Just received this from the retirees’ network, some of the dates have already passed…
Here is a link to the site where you can see a promo for it and type in your zip code to see if it has been scheduled.
Here are some listings..
New Hampshire Public Television: April 20, 8pm
Pittsburgh, PA WQED: April 21, 3pm
Alabama Public Television: April 21, 3pm
Washington, DC, WHUT 32: April 21, 5pm
Scranton, PA, WVIA: April 22, 7pm
Colorado Public Television 12: April 23, 7pm
Topeka, KS, KTWU: April 23, 10pm
San Bernadino, CA, KVCR 24.3: April 25, 11pm
Spokane, WA, KSPS: April 28, 1pm
Knoxville, TN, WETP 2.1: April 28, 3pm
University Park, PA, WPSU: April 28, 7pm
Dayton/Cincinnati, WPTO ThinkTV 16.1/16.5: May 28, 8pm
Next time I will have to explore the inside of the local White Pines Logging Museum. We do need to show the contrasts of old style logging, compared to today’s surgical style of thinning. In some parts of the country, railroad logging was impractical, due to steep and unstable terrain. In the Sierra Nevada, it was a challenge to find routes that powerful locomotives could climb (and descend!). Old railroad grades are considered to be cultural sites, and you can often find areas, along the tracks, where ancient trash was dumped. Some parts of old trestles still exist but, rails and ties were often removed and re-used.
Another collection of old and unusual chainsaws.
This one looks like it was heavy duty, in its day.
I’ll bet it was very important to strategically place the generator unit. I would think you would need about 300 feet of “extension cord”.
Earlier this week I gave a 60-minute talk to a meeting of the Alsea Watershed Council, my “home group,” where I have been giving presentations every few years since they first formed in the 1980s. The audience was a little smaller than usual, but all of the old-timers were there and Elmer Ostling’s wife had baked delicious cinnamon rolls for everyone.
The theme of my talk was to discuss scientific and political “transparency” in this age of Internet communications – and to use the recently completed website report, Oregon Websites and Watershed Project’s (ORWW) “Coquelle Trails,” as a model and framework for the discussion. The Coquelle Trails project covered more than 1,400,000-acres in southwest Oregon, including sizable portions of BLM and USFS lands and hundreds of thousands of acres of marbled murrelet, spotted owl, coho, California condor, wolf, and elk habitat. PowerPoint and PDF versions of the presentation have been put online here:
The original 2-page Press Release for Coquelle Trails was used as a handout. The online version of the handout can be found here:
The discussion was arranged in four parts: 1) a proposed definition of “scientific and political transparency” — at least as it should apply to taxpayer-funded research — for the 21st century; 2) a demonstration of how inexpensive and easy it is to produce baseline data in modern digital formats, by using the Coquelle Trails’ predictive map construction and field verification methodology as an illustration; 3) a brief overview of how the Coquelle Trails’ historical datasets and current findings were formatted for Internet access by using the same standards developed by ORWW with Siletz School 2nd-Grade students 15 years ago; and 4) basic conclusions regarding current opportunities and needs to create better trust and transparency between federal land management agencies and local communities via enhanced research methods and internet communications.
After a brief introduction and background regarding the focus of my talk and the reference materials we would be using, we began with the proposed definition for “Scientific (& Political) Transparency: 2013,” which was also outlined in four parts:
1. Plain English
Acronyms + Jargon + Latin + Metrics x Statistics = Total Obfuscation
Doug Fir vs. Doug-fir vs. PsMe
TMDL vs. turbidity vs. muddy water
2. Research Methodology
A. All taxpayer-funded work is documented.
B. All documentation is made readily available via public websites.
C. Most work is subject to Independent Peer Review.
D. All peer reviews and resulting discussions are made publicly available.
3. Direct Access to all taxpayer-funded research, meetings, reports, correspondence, political decisions, etc.
4. Stable, well-designed (dependable, comprehensive & “easy to use”) Websites: ORWW Coquelle Trails as a model.
The opening discussion of Plain English was illustrated with a philosophical approach as to how Latin had been used to create distance between the Messengers of God and the illiterate masses in the Middle Ages, and how that process was still being used today – via government acronyms, professional jargon, metrics, and obscure statistics (and Latin) – to create distance between government agencies and the public; between the agencies themselves; and even between different generations of scientists within the same disciplines.
