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Feedback: The Politics of Ecosystem Management

Re: : Public Lands Management in the 21st Century (Mark Garland)
Keywords: Politics, Ecosystems, Management
Date: Fri, 02 Apr 1999 23:50:45 GMT
From: Dave Iverson <diverson/r4@fs.fed.us>

Management of the public lands can not be discussed outside its political and social context. To gain perspective consider three books: The Politics of Ecosystem Management, by Hanna Cortner and Margaret A. Moote, The Wisdom of the Spotted Owl: Policy Lessons for a New Century, by Steven Lewis Yaffee, and Barriers and Bridges to the Renewal of Ecosystems and Institutions, edited by Lance H. Gunderson, C.S. Holling, and Stephen S. Light.

Jim Giltmier's review of The Politics of Ecosystem Management provides a glimpse of this important book.

To give us a hint of the depth of the issues we are dealing with let me close with a quote from Cortner and Moote:

"...While substantial information has been accumulated regarding ecological processes and the political dysfunction of the traditional paradigm, the values, theories, methodologies, and tools of the old paradigm have not yet been discarded.
"...Adopting the ecosystem management paradigm would mean rejecting traditional resource management policies and practices in favor of policies and practices selected primarily for the purpose of sustaining ecosystem health. These new policies and practices may require strict limits on the social and economics uses of resources and sacrifices of short-term economic gains. ...
"Initial studies have suggested that implementing ecosystem management will require extensive social and political changes, ranging from redefinition of the values that define relationships among humans and nature, professions and citizens, and government and citizens to the creation, reform, or even dismantling of traditional resource management institutions, such as agencies and laws." The Politics of Ecosystem Management, p. 51


Sad: Nature for Nature's sake

Re: Feedback: The Politics of Ecosystem Management (Dave Iverson)
Keywords: Politics, Ecosystems, Management
Date: Sat, 05 Jun 1999 03:19:40 GMT
From: <smuldoon@www.fs.fed.us>

Most interesting quotes..........nature protection for natures sake and the exclusion 'man'. Now that we've achieved 90% detachment from the reality of our need to "USE" nature, we can go about discussing protecting it from our selfs. Timber production in N.W. is down x%, timber production is way up x% in the southeast and the F.S. is going to spend money to study why!!!!!


Note: Ecosystem Management is about understanding our "fit" in Nature

Re: Sad: Nature for Nature's sake
Keywords: Politics, Ecosystems, Management
Date: Mon, 07 Jun 1999 14:58:04 GMT
From: <Dave.Iverson@gte.net>

You mention "nature protection for natures sake and the exclusion 'man'." But that is not what ecosystem management is about. Rather, ecosystem management is about learning to accept limits on our behavior relative to what we traditionally thought of as Nature's bounty. See, for example, Ecosystem Mgmt: A US Forest Service Niche (E-W 4/24/96) and Ecosystem Management: Challenges, Frustrations, Hopes (E-W 1/3/95).

You go on to say, "Now that we've achieved 90% detachment from the reality of our need to "USE" nature, we can go about discussing protecting it from our selfs." Yes, accepting the fact that our actions have consequences relative to Nature's systems -- consequences that increase at an increasing rate with increases in our numbers and our technological prowess (this latter is a two-edged sword) -- is a part of ecosystem management as well.

When Cortner and Moote suggest in The Politics of Ecosystem Management that

"...Adopting the ecosystem management paradigm would mean rejecting traditional resource management policies and practices in favor of policies and practices selected primarily for the purpose of sustaining ecosystem health. These new policies and practices may require strict limits on the social and economics uses of resources and sacrifices of short-term economic gains. ...
they emphasize a new-found interrconnectedness with Nature and that to embrace ecosystem management we will have to rethink traditional resource management that seeks to maximize multiple uses constrained only narrowly to "maintaining the productivity of the land."

For additional thoughts on sustainability and ecosystem management, take a look at the Eco-Watch archives (generally) as well as the President's Council on Sustainable Delopment's website. While at the latter be sure to look at the task force reports on "Eco-efficiency," "Energy and Transportation," "Public Linkage, Dialogue, and Education,"Sustainable Agriculture," "Sustainable Communities," "Natural Resources"(which is good but available right now only in PDF format), and perhaps especially, "Population and Consumption."


Feedback: please define 'sustainable development'

Re: Note: Ecosystem Management is about understanding our "fit" in Nature
Keywords: Politics, Ecosystems, Management
Date: Tue, 15 Jun 1999 04:20:27 GMT
From: <smuldoon@www.fs.fed.us>

Please define 'sustainable development' in your words, without quotes or anything else, so that i can go to the woods with loggers, fuelwooders and others and explain. thanks, shawn.


Feedback: one definition of sustainable development?

Re: Feedback: please define 'sustainable development'
Keywords: Politics, Ecosystems, Management
Date: Tue, 22 Jun 1999 19:01:40 GMT
From: <unknown>

A properly managed farm can retain productivity from generation to generation. A mine eventually plays out, no matter how well it is managed. Tell the loggers that we need to manage the forests for them, and their grandchildren. Tell the radical environmentalists that if we don't manage for timber production, the third world nations will mine their forests.


Idea: thanks

Re: Feedback: one definition of sustainable development?
Keywords: Politics, Ecosystems, Management
Date: Wed, 23 Jun 1999 04:05:49 GMT
From: <smuldoon@www.fs.fed.us>

Thanks! Now if only i could get the 'government' to apply inport tax to canadian wood, so i can better manage overgrown forest here in AZ. The canadians are beating the crap out of the local post and pole market to L.A.. Had as it is to believe, locals cant thin/restore eco-system, peel and haul posts and poles to L.A. at enough profit to keep going. What do you suppose the chances are of getting something done about this, sorta like has been done with the steel industry lately. P.s. ive got over 40mmbf for sale and NO BUYERS!


Warning: Please identify yourself when submitting messages!

Re: Feedback: one definition of sustainable development?
Keywords: Politics, Ecosystems, Management
Date: Thu, 01 Jul 1999 18:54:27 GMT
From: Dave Iverson (Moderator) <diverson/r4@fs.fed.us>

Dialogue is much better served when people leave their names for future reference. If privacy is a big deal, leave a pseudonym so that in the future when you comment people will have a clue who they are dealing with. thanks, d.

PS. In my definition of Sustainable Development I listed concerns for farming and forestry w/r/t sustainable development that I'll repeat here:

As for agriculture there is much literature to suggest that many current practices, perhaps "till agriculture" itself, are suspect in terms of sustainable development. As for ranching, here too we find many problems with current practice. See, for example, LAND CIRCLE: LESSONS, by Linda Hasselstrom.

Forestry too has a bunch of problems yet to solve in order to contribute to what we might call sustainable development. It does little good, for example to continue non-sustainable practices here at home simply because if we do otherwise we will export our troubles elsewhere as we import forest products from countries with even-less-sustainable forest practices. On the other hand it is not acceptable to continue to turn a blind eye to the troubles (on both human rights and environment fronts) we inflict on other countries when we import products from afar with no concern to the conditions under which they were produced. Policy paradoxes abound. We need to be talking about them and designing policies on many fronts that help to resolve them.


Feedback: How I'd Define Sustainable Development

Re: Feedback: please define 'sustainable development'
Keywords: Politics, Ecosystems, Management
Date: Thu, 01 Jul 1999 18:43:58 GMT
From: Dave Iverson <diverson/r4@fs.fed.us>

I would define Sustainable Development as: activities that help meet the needs of present generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. (Patterned after the Brundtland Report, World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987).

But care must be taken here to ensure that we are talking about "needs" are not just "wants." At the end of Design for A Sustainable Economics, by Robert Gilman the author cites Manfred Max-Neef's work and lists universal needs in categories: subsistence, protection, affection, understanding, participation, recreation, creation, identity, and freedom.

For those who work with the land, e.g. loggers, fuelwooders and others, sustainable development might be as simple as "do no long-term harm." Aldo Leopold said that "a thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise."

As for agriculture there is much literature to suggest that many current practices, perhaps "till agriculture" itself, are suspect in terms of sustainable development. As for ranching, here too we find many problems with current practice. See, for example, LAND CIRCLE: LESSONS, by Linda Hasselstrom.

Forestry too has a bunch of problems yet to solve in order to contribute to what we might call sustainable development. It does little good, for example to continue non-sustainable practices here at home simply because if we do otherwise we will export our troubles elsewhere as we import forest products from countries with even-less-sustainable forest practices. On the other hand it is not acceptable to continue to turn a blind eye to the troubles (on both human rights and environment fronts) we inflict on other countries when we import products from afar with no concern to the conditions under which they were produced. Policy paradoxes abound. We need to be talking about them and designing policies on many fronts that help to resolve them.


Feedback: Anonymity not intended.

Re: Feedback: How I'd Define Sustainable Development (Dave Iverson)
Keywords: Politics, Ecosystems, Management
Date: Fri, 02 Jul 1999 15:46:35 GMT
From: <rwinkler/r9_hiawatha@fs.fed.us>

My first effort on this site found me neglecting to include my name. Sorry about that. I agree with the philosophy of providing for needs rather than wants, however subjective that may be. And we certainly would like to meet true sustainability in every case. That's an excellent goal.....but maybe not be obtainable in today's world. Do citizens of wealthy nations who can now afford to "do the right thing" (ignore our practices of the past), deny growth and standard of living to those at the poverty level? Would we tell them it is optimal practices or nothing? Again, I agree on the goal, we just need to balance the speed of our journey to that goal with the needs of others.


Agree: Optimality, Arrogance of Humanism, and what not

Re: Feedback: Anonymity not intended.
Keywords: Politics, Ecosystems, Management
Date: Tue, 06 Jul 1999 21:30:03 GMT
From: Dave Iverson <diverson/r4@fs.fed.us>

HYPERNEWS is a bit of a pain. Thanks for your patience in trying to learn the system.

You ask and comment:"Do citizens of wealthy nations who can now afford to 'do the right thing' (ignore our practices of the past), deny growth and standard of living to those at the poverty level? Would we tell them it is optimal practices or nothing? Again, I agree on the goal, we just need to balance the speed of our journey to that goal with the needs of others.

I'd say that as responsible ecosystem managers we will have to tailor-make practices to fit the needs of local users/owners as well as needs of others, including generations unborn. I would hope that we would never opt for the "optimal practices or noting" approach unless optimality (a word that is full of arrogance on our part as humans and managers) is very carefully considered with regard to needs as mentioned in earlier messages: subsistence, protection, affection, understanding, participation, recreation, creation, identity, and freedom. There is a wealth of thought that suggests that these needs can not be met without a nuturing "natural" environment which suggests that we must constantly revisit the idea of limits on our behavior as humans relative to the environment. That is a subject we've visited before and will continue to visit as we continue our struggle to find our fit in nature.

Certainly the journey will prove interesting and long as we struggle to try to learn to first crawl, then walk toward sustainability. There are no guarantees that WE (modern cultures worldwide) will even begin the journey. Right now we are just beginning to talk about it. Out of that discussion -- one way or another -- new cultures will be born.


Agree: Optimality

Re: Agree: Optimality, Arrogance of Humanism, and what not (Dave Iverson)
Keywords: Politics, Ecosystems, Management
Date: Thu, 08 Jul 1999 12:40:02 GMT
From: rwinkler <unknown>

Well said!


None: Federal McForestry??

Re: Feedback: The Politics of Ecosystem Management (Dave Iverson)
Keywords: Politics, Ecosystems, Management
Date: Thu, 07 Oct 1999 12:57:24 GMT
From: Larry Harrell <fotoware@jps.net>

Teachers and scientists can (and do) talk about ecosystem management all te time, puffing up their chests and using words that more often baffle instead of enlightening. Transferring this knowledge to the land is not happening because of the USFS does not employ the best field personnel, especially in timber management. Since the USFS chooses to use temporaries to fill the all-important timbermarker and harvest inspector positions, a "revolving door effect" occurs, similar to fast food restaurants. Permanents throw up their hands when dealing with this problem and complain about the quality of their temporary workforce while wallowing in their cushy permanent positions. Meanwhile, I have nine continuous year of USFS experience and see very little change for the better regarding this problem. The USFS is too damn top-heavy and doesn't care that this serious problem will inevitably shut down the USFS.

The only weapon we temps have is the ability to refuse to come back to work each year (that'll fix 'em!).

Larry, disposable employee


Feedback: Get a Grip Larry!

Re: : Federal McForestry?? (Larry Harrell)
Keywords: Politics, Ecosystems, Management
Date: Tue, 09 Nov 1999 18:22:41 GMT
From: dawn <dheiser/r2_blackhills@fs.fed.us>

Have you been spending your 9 years as a temporary employee with blinders on? It would be great if we could place all of our seasonal employees into permenant positions! But life in the government (not just the USFS) doesn't work that way. Our frustration is as high or higher than the long term seasonal trying to get on permenant when we find our hands being tied by various policies, rules, regulations and laws governing hiring.

One does have to question the quality of the seasonal workforce when you review the applications for positions and see that many of the applicants can't even be bothered to take the time to create a decent looking resume or application. They frequently tell us that they will not accept a position lower than a GS6, however, they have no job experience or education to justify qualifying them at that level.

As for "wallowing" in a "cushy" permenant position, I beg to differ! I am one of those permenant employees but I sure as hell don't wallow in it nor is it what I would call "cushy". I work long hours, with no thanks or recognition, for little pay. Believe me, being permenant is not a peice of cake either.


More: job outlook

Re: Feedback: Get a Grip Larry! (dawn)
Keywords: Politics, Ecosystems, Management
Date: Tue, 09 Nov 1999 20:07:01 GMT
From: Bruce Erickson <unknown>

Ditto what Dawn says.

