What I found interesting about this Courthouse News Service article on the Goose project was this statement:
Promising that the Goose project will reduce fire risk, provide timber, create jobs and improve wildlife forage, the agency says it has “responded to the concerns raised by residents and made numerous adjustments to the project; including modifying the project near private property boundaries.”
“The harvest plans purposely exclude cutting larger, older trees that are present within the larger planning area,” according to the agency’s website. “Harvest will occur of trees that are from 40-120 years, with the bulk of the harvest occurring of trees that are 60-80 years old. While definitions of Old Growth vary by region and the scientist making the analysis, generally in the McKenzie Bridge area a tree is not considered Old Growth until it is 200 years old. Some people have told us they are not in favor of any logging or would prefer we only thin plantations under the age of 80.”
So here’s a simple question…what is the project going to cut? And if it is max 120 years, is anyone claiming that that is “old growth?”
Sometimes I think there should be a category on this blog for “things that seem too strange to be true but I don’t have time to look at the document myself.” See the italicized sentence in the quote below.
Does anyone out there in blogland have a copy of the report we can post?
PS, who forgot to tell me when the perfectly good English words “resilience” and “relevance” were replaced with “resiliency” and “relevancy” does it follow that prurience is now “pruriency”.. I just wanna know?
Here’s the story:
Specifically, Vilsack said the USFS decided to remove the report, titled “A Comprehensive Framework for Off-Highway Vehicle Trail Management,” and cease distribution of hard copies and video discs “to clarify the context for the reference to Wildlands CPR’s BMPs [best management practices] and how the Forest Service develops and uses its own national BMPs.
“The Forest Service also had concerns about some of the graphics and the relevancy of some of the information,” Vilsack wrote.
Vilsack’s letter was in response to a letter dated March 9 in which the AMA and six other organizations demanded answers concerning the anti-OHV statements and innuendo in the document as well as the inclusion of information from the Wildlands CPR, which is an anti-OHV group.
Besides the AMA, organizations signing the letter were the All-Terrain Vehicle Association, the BlueRibbon Coalition, the Colorado Off-Highway Vehicle Coalition, the Colorado Snowmobile Association, Trails Preservation Alliance, and the Utah Shared Access Alliance.
The intent of the guidebook is laudable: to help OHV trail managers develop sustainable trails and protect the environment surrounding the trails.
But Wayne Allard, a former U.S. senator and U.S. representative from Colorado who is now the AMA’s vice president for government relations, noted that “the document includes a variety of statements and innuendo that reflect an anti-OHV bias, and cites as a source for information an anti-OHV group. This type of government guide should be fact-based and neutral. It shouldn’t include inflammatory, biased language and the recommendations of a group known to oppose OHVs.”
Among other things, the 318-page guide stated: “This framework was developed to help trail managers corral the OHV management dragon. The author hopes it has provided some insight into the nature of OHV trails, and some tools to help keep the beast at bay. Happy herding and happy trails!”
The guide also claimed that OHV use causes an “increase in frequency and intensity of weather events,” and acknowledged gathering information from the Wildlands CPR.
This story from CNN is fairly long and involves many colorful western characters.
From this story in the Trinity Journal.
Collaborative Working Group
The final topic was how to form a collaborative working group, possibly using other successful models such as the steering committee providing advice on projects involving the Weaverville Community Forest or the Resource Advisory Committee that prioritizes funding for forest health projects.
Representatives from the Resource Conservation District and the Trinity River Watershed Center in Hayfork voiced support for that direction and Sup. Judy Morris said she believes a formal “government to government structure would help all parties involved. It would be helpful when we come to those appeal issues that really hang us up. That’s the elephant in the room.”
Sup. Jaegel said he agrees that having a board-authorized collaborative group “is extremely important and would make us a lot more competitive when it comes to limited funding.”
Morris said she believes evaluating successful models of other collaborative groups “is the next step. If they are involved in planning projects at the outset, they can support you when it comes to appeal. And funding goes to areas where there’s a working model going on. If there is conflict, you can kiss the money goodbye. Those are things we aren’t getting now — the funding and the stakeholder wraparound on some of your projects.”
Deputy Forest Supervisor for the Six Rivers Merv George said “we have listened and understand the concerns loud and clear. Working together just makes sense and you have our commitment. It is all our families and friends who are impacted by what happens on the forest. We want everyone to be safe and the key is sitting down to plan projects that meet the needs of communities we serve. You have our commitment to do that.”
Deputy Forest Supervisor Alan Olson from the Shasta-Trinity said “we’ve been listening since 2006 and we’ve been able to do a number of things in that time frame such as the use of local expertise. We share the objectives, but the pace and scale need to be much larger if we’re going to maintain a resilient forest. We really would like to see a unified commitment from the county as an intervener if we get challenged, and support from the county on some of our projects.”
From the Spokesman Review here.
For four decades, truckloads of logs rolling out of the woods were Bob Boeh’s primary interest in the Idaho Panhandle National Forests.
No surprise since his employer, Idaho Forest Group, depends on federal timber sales to help keep five sawmills churning out 2-by-4s.
But Boeh also finds himself pondering old-growth habitat for owls and woodpeckers these days, along with wilderness areas and scenic river designations. He’s part of a collaborative group of timber industry officials and environmentalists searching for common ground. They’re working on the premise that healthy forests support healthy rural economies.
Though loggers and tree huggers are historic adversaries, they’re recognizing that lawsuits and antagonism can result in losing scenarios for both sides.
Controversial timber sales hurt mill workers by generating legal challenges that lead to gridlock. Forest health, meanwhile, suffers when communities lose sawmills, because there are fewer options for thinning dense, fire-prone stands of trees.
“We thought it was time for a paradigm shift,” Boeh said of the collaborative effort. “There’s 2.5 million acres on the Idaho Panhandle National Forests, so there’s plenty of opportunities to have a good, suitable timber base, additions to the wilderness system, something for off-road vehicles and snowmobiles and plenty of fishing, hunting and hiking opportunities. .We should all be able to have a portion if we work together. “
Since January, he’s been meeting weekly with seven other people with an interest in the North Idaho forests, among them wilderness advocates, loggers and wildlife biologists. The grueling sessions produced a 12-page letter to Mary Farnsworth, supervisor of the Idaho Panhandle National Forests.
The letter comments on a proposed forest plan revision, which will guide management decisions over the next 10 to 15 years. The letter:
. Supports regular logging operations on 38 percent (900,000 acres) of the forest, including increased certainty of timber harvests.
. Supports new wilderness areas and wild and scenic river designations. The group listed Scotchman Peak, the Mallard-Larkins area and the North Fork of the St. Joe River as areas worthy of protection.
. Recommends better inventories of old growth stands and monitoring of old growth-dependent species, such as pileated woodpeckers, flammulated owls and goshawks.
. Supports leaving buffers of trees and shrubs around streams to shade the water and keep it cool for fish.
“We really think this is monumental . it’s been a heavily litigated forest,” said Liz Johnson-Gebhardt, executive director of the Priest Community Forest Connection, one of the letter’s signers. “All these folks worked really hard to reach a consensus.”