I used personal examples of the “evolution” of Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga taxifolia) to Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) to PsMe (“Piz-Me”) in the agencies and classrooms during the past 60 years – while everyone in town and at the sawmills continued to call it “Doug Fir.” The similar history of TMDL – and why that acronym is not a good fit to discuss with current grade school and high school students – was another example. Same with metrics: the USFS and BLM are US agencies. Our standard of measure, used by all taxpayers, is the English system (chains, links, feet, miles, and acres) — why then do agency personnel try and talk and write in terms of hectares and kilometers in official reports and public presentations (rhetorical question)?
The second part of the discussion involved a series of slides showing how traditional archival research methods and modern technology were used during the Coquelle Trails project to achieve desired results. This was, essentially, a summary of the methodology as described and illustrated by the online report:
Part three of the discussion used a series of slides showing how ORWW has continued to use the same methods and formats developed with Siletz 2nd-Graders in 1998 to present Coquelle Trails research datasets, findings, and conclusions to the present day:
The point was made – pointedly – that government websites to the present time continue to be far less stable, far less comprehensive, and much more difficult to navigate than methods developed by grade-schoolers during the past century – during the very infancy of the Internet. Also, that the more accessible and reliable design was developed and has been expanded and maintained by a tiny non-profit in Philomath, Oregon, entirely funded by local residents, businesses, and organizations – and no federal dollars. And that those works have been continuously available and online for more than 16 years (compare to the life of an average government link or URL).
Which brought us to the Conclusions, also listed in four parts:
Conclusions: How Transparency Saves Money & Improves Decision Making
1. The 1976 Paperwork Reduction Act and the 2010 Plain Writing Act already require the use of Plain English by federal agencies. These acts simply need to be enforced.
2. Modern technology makes automated scanning of documents and GPS-referenced digital photography increasingly cheap and easy. Citizens should insist on such documentation and direct access to all taxpayer-funded research, meetings, etc., affecting local regulations.
3. High-speed Internet communications and the recent proliferation of ipads and smart phones has made universal access to technical information possible, with few limitations to time and location.
4. Increased access to better information is believed to result in improved research, discussion, and decision-making. Stable, well-designed websites make such access possible for almost all citizens, including: students, teachers, scientists, politicians and public resource managers.
So that was my presentation. I would be very interested in other thoughts on this. I think the current lack of transparency in government and in science (and maybe particularly in government-funded science) is doing a great disservice to taxpaying citizens, our voters, and our students and teachers, all of whom deserve clear and complete answers to their questions and requests.
Modern technology and Internet communications have made sharing information more possible, cheaper, and easier than at any other time in history – so why does the government (and its scientists) continue to hide behind secret meetings, foreign languages and measurements, unavailable “findings,” clunky and outdated communications, never-ending acronyms, and other forms of deliberate obfuscation? That’s a rhetorical question with lots of answers, but the bottom line is that there is really no excuse for allowing this type of behavior to continue. It’s way too expensive, totally unnecessary, probably unethical, and counterproductive to most legitimate workings of government and of science. In my opinion. I’m interested in the thoughts of others.
Here’s a link to another excellent Char Miller post.
1) Where does Job Corps fit into the taxonomy of these programs? and
2) Young people need to learn jobs, but old people often need jobs. As in this Department of Labor
SCSEP enhances employment opportunities for unemployed older Americans and promotes them as a solution for businesses seeking trained, qualified, and reliable employees. Older workers are a valuable resource for the 21st century workforce, and SCSEP is committed to providing high-quality job training and employment assistance to participants. We have an extensive network of service providers in every county in the U.S.
Iremember the FS used to hire people through this program, but not so sure it is used anymore.
Is it time to add a Senior Conservation Corps? Or a Mixed-Age Conservation Corps?
This is an article by Char Miller on the history of this once-national forest, then monument, now park.
I hate to excerpt from Char’s writing because it’s all interesting, but I chose the part that is perhaps more broadly applicable about the dangers of overreaching in pursuing what you believe to be good..and the longer view.
The political process that brought about the name change would also dovetail with his experience a century ago. As Hain rallied his friends and neighbors, he also had to reach out across the region to secure media attention, congressional interest, and executive branch action. Tapping into local, regional, and federal networks was essential to the success of his project.