Also, for a realistic look at permanent employment opportunities in the USFS, browse the Human Resources area of the FS WWW. In 1992 there were just over 35,000 permanent employees. As of 1998, there were 28,500. Not only is there limited opportunity to replace someone who is leaving, their job often disappears with them.


More: Workloads increasing, stress increasing

Re: More: job outlook (Bruce Erickson)
Keywords: Politics, Ecosystems, Management
Date: Thu, 11 Nov 1999 18:11:52 GMT
From: Larry Harrell <fotoware@jps.net>

Many permanent employees are now doing the jobs of two. Also, in Region 5, we are having to meet sale volumes with smaller and smaller trees which means that more acres are treated and prep work is spiralling upward. I see nothing on the horizon to make a change for the better. On my district, GS-9 foresters and fire fighters were marking timber in the winter. In comparison with the units that were marked by us temporaries, their units were of less quality (and more expensive), silviculturally speaking.

Larry, the great white fir hunter


Idea: EPA's Robert Lackey on Ecosystem Mgmt and Risk Assessment

Re: Feedback: The Politics of Ecosystem Management (Dave Iverson)
Keywords: Politics, Ecosystems, Management
Date: Thu, 14 Oct 1999 19:45:41 GMT
From: Moderator <diverson/r4@fs.fed.us>

If you are starved for some good insight into Ecosytem Management and/or Risk Assessment and want to see some work that highlights the import of "social values and priorities" take a look at Robert T. Lackey's "Seven Pillars of Ecosystem Management," "Radically Contested Assertions in Ecosystem Management," "Ecological Risk Assessment: Use, Abuse, and Alternatives, and "If Ecological Risk Assessment is the Answer, What is the Question?" These and more can be found at Robert T. Lackey's "Recent Publications" webpage.

In the abstract of "Seven Pillars of Ecosystem Management," Lackey says:

Seven core principles, or pillars, of ecosystem management define and bound the concept and provide operational meaning: (1) ecosystem management reflects a stage in the continuing evolution of social values and priorities; it is neither a beginning nor an end; (2) ecosystem management is place-based and the boundaries of the place must be clearly and formally defined; (3) ecosystem management should maintain ecosystems in the appropriate condition to achieve desired social benefits; (4) ecosystem management should take advantage of the ability of ecosystems to respond to a variety of stressors, natural and man-made, but all ecosystems have limited ability to accommodate stressors and maintain a desired state; (5) ecosystem management may or may not result in emphasis on biological diversity; (6) the term sustainability, if used at all in ecosystem management, should be clearly defined -- specifically the time frame of concern, the benefits and costs of concern, and the relative priority of the benefits and costs; and (7) scientific information is important for effective ecosystem management, but is only one element in a decision-making process that is fundamentally one of public and private choice.

A definition of ecosystem management based on the seven pillars is: "The application of ecological and social information, options, and constraints to achieve desired social benefits within a defined geographic area and over a specified period." As with all management paradigms, there is no "right" decision but rather those decisions that appear to best respond to society's current and future needs as expressed through a decision-making process. There are, however, wrong management decisions, including the decision not to make a decision.


None: "From a Distance" article - a little something for everyone to think about!

Re: : Public Lands Management in the 21st Century (Mark Garland)
Keywords: collaboration, dialogue
Date: Fri, 10 Sep 1999 19:25:33 GMT
From: Linda Ward <lward/r4_caribou@fs.fed.us>

Thought this article,"From a Distance", by Vicor Rozek, Forest Voice, Summer, 1997 (http://www.forestcouncil.org) , articulates what needs to happen in order for collaboration, dialogue or any other kind of discourse to be effective. It moves the discussion to the "metavalue" realm.

There's something for eveyone in the article. Mr. Rozek invites you to comment at the end of the article.


News: Western Grazing Practices Blasted in Recent "Survey"

Re: : Public Lands Management in the 21st Century (Mark Garland)
Date: Wed, 10 Nov 1999 16:33:07 GMT
From: Dave Iverson <diverson/r4@fs.fed.us>

Grist Magazine recently published a damning critique of grazing practices in the Western United States. In an 8/26/99 article titled "Rivers of Crud: Grazing saddles the West with a heck of a problem," Susan Zakin (Writers on the Range) unveils the guts of a study by Joy Belsky looking into Western US grazing practices and consequences. Here's a snippit:

"Range scientist Joy Belsky spent six years rounding up 143 government reports and peer-reviewed scientific research on livestock grazing along streams and rivers in the West. Her paper, "Survey of livestock influences on stream and riparian ecosystems in the western United States," shows that the jury is not out on the environmental effects of grazing. It's bad. Period."

I'm not one to "bash" all grazing practices since I've seen remarkably good ranching practices in some places and cases, often following varients of Allan Savory's Holistic Resource Management philosophy and practice. In particular I spent a day some years back with 15 scientists from what was then the US Soil Conservation Service on the almost 300,000 acre Deseret Land and Livestock Ranch in Northern Utah. I watched their expressions as Gregg Simonds explained how they managed vegetation at Dl&L to improve watersheds and biodiversity in large part through cattle and sheep grazing. The SCS scientists were visibly impressed. And they weren't the only supporters. A naturalist friend, a botanist at Weber State Univ. who up 'till then thought that domestic grazing was an unmitigated ecological disaster was similarly impressed on another trip to DL&L. So was the Northern Regional Manager of the Utah Department of Game and Fish.

Still, Belsky's indictment ought not to be taken lightly. Most grazing practices in the West ARE deplorable on both private and public land.

So either we side with Belsky and others' and conclude that "if livestock grazing in the West isn't severely cut back, restoration will become impossible," or we begin to take Allan Savory and others seriously. Or maybe we do both, situationally in different places as adaptive management experiments, and monitor results for the next 20 years and try to learn some things.


News: BLM and USFS Propose "Closed unless Explicitly Open" Policy for Montana OHV Use

Re: : Public Lands Management in the 21st Century (Mark Garland)
Date: Tue, 23 Nov 1999 17:03:06 GMT
From: Dave Iverson <diverson/r4@fs.fed.us>

On November 15, the Montana Bureau of Land Management and US Forest Service posted a "Notice of Availability of the Draft Off-Highway Vehicle Environmental Impact Statement and Plan Amendment" in the Federal Register. The proposal was blasted by OHV opponents, in a 11/21 Billings Gazette article.

Snippit:

Representatives of the Montana Wildlife Federation and Montana Wilderness Association said the plan sanctions the continued use of hundreds of trails and routes created illegally over the years by off-road vehicle users.

Bill Orsello of the wildlife group said the proposal rewards those who have carved tracks through roadless areas by allowing them to keep using those routes unless a review by the federal agencies determines the trails should be off-limits to motorized vehicles.

"The preferred alternative gives legitimacy to a whole new group of routes created without analysis or review," he said.

I'll be a bit more charitable and suggest that this process may be a means to take a hard look at trails and routes now used by OHV users that have never been screened by the NEPA process. This is a big step for federal agencies, now trying to sort out the various recreational uses of the public lands and asking for feedback about which uses are compatible and which are in conflict, both one with another and with the conservation/preservation mandates of the agencies.


Feedback: Not inclusive enough

Re: News: BLM and USFS Propose "Closed unless Explicitly Open" Policy for Montana OHV Use (Dave Iverson)
Date: Tue, 14 Dec 1999 19:53:02 GMT
From: Bruce Erickson <berickso/r1_lolo@fs.fed.us>

"Closed unless explicitly open" should apply to hikers and horseback riders, too. Many of the trails they use were created without public involvement or analysis required by NEPA. Many trails were created not by design nor with sensitivity to environmental concerns, but by repeated use of the easiest route for humans. People using those trails serve as vectors for noxious weed introduction and spread disease and create water pollution from waste disposal. They trample sensitive areas and discard litter. Nearly 1/3 of the National Forest system is exclusively devoted to this limited special interest group. Another 1/3 is primarily devoted to this group, leaving only about 1/3 available for other recreational users. This special interest group has a powerful lobby that is well-funded by corporate grants, and has bought politicians and paid for political favors. People trampling off of existing designated system trails kill more wildlife every year than die of starvation, disease, or other natural causes.


Angry: hurray for the Montana Wilderness Association

Re: Feedback: Not inclusive enough (Bruce Erickson)
Keywords: ORVs, noise, trail erosion, exhaust odors
Date: Wed, 16 Feb 2000 21:20:03 GMT
From: Larry O'Connor <Laoconner@bigfoot.com>

"Closed unless explicitly open" should not apply to hikers and horseback riders even if those trails were not constructed without significant public involvement or NEPA analysis because trails do not have "a significant environmental impact" that NEPA projects require. If the Forest Service can get away with just EAs and not EISs on some of their timber sales and other projects, than hiker/horse trails sure as heck don't need EISs. The "closed unless explicitly open" is also good for ATVers riding on closed trails. In one area near my house, dirtbikers and ATVer routinely violate closures and deliberately ride on horse/hiker trails. First, they know the law enforcement ranger isn't usually around. Second, if they do get caught, they can say "I didn't see a sign". But with the "closed unless explicity open" rule they can't use that excuse. As for litter and human waste on federal lands, a vast majority of that is along side the hundreds of thousands of miles of logging roads we have and not in the backcountry. Noxious weeds do not spread along narrow horse/hiker trails no where as fast(if they do at all) as they do along side of an ATV trail. ATV trails are wider, deeper; the big knobby tires of an ATV tear up a lot of soil, allowing plants like Scotchbroom to get established in churned up soil. Many of the ATV trails I've seen are 2ft. wide and 1+ft. deep troughs of mud and torn up roots. On them, I see lots of beer cans, pop bottles, and broken red/clear plastic and always messier than any hiking trail. Motor noise is the worst part. I've been a valley over from ATVs, with them 2 miles away, and I can still hear the annoying whine of their engines. I've experienced this firsthand several times. Dirtbikes are even louder and worse than quads. You can't hear a hiker or horse miles away. Also, the exhaust stench from an ATV can be bad if there's no wind. It'd take 100 hikers or a 20 horses to do the trail damage of 1 knobby tired ATV. Bottom line: ATVs have significant environmental impacts and they should not be allowed to ride roughshod all over the place, especially if creating their own routes through roadless areas. As for the politics: And the Blue Ribbon Coalition isn't also a special interest group that lobbies and receives corporate grants? I remember thumbing through one of their newsletters and seeing that they received corporate grants from Kawasaki, Honda and timber and mining companies. "People trampling off of existing designated trail system trails kill more wildlife every year than die of starvation..." has got to be one of the biggest crocks of B.S. I've ever heard. Ask a wildlife manager; hunters don't even kill more wildlife than starvation and disease. For laughs, I'd sure like to get a copy of your source of information of that quote. Lolo Forest employee: you have no ethics or respect for the land you work on. I sure hope you aren't in a position to make any management decisions.


Warning: lets try again...

Re: Angry: hurray for the Montana Wilderness Association (Larry O'Connor)
Keywords: ORVs, noise, trail erosion, exhaust odors
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2000 21:25:55 GMT
From: Bruce <unknown>

If you read the article referred to in the previous message, you should realize my post was somewhat tongue-in-cheek. The article, and many others like it, assume a motorized vs nonmotorized trail user dichotomy in effects. I simply pointed out that the effects and commercial interests attributed to motorized recreation are the same as those observed in nonmotorized recreation. Is there a difference in degree? Perhaps, but that is a function of site, individual actions, and management more than the form of recreation.

OK, for some interesting sources of information:

USDA FS Technology and Development Program 1993 "Sound Levels of Five Motorcycles Travelling Over Forest Trails." At distances over 400 feet, motorcycles do not raise the ambient sound level (they are no louder than background levels of noise). They are audible and identifiable at longer distances.

USDA FS Intermountain Research Station Research Paper INT-450 "Changes on Trails in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness, Montana, 1978-89" 1991. Many trail segments changed markedly, depending on site and use.

"Keeping Vistitors on the Right Track - Sign and Barrier Research at Mount Rainer" Park Science 14(4) 1994. Off-trail hiking is a major source of impact that creates trails and erosion throughout the several thousand acres of subalpine meadows.

"Erosional Impact of Hikers, Horses, Motorcycles, and Off-Road Bicycles on Mountain Trails in Montana" Mountain Research and Development Vol 14 No 1 1994. Multiple comparison test results showed that horses and hikers made more sediment available than wheels, and this effect was most pronounced on prewetted trails.

"Environmental Benefits of Weed Management" a technical summary by Weed Management Services, Helena MT. Examples of weed invasion in natural areas by horse and foot traffic are found in most states.

PS Larry, don't you dare question my ethics and respect for the land I live and work on just because you think we disagree.


Feedback: those studies don't say XC hiking kills wildlife

Re: Warning: lets try again... (Bruce)
Keywords: ORVs, noise, trail erosion, exhaust odors
Date: Wed, 01 Mar 2000 19:39:51 GMT
From: Larry O'Connor <unknown>

It's hard to detect tongue-in-cheek discussion on a computer screen monitor. As for the impact studies, using that Mt. Rainier study and applying it to national forest roadless areas is entirely inappropriate. The "several thousand acres of subalpine meadow" the study refers to is Paradise, an auto accessible frontcountry zone laced with "tourist trails" above a parking lot, visited by several thousand people every summer weekend. Imagine the weeds and trail erosion if those people were riding dirtbikes and 4 wheelers instead of walking! The damage would then be magnified many times. I've looked over similar studies and none of them say cross-country hiking "kills more wildlife than disease, starvation" like you say it does. Sorry to make any offensive statements, but its hard not to question the environmental ethics of someone who champions ORV use in natural areas and mocks activism that promotes wilderness and solitude.


None: That's my point...

