Lawsuit against USFS

KMorrisD kmorrisd at
Thu Jan 14 21:22:30 EST 1999

Joseph Zorzin <redoak at> wrote:

>Larry Harrell wrote:

>>The American public should expect perfection in the
>> harvesting of it's National Forests and what they are getting right now is
>> a poorly executed, money-losing and unprofessional job.
>The USFS sets the WRONG example to the rest of the country, the states
>and private forestry; in it's methods and in it's financial legerdemain.

It's a lot like the command economy of the old Soviet Union.  The order comes
down from DC to get out so many MMbf, and the USFS bureaucrats dutifully go out
and do it...or more accurately they see that others do it.

>>Does anyone ever follow up to see if the USFS
>> followed these documents?????  NO!!! Does the USFS follow these documents
>> to the letter????  NO!!!

I believe that it was in one of Randal O'Toole's Different Drummers that I read
that in California, only about 5% of the acreage that the USFS claimed it
replanted (after clearcuts) actually was replanted.  Yet somebody paid for all
that fictional replanting.  Guess who that was.

>> The American public will have to pay more for it's timber "addiction". The
>> money will be well-spent if the USFS can be re-tooled with quality people
>> who will strive for perfection in timber management instead of using the
>> "good enough for government work" excuses.
>The general public does NOT know what you are telling us. You should get
>the word out to the environmental groups who have the ability to do
>something about it.

So far environmentalists and others have done a good job of bringing public
attention to the issue of the USFS subsidizing timber corps with road
construction on public lands.  They need to also bring attention to the issue
of the USFS subsidizing forestry bureaucrats with unnecessary layers of
bureaucracy and exploitation of temps.

And that should include state bureaucrats as well as federal ones.  In MA 40%
of the state forestry bureacracy's budget comes from the USFS.  The MA
bureaucrats have learned very well from their USFS benefactors and mentors.  In
fact, they've outdone their mentors by getting the MA legislators to pay them
over 200% of returns on sales, while the USFS only gets 150% of returns from
Congress.  Guess whose money the legislators and Congress are spending on these
forestry bureaucrats.

Of course these same federal and state bureaucrats also have the job of
encouraging private landowners to do good management on their lands.  It's no
coincidence that landowners are not inspired by the examples they set.  Most
landowners figure forestry is something that only profligate governments (and
perhaps very wealthy individuals) can afford. 

So growing timber on federal and state lands is a lot like growing potatoes was
in the old USSR.  You had lots of people out there on collective farms going
through the motions and getting paid whether they produced or not.  Meanwhile,
the small farmers that could actually do the job if they had a chance have
neither the know-how nor technology to do so.  Same with our public forest
lands and our private forest landowners.

Karl Davies


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