It remains just as critical. Representative Sam Farr (D-Carmel), who has been pushing for this legislative change since the early 2000s, and has had the support of such powerful Democrats as Senators Diane Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, did not gain serious traction until he built up a bipartisan coalition that included chambers of commerce and environmental organizations, secured a Republican co-sponsor, Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Atwater), and agreed to drop plans to expand the monument’s wilderness area by 3000 acres. In a polarized Washington, the only way to secure even such a simple name change is to reach across the aisle.
This fraught context is why similarly worthy initiatives elsewhere have not yet succeeded. One of these is the Red Rock region of the Greater Canyonlands in southern Utah, which writer Stephen Trimble describes as a “magical rejuvenating” environment. Site of the some of the richest archaeological records of native peoples anywhere, replete with ancient granaries, cliff dwellings, and rock art, its forests, grasslands, rivers, and rock formations, according to the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance it “shelters at least two dozen endangered or sensitive species as well as an unusually large number of species found nowhere else in the world.”
Little wonder that in the mid-1990s, after an extensive tour of the Red Rock region, a fact-finding group of prominent biologists, ecologists, and zoologists strongly urged the Bureau of Land Management to designate the site as part of the National Wilderness Preservation System to safeguard and preserve “Utah’s unique biological heritage.”
It still awaits that level of extra protection, and does so because of deeply divisive political context. Utah, after all, is a blood-red state, with an aggressive anti-federal politics that plays well among county commissioners, state legislators, and the governor, as well as the congressional delegation.
Among those ever ready to quash efforts to expand wilderness protections to places like Red Rock is Representative Rob Bishop (R-Brigham City), currently chair of the public-lands subcommittee of the Natural Resources Committee. He and his likeminded legislative peers are on record as wanting to strip these wild and scenic places out of federal hands and place them under state control so as to accelerate their economic development. In this hostile climate, calls for additional regulatory control over Red Rock and its unique archeological, biological, and geological features, have been dismissed out of hand.
In 1989, Rep. Wayne Owens filed the first of a long line of bills seeking wilderness protection for the area; he was a rare breed, a liberal Democrat in a thoroughly GOP-dominated state, and that surely accounts for why he found little support among his colleagues. When in 1992 he gave up his seat to run unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate, his friend Rep. Maurice Hinchey of New York carried on, filing one bill after another in coordination with Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL). Note that none of these later initiatives has originated within the Utah delegation, and none will get to a vote until that collection of congressionals decides to support such legislation. As the Pinnacles example demonstrates, public-land legislation must have bipartisan (and home-based) support before it can get to the floor.
This roadblock is why the indefatigable Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (SUWA) has pushed for President Obama to play Theodore Roosevelt, using the authority invested in the Oval Office through the Antiquities Act to declare a Greater Canyonlands National Monument. But it was another president’s use of this executive power finesse that partly accounts for Utah Republicans’ unwavering resistance to the establishment of another wilderness area in the Beehive State.
In September 1996, in the final weeks of a tense presidential campaign, incumbent Bill Clinton went to the Grand Canyon in Arizona — and on its south rim, signed into law the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, a vast tract of nearly 1.9 million acres in southern Utah. Across the border, a political furor erupted that has never really died down. Clinton’s dramatic gesture, for all the environmental benefits it produced, made it exceedingly difficult for a subsequent Chief Executive to act as unilaterally. Red Rock will have to wait for a new, more accommodating political climate.
Yet as SUWA continues to fight for that better day, its activists might need to take the long view. After all, Schuyler Hain and other early promoters of Pinnacles had hoped to secure national park status for that iconic Central California landscape; they and their successors have had to plug away for more than a century before they achieved their original goal. Let’s hope Red Rock and the Greater Canyonlands get there sooner.
Les Joslin Publishes Revised Edition of Uncle Sam’s Cabins
Les Joslin, editor of the Pacific Northwest Forest Service Association’s quarterly OldSmokeys Newsletter for the past seven years and a contributor to this blog, recently published a revised and enlarged edition of Uncle Sam’s Cabins: A Visitor’s Guide to Historic U.S. Forest Service Ranger Stations of the West.