Re: Feedback: those studies don't say XC hiking kills wildlife (Larry O'Connor)
Keywords: ORVs, noise, trail erosion, exhaust odors
Date: Thu, 02 Mar 2000 20:59:08 GMT
From: Bruce <unknown>

That's my point: Nearly all the negative effects attributed to OHV use by those championing the analysis are exactly the same negative effects associated with foot and horse traffic. Is there a difference in the degree of the effects? Sure, but it is not necessarily a function of the form of transport as much as it is the amount of use or misuse. Imagine the LACK of weeds and trail erosion if the Mt Rainer area was open only to OHVs on designated, well-designed trails with sufficient environmental awareness and enforcement. The damage would be only a fraction of what uncontrolled foot traffic is producing. As for wildlife mortality, think hunting and fishing. I mock activism that promotes wilderness and solitude EVERYWHERE. I mock activism the promotes OHV use EVERYWHERE. I mock posturing that uses half-truths, generalities, and selective anecdotal evidence without acknowledging that there is a valid alternative view. I mock activism that attempts to protect me from myself by taking away my freedom of choice, even if I already have chosen to protect myself (smoking, guns, seat belts, etc but that is getting off the point). I don't believe environmental ethics can be measured by the fuel economy of the car a person drives, the amount of meat a person eats, or the form of recreation that brings joy and renewal of spirit to a person. I am comfortable with my personnal balance of environmental, social, moral, professional, and so on ethics. If your ethics require you to judge my ethics, I guess I really don't care. By my ethics cause me to be offended when you air such a scathing judgement in a public forum. Apology accepted. What do you say we check out the other forums and find something else as interesting to discuss? It's been a pleasure. bruce


Question: Who's watching the eco-watchers?

Re: : Public Lands Management in the 21st Century (Mark Garland)
Date: Mon, 15 May 2000 00:34:47 GMT
From: <unknown>


None: the FBI

Re: Question: Who's watching the eco-watchers?
Date: Thu, 14 Feb 2002 20:28:26 GMT
From: <unknown>

http://www.fs.fed.us/forums/eco/get/eco-watch/forestuse-forum/55.html


Disagree: Former Forest Service Associate Chief faults Clinton Administration on Fire Policy

Re: : Public Lands Management in the 21st Century (Mark Garland)
Date: Fri, 01 Sep 2000 17:42:30 GMT
From: Moderator <diverson@fs.fed.us>

In a politically charged Aug. 24, 2000 letter to President Clinton, Doug Liesz (Retired Associate Chief of the US Forest Service) lays blame at the feet of the Clinton Administration for the fires of 2000. You can see it all at (http://www.fsx.org/Lieszltr.htm).

Snippets:

> > ...  your administration, not Mother Nature,
> > is substantially at fault for the large number of
> > fires wreaking havoc on the national forests in
> > the Western United States. ...
> >  
> > While your administration didn't light many of
> > the fires, your policies assured there would be
> > catastrophic wildfires if there were many
> > ignitions by lightning or other causes during a
> > heat wave when forests are tinder dry. Some have
> > been caused by your own government people setting
> > "controlled burns", resulting in great losses of
> > natural resources and private property. A series
> > of administrative actions are responsible:
> > 
> > First-Under your risky scheme of "reinventing the
> > government", the field organizations of the Forest
> > Service have been decimated. ... Your administration's
> > resource utilization policy has alienated or
> > driven away most of the local folks (e.g.,
> > loggers, mill workers, ranch hands, construction
> > workers) who had helped out in emergency fire
> > situations.
> > 
> > Second-Through curtailment of logging, your
> > administration has allowed the accumulation of
> > dangerous levels of fuels...
> > 
> > Third-Your administration decided to deal with the
> > forest fuel crisis in a "natural way," by the use
> > of prescribed fire. The difficulty with this
> > approach is that millions of acres need to be
> > treated and it would take many years before
> > this scheme could be fully tested. This
> > unrealistic proposal flies in the face of
> > personnel reductions imposed on the very
> > same people who are expected to take on this
> > unprecedented level of prescribed fire. ...
> > 
> > Fourth-The loss of resources associated with
> > catastrophic fires is enormous. Precious old
> > growth is destroyed, public recreation
> > opportunities eliminated for many years, fish
> > and wildlife habitat severely damaged, flood
> > damage likely, and enough wood destroyed to
> > build hundreds of thousands of homes for people
> > who own part of this forest legacy, but can't
> > afford their own home. Catastrophic fires are
> > "stand terminating", threatening all forest
> > resource management objectives mandated by
> > multiple-use and other laws; clean air, water
> > quality, recreational values, abundant wildlife,
> > a continuous supply of wood, and a healthy
> > environment for people. Your administration
> > abandoned the multiple use sustained yield
> > management principles mandated by law
> > (MUSY Act of 1960).
> > ....


:

Re: : Untitled
Date:
From: <unknown>


Question: fire report -- apples and oranges

Re: : Public Lands Management in the 21st Century (Mark Garland)
Date: Fri, 15 Sep 2000 19:55:32 GMT
From: Bruce E <unknown>

Just read through the fire report to the president at www.whitehouse.gov/CEQ/firereport.pdf available directly from the FS homepage. A couple often-reported comments bother me.

First, the "scientific" studies that say logging does not reduce the effects of fire and may make the fires worse. I have yet to see results of any study examining the effectiveness of logging that is DESIGNED TO REDUCE EFFECTS OF FIRE. Logging is not just logging, just as surgery is not just surgery. Logging is designed with objectives for the stand. If reducing the effects of fire is not designed into the logging prescription, it is unreasonable to include that unit in studies to evaluate the effectiveness of logging in meeting that objective.

Second, the assertion is made that there are fewer fire starts in roadless areas than in roaded areas. The insinuation is made that if there were more roadless areas, there would be fewer, less extensive fires. If the claim made throughout the roadless debates is true -- these roadless areas are high elevation low productivity sites without forests of commercial interest -- then these are the typical "asbestos" sites that don't have many fires whether they are roaded or not. I have yet to see roadless and roaded area fires stratified by site conditions. Even if the claim is true after stratification, so what? I bet a strong correlation could be made between republican governors and states with the most wildfire this year, but it sure isn't a cause/effect relationship.

I would be interested to hear if my observations over the years are just an anomoly in the data.


Feedback: logging to reduce fire danger

Re: Question: fire report -- apples and oranges (Bruce E)
Date: Thu, 28 Sep 2000 00:49:52 GMT
From: Matt O'Regan <MORbeer@hotmail.com>

I'm sure there's a study somewhere that looks at logging that reduces fuels. Steve Arno at the Missoula research office has been working on this for years. My district does timber sales to restore open, parklike Ponderosa Pine forests which also reduces fuels. We'll commercially thin then pile slash and burn it or do an understory burn to remove fuels. One problem (atleast in my eyes) that I've seen is that of overthinning by removing too many trees to make the sale commercially acceptable. I believe this treatment is appropriate for lower margin Pondo stands and some other types but it seems to me that many of the areas burned by this summer's fires were at mid-to-high elevation, mixed conifer forests with a fire regime of stand-replacing conflagarations. Thinning and burning these mid-elevation mixed conifer forests is therefore inappropriate if the goal is restoration and fuels reduction. Some would like to see these stands thinned anyway to reduce fuels, but that would come at the expense of structurally unnatural stands. Fire Management magazine has some good info. on this issue. I think Interior Secretary Babbitt and Chief Dombeck has some good policy proposals for this issue


More: good pics of logging for fuel removal

Re: Feedback: logging to reduce fire danger (Matt O'Regan)
Keywords: fires, logging
Date: Mon, 06 Nov 2000 23:27:02 GMT
From: Matt O'Regan <morbeer24@hotmail.com>
Body-URL: http://www.swfa.org/restoration_booklet_files/cover.html


Disagree: Good start, where are the rest?

Re: More: good pics of logging for fuel removal (Matt O'Regan)
Keywords: fires, logging
Date: Tue, 07 Nov 2000 19:52:32 GMT
From: Bruce Erickson <unknown>

Where are the photos of the other eight treatments in this test? This photo shows the plot designed to display the most severe end of logging for fuel reduction. I guess our good friends don't particularly want the public to be well-informed.

By the way, the firefighters were very happy to see some of this restoration forestry. The fire dropped from stand-replacing wildfire to an easily controlled ground fire when it hit the logged areas.


More: to see the other photos click the #s

Re: Disagree: Good start, where are the rest? (Bruce Erickson)
Keywords: fires, logging
Date: Mon, 13 Nov 2000 22:35:08 GMT
From: Matt O'Regan <morbeer24@hotmail.com>

To view the other photos, click on the numbers on the bottom. My purpose in posting that webpage was not necessarily to state that I agree with the environmental group's analysis of these treatments. I posted it because the pics were good and they raise points (i.e. overthinning)that should be looked into. I sure agree that it'd be safer and easier to fight a fire in one of those thinned stands rather than an overstocked, unthinned forest. But, whether or not it is necessary (for restoration purposes) to thin a stand so thoroughly, is a different issue. The Arizona project leaders who conducted the thinning operations in the pics, say the units are experiments and not representative of restoration treatments that will occur. They aren't very pleased this forest activist group put these pics up on the Web and misrepresented the conditions under which these projects were carried out.


Ok: Thanks! My boo-boo. (no text)

Re: More: to see the other photos click the #s (Matt O'Regan)
Keywords: fires, logging
Date: Tue, 14 Nov 2000 19:39:39 GMT
From: Bruce Erickson <unknown>


None: will more timber get cut under the Bush Admin.?

Re: : Public Lands Management in the 21st Century (Mark Garland)
Keywords: timber harvest, President W. Bush
Date: Fri, 02 Mar 2001 00:06:06 GMT
From: Antoine Meriwether <pbr_me_asap_please@hotmail.com>

I know some interest groups (timber industry lobbyists, Ruffed Grouse Society) have been looking forward to George W. Bush becoming president. These groups blame Bill Clinton for the decreased timber harvest of the 1990s. They're hoping George W. Bush will work to increase the amount of timber cut on national forests like he says he will. I don't think all (just some of)the blame for the decreased cutting over the 1990s should be put on Clinton. In the 1990s environmental groups became very adept at appealing timber sales in national forests across the country. In my part of the country, the USFS can't even implement the harvest levels of the Northwest Forest Plan which promises about a billion bd. ft. a year. Local environmental groups appeal every timber sale, big or small, like a knee-jerk reaction. Of course, because they're pushing for "zero-cut". A recent federal court decision stopped pretty much every "ground-disturbing activity" on n.f.s in southern OR and north CA to protect salmon and steelhead. It seems wherever the USFS tries to have a timber sale, environmental groups win the appeal in court because there's some salamander, lichen, slug or other sensitive species there to block it. In the Southern region environmental groups successfully appealed 50+ timber sales due to wildlife issues. It seems to me, that this can't change under the Bush Administration since the law is the law, no matter who the president is. Maybe, Bush and friends in Congress could pass salvage riders with law exemptions. If that happened there'd be civil disobedience protestors all over the woods. What do you all think? What do you think will happen to timber harvests under W. Bush?


Ok: Methinks it will all be very interesting to watch!!!

Re: : will more timber get cut under the Bush Admin.? (Antoine Meriwether)
Keywords: timber harvest, President W. Bush
Date: Fri, 02 Mar 2001 21:59:31 GMT
From: Dave Iverson <diverson@fs.fed.us>

Who knows what will happen. The enviros are worried, industry types are nervous, and politicians will be political.

First we see who is to become Undersecretary of AG, then we wait to see if Chief Dombeck is to stay or to go--and to see who may replace him. (Most folks I talk with think it a foredrawn conclusion that he will go. We'll see.)

Then we see how Timber and the Forest Service plays relative to other matters on the Administration's political agenda. Some people believe we have as much or more to worry about relative to "Recreation and the Forest Service" than we do "Timber and the Forest Service" -- as evidenced by many of the messages in the "Use of the National Forests" Eco-Watch Forum.

It would be nice to believe that "the law is the law." But after what the US Supreme Court did to resolve the Presidential election tie, few remain believers that black robes totally separate people from their political allegiances.


:

Re: : Untitled
Date:
From: <unknown>


Feedback: Only one area where budgets will increase

Re: Ok: Methinks it will all be very interesting to watch!!! (Dave Iverson)
Keywords: timber harvest, President W. Bush
Date: Mon, 05 Mar 2001 20:51:20 GMT
From: Bruce Erickson <unknown>

I suspect the only budget we will see increase is in the environmental community. They have set the stage for an imagined environmental crisis that will be exploited for fund-raising.

As for "the law is the law" and the supreme court, just a couple points of clarification. Bush won the first count, Bush won the recount, Bush won the scattered individual county recounts, and Bush won the recount by an independent auditing firm hired by the media. The Florida Supreme Court, in a particularly ugly partisan show, decided to change existing Florida law in the hope it would help Gore. The US supreme court said (1) under Florida law only the legislature has the authority to change election law, not the judicial branch, and (2) either way it is not fair to change the rules after the election.


Feedback: I wasn't referring to those things

Re: Feedback: Only one area where budgets will increase (Bruce Erickson)
Keywords: timber harvest, President W. Bush
Date: Wed, 07 Mar 2001 03:05:44 GMT
From: Antoine Meriwether <pbr_me_asap_please@hotmail.com>

I wasn't really asking about the budgets of environmental groups. I don't care about them. But you're point is well taken. As for "law is the law", I wasn't talking about the presidential election/Florida/Supreme Court fiasco. I was referring to lawsuits that preservation groups use to stop national forest timber sales. Or more specifically, I think environmental groups will probably continue to have success in courts even though Bush is president. I predict that in the next four years the courts will keep federal timber harvest down despite what the administration and Congress wants the USFS & BLM to do.


