TEAMS Enterprise update and outreach

Joseph Zorzin redoak at
Sat Feb 2 08:59:19 EST 2002

mhagen wrote:

> I worked on the old Eldorado too - 1971, back when Tahoe basin was still in
> it.  This is a tough question, for all the usual reasons people have a hard
> time talking about the FS.  The question of whether or not the FS makes
> economic sense is meaningless - it was never supposed to and likely breaking
> even on a national scale is the best it can do.

But it should be discussed. If the USFS manages a "renewable resource", it
stands to reason that the public would like to know why this renewable resource
cannot at least pay its own way or better. If my clients can make a profit on
forestry, why can't the owners of the public resource? The usual comeback, that
government isn't suppossed to make a profit doesn't cut it. Of course most
government agencies can't make a profit, they don't manage "renewable
resources". If the USFS had taken a long term economic perspective decades ago,
they would have avoided logging in many areas and done better work- and thus
avoided conflicts with enviros- which resulted, as a backlash, by setting up all
the ologists that the party liners now use as their whipping boys.

>  I happened to work for them
> when they were making a profit - at least on the timber rich forests - and
> that era is now looked on as  a disaster. A period of "capture" by industry.

If the USFS had done really good work, it wouldn't be looked back on as a
disaster. Good work looks good and is good environmentalism and is profitable
and few people would have complained. But, the industry dominated methods to
keep costs down and profits for the mills up, not long term thinking which would
have resulted in lighter harvests to perpetuate more complex multi aged and
multi species forests that any enviro could love.

> Decide what the agency's mission is and then you can start finding ways for
> it to pay for itself  - if that is really what anybody wants. Frankly I
> don't see anyone paying for ecosystem services like clean water or air for a
> long while.  Those are entitlements in the eyes of the counties and cities
> that are benefiting from them.

The profits going to those communities should be counted on the plus side of any
ledger. It's really simple, what is the value of what the USFS does and what are
the costs and you shouldn't be able to count clean water and air, if the rest of
us can't- we can make a profit for out clients without counting air and water.

Joe Zorzin
a November sun rise from my deck in Peru

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