(LONG) Clinton pushes forest-protection plan

truffler1635 at my-deja.com truffler1635 at my-deja.com
Sun Oct 10 00:39:42 EST 1999


In article <37FFA007.7400C540 at olympus.net>,
  Mike Hagen <mhagen at olympus.net> wrote:
> A few random thoughts:
> Your stats are a bit confusing and seem to be mixing apples and oranges.
Not mine, Mike. The stated stats come from the article.
> The 191 million total acres for all the NF includes 100 million acres of
> wilderness (?) or the 100 million consists of BLM, BIA, USDI, military
> reservation and wildlife refuges which happen to comprise the present
> day statutory wilderness of the US. I find it hard to believe 100
> million roadless acres, or better than 50%, can be found within the
> existing NF complex, especially since much of the federal ownership is
> checkerboarded with private land.
>
> > COMMENT BY POSTER: The thing that was eye-opening to me was the 380,000
> > miles of roads already constructed. Assuming a 20 foot width average for
> > the roads (and I know, a lot of the roads are _much_ wider), that means
> > 20x380,000x5,280, or 40,128,000,000 sq. ft. (somebody want to check this
> > figure?) out of forest production.
>
> OK, ignoring the fact that most N.F. roadless areas are so for good
> physical reasons, lets get a realistic number for old existing roaded
> areas.  try 33 x 5280 x 380,000 for minimal system roads, assuming you
> want shoulders, ditches, curves and enough line of sight for safety.
> Divide by 435612 for acres. That comes to 151,996 surfaced acres which
> service the 33 million acres of National Forest. That's 0.00079 %.  This
> is too much?
>
This morning I went fungi finding at 3600 feet in Clackamas County. Off
of a paved road in an older-growth area, I noticed side roads leading
off every .1 to .3 miles. While some of these were little more than cat
trails, many had gravel bases, even though the gravel was completely
covered by duff. My point is, a lot of these roads seems to be placed in
close proximity to each other for little apparent reason. At least 5
older Western hemlock adjoining these roads have fallen recently, that I
scrambled over. The only _apparent_ reason I could see for this
?windfall? was damaged rootball caused by cat work or yarding equipment.
  How much horizontal area does the elevator take up in a skyscraper? I
> suppose you'd leave out the elevator since that's an excessive amount of
> lost space, compared to those pristine floors that would have been made
> accessible?
Actually, elevator space, along with stairs and fire escapes, are
significant space requirements for most buildings. They need to be
butressed and reinforced to provide structural strength against such
things as wind. Design of skyscrapers is a little out of my field, but
my sister (who is an architect) tells me this is true.
>
> > tens of thousands of acres of this already paved or gravelled? With one
> > exception (anyone else been on the old Oregon trail through the Mt. Hood
> > National Forest?), these roads generally _do not_ grow trees back
> > through on them: that's what engineers designed the roads in the first
>
> Indeed. So why do economic enviros (sorry!) love to cost out forest
> roads after only one sale?  They are meant to last for several rotations
> without major repair.
Regretfully, about 40% of the "roads" I saw today were bare tracks into
a stand, probably for resource extraction. I doubt most would survive
more than 5 years without serious repair work. BTW, I also have a cousin
who worked for several years for Oregon Department of Transportation
designing roads.
>
> > place. At a construction cost of several thousand (to several hundred
> > thousand) dollars per mile, paving existing national forests seems to be
> > a primary historic fiscal goal. NO WONDER MY TAXES ARE HIGH!!!!!
>
> Then you'll love the fact that deconstruction runs almost exactly the
> same cost.
> >
> >As a working restorationist, I have to believe that nature can be fixed to a certain and sometimes surprising degree. But I also have to say that some areas are better left in their present, albeit human dominated use. The costs in knowledge, time and simple $$$ are too high to indulge a politicians fantasy.

I tend to agree. I can't think of anything about this plan that makes
sense, except as a political platform for a certain vice-presidential
turned presidential candidate.

Daniel B. Wheeler
www.oregonwhitetruffles.com


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