None: burninate!

Re: Ok: Methinks it will all be very interesting to watch!!! (Dave Iverson)
Keywords: timber harvest, President W. Bush
Date: Mon, 09 Jun 2003 04:06:08 GMT
From: <unknown>

fire?


Warning: TROGDOR!

Re: : burninate!
Keywords: timber harvest, President W. Bush
Date: Sat, 06 Sep 2003 04:06:46 GMT
From: <unknown>

Trogdor comes in the night!


None: Effective Trogodor Public Policy

Re: Warning: TROGDOR!
Keywords: timber harvest, President W. Bush
Date: Thu, 13 Nov 2003 20:56:36 GMT
From: <unknown>

Yes, whereas the fire hazard of Trogodor is quite serious, a number of actions by local, state, and federal governments can certainly reduce the public safety hazard caused by heightened levels of Trogodor. As data clearly indicates, "And the Trogodor comes in the NIIIIIIIGGGGGHHHHHTTTTT!!!!." Also, data collected from the fields shows that the most effective method of Trogodor hazard prevention is Swoardeding. Therefore, it seems only sound public policy to form highly specialized Swoardeding squads equiped with night-vision and anti-burnination equpiment. Also, there should be public awareness campaigns about the dangers of Trogodor, how to identify Trogodor (for example, by the "consumate v's"), what measures can be taken to lower risk, such as refraining from thatched-roof cottage construction in the countryside. Special outreach campaigns that focus on groups that are historically at an increased risk for burniation, such as the peasants, would also proved highly effective. Finally, there should be signs at all national parks and forests indicating today's Trogodor danger level, with a dragon with one (1) beefy arm replacing the standard Smokey the Bear. These measures will ensure a decrease in indcidences of Trogodor burnination in the future.


More: link to SAF article on this subject

Re: : will more timber get cut under the Bush Admin.? (Antoine Meriwether)
Keywords: timber harvest, President W. Bush
Date: Sat, 10 Mar 2001 18:41:02 GMT
From: Antoine <unknown>

This is from the Society of American Foresters webpage on this topic http://www.safnet.org/archive/bush201.htm


More: link to article that was my source of information

Re: : will more timber get cut under the Bush Admin.? (Antoine Meriwether)
Keywords: timber harvest, President W. Bush
Date: Sat, 10 Mar 2001 18:47:33 GMT
From: Antoine M. <unknown>

From the Wildlife Management Institute on the 50+ Southern Region timber sales recently appealed in court: http://www.jwdc.com/wmi/news/news.html#5


More: update on link

Re: More: link to article that was my source of information (Antoine M.)
Keywords: timber harvest, President W. Bush
Date: Sat, 17 Mar 2001 02:57:13 GMT
From: Antoine M. <unknown>

WMI changes what's on the hyperlinked URL. The information is now WMI's Volume 55, January 15, 2001 newletter which is still on their webpage where you can find it.


Idea: Management for the 21st Century

Re: : Public Lands Management in the 21st Century (Mark Garland)
Date: Sat, 12 May 2001 08:01:04 GMT
From: BD Kochis <bryan@ecscolorado.com>

There is no question that recreation use of America's National Forests is increasing at a dramatic rate, and the American view of National Forest use is changing. It is becoming abundantly clear that Americans want their forests protected and managed with recreation and in mind.

While this certainly is unwelcome news for traditional thinkers who are used to viewing the National Forests for their resources alone, America's renewed enthusiasm for recreating in National Forests has brought significant economic gains to rural forest communities. What's more, these are gains that are renewable year after year. More and more communities are beginning to realize the huge economic potential of preserving the forests for recreation versus the short lived gains that come from resource extraction.

With this in mind, I believe it is imperitive that the USFS take a long hard look at their traditional policies of forest management and resource extraction and work towards the creation of a new set of policies that takes America's demand for protection into account. In particular:

Timber harvest is a necessity. Clearcutting is not. While clearcutting is the easiest and certainly most lucrative method of harvest for timber companies, it is an ecologically disasterous practice that clearly only provides benefits to the timber companies. Any timber harvested from our National Forests should be taken through selective harvesting. It is time we demand the timber industry practice restraint and use modern, ecologically sensitive techniques to harvest public timber. Selective harvesting reduces fire danger, it restores health to the forest and it preserves the beauty of the land. It is a smart management policy that protects the forests while still allowing timber harvesting and it is a policy who's time has come.

The USFS has a long, sad history of losing huge sums of money on timber sales. While the timber industry has collected billions, the USFS and American public has lost billions. It is time to make timber sales profitable. In particular, the practice of building and maintaining roads leading to timber sales with public dollars is an economic failure. We must require timber companies to pay the cost of road building and maintenance. It is time to levy impact fees on timber companies. There is no doubt the USFS is woefully understaffed and underfunded but the USFS is really responsible for its own economic problems. It is time to return to profitability for the sake of the USFS, the forests and the taxpayer.

Given the significant rise in recreational use of our National Forests, it is imperitive that law enforcement is stepped up on our public lands. While all forms of recreation extract damage on the land, one form of recreational use stands out as the most destructive when improperly practiced: OHV use. Our forests are suffering significant damage from careless OHV users who continue to thumb their noses at the law and cut new paths through the meadows, the wetlands, the streams. It is a crisis that must be addressed. I urge the USFS to work to dramatically increase fines for lawbreakers and to enforce the law by dramatically stepping up patrols. While this increase in patrols may seem prohibitively expensive, in reality it is a program that could become self sustaining within a short time: Increased patrols means more fines means more money means increased patrols. Startup costs could be paid for through implementation of an annual access pass fee. See below.

And finally, I believe it is time for the USFS to consider a federal forest access pass similar to a fishing license or National Park fee. Imagine the revenue that could be generated if every American who wanted to use our public lands was required to buy a $5.00 annual pass. Taking it one step further, I suggest the USFS model this pass system after the highly successful hunter safety programs in use across the country: In order to be eligible to buy an initial, first year access pass, participants must either take a course or pass a test on forest ethics, use and ecology. An access pass requirement therefore could not only generate significant revenue, it would go a long way in addressing the pitiful lack of education and responsible use of our lands.

I certainly hope the USFS will give these suggestions some serious consideration. Multi-use can work but only if it is bolstered with adequate and well thought out policies and protections. Here's to the future.

BD Kochis Woodland Park, CO


News: "endangered" salmon kill firefighters

Re: : Public Lands Management in the 21st Century (Mark Garland)
Keywords: firefighting, endangered fish
Date: Thu, 02 Aug 2001 02:46:52 GMT
From: Tom Wetherell <unknown>

I think endangered species protection hasn't gotten out of hand. Thousands of farmers in Klamath, Oregon are going under because their water is being held for sucker fish. And now I've read that water protection for "endangered" salmon helped kill firefighters on the Okanogan National Forest's 30 Mile Fire near Winthrop, Washington. If the helicopter would've been allowed to dip into the river the firefighters would've lived. Go read http:www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,3101,00.html for the story. And if that's not enough, one of the last mills in central Oregon Prineville recently closed. The mill couldn't compete with the Canadians with the tiny amount of low-quality logs they get off the nearby national forest. Environmental groups block nearly every timber sale.


None: Charges of ESA Entanglement in the thirty-mile Fire Incident Denied

Re: News: "endangered" salmon kill firefighters (Tom Wetherell)
Keywords: firefighting, endangered fish
Date: Thu, 02 Aug 2001 20:00:21 GMT
From: Dave Iverson <diverson@fs.fed.us>

Both the Seattle Times and the Denver Post have run articles denying the allegation that the delay in water delivery to the Thirty-Mile Fire was due to Endangered Species Act compliance. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/134324629_fishfire01m.html http://www.denverpost.com/Stories/0,1002,73%7E85517,00.html

The Seattle Times article reported this:"A nearly two-hour delay did occur that day, but not because of the strictures of ESA, said Elton Thomas, fire-management officer for the Okanogan and Wenatchee National Forests."


News: Endangered Fish Issues? Communications Breakdown? Underestimation of Fire’s Potential?

Re: News: "endangered" salmon kill firefighters (Tom Wetherell)
Keywords: firefighting, endangered fish
Date: Fri, 03 Aug 2001 16:12:35 GMT
From: Dave Iverson <diverson@fs.fed.us>

Methow Valley News Special Report:

August 1, 2001

"Why was water delayed for Thirtymile crew?" http://www.methowvalleynews.com/es_10fishy.htm

Snippets:

"'I don’t think we’ll ever know whether that (endangered fish policy) made a difference or not.'" [Jan Flatten, environmental coordinator for the Wenatchee-Okanogan National Forest.]

"But that and other questions now remain: Was the delay in sending a helicopter, first expressed by the expert "hot shot" crew, and the eventual permission to withdraw water more than eight hours later the result of endangered fish issues, a breakdowns in communications, or an underestimation of the fire’s potential. Was it a combination of those or other possible reasons? Or was it a catastrophe that can develop in the dangerous and uncertain calculus of fighting fires?

In Flatten’s words:

"'Everybody has a little piece of the picture. It’s the business of the investigation team to figure out what it happened, why it happened and what we can do different the next time.'"


Idea: Roadless Closed Canopy Forests vital in a global context

Re: : Public Lands Management in the 21st Century (Mark Garland)
Date: Wed, 22 Aug 2001 16:19:54 GMT
From: <NStrafford@excite.com>

A new UN research report found that the USA is one of just 15 nations that have significant closed canopy forests left. Thus the USDA FS has a new global responsibility to steward mature old growth forests, adding new costs to the Bush Administration's interest in lifting the Roadless Forest ban. See http://www.unep.org/Documents/Default.asp?DocumentID=211&ArticleID=2892

And a story about the Alaska forest on the front line if the ban gets lifted: Gravina

Alaska Island Is Focus of Roadless Forest Fight http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/134331144_logging19.html


Feedback: A few things to think about...

Re: Idea: Roadless Closed Canopy Forests vital in a global context
Date: Thu, 23 Aug 2001 19:41:22 GMT
From: Bruce <unknown>

First, it is an error to equate closed canopy forest with old growth. In the absence of disturbance, forests typically go through an understory initiation stage (after fire, hurricane, clearcut), a stem exclusion stage (full stocking and closed canopy prevent seedling establishment), an understory reinitiation stage (mortality in the overstory opens microsites for seedling establishment), then an old growth stage (stand replaces itself over time until next big disturbance). That initial closed canopy condition can occur at 15 to 20 years of age, depending on where you are in the world. Hardly old growth by any stretch of the imagination.

Second, in many parts of the US closed canopy forest is an aberration compared to forest conditions over the past 10,000 years since the last ice age. Lightening and native american forest-culturing burns maintained open forest canopies. They regularly eliminated closed canopy forest, converting them to openings of seedlings.

Third, I haven't heard of any big rush to enter roadless areas whether or not the ban stands. According to the EIS, under "no action" they project 18,000 to 19,000 acres of roadless could be entered per year. At that rate, it would take over 3000 years to harvest all the roadless areas. Doesn't sound like much of an emergency situation to me!


Question: what ever happened to the roadless area thing?

Re: : Public Lands Management in the 21st Century (Mark Garland)
Keywords: roadless area
Date: Mon, 29 Oct 2001 21:15:05 GMT
From: Armand Melwicki <armandmelwicki@hotmail.com>

A year ago and before, there was a lot of hub-bub about the roadless area thing. I heard a judge shot it down and the Bush administration took over. What are they going to do with it? Anyone been following it?


Feedback: Roadless Rule Enjoined, Action Moves to Ninth Circuit Court

Re: Question: what ever happened to the roadless area thing? (Armand Melwicki)
Keywords: roadless area
Date: Wed, 21 Nov 2001 20:34:20 GMT
From: Moderator <diverson@fs.fed.us>

On May 10, 2001 Judge Edward J. Lodge (US District Court, Idaho) granted a preliminary injunction of the "Roadless Rule" in a motion brought before the court by "State of Idaho, et. al." and "Kootenai Tribe of Idaho, et. al."

Two "intervenors" on behalf of the U.S. Government, "Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics" and the "Idaho Consrevation League, et. al." filed motions in the Ninth Circuit Court to lift the preliminary injunction.

A decision on those motions is expected toward the end of December, according to folks I know.

You can still find the Forest Service's roadless rule site on the web http://roadless.fs.fed.us/, including Chief Bosworth's letter to the "field" to help folks know what to do while the legal battles continue.


Feedback: thanks for the update

Re: Feedback: Roadless Rule Enjoined, Action Moves to Ninth Circuit Court (Moderator)
Keywords: roadless area
Date: Wed, 19 Dec 2001 22:48:59 GMT
From: Armand <unknown>

Thanks for the update. I knew about the court case but didn't know what was happening in the meanwhile. I'll go check those links out.


Question: federal forestry in the 21st century: will there be any?

Re: : Public Lands Management in the 21st Century (Mark Garland)
Keywords: future jobs with the Forest Service
Date: Wed, 19 Dec 2001 23:09:39 GMT
From: Armand M. <unknown>

Here's a true "Public Lands Management in the 21st Century" question: I'm a freshman forestry student. I would like to get a job working in managing land for a full spectrum of uses, not just tree farming. I want to get into marking timber, doing wildlife surveys, maintaining trails, fighting fires, all sorts of things. But, I know the Sierra Club and radical environmental groups are pushing a bill that would eliminate all commercial logging on all federal land. It looks like more of the public is beginning to agree with them. Will the Sierra Club and other groups be successful in banning logging on federal lands? So far, they've been pretty successful in stopping or atleast holding up timber sales near where I live. To me it seems that they want all federal and state lands to be vast wilderness preserves. I think they may be successful. Do you think I'm wasting my time and money studying forestry? Even if it's an interdisciplinary forestry program, not an old school timber-centric program? Is it worth anyone's time to look forward to working for the Forest Service? I've read that they need trained young people to replace soon-to-retire USFS employees. But, between budget cuts, protestors and lawsuits I don't have much hope.