Les has carved out a niche writing, editing, and publishing Forest Service history these past couple decades. The original 1995 edition of Uncle Sam’s Cabins, long sold out, contained the stories of 75 historic ranger and guard stations. This new, revised, enlarged edition, contains 92—95 if you count the one historic ranger station structure that’s served its purpose at three locations in three states since 1933 and inspired this book.
“As close as I can fix it,” Les writes in the prologue of the new editon, “my interest in U.S. Forest Service ranger stations—which resulted in the original 1995 edition of this book—dates from the afternoon in June 1962 when I arrived at the old Bridgeport Ranger Station to begin my Forest Service seasonal ‘career’ as a fire guard” on the Toiyabe National Forest. Later that year, the one-room, Great Deperssion-era, district ranger’s office building, replaced by a new structure, was moved to the Reese River Ranger Station site in central Nevada. “I wouldn’t see it again for 42 years.”
“But, over the years, I ran across many other historic ranger stations—they’re historic if built before World War II—on national forests throughout the West. In the early 1990s, I hit on the idea of doing for historic ranger stations what [other writers] had done for fire lookouts.” The result was the 1995 edition of Uncle Sam’s Cabins. And now, some 17 years later, the revised edition, again to tell the stories of those which best meet his criteria of accessibility, historical integrity, and interest to visitors.
“The revised edition includes many of those same historic ranger stations and many others I have discovered during the ensuing 15 years.” All have fascinating stories. Some remain in service, some are interpreted historic sites, many support themselves as recreation rental cabins. In a poignant epilogue, Les shares what became of that one-room Bridgeport Ranger District office building that inspired Uncle Sam’s Cabins and is pictured in its current location on the cover of this revised edition.
The original edition had, as this revised edition has, a simple format. After an introductory chapter on forest rangers and ranger stations, the historic ranger stations profiled appear in chronological order in seven chapters based on the Forest Service’s seven western regions. Access information is provided for each.
The purpose of this book is straightforward: to advance and enhance heritage tourism on the National Forest System and to increase awareness and appreciation of the Forest Service heritage. The revised edition does this in 333 pages that include 260 historic and current photographs and eight maps.
The revised edition of Uncle Sam’s Cabins is available from Wilderness Associates, P.O. Box 5822, Bend, Oregon 97708 or from the publisher’s website at http://www.wildernessheritage.com for $20 per copy including postage, or from Amazon.com for the same.
Indian Valley, part of the Amador Ranger District, Eldorado National Forest, is being restored as a high elevation meadow, after decades of misuse. Grazing has ceased but, its impacts still linger. In the past, willows were removed and water was channeled away, causing increased erosion of these shallow and fragile soils. The water table has been lowered and the meadow hasn’t been able to support the vegetation that it used to.
Concentrating runoff by channeling the water causes increased erosion, especially when we have rain on snow events. There were significant impacts from the winter of 1996. This project aims to get the water to spread out, linger, and re-charge the water-holding capacity of up to 500 acres.
A system of catchment ponds, compacted soil plugs, and native plant re-vegetation will cause snowmelt runoff to spread out and slow the erosive power of concentrated water. This project has a history of being de-funded and handed off but, all things came together when Coca Cola offered up some cash, which led to some additional matching funds and collaboration. The Ranger District had to jump through all the NEPA hoops, as surveys had to be completed for endangered willow flycatchers, frogs and toads. The one impact they could not remedy is a historic road, which travels across the meadow. Relocation was made impossible, due to archaeological sites. Removal or closure would be politically impossible.
The willows have made a great comeback, since grazing ended. However, you can clearly see that the foreground vegetation is quite sparse. Raising the water table a few feet will lead to meadow restoration. The numerous braided side channels would re-charge the water table. There appears to be one of the historic man-made channels in this picture.
Here is what appears to be one of the natural side channels, which no longer is supplied with water, due to lowered water table, erosion, and channeling of the water. This restoration project appears to be a win-win situation for everyone.
Here is a non-Forest Service link to the project:
We ran across this Giant Sequoia plantation, within our restoration project. I’m not sure of the age of this plantation but, it was probably back in the late 70′s or early 80′s. It is mostly south-facing, and not really like where they normally grow but, a “renegade” culturist did several experiments. I’m not sure what future management ideas are. This one needs some thinning, as their vitality seems quite variable.
Between vacation and retreat, I had a moment to share this with you. I am a fan of the Center of the American West and they are offering these Pinchot t-shirts from a highly appropriate person at a highly appropriate time of the 4 year cycle. IMHO.
