, at least.  Grazing is
also allowed in WSAs currently managed by the BLM as de-facto
wilderness until final disposition of status by Congress.

So if grazing is excluded from the areas you mention, it is not
because they've been designated as wilderness, per se.  Grazing
could've been excluded without the designation, and wilderness
status could've been designated without ending grazing.

In other words, you've got two separate issues here.

>These areas now are in need of "expansion" to fulfill the "needs" of an
>every growing demand from the local environmentalist groups, with out
>the financial returns to the local communities gained from logging and

And why shouldn't local environmental groups - which consist of
taxpaying citizens - have just as much say in the management of
these lands as those who earn their living from them?  They
have as much ownership of these lands as loggers and mill
workers do.

>An effort has been made to shut down the salvage of storm
>damaged timber in areas that were slated for consiteration as
>"wilderness".  Fortunately, we foresters won this one.

Of course, one thing that has been one is that these areas will now
be removed from consideration as wilderness under current guidelines
for designation.  This is the main reason conservation groups oppose
salvage sales in such areas - it amounts to de-facto determination
that the area in question will not be designated as wilderness, without
specific action on the issue.  Most conservation groups don't oppose
salvage sales per se, just the use of them to establish the future
management of these lands.  Keep in mind that the USFS has a history
of first opposing designation of ANY wilderness areas (when the
first Act was passed in the 1960s), and in fighting for minimal
designations thereafter.  Entering roadless areas has long been a tool
used to decrease the inventory of designatable lands.  Salvage
logging is SOMETIMES (not always) motivated by the desire to enter
such areas - depends on the Forest management.


- Don Baccus, Portland OR <dhogaza at>
  Nature photos, on-line guides, at

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