None: yup

Re: Question: federal forestry in the 21st century: will there be any? (Armand M.)
Keywords: future jobs with the Forest Service
Date: Thu, 20 Dec 2001 20:22:05 GMT
From: Bruce <unknown>

Given that most Americans are far removed from their dependence on natural resources, respond to emotion rather than logic, tend to believe the worst, and do not take time to actually research issues, I would not be surprised if the Sierra Club and associated "zero cut" organizations succeed in their one-size-fits-all approach to management of 191 million acres distributed from coast to coast and from arctic circle to Mexico. Forest management, especially for multiple use and ecosystem values, is too complicated for sound bites.

Assuming there is no more commercial timber harvest on National Forests, there still is lots of work to do. Recreation will continue to be big, fire management will grow even bigger and more complicated, vegetation management that does not include cutting commercial timber will increase, range management may or may not continue depending on how that political battle plays out, and so on.

Stick with your schooling, build a career based on what you like to do. Forestry is a creative, constructive profession that builds on the past while looking toward the future. In my mind, a much more positive existance that those organizations you referred to.


Agree: thank you

Re: : yup (Bruce)
Keywords: future jobs with the Forest Service
Date: Thu, 20 Dec 2001 21:01:24 GMT
From: Armand <unknown>

Thanks for the advice. I'm glad there's a lot of work to do out on the land. I want to do some of that work.

It'll be a shame if they succeed in getting their "zero-cut" bill through Congress. Americans will still continue to consume large quantities of wood products but it'll come from the increasingly intensively managed pine plantations of the South, Canada, Chile, New Zealand, Siberia, etc.. I don't want to see the forests of the South or Canada over managed while we miss opportunities on millions of acres of national forest in the Northwest because urbanites don't like to look at far away clearcuts on their weekend hikes. Large areas of our national forests are very productive to grow wood. Harvest will be displaced to more sensitive, less naturally productive land elsewhere with a federal logging ban. What bugs me is when they say it's OK to stop all federal harvest because federal lands produce a small fraction of our overall wood. I interpret those numbers differently. I see that as an indication that the environmental groups have already been given enough of what they want and shouldn't get anymore.


Feedback: You bet!

Re: Question: federal forestry in the 21st century: will there be any? (Armand M.)
Keywords: future jobs with the Forest Service
Date: Wed, 02 Jan 2002 21:44:32 GMT
From: Tony <aerba@fs.fed.us>

It's encouraging to see young people take in interest in managing natural resources. I remember when I was "starry-eyed" about the prospect of working in the "woods". That was in 1981 - times have changed dramatically since then.

While I've read many inputs on this Eco-Watch site about the ongoing debates with public lands, I still believe a place exists for people who are willing to manage the land for the American public's use. It really doesn't matter who wants to use it - until we see a national policy/law change, public lands are there for people to use. This "use" comes in many different forms...and it comes with personal responsibility and accountability for those users.

The opportunities are endless for land managers. The ones that will succeed in the future are those who can maintain one foot in scientific reality and one foot in effective public dialog.

Because public land managers must consider many different viewpoints on how to manage public lands, this job is not for everyone. I've seen many employees who were advocates for a particular user group. These people struggled in the multiple use world that we must manage for. They became bitter and ineffective, desiring to return to "the way it was". Let's face it - change happens. It happens in accordance with societal values. It's been my experience that human beings typically don't handle change very well.

What continually intrigues me is that the majority of public land users do not engage in dialog that discusses what happens to those lands. I wonder why that is?


Feedback: why more public users don't join debates on uses

Re: Feedback: You bet! (Tony)
Keywords: future jobs with the Forest Service
Date: Thu, 03 Jan 2002 20:30:01 GMT
From: bruce <unknown>

My theories, based on talking to a bunch of folks over the years:

(1) They don't see any good reason for debate - they have seen things happen on public lands over their entire life, and are comfortable with it.

(2) They are still able to use public lands pretty much as they always have. They have their favorite camping areas, seasonal drives to collect berries or see fall colors or just to admire the scenery, hunting and fishing are as good as ever considering the increasing number of people out there, etc. They might not be happy about a road being closed for example, but they understand why the decision was made.

(3) They figure the government is paying professionals to manage the lands, and are willing to accept that those professionals are doing the best they can "for the greatest number in the long run." They can see the danger inherent in a committee of "interested publics" guiding their medical treatments, dental work, food choices, vehicle purchases and maintenance, and forest resources.

I think the vast majority of the public is not selfish about sharing use of public lands. I think they are not interesting in creating conflict for a sense of personnal worth or excitement or civic duty.


None: Why don't they join the debate?

Re: Feedback: why more public users don't join debates on uses (bruce)
Keywords: future jobs with the Forest Service
Date: Wed, 20 Feb 2002 20:37:46 GMT
From: <BillMalec>

Because the media has them spoon-fed with "save the World" crap and don't tell them a thing about: Jarbidge(where the Feds closed a road with a huge rock and refused to move it to let people get to their jobs), land closure in general, the REAL agenda of the Roadless Initiative(to lock up land), the actions of the former head of the Forest Service(condemning and stealing land from private individuals), Wildlife Biologists planting evidence of endangered species in study areas, how much Wilderness-designated land we already have(many 100's of millions of acres), how much logging is actually done on Federal land(2% of total logging), the hoops mining companies have to jump thru in order to mine, the fact that Algore has a mine on his land in Tn that has had numerous EPA violations, how the measure air quality in Yellowstone(after a group of snowmobiles start up, cold, and then try to infer the whole Park's air quality is like that),........you want me to go on?


Ok: Maybe People Just Don't Want to Deal With Wingnuts

Re: : Why don't they join the debate?
Date: Sat, 23 Feb 2002 18:54:37 GMT
From: Dave Iverson <DaveIverson>

Maybe people don't like to participate in political or policy discussions becasue such discussions are too often dominated by those Michael Jackson (of Quincy Library Group fame) likes to call "wingnuts." Jackson says that much like a bolt with threads on both ends, wingnuts can be useful to help define the center--of either a bolt or a discussion.

I agree, but also know that wingnuts can get a bit tiring when they tend to dominate a discussion or a discussion forum. Why do wingnuts tend to sometimes dominate political discussion? To gain insight, study Richard Hofstadter's "The Paranoid Style in American Politics." Hofstadter begins his essay with "American politics has often been an arena for angry minds. In recent years we have seen angry minds at work mainly among extreme right-wingers...." But we all know that wingnuts do not exclusively inhabit the so-called right wing. Instead, they are found on both sides of the political spectrum. And we suffer a few of them here on Eco-Watch too.


Feedback: people don't join discussions due to those things

Re: : Why don't they join the debate?
Keywords: future jobs with the Forest Service
Date: Fri, 01 Mar 2002 01:58:45 GMT
From: Armand M. <unknown>

Those are your personal gripes, not the reason most people don't seem interested in discussing natural resource issues. You mentioned hot button issues that do make it into the newspapers and TV. Normal people, who aren't in natural resources/environmental issues have other things on their mind that they think are more important like terrorism/Afghanistan, the recession, kids and good education, etc., (the issues people raise when asked on public surveys), not because they're being "spoon-fed with "save the World" crap". Also, some of this stuff is boring unless you’re directly affected. My girlfriend and friends find forestry field trips terribly boring.

BTW, I must respond to your "reasons". First, Jarbridge: you forgot to mention that the USFS closed that road to save a trout. If they didn't close the road, they would have been sued by Trout Unlimited and environmental groups. Second the Roadless Area thing: of course, it'll lock up land; That’s the point. It'll keep it safely locked away from inappropriate activities. Precious things should be safely locked away from harm. Third, the lynx biologists consulted their supervisor about the fake hair, kept nothing hidden and had no intention of using the planted hair to stop logging and snowmobiling (which hair samples would not have stopped anyway; it would have initiated more study). Forth, national forest logging could be higher. I agree. Fifth, mining companies should have to jump through hoops. I hope those hoops are high and small because mining can, and has, had very severe impacts on wildlife and hydrology. Sixth, you're right. Al Gore could be a hypocrite but I suspect he had little to do personally with those violations. I doubt Al Gore is a mining engineer who made on-the-ground decisions about how the mine operated. Finally, Yellowstone snowmobiles: I've never heard anybody say the air quality in the whole, entire park was polluted. But I have heard that the long lines of snowmobiles at park entrances violated clean air standards and the air was too hazardous for toll booth workers to breath. That's unacceptable, especially in a national park. I learned about all of these things in local newspaper and the evening news. So the media told me.


More: dialog may lead to compromise?

Re: Feedback: You bet! (Tony)
Keywords: future jobs with the Forest Service
Date: Fri, 04 Jan 2002 05:35:04 GMT
From: Armand M. <unknown>

I read the High Country News which seems to be a good paper on Western environmental issues, particularly national forests and BLM lands. This paper provides a lot of insight into how environmental groups think and operate internally. I know that there's a split in some of the environmental movement. Some don't like Resource Advisory Councils and collaborative groups like the Quincy Library Group. Some environmentalists fear dialog and getting to know other groups because it can soften environmental representatives in these groups and they may give in a little; e.g. an environmentalist on a national forest management resource advisory council may acquire some sympathy for the hardships of a public lands rancher or a logging company and may soften certain demands. In this case, the other more radical environmentalists would prefer to rely on litigation because it's been more successful in stopping activities that they see as bad.

I think that this may be one explanation as to why some interest groups and interested peoples aren't interested in talking to others. They're afraid they may end up giving in a little.


:

Re: : Untitled
Date:
From: <unknown>


None: a webpage with anti-logging message and photos

Re: : Public Lands Management in the 21st Century (Mark Garland)
Keywords: BLM logging, spotted owls,
Date: Mon, 20 May 2002 04:35:30 GMT
From: Armand <unknown>

Don't mean much about this but I stumbled on to an environmental group's webpage at http://www.umpqua-watersheds.org/blm/BLMcoosbay.html while searching for info. on a homework project. As previously stated I don't care much for the zero-cut letter signed by the scientists but seeing what's on this webpage it makes me wonder about federal forestry. As an observation it seems to me that the environmental group assumes that it is automatically always wrong to cut a large dbh tree http://www.umpqua-watersheds.org/photo_essays/index.html (most of their photos are of large stumps and logs).

Any comments?


Feedback: hard to say without context

Re: : a webpage with anti-logging message and photos (Armand)
Keywords: BLM logging, spotted owls,
Date: Mon, 20 May 2002 13:52:37 GMT
From: Bruce <unknown>

Hard to say what really is going on without the context of the management objectives and decision rationale. However, it's clear that the area can grow big trees with lots of boards, and the west coast is rapidly building. It's usually better to use your own resources rather than importing them.

There seems to be a mindset that big trees always were and will live forever. Some folks forget that even the biggest trees started from a seed and progressed through seedling, sapling, and larger sizes before they got big. More often than not, they started from some stand-replacing event and survived another stand-altering event.

It isn't hard to grow big trees, you just have to give them space, leave them alone and get lucky that fire, wind, drought, bugs, diseases, beavers, porcupines, etc don't get to them before they get big. Big trees aren't necessarily old trees, and old trees aren't necessarily big trees. You have to have respect for the little old trees, because they have had a much tougher life than the big old trees. That doesn't mean some of them shouldn't be cut down once in a while!


More: that webpage and the general public

Re: Feedback: hard to say without context (Bruce)
Keywords: BLM logging, spotted owls,
Date: Fri, 24 May 2002 02:18:30 GMT
From: <unknown>

I take it you checked out that webpage? I think it's pretty persuasive. If you were just a normal person with no knowledge of forestry or forest policy or history, you'd probably be persuaded that the BLM is on a devastating, nature-ravaging, massive clearcutting binge.

Context is right!:You probably would not know that federal timber harvest is only about 10% of what it was in the peak days of the late 1980s and that many NF and BLM districts in the Northwest will go a couple years with only 1 or 2 commercial timber sales and some with none. You would also not know that some of the best biologists around (who wrote the NW Forest Plan) figured that if some timber was going to be cut than it should be come from already isolated, marooned patches that aren't viable as spotted owl habitat over the long run anyway.

To me, it seems there's also an assumption that the area should be managed as a pristine nature preserve and that wood production is not a worthy objective. At the least, one could conclude the areas has already been very overharvested and should be left alone for decades. I think that this is one of the reasons a good number of the general urban and suburban public doesn't support federal timber harvest. They see webpages and pamphlets like this and not the other side. Basically, these kinds of webpages are powerful to a large number of the total populace.

It's true the West Coast is rapidly growing in terms of residential development which uses a lot of wood. It seems like nearly everywhere I travel is seeing lots of houses being built. But I've been told that much of our wood goes to other parts of the country, Japan, and elsewhere. I can't say for sure but I suspect that the Pacific Northwest may exports more wood and pulp than they consume even with the dramatic decline in harvest since 1990.


Feedback: Response to website

Re: More: that webpage and the general public ()
Keywords: BLM logging, spotted owls,
Date: Thu, 30 May 2002 06:10:12 GMT
From: Tony <aerba@fs.fed.us>

I also think that many of the environmental groups have realized that the average citizen is not likely going to invest a lot of time in researching "other sides of the story". So, all they have to do is put up some photos of "devastated" sites along with "hands flailing in the air" rhetoric and they have stirred the latent concerns within people. Our society's attention span is getting shorter by the day and many people are not willing to listen to lengthy explanations on harvest objectives and such. What I see lacking are the success stories - examples where timber/forest management resolved problems on the ground...sites that have complete regrowth in 15-20 years, etc. What most people see now is the instantaneous result of timber harvest - slash, logs, stumps. How many pictures do we see of the same site 3-5 years later?