Here’s the link.
All I can say is “Amen, Giff, wherever you are!”
Also a note from them:
Call 303.735.1399 to order yours today!
Proceeds from the sale of these shirts go toward supplementing the activities of the Center of the American West. All sales are final. Please note: these sizes tend to be smaller than standard – you may need to order a size larger than usual.
And a note from Char Miller.
Who is Gifford Pinchot?
Gifford Pinchot (1865-1946), who speaks so movingly of the high calling of citizenship, knew partisan politics inside out.
His family’s financial success came coupled with distinguished political activism at the local, state, and national levels – and he embraced his progenitors’ intense engagement with the body politic.
As founding chief of the U. S. Forest Service (est. 1905), he wheedled Congress into expanding the agency’s budgets and its authority to protect, regulate, and steward the national forests and grasslands. After President Taft fired him in 1910 – for insubordination! – Pinchot became a driving force behind Theodore Roosevelt’s insurgent Bull Moose 1912 presidential campaign, writing some of the candidate’s most blistering speeches. His zealousness later haunted his electoral ambitions: to win two terms as Pennsylvania’s governor proved a Herculean task, given that state’s take-no-prisoners political environment.
Being tough went with the territory, he assured his nephew Harcourt Johnstone in 1927, then standing for Parliament in his native England. Losing did too: “I’ve been licked so many times in so many ways that I’ve sort of become immune to it.”
Yet for all Pinchot’s love of the political rough-and-tumble, he repeatedly argued that democracy functions best when the citizenry and their representatives pursue the collective good; when they negotiated their differences, not exaggerated them.
This was especially critical for public servants: “Learn tact simply by being absolutely honest and sincere,” he told Forest Service employees, “and by learning to recognize the point of view of the other man and meet him with arguments he will understand.” After all, “a public official is there to serve the public and not run them.” In no other way could the Forest Service achieve the mission Pinchot had set for the land-management organization: “the greatest good for the greatest number in the long run.”
This maxim became the mantra for Pinchot’s gubernatorial campaigns in the mid-1920s and early 1930s. Because conservative Republicans despised his progressivism and Democrats controlled the state’s large bloc of urban voters, Pinchot had to fashion an odd (yet winning) coalition. Feminists, minorities, miners and mill workers, the dispossessed and impoverished, prohibitionists and small farmers turned out in force for this well-heeled man of the people.
Once in office, his supporters cheered as he tapped the first woman and African American to serve in the state’s cabinet; intervened on behalf of striking workers; and secured passage of an impressive array of social-service initiatives and environmental protections. Still, this legislation only became law because Pinchot dealt faithfully with his opponents (and they with him). His was a conscientious pragmatism.
He believed deeply, too, in a binding, reciprocal relationship between the governed and their government. At the 1889 constitutional-centennial celebrations in his hometown of Milford, Pennsylvania, 24-year-old Gifford Pinchot assured his fellow citizens that while “we have a share in the commonwealth, … the commonwealth has a share in us.” As such, it has first claim “to our service, our thought, and action,” a credo that citizen Pinchot lived to the fullest.
W. M. Keck Professor of Environmental Analysis at Pomona College in Claremont, CA, and author of Gifford Pinchot and the Making of Modern Environmentalism.
This helicopter unit experienced significant dieback, even as the fallers returned multiple times. The marking guidelines allowed for cutting trees with low crown ratios, and with the Forest Service getting projects together so quickly (six months!), the bark beetles hadn’t run their course, yet. In addition to the snag specifications in the project’s plans, you can clearly see that there are a great many more snags now, than the plans required. Also important in this is that snag of certain sizes had to be cut and flown out, as part of the fuels treatment (a HUGE expenditure!) The Power Fire salvage project was halted by the Ninth Circuit Court, due to the new salvage marking guidelines, and a perceived need for more blackbacked woodpecker analysis. The cutting unit below was completed, though.
Also seen in the foreground is that nasty bear clover, which will dominate, until it is shaded out, or killed with herbicides. It is great to have this smelly carpet (AKA mountain misery) under a nice canopy but, in this case, it will hinder all trees from germinating and growing. Their roots can go 12 feet deep. Even the deerbrush is kept at bay by the bear clover.