Beetles attack Santa Fe pine forests

Larry Harrell lhfotoware at
Tue Dec 2 20:53:43 EST 2003

Larry Caldwell <larryc at> wrote in message news:<MPG.1a34f2b62d211fd19899af at>...
> wolfbat359 at (Donald L Ferrt) writes: 
> > 
> > Exactly, I just have the last 10 times you talked about thinning and
> > just took the large logs and ran to go by!
> > 
> >
> > 
> > 'Healthy Forests' bill should be alled 'Horizontal Forests' bill
> You need to learn to distinguish between editorial and reporting.  That 
> article is editorial.  It is opinion, not fact.  The writer never even 
> bothers to mention why he is opposed to forest management, he just 
> doesn't like it, and would rather have a federal landscaping program for 
> California suburban communities instead.

As long as we're posting "opinion pieces", I found this one to be very
reasonable and practical, stating facts, about the bipartisan "Healthy
Forests" compromise, that "preservationists" refuse to admit. They'd
like the public to think that the USFS is going back to clearcutting
and high-grading and "overstory removals" but, that's just not the
case. Many projects WON'T involve merchantable tree cutting. If a
piece of land has EXCESS trees, we'll be thinning them out and
utilizing the wood, instead of burning them, sending CO2 into our
atmosphere and buying boards from foreign clearcuts.

December 1, 2003  The Salem Statesman Journal    Opinion

Congress improves wildfire prevention

Two Oregon lawmakers deserve credit for facilitating reform.

Generations of well-intentioned but misguided government officials
turned many of America&#8217;s forests and wildlands into tinderboxes.
What humans have done to threaten these forests, we must now strive to

Legislation recently passed by Congress is a big first step. Over
time, it should make federal lands safer from devastating fires
&#8212; if Congress and communities follow through on their

The Healthy Forests Restoration Act, the first significant federal
forest-management legislation in decades, is remarkable in two ways.
For the nation, it demonstrates that bipartisan solutions can be
accomplished in Congress. For the West, it puts much greater resources
into responsible forest thinning and fire prevention.

A good share of the credit for this compromise goes to two Oregonians,
Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden and Republican Rep. Greg Walden. They and
key colleagues showed that trust and hard work can triumph over
partisan gamesmanship. Unlike the political machinations of the energy
and Medicare bills, the forest legislation demonstrates that Congress
can provide responsible, collaborative leadership.

This fall&#8217;s devastating wildfires in Southern California gave
Congress the push that it needed. The result is a bill that codifies
an ongoing, crucial shift in forest policy to better understand the
role of fire in creating and protecting healthy forests.

For much of the 20th century, forest managers poured their hearts into
aggressively fighting almost every wildfire. In the process, they
allowed undergrowth and small trees to flourish, competing with
established trees for precious water and nutrients. Where those
conditions led to excessive underbrush and unhealthy, insect-ravaged
trees, the state was set for catastrophic fires.

It&#8217;s conceivable that future generations might someday view the
Healthy Forests Restoration Act as flawed policy, just as we now
recognize how constant fire suppression harmed some forests. But from
the vantage of the early 21st century, the legislation looks positive.

The bill dramatically increases thinning of underbrush and logging
small trees to help prevent devastating fires on 20 million acres of
federal land, especially near communities. It provides some
protections against logging of healthy old-growth trees. It
streamlines the appeals process for timber management decisions,
although not unreasonably.

However, the legislation leaves much up to politicians and the public.
The bill authorizes $760 million per year for thinning work, but
Congress still must provide the money and agencies must get the
projects going.

Furthermore, it remains up to the public to adopt the best defenses
against wildfires endangering homes: Require that homes and adjacent
buildings be constructed of fire-resistant materials. And don&#8217;t
let housing encroach into forest and wildland areas.

Congress learned from this year's devastating wildfires. So must the

Larry,    irritating "preservationists" everywhere

More information about the Ag-forst mailing list