Feedback: classes/living near a NF vs. activist claims

Re: Feedback: Response to website (Tony)
Keywords: BLM logging, spotted owls,
Date: Fri, 31 May 2002 01:15:57 GMT
From: Armand M. <unknown>

I think your statement about environmental group "information" and the average citizen not researching it on both sides is very true. I know I used to believe most of what environmentalists claimed because I thought they were noble "do-gooders". But after I moved to a rural area surrounded by national forest and saw Northwest timber issues from the local's perspective (rather than from an outsider/urban recreationist's perspective), I became more critical of what they say. I don't automatically disbelieve everything they say, but I do filter it. I'm just referring to the more radical forest preservation activist groups. I like what some of the others (like Trust for Public Land, Nature Conservancy, Trout Unlimited) do.

Also, once I started taking courses in ecology, forestry and natural resource policy I noticed a difference in urgency between what my professors (hardly "timber beasts") told me and what forest preservation groups claim.


Disagree: John Muir Project and fires

Re: : a webpage with anti-logging message and photos (Armand)
Keywords: fires, logging,
Date: Wed, 07 Aug 2002 23:57:55 GMT
From: Armand M. <unknown>

I check the AFSEE webpage "USFS in the News" to read the news. They recently put up a link to a John Muir Project article http://www.johnmuirproject.org/ArticlesOpinions/Getting%20Burned%20II.htm "Getting Burned by Logging". This article is crap. She doesn't know what she's talking about; she's just rehashing the same 'ole half-truths/myths her activist friends tell her. Go read it.

Environmentalists appealed a combination commercial thin/underburn near where I live a couple years ago. A month ago, lightning started a fire in the proposed area. The fire burned downhill through dead, downed, bug-killed timber. It was a fuel-driven fire and spread through spotting even when the wind didn't blow. There were spots fires 1/2 mile in front of the head of the fire due to heavy fuel loading on the ground and in the understory, in a forest that was historically, open and almost all ponderosa pine and Douglas-fir, now with a multi-storied canopy of white fir. In the end, a large spot fire burned up 2 houses(I don't think the houses had trees and brush next to them or shake roofs). Had the activists never appealed that combo commercial thin/underburn maybe that fire would not have burned so intense and severe and those people would not have lost their houses. Out of fairness, I can't blame the enviros completely (although they're not helping any). Decades of fire suppression and the drought is most at fault. Maybe the USFS should not have tacked a commercial timber sale on to a fuels reduction. But then, maybe not enough fuels would have been removed.

Read this article. I hope some innocent person doesn't happen upon it and believe it; it's misinformation. She talks about commercial logging creating a fire hazard. Where I live the USFS either piles & burns the slash soon after and/or then underburns and lessens the hazard. All the hazard is in the Wilderness Area but mostly in unthinned areas. I'd much rather deal with a fire in a treated, managed stand, than an overstocked untreated stand anyday (all things equal).

She says "Nearly all of these proposals focus primarily on the removal of mature and old-growth trees...". Not the recent timber sales near where I live. All the ones I've seen, they cut out the small, young, scraggly trees and leave the big, healthy good ones.

It's a real cheap shot when they post a photo of a big, huge old-growth tree on their webpage (with people hugging it or standing next to it)in a proposed timber sale, implying that it's going to be cut when in reality, it's not going to be. http://www.bark-out.org/update_illust_juncr.html (Unit 8 Big Blue Douglas Firs (sic)). The claims on this webpage simply aren't true. They don't fall "wildlife trees". They paint the W to emphasize the fallers that it's not to be cut. It does not mean that it will be girdled, topped or felled. I don't like liars. I hope people don't believe these folks.


News: links to NPR audio files on the fire/logging issue

Re: Disagree: John Muir Project and fires (Armand M.)
Keywords: fires, logging, radio files
Date: Thu, 08 Aug 2002 01:03:05 GMT
From: Armand M. <unknown>

http://search.npr.org/cf/cmn/segment_display.cfm?segID=146563 (Forest Thinning) and http://search.npr.org/cf/cmn/segment_display.cfm?segID=146208 (Fire Fingerpointing) are 2 National Public Radio sound files on this issue. Pretty cool. Just found them off a webpage called "USFS in the News"


Question: blue or orange paint? which means which?

Re: Disagree: John Muir Project and fires (Armand M.)
Keywords: fires, logging,
Date: Sun, 11 Aug 2002 14:55:05 GMT
From: Armand <unknown>

I realized I could've been wrong in the last post about what blue colored paint means. The webpage http://www.bark-out.org/update_illust_juncr.htmlshows trees painted blue. Does that mean they are to be left alone or be cut?


Feedback: Wildlife tree is not what you think

Re: Disagree: John Muir Project and fires (Armand M.)
Keywords: fires, logging,
Date: Tue, 20 Aug 2002 04:32:05 GMT
From: Gabriel <unknown>


Regarding the comments about "wildlife trees," -- just because there is a W on the tree doesn't mean that it's going to be left alone. In fact it's quite the opposite, as "wildlife trees" are often turned into synthetic (read: topped) snags as roosting places for habitat or otherwise messed with by forest managers to bring a zoo methodology to our forests. I have seen girdled trees standing alone amidst logging and just last weekend I saw a cut tree lying on it's side with a forest sign nailed to it's cleanly chainsawed trunk stating to the effect, "This is a wildlife tree left here for habitat. Please do not remove."


Feedback: wildlife trees, down and up

Re: Feedback: Wildlife tree is not what you think (Gabriel)
Keywords: snags, girdling, wildlife, downed woody material
Date: Tue, 20 Aug 2002 05:34:17 GMT
From: Armand <unknown>

Did the downed tree with the sign have a W on it? Was it knocked down by natural agents? Did they nail the sign to it after it was knocked down?

Maybe they girdled the tree and then it was knocked down by wind, weakness, root rot?

Downed trees can be good wildlife habitat too. I've been told that bears, racoons, wildlife and other wildlife den in them. Insects such as wood boring beetles, termites, and ants get in downed logs and wildlife such as bears, birds feed on them. Big tree trunks can slow down overland flow water runoff and decrease erosion. "Downed woody material", they call it.

I don't know. Just a thought.


Note: preordained outcomes: no surprise to me

Re: : Public Lands Management in the 21st Century (Mark Garland)
Keywords: Bush, Northwest Forest Plan, survey-and-manage
Date: Mon, 28 Oct 2002 16:47:27 GMT
From: Armand M. <unknown>

While the roadless area rule was being worked on during the Clinton administration, I heard a lot of people who were against it, say that the process was a joke because the administration already knew what was going to happen. That was no big surprise to me. Of course, the USFS under Clinton administration was going to implement the rule.

I don't think it's a surprise now that the Bush administration is putting out their rules changes for the Northwest Forest Plan to public comment. http://www.registerguard.com/news/2002/10/22/2d.or.nwforestplan.1022.html

I'm quite sure, in terms of numbers, a vast majority of comments (many initiated by organized campaigns from environmental groups. example: "Alert...Bush and the Timber Industry Team Up to Gut the Northwest Forest Plan" @ http://www.onrc.org/alerts/130.surveymanage.html) will be against the Northwest Forest Plan rule changes. But after that, the Bush administration will implement the rule changes. Regardless of the merits or shortcomings of the roadless area rule, atleast the Clinton administration had a majority of public sentiment behind it. I don't think the Bush administration will be able to claim that.

The enviro. group webpage points out that the timber industry gave a lot of money to Bush's election campaign. They're implying he's paying them back. The environmental groups and other liberal interest groups gave Clinton election money. By that logic, he paid them back with national monuument designations and the roadless rule.

I think Bush would be pushing to increase commercial timber harvest on national forests with or without campaign donations. He wants the timber jobs. Boy, remember the days when politicians actually stood-up for high wage timber jobs in the woods and the mills? Few congresspeople or other federal politicians do that anymore.


Question: Public Lands...a definition

Re: : Public Lands Management in the 21st Century (Mark Garland)
Keywords: definition of public lands
Date: Mon, 28 Apr 2003 05:42:43 GMT
From: Kathleen Curtiss <pilgrim@interbel.net>

There are a lot of debates surrounding management of "Public Lands", but what exactly are public lands?


Idea: "This Land is Your Land"

Re: Question: Public Lands...a definition (Kathleen Curtiss)
Keywords: definition of public lands
Date: Mon, 28 Apr 2003 17:56:21 GMT
From: Dave Iverson <diverson@fs.fed.us>

Scott Lehmann’s book Privatizing Public Lands (Oxford University Press, 1995), which might well have been subtitled “A Bad Idea,” is a good place to begin searching for insight into the concept of “public lands.” Lehmann begins his book with Woody Guthrie’s song “This land is your land.” Then he says,

“I doubt that Woody Guthrie had public lands specifically in mind when he wrote “This land is your land,” But I am sure he’d be pleased that each American citizen, through the agency of the federal government, is part owner if some six million odd acres, roughly one quarter of the nation’s land. To be sure, a good deal of it would strike most of us as uninviting and not at all ‘made for you and me.’ Guthrie couldn’t have been thinking of the Great Basin when he wrote of ‘the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts.’ Even so, his words do fit the public lands. There we are free to roam and ramble, for the signs read not ‘Private Property—No Trespassing’ but ‘Please close the gate.’ There, far horizons and the ‘endless skyway’ can release us for a time form the narrowness of our lives.” [p.3, footnotes omitted].

We do ourselves an injustice if we try to pin-down the notion of "public lands" too tightly. It’s one of those ideas – others include freedom, justice, integrity – that are better left open-ended to stimulate conversation, debate, dissention, etc. in order that we can continue to make sense of them, from them....


None: def of public lands

Re: Question: Public Lands...a definition (Kathleen Curtiss)
Keywords: definition of public lands
Date: Fri, 16 Jan 2004 05:16:55 GMT
From: Armand Melwicki <ArmandMelwicki>

Public lands = county, state and federal lands collectively

federal lands = USFS & BLM lands

Sometimes when people say, "public lands", what they really mean is "federal lands". Some people are technically sloppy. Some people (many?) don't know the difference between the 3 levels of government. I guess they forgot or never paid attention to 8th grade civics class.


None: more def added

Re: : def of public lands (Armand Melwicki)
Keywords: definition of public lands
Date: Fri, 16 Jan 2004 05:26:21 GMT
From: Armand M. <unknown>

Basically a land is public if it is managed by the government (that means politically). If a land is private property it is managed by however the owner sees fit. "fit" could mean whatever enlarges that person, or group of persons, bank account the most.

If a land is public, civil servants, government employees, public employees, etc. will base their management based on laws, politics, budget and other things. If a land is private, the land will be managed often on profit, the owners notion of what is pretty, ethically right or what makes a good home......


Question: Environmental Management Systems (EMS)

Re: : Public Lands Management in the 21st Century (Mark Garland)
Date: Wed, 02 Jun 2004 17:20:55 GMT
From: Joe Carbone <jcarbone@fs.fed.us>

What potential benefits and problems are associated with using Environmental Management Systems(EMS)on Forest Service units? Since President Clinton signed an Executive Order in 2000 requiring EMS for federal facilities, there has been quite a bit of work done to bring EMS into the federal sector. The Forest Service has been exploring the potential benefits of using EMS for facilities and land and resource managment activities. To learn more about EMS check out the links on this Forest Service EMS site: http://www.fs.fed.us/emc/nepa/ems/index.htm


Feedback: The EO and Federal Facilities

Re: Question: Environmental Management Systems (EMS) (Joe Carbone)
Date: Tue, 08 Jun 2004 17:32:42 GMT
From: Larry Hayden <lhayden@fs.fed.us>

The E.O. identified in the previous message calls for federal "facilities" to have an EMS by December 2005. We are interpreting "facility" as an administrative unit of the Forest Service. So, each national forest would develop an Environmental Management System.


None: Is this a good way to engage?

Re: : Public Lands Management in the 21st Century (Mark Garland)
Date: Wed, 01 Sep 2004 12:54:30 GMT
From: <unknown>

I want to find out if folks want to use this tool to engage in conversation about EMS? (this is a test of the system)


Feedback: Blogs are better!

Re: : Is this a good way to engage?
Keywords: organizations emergence measurement leadership openness
Date: Thu, 02 Sep 2004 16:34:37 GMT
From: Dave Iverson <diverson@fs.fed.us>

Weblogs seem to attract much more attention these days, but some discussion thread arenas (not these!) do stay active.

I've thought that in order to keep things alive, there has to be someone(or some people)willing and able to throw things out to others (easily, like email) and then have people respond in ways that allow for thier comments to build and for others to begin to see synergy develop. I've also thought that there has to be commitment to learning, rather than just to numbers. Too many organizations believe in numbers, not in relationships and learning. Numbers too are important, but not nearly so much as one might expect from living a few years in the USFS or any other extant bureau.. dave. For more on the numbers mess, see What do We Measure and Why? by Margaret Wheatley and Mron Kellner-Rogers See also Wheatley's others articles, and particularly the book A Simpler Way to see how we might develop an organiztaion where it was more than OK to begin to discuss things in open forums to make things better.


Feedback: biggest problem - can't get there from here.

Re: Feedback: Blogs are better! (Dave Iverson)
Keywords: organizations emergence measurement leadership openness
Date: Wed, 29 Dec 2004 17:26:53 GMT
From: Bruce <unknown>

Seems like the biggest problem is that this forum cannot be found unless you actually know it exists and actively search for it. You can see from the posting dates when the new FS www welcome page was put up, and all references to this forum were removed. Discussions dropped to virtually nothing.

