New Forest Service policies take a big step backward

Daniel B. Wheeler dwheeler at
Sat Apr 20 07:12:28 EST 2002

"Larry Harrell" <fotoware at> wrote in message news:<RwKv8.16899$3z3.1580227 at>...
> Daniel B. Wheeler <dwheeler at> wrote in message
> news:6dafee1b.0204180900.18245420 at
> > From The Oregonian, Apr. 16, 2002, p B7 (Editorial)
> >
> > New Forest Service policies take a big step backward
> > Stepping up old-growth logging doesn't serve forests; don't abandon
> > Northwest Forest Plan
> > By Gifford Pinchot III
> <snip>
> I think we shouldn't abandon the plan either but, if I remember correctly,
> the Northwest Forest Plan was a "compromise" that all parties agreed to.
> Most certainly, the preservationists won that battle, knowing that the USFS
> had very few valid survey protocols for many of the plants and animals
> agreed to on the lists.
Part of the NFP was that there was _supposed_ to be studies done of
these agreed to lists. The Republicans were incensed at spending the
money, and shut down the funds in Congress. Seems like they can spend
lots of money for a declared war, but can't follow their own laws.
> The USFS tried to procede anyway and got bogged down
> into gridlock again. I, personally, don't agree with the "treatments"
> prescribed and have laid out cutting units for one of those projects. I
> could possibly agree that half the overstory be left only if other more
> sensitive areas are protected.
Depending on the age of the stand, half of the overstory might be too
much. The older the stand is, the less the total number of trees has
to be left. But at the same time, too few trees is an invitation to
blowdown here. Trees are dependent on nearby trees to break the force
of the sometimes prodigious winds here. Even the edges of clearcuts
often create blowdowns hundreds of feet away from the clearcuts.
> Something like the old "sanitation" type
> treatments (including saving proper amounts of hard and soft snags, Daniel
> <G>) should be used in order to satisfy the volumes quotas so cherished by
> burros and Forest Supervisors and supposedly guaranteed by the NWFP.
I agree they _should_ be. But in fact they seldom were. The logging
industry gave lip service to the plan, then it was back to business as
> I would
> prefer to open up most areas to very limited management, where realistic
> quotas can be met, impacts can be easily limited and eco-systems can be
> restored (including old clearcuts).
What you have suggested above sounds very similar to the harvest
practices by the Alamanor Forest in northern California. It is
reasonable on paper. IMO too many interests for it to happen on public
lands now.
> However, I have been humbled by working out here in Arkahoma. My extensive
> western experience has little value so far in understanding these
> eastern/southern forests. The Northwest certainly has differences as well
> and I could be blowing diesel smoke out my ass.
I think there are probably few similarities between forests in your
area and the West Coast. Most of the smoke here's still coming from
the forests. And unless you've been eating a heck of a lot of
roughage, it's probably not issuing from your tailpipe.<G>

Daniel B. Wheeler

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