I suspect you would see a lot more interest if this forum was prominantly displayed on the welcome page. People really like a chance to voice their thoughts on FS management rather than just being fed the company line as the site is set up now.

Another suggestion would be to continue adding current issue threads. These haven't changed in a long time. We've gone through Healthy Forest Initiative and other fairly major changes with no defined place to discuss.

It's nice there is a link from the new planning regs pages, but again you really have to look for it. The link should be on the first page instead of buried.


Note: There is an Even Bigger Problem: Lack of WO Support

Re: Feedback: biggest problem - can't get there from here. (Bruce)
Keywords: organizations emergence measurement leadership openness
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2005 21:01:06 GMT
From: Dave Iverson <diverson@fs.fed.us>

Bruce,

The problem you point out is real and a big one. But it's not the biggest problem.

The biggest problem is that there is no support (has never been any support) from the WO. Hypernews as per the FS seems to work somewhat but whenever I have inquired with prolems or pleas for help, I have not been able to get any help with it or other (replacement) bulletin board software. I'm suprised that THEY haven't killed these forums outright. I suspect that they haven't done so only because of the lack of traffic in them.

So I too have given up on these forums. I look at them a couple of times a week to weed out pornography, etc. but don't do much else.

I hope that somehow, sometime soon, we create some blogs (whether or not supported by the powers-that-be) and take the discussions there.

dave.


None: Forum for discussion of EMS in the Forest Service

Re: : Public Lands Management in the 21st Century (Mark Garland)
Keywords: EMS
Date: Wed, 22 Dec 2004 18:30:10 GMT
From: <unknown>

Today, December 22, 2004, the newly issued planning regulations call for each unit of the national forest system to have an environmental management system. You can find out more about EMS on our webpage at http://fs.fed.us/emc/nepa/ems. Let us know what you think !!


Question: Trying to understand EMS

Re: : Forum for discussion of EMS in the Forest Service
Keywords: EMS, Environmental Management System, Forest Service, NFMA, proposed rule change
Date: Mon, 27 Dec 2004 18:56:22 GMT
From: chris crews <chris@buckeyeforestcouncil.org>

I have pasted below a copy of the letter I sent to the comment contact person for the new proposed rule regarding NFMA released this last week. I still have been unable to find out exactly what the envisioned EMS would be. If anyone knows the answers it would be most appreciated, as I feel this whole EMS proposal is very vague.


Dear Branch Chief Sutton,

        I was looking through the new planning rule (December, 2004 pre-publication version) document today and am a little unclear about the Environmental Management System (EMS) area. I cannot find any information in the rule or related documents about exactly how the EMS would be structured, who would be considered for third party verification, and several other areas. As your department is listed as coordinating this project, I hoped you could help clear up a few questions I have.
         For example, the document states:

"EMS gives us a structure for linking plans and plan implementation and doing adaptive management. It can be thought of as a way to check on the environmental effects predicted in NEPA documents, and to have that checking be visible and independently audited...Our accountability for that monitoring and improvement will be visible through the independent audit of the EMS. "

I am unable to find any information explaining the structure of this proposed EMS, how an independent audit might be conducted on the EMS, or who would conduct such an audit?

A related document, entitled Environmental Management Systems and NEPA: A Framework for Productive Harmony, defines EMS as a: "set of processes and practices that enable an organization to reduce its environmental impacts and increase its operating efficiency.”

Could you explain in detail the "processes and practices" of the proposed EMS that the Forest Service is planning to use once this rule comes into effect?

The document also states: "ISO 14001 does not itself define substantive performance measures and outcomes, or specific direction on how to best manage the agency programs."

How will those measures and outcomes be developed for this proposed EMS and will there be a statement of policy written to guide this development?

This same document also states: "ISO 14001 calls for identifying and determining the organization’s environmental aspects that are “significant”. The identification of environmental aspects is an ongoing process that determines the past, current and potential impact of an organization’s activities on the environment and determines which of them are significant enough to be managed by the system. The environmental aspects analysis contemplated by ISO 14001 can be viewed as analogous to the process of identifying environmental impacts in a NEPA EA or EIS."

What process will the Forest Service use to identify what should be listed as "significant" in an EMS and in what ways might it differ from the current NEPA guidelines?

Thanks for your help in answering these questions.

chris crews


None: Some answers to Chris's questions

Re: Question: Trying to understand EMS (chris crews)
Keywords: EMS, Environmental Management System, Forest Service, NFMA, proposed rule change
Date: Tue, 28 Dec 2004 15:04:43 GMT
From: Sharon Friedman <sfriedman@fs.fed.us>

Question 1:I am unable to find any information explaining the structure of this proposed EMS, how an independent audit might be conducted on the EMS, or who would conduct such an audit?
*********************************
The way I see it working is through public involvement and the comprehensive evaluation analysis as part of NFMA planning, the FS, the public and other agencies (including the regulatory agencies) would determine what are the most important “aspects” (EMS terminology) to work on. For example, for a given forest those “significant aspects” might include water quality or grizzly bear habitat or others.

The independent audit process is still being thought through. We want to design a process that is objective. Technically, to conform to the Executive Order (13148)standard we could use auditors from other units of the Forest Service, other federal agencies, or contractors. Ongoing discussions also include developing our own “third party” organization for ensuring objectivity of the audits- this could possibly involve an NGO with a board composed of people with different interests and with the involvement of people knowledgeable about ISO and the academic community.

Do you or others on the forum have any ideas and experience to share on this?
************************************************
Question 2: Could you explain in detail the "processes and practices" of the proposed EMS that the Forest Service is planning to use once this rule comes into effect?

*********************************************
Elements of an ISO 14000 EMS
1. ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY — Develop a statement of your organization’s commitment to the environment. Use this policy as a framework for planning and action.
2. ENVIRONMENTAL ASPECTS — Identify environmental attributes of your products, activities and services. Determine those that could have significant impacts on the environment.
3. LEGAL AND OTHER REQUIREMENTS — Identify and ensure access to relevant laws and regulations (and other requirements to which your organization adheres).
4. OBJECTIVES AND TARGETS — Establish environmental goals for your organization, in line with your policy, environmental impacts, views of interested parties and other factors.
5. ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAM — Plan actions to achieve objectives and targets.
6. STRUCTURE AND RESPONSIBILITY — Establish roles and responsibilities and provide resources.
7. TRAINING, AWARENESS AND COMPETENCE — Ensure that your employees are trained and capable of carrying out their environmental responsibilities.
8. COMMUNICATION — Establish processes for internal and external communications on environmental management issues.
9. EMS DOCUMENTATION — Maintain information on your EMS and related documents.
10. DOCUMENT CONTROL — Ensure effective management of procedures and other system documents.
11. OPERATIONAL CONTROL — Identify, plan and manage your operations and activities in line with your policy, objectives and targets.
12. EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE — Identify potential emergencies and develop procedures for preventing and responding to them.
13. MONITORING AND MEASUREMENT — Monitor key activities and track performance.
14. NONCONFORMANCE AND CORRECTIVE AND PREVENTIVE ACTION — Identify and correct problems and prevent recurrences.
15. RECORDS — Keep adequate records of EMS performance.
16. EMS AUDIT — Periodically verify that your EMS is operating as intended.
17. MANAGEMENT REVIEW — Periodically review your EMS with an eye to continual improvement.
*****************************************

Question 3: How will those measures and outcomes be developed for this proposed EMS and will there be a statement of policy written to guide this development?
*************************************************
They will be developed based on the input of the public of what’s important and the analysis done as part of the plan. It’s an international standard with these steps.. what part of the policy guidance would you be interested in?
******************************************************

Question 4: What process will the Forest Service use to identify what should be listed as "significant" in an EMS and in what ways might it differ from the current NEPA guidelines?
****************************************************
Significant is different in EMS and NEPA, and that’s confusing, but since ISO is an international standard, we can’t change the terminology without making it even more confusing. In the ISO standard, the definition of significant is that it has or can have a significant environmental impact. “ This is intentional and consistent with the ISO 14001 methodology. Organizations implementing the standard must themselves define the meaning of significant in the context of their products, services, location, views of interested parties, environmental regulations, and other such considerations. “ From the book “ISO requirements” by Jack Kanholm. From the FS standpoint we think of significant aspects as the ones we have chosen to highlight and work to improve based on statutes, regulations, public input and scientific information.

Significant in the NEPA sense includes the NEPA regulations and case law, and has specific meaning in terms of 40 CFR §1508.27 of the CEQ NEPA regulations (see http://ceq.eh.doe.gov/nepa/regs/ceq/1508.htm#1508.27).
So to summarize, both meanings of significant impacts generally mean “more important (either beneficial or detrimental) than other things.” For NEPA, that is clarified in the regs and in the case law. For EMS, figuring out what is significant is part of element #2 in the ISO elements above.

The way the Forest Service plans to select the significant aspects at this point is to work with the assessment that underpins the plan (the comprehensive evaluation report), public input, input from other agencies including regulatory agencies, and scientific information to select them. This would be done in the collaborative manner described in the new rule in section 219.9 and also involve the 90 day comment period described in 219.9(b).


Question: Bottom up or top down?

Re: : Forum for discussion of EMS in the Forest Service
Keywords: EMS
Date: Tue, 28 Dec 2004 16:20:24 GMT
From: Sharon Friedman <sfriedman@fs.fed.us>

Chris- one more question you had was whether the EMS would be "bottom up" or "top down." This is something we have had many internal discussions about.

My own feeling is that determining the most important environmental issues for a given forest to address should be determined locally. But complying with statutes and regulations is part of an EMS. So I could see that forests would want to address issues like the Endangered Species Act, Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act, if there were compliance issues, litigation or appeals on those.

In our discussions internally, I've had difficulty imagining an important environmental concern that would be the same for National Forests of Florida, the Custer and the Tongass. Other than something generic like improving conditions for wildife and clean air and water- but exactly what you need to do to improve the environment for those broad issues would be different on each forest. But that's where we are.. some think that national things to work on would be a good idea.. but which ones and how specific?

Sharon


Question: locally focused and some national priorities

Re: Question: Bottom up or top down? (Sharon Friedman)
Keywords: EMS
Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2005 18:05:00 GMT
From: chris crews <chris@buckeyeforestcouncil.org>

While I agree that local direction is important, an EMS has to work with the existing legal framework (ESA, APA, NEPA, etc), not create alternative ones. Maybe we are looking at this issue differently, but I can see a whole host of areas that are similar for all of the national forests. Here are a few examples that I think would apply across the board, regardless of the forest:

1. Restoring damaged watersheds from decades of destructive industrial logging and resource extraction like oil, gas and coal
2. Restoring native plant communities while simultaneously removing invasive plant communities, with priority to endangered, rare and threatened species
3. Development of a comprehensive plan for restoring damage caused by illegal ORV/OHV use, including closing illegal trails and actively enforcing closures

I believe the 2nd and 3rd were identified by the Chief as major priorities for the entire Service, so it seems odd that no one would see these as obvious areas to start? While the exact techniques would obviously differ from region to region, having an overarching national framework to begin the process would help facilitate that work better. None of them is a generic cleaner water goal, but rather specific actions (restoration or enforcement) that the Service already should know how to do, and is doing in some places.

That topic can then be subdivided into more detailed action items within that action, like identifying abandoned portals that are leeching acid mine water and closing them, or surveying current threatened plant communities and looking for viable areas to further restore them into.

Obviously there are regional and state specific projects that can best be addressed on a local level, but are not mutually exclusive from national planning. I personally think that local or bottom up planning is essential for ecosystem management and restoration, simply because that is the only way possible to seriously approach it.

Take ORV use. Here in Ohio on the Wayne ORV use is a major problem, with hundreds, if not thousands, of undocumented and illegal trails. The Service is aware of this problem, and has made some efforts to address it, but at the same time they are talking about expanding ORV access and considering OHV (4 wheel jeep style) access. With limited resources (staff and money) to patrol, very little enforcement actually happens. Even with that reality the forest is still unwilling to acknowledge the magnitude of the problem.
  If there were a national priority, let's say as part of this new EMS, that placed ORV damage, enforcement and land restoration as a major focus or "significant aspect" of the forest focus, and the FS funded it accordingly in the budget, then we might actually see some real solutions and work accomplished. Without a focus and willingness to address a problem head on, I'm not sure how an EMS will really make any difference, regardless of whether it is developed nationally or locally.
  I guess what I really can't get a grasp on is exactly why the Service thinks an EMS will make anything different. From all the analysis I have seen so far, and from my own research on EMS, it appears to me to be an easy way to make pretty words sound great on paper and give the illusion of great business management, but actually require little changes in the actual operations of a business. I worry that this same thing will happen with the FS. How is the FS addressing this type of concern, knowing that the EMS is still fairly new and there is no accepted scientific standard for forest management using an EMS? What is wrong with NFMA now that requires an EMS?

Thanks,

Chris


More: EMS offers real change on the ground

Re: Question: locally focused and some national priorities (chris crews)
Keywords: EMS
Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2005 21:59:53 GMT
From: Joe Carbone <jcarbone@fs.fed.us>

Good points on a worthwhile discussion. I think there is something to be said for looking at broad strategic goals when considering significant aspects for an EMS, but not to the extent of automatically requiring a unit to incorporate those into an EMS. That said, I do think that if the broad strategic goals are really in touch with what's happening on the ground and at least some of those were related to "impacts" from the agency's actions, then I would expect that a very high percentage of units would be identifying significant aspects related to the strategic goals.

As Chris points out: "If there were a national priority, let's say as part of this new EMS, that placed ORV damage, enforcement and land restoration as a major focus or "significant aspect" of the forest focus, and the FS funded it accordingly in the budget, then we might actually see some real solutions and work accomplished." This would be where an EMS could be very powerful. However, from the EMS perspective the connection between ORV and particular interactions with the environment need to be identified and articulated locally where folks really understand the connection and the importance. Let's say for instance the unit identified a significant aspect as water quality as it relates to sediment delivery to a particular creek or list of creeks and rivers due to OHVs, road maintenance and construction, and trailhead use on a National Forest. The emphasis of day-to-day work for everyone involved with those activities will be to improve that environmental situation. This would include FS personnel, OHV users, road and trail contractors, contract personnel, law enforcement,... everyone who can make a difference on the ground. Actions beyond changes in mitigation and closures may include training, new contract specs, law enforcement changes, signing, ....- anything to really reduce the impacts and improve the environmental situation.

My understanding from at least one EMS auditor has been that the audit is more focused on what people are doing to improve the situation than what's on paper. Today we have lots of standards written in Land and Resource Management Plans, mitigation measures written in our NEPA documents, monitoring plans, and procedures for amending and revising plans. Our efforts in the past 30 or more years have really focused a lot on documents – NEPA documents and Forest Plans (to meet our regulations and our procedures and to be prepared for court). Because the focus on EMS is environmental improvement vs. compliance with documentation and procedure requirements, EMS does offer something new. In my view, while we can always do better at planning and at NEPA process and documentation, this is mostly front-end decisionmaking influence and we’ve pretty much reached a point of getting the most we can out of this for actual “environmental improvement”. I have been very excited about the FS getting involved with EMS, especially because the policy is to use the ISO standard rather than a process developed within the FS that can overpromise results to everyone without a real process for holding the agency accountable for doing what it says it will do. I don’t think following the ISO standard for an EMS will allow overpromising with no delivery. THAT has a lot of potential for real on-the-ground change vs. pretty words on paper that make people feel like they’ve been heard.


Feedback: A response to Chris Crews

Re: : Forum for discussion of EMS in the Forest Service
Keywords: EMS
Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2005 15:51:27 GMT
From: <dougpowell@fs.fed.us>

I think there are 3 aspects of EMS that will make it work for the FS and for forest planning:
1) Top management/Responsible Official involvement (as stressed by Susan yesterday)
2) Required commitment to continual improvement; status quo is no longer an option
3) Transparent independent audits to hold us accountable


More: Looking closer at an EMS

Re: : Forum for discussion of EMS in the Forest Service
Keywords: EMS
Date: Mon, 14 Feb 2005 20:31:34 GMT
From: chris crews <chris@buckeyeforestcouncil.org>

Joe wrote in an earlier message that:

"we can always do better at planning and at NEPA process and documentation, this is mostly front-end decisionmaking influence and we’ve pretty much reached a point of getting the most we can out of this for actual “environmental improvement”. I have been very excited about the FS getting involved with EMS, especially because the policy is to use the ISO standard rather than a process developed within the FS that can overpromise results to everyone without a real process for holding the agency accountable for doing what it says it will do. I don’t think following the ISO standard for an EMS will allow overpromising with no delivery."

I've been trying to get a better grip on exactly what an EMS is or does, but there seems to be very little hard evidence of using an EMS when dealing with dynamic systems that are alive, such as a forest.

So my first question for all you FS folks is can anyone provide me with concrete examples of an EMS being used for forest or land management by a public agency in the US?

Second, from discussion with colleagues on the ISO 14001 standards I have some added concerns that I hope someone can address. Here it goes...

1. What new tools will an EMS provide to Supervisors and Forest Planners that do not exist currently?

2. What current tools will an EMS remove from Supervisors and Forest Planners that they would have had previously?

I ask this because I don't see the new changes from an EMS being new at all, and some of them appear to be moving backwards in their goals. The ISO 14001 EMS standard has no substantive standards or requirements - it only requires certain processes be followed - which is part of the concern many people have with such a shift.

According to the current ISO standards:

-14001 requires identification of "environmental aspects" and "significant impacts" of activities. This is a requirement dwarfed by agency duties under NEPA currently, so in this case it appears EMS may be weakening requirements to identify impacts.

-14001 requires identification of legal requirements. This is already well-established for the agency and is not new.

-14001 requires identification of "objectives and targets". Forest Service objectives are set in law, and national forest targets are already identified in forest planning, so again this seems like nothing new.

-Other 14001 requirements - to create and maintain operational controls, define responsibilities, train, institute communication procedures, prepare for emergencies - are already met and exceeded in law, regulation, or policy. Some forest plan requirements, such as public participation, are not required at all under 14001, which again seems to be a step backwards not forwards.

I have heard officials praising an EMS' ability to foster adaptive management, but it appears to really be replacing existing regulations which require standardized, mandatory monitoring and adaptive management with vague instructions to monitor, in any fashion, progress toward self-established goals only.

Can an EMS ensure for those protections when mandatory monitoring is not required by 14001, and monitoring and managing for native wildlife population viability, as one example, has also been removed from the NFMA reg?

Where is the balance of resource protection in EMS that NFMA used to have through the forest planning process?

Also, outside reviews of an EMS would only assess whether self-identified plan objectives are being met. Do we really want a Wall Street Consulting Firm, for example, to be deciding and reviewing how effective a particular national forest has been at reaching its goals?

It seems very dangerous to have people with absolutely no forest knowledge putting a stamp of approval on forest management, which is precisely what an EMS would do.

So that raises the following question.

How does the FS plan to handle 50 EMS monitoring projects nationwide and is there anyone/group certified to ISO 14001 standards and that has experience in public policy and land/resource conservation that could handle such a task?

Finally a larger picture question, and this goes to the heart of the discussion, what was wrong with the current process? I have read the arguments made by Rey and others, as well as what was in the FR along with the published changes, but it still doesn't present a coherent case for the drastic changes made to NFMA.

I have heard lots of round about excuses for why NFMA and NEPA don't work, but they all go back to the same fundamental 2 assumptions that seem, at least to me, to be at odds with forest planning and resource conservation:

1. NEPA and EIS requirements take too much time 2. Forest Plans don't approve any major decisions/actions

Any more insight and answers would be most appreciated.

cheers

chris crews


None: Reply to Chris's message

Re: More: Looking closer at an EMS (chris crews)
Keywords: EMS
Date: Fri, 18 Feb 2005 22:09:44 GMT
From: <SharonFriedman>

Chris- those are great questions. I am checking on some facts and will get back to you on your other questions. But here is one thing you might be interested in looking at.

There's been a lot of discussion about how planning and EMS are best integrated.. I thought that the Canadian standard for sustainable forest management is a good illustration of one way to link them - very clear and straightforward. Not to say that we should do it in a similar way- it just shows the linkage between the standard (like our planning a bit) and the management system. As it turns out, Canadians have always been at the forefront of linking ISO and forest management. Here's the link at CSA- it's free: http://www.csa.ca/%5Crepository%5Cgroup%5CZ809-02july.pdf

Actually they link C&I also and one can easily imagine linking to GPRA. Note that as of Dec 2004, 47.4 million hectares have been certified to this system (http://www.sfms.com/status.htm). I don't know how much was government land and I know that their public land management policies are different from ours. Neverthless..


Warning: New EMS Forum

Re: : Reply to Chris's message
Keywords: EMS
Date: Sat, 05 Mar 2005 08:41:16 GMT
From: <admin@ecosystem-management.org>

A new Public EMS Forum has been created on the Forest Service Ecosystem Management Coordination forum site. This discussion thread has been moved to the new forum.

Please continue this discussion in the new Public EMS Forum

http://www.ecosystem-management.org/forum/index.php?showforum=1

Thank you,

admin@ecosystem-management.org


None: More indepth reply to Chris in easier to read format

Re: : Public Lands Management in the 21st Century (Mark Garland)
Date: Sun, 27 Feb 2005 01:16:29 GMT
From: Sharon Friedman <sfriedman@fs.fed.us>

this message is the same as previous except there was some problem with wrapping. We are hoping to get a less kludgy technology for this forum by the end of next week.

Chris- In your response you stated.. “there seems to be very little hard evidence of using an EMS when dealing with dynamic systems that are alive, such as a forest.” The Canadian experience in the previous message tries to address by noting that 134.8 million hectares of ISO certified forest land in Canada (http://www.sfms.com/status.htm).

But if you’re looking for concrete examples of EMS being used for land management in the US by a public agency- here’s two:

Department of Defense (all federal agencies are required to implement EMS). Check out this spreadsheet http://www.hqda.army.mil/acsimweb/env/docs/activitiesaspectsmatrixv4.xls It shows you the kinds of land management activities that DOD does that they will be addressing in their EMSs. Note the activities of grazing burning, logging, reforestation as examples.

On a much smaller scale than DOD is the St. Louis County, Minnesota. According to the press release they have 900,000 acres. This is equivalent to some national forests: http://www.co.st-louis.mn.us/WhatsNew11022004.htm.

Here is their environmental policy (part of the EMS): http://www.co.st-louis.mn.us/Environmental%20PolicySt6.pdf.

*What new tools does EMS provide to forests?*

It provides a system and structure to link planning, implementation, monitoring and adaptive management (the plan-do-check-act) cycle. Heretofore, we’ve wanted to do adaptive management. EMS provides a structure to do that. Also, independent audits of the EMS provides the public with an accountability mechanism so that the public can see how the unit is performing and improving. We traditionally use independent audits of financial information. It’s just good business because the use of public funds is important and needs to be managed.

If you believe that the environment is important, then independent audits of environmental performance is also just good business. The same arguments hold, the environment is important and needs to be managed, thus independent audits are simply good business practice.

*What tools does EMS remove?*

It’s not clear that EMS would remove any tools that units already have. What it does is make linkages between planning and implementation.

Once a forest works with stakeholders to develop desired conditions, objectives and guidelines through collaboration as part of the plan- all the EMS does is provide assurance to the public that the environmental commitments outlined will be followed through on- by using independent audits that are accessible to the public.

The ISO requires compliance with environmental statutes and regulations including NEPA. Part of the EMS is to show that we are complying with NEPA. The EMS does not substitute for or get rid of NEPA. In fact, information developed using the EMS will provide more information to use in NEPA documents. The integration of EMS and NEPA is found in two documents on our website: http://www.fs.fed.us/emc/nepa/ems/nepa_ems.htm. One is by Ted Boling of CEQ and one is by an interagency group. So integrating EMS and NEPA is not just a Forest Service issue, nor just an NFMA issue.

Plus you might want to also look at the CEQ Taskforce report on NEPA and the section on adaptive management and monitoring where they talk about the integration of EMS and NEPA for adaptive management: http://ceq.eh.doe.gov/ntf/report/chapter4.pdf.

*Some forest plan requirements, such as public participation, are not required at all under 14001, which again seems to be a step backwards not forwards.*

Public participation is not required under the ISO. However, deciding on significant aspects will be done as part of the planning process UNDER THE SAME REQUIREMENT FOR COLLABORATION AS THER REST OF THE PLANNING PROCESS. That seems to us one of the good things about integrating EMS and the planning process- we don’t need to develop a separate public involvement process for the EMS development and implementation.

*I have heard officials praising an EMS' ability to foster adaptive management, but it appears to really be replacing existing regulations which require standardized, mandatory monitoring and adaptive management with vague instructions to monitor, in any fashion, progress toward self-established goals only. *

Do existing regulations require standardized, mandatory monitoring and adaptive management? Toward goals that are not established by the FS? It sounds to me as if those might be regulatory goals. But the regulations and statutes have not changed. Please help me understand this question better.

Again, the FS has to follow existing environmental regulations and statutes. That has not changed. Forests and the public will work out desired conditions, objectives and guidelines. The EMS will provide a structure for the public to see that the FS is following the guidelines and implementing the objectives, and whether those in fact lead toward the desired conditions. If not the FS will be checked on changing its practices to meet the desired conditions. People can and do legitimately disagree on priorities and what the desired conditions should be. The plan is a social contract with the public on one set of desired conditions, objectives, guidelines, etc. The EMS is only an accountability mechanism for that social contract.

*Audits and who will do the auditing.*

There are plenty of consulting firms familiar with auditing forest organizations, including many public (state) forests, which have been audited for sustainable forest certification systems such as SFI and FSC. We plan to develop an independent third party, known as a certification body for ensuring that the audits are truly independent and credible. ISO has a standard for certifying bodies which we plan to use. What the certifying body will do is develop qualifications for auditors such as ISO certified and with specific experience in forest or range land management. They will also periodically audit the auditors to make sure there work is of high quality. The board of this organization would likely be composed of environmental groups, scientific organizations, and user groups. We are planning to work with those kinds of organizations in developing the certification body.

We could have used the ISO organization itself as a third party, but we agree with you that forests require their own approach, using the communities and knowledge existing in our public land management world. That is why we are planning to develop a certification body specifically for federal forest and rangeland management. We are open to ideas on the governance of such a board to ensure its transparency and credibility.


Warning: New EMS Forum

Re: : More indepth reply to Chris in easier to read format (Sharon Friedman)
Keywords: EMS
Date: Sat, 05 Mar 2005 08:42:30 GMT
From: <admin@ecosystem-management.org>

A new Public EMS Forum has been created on the Forest Service Ecosystem Management Coordination forum site. This discussion thread has been moved to the new forum.

Please continue this discussion in the new Public EMS Forum

http://www.ecosystem-management.org/forum/index.php?showforum=1

Thank you,

admin@ecosystem-management.org


Idea: Forest Policy - Forest Practice Web-log

Re: : Public Lands Management in the 21st Century (Mark Garland)
Date: Mon, 25 Apr 2005 20:34:27 GMT
From: Dave Iverson <diverson@fs.fed.us>

Forest Policy - Forest Practice, at http://forestpolicy.typepad.com/


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