|Welcome to the dialogue page for the |
US Forest Service Natural Resource Agenda in the 21st Century
Before posting to the Eco-Watch Policy Dialogue forums,
|full implementation of the chief's natural resource agenda will do many positive land healing practices. watershed restoration and better road management will promote grizzly bear conservation on those 18 national forests with grizz habitat. i would like dialogue disclosure on the many benefits of the natural resouce agenda implementation. the agenda is much more than just roads, wathersheds, recreation,etc. we need to market the many benefits implementatin will achieve. jay gore|
|Can we as a community of natural resource managers truly have a "dialogue?" Are we mature enough to use the skills of skillful dialogue: listening; suspending judgement; trying to understand each other's mental models (how we individually see the world); to get out of the culture of being a "victim" within the organization (we see this all the time when we universally "blame" the Chief for all our problems, or the Administration...|
March 4, 1999
USFS Controversial Roads Moratorium Criticized by Sportsmen and Congressmen -- Press Release by Subcommittee on Forests and Forest Health, Committee on Resources, US House of Representatives, Don Young, AK, Chairman, March 4, 1999
|Concerning the Forest Service Revised Road Policy -- Statement Of Ron Stewart, Deputy Chief, Forest Service, USDA, Before the Subcommittee on Forests and Forest Health, Committee on Resources, US House of Representatives, March 4, 1999|
|I just read the article and I have to disagree with Ron Marlanee(sp?). I think closing roads and preserving roadless areas is good for sportsmen. I always prefer to walk down a gated, closed or obliterated road when hunting and avoid roaded areas crowded by cruising road hunters. I don't have to worry about getting drilled by a target shooter in a roadless area. I don't see filthy, trashed campsites, litter and dumps in roadless areas. Most of the game hightails it out of roaded areas during hunting season. Hunting roadless areas is better even though it is more difficult to pack out a carcass without a horse or llama. As for the big, stand-replacing fires so many people are worried about in the West - big, fires are good for many game species, especially if the fire is in a roadless area. Wildfires create good browse and forage for game species without the problems of commercial logging and roadbuilding. A remote burned-over area with no road access is perfect for hunting. It will have lots of game food, cover from snags and standing forest, with relatively few hunters. But, fires can be a problem for species that need or prefer late-successional habitat, which is a problem. I don't like it when a really hot fire removes riparian cover from a trout stream. But, this is usually not a problem since riparian areas often have wet, cool microclimates that discourage intense burning. Overall, I think Clinton's roadless building moratorium is good for hunters and especially fishers. The ORVers and timber industry shouldn't worry. George W. is going to repeal it in 2001 anyway.|
|I have to modify what I wrote long ago. Fires have mixed effects of game animals. Recently, I've read that elk populations in the Lochsha River area of north Idaho are decreasing probably due to the unintended effects of fire suppression. In this case, a fire may assist elk populations in the long run, especially if it is in high country summer range. However, I have also read that last summer a big fire in eastern Oregon ruined prime sagebrush winter range for mule deer and sage grouse. In this case, the fire was bad. So, I guess it's not accurate to simplify/generalize on a fire's effect. As to how this relates to the road building moratorium; I now think that we should still refrain from building roads in roadless areas 10 K acres and greater. But, helicopter and/or logging on the fringes should be allowed for "forest health" or fuels reduction purposes. It's 02/28/01 and it looks like W. Bush has postponed the roadbuilding moratorium. He'll probably order the USFS not to implement it anytime now.|
|Washington Post Editorial--Good Move in the Forests -- February 15, 1999|
It's interesting and encouraging to see Chief Dombeck articulate a vision for the Forest Service which moves the agency away from the management of commodities and towards the restoration of ecological systems. When are we going to see Dombeck's message trickle down to the field and actually be implemented on the landscape?
If folks in the Forest Service want to understand why conservation interests continue to be so critical, perhaps they should look to the disparity between Dombeck's vision and the decisions managers make on the ground. Can the agency actually adapt to implementing Dombeck's vision or will they kill it through their local decisions?
|To answer your question regarding when will the change from
commodity production to ecosystem restoration hit the ground, it started
hitting the ground about eight or ten years ago in many areas.|
For example: There has been a burst of interest and activity in returning fire to fire-dependent ecosystems. Often these ecosystems need pre-treatment before burning to get desired results at an acceptable risk. Sometimes that pre-treatment requires investing in slashing to manage fuel loads, and sometimes that pre-treatment investment can be offset by revenue generated by recovering value from that surplus fuel. To the casual observer, it looks like a typical commodity extraction timber sale -- saws, skidders, loaders, and trucks. However, the identification of the site, the diagnosis of treatment needs, the selection of tools to meet those needs, and the objectives of treatment are all firmly rooted in ecological restoration philosophy and science.
Here's another question: are commodity production and ecological restoration two ends of a linear continuum, or is the relationship more three (or more) dimensional?
Commodity production as a main objective -- for example a corn field -- darn near eliminates any ecological restoration on that site, but the concentration of intensive food production on that site allows other sites to fullfill their more natural ecological role. Without allocating a portion of the land base to commodity production, demand for goods would overwhelm the ecological integrity of the whole land base.
Ecological restoration as a main objective demands investment of time and money. Even "preservation" as in wilderness areas is not possible without substantial management. Restoration -- arguably a much more difficult objective -- demands even more investment. It seems reasonable to invest limited public funds into ecological restoration of public lands in a cost-efficient manner which may include generating some revenue from commodities produced as a by-product of restoration. Why invest $1000 to restore 1 acre of land and 100 feet of stream when you could stretch it to restore 5 acres and 500 feet by selling commercial products surplus to restoration needs?
|Yes, I hear you and am sympathetic to these arguments. But "what the
FS does speaks so much more loudly than what it says". And it is on the
ground where many cynics and die-hard anti-FS environmentalists are
If the FS is so serious about ecosystem goals and in implementing Dombeck's vision, then why is old growth still being cut in the west? These old-growth ecosystems survice for many hundreds if not thousands of years. There is absolutely no ecological reason to cut them, and many ecological reasons to save them. Over 50% of the FS timber volume harvested in the PNW still comes from stands older than 200 years! And you wonder why there are cynics and folks out there who distrust the FS?! This is a terrible legacy to leave, and the FS should be ashamed of this.
Similarly with fire-prone stands in the inter-mountain west, where fire was a historic forest maintenance event. There is no question about the role that fire played in these forests, and there is no question that the FS has substantially modified them by excluding fire and high-grading away the very trees that fire would have protected. Many of the sales that are configured for treating these areas still involve high-grading as a mechanism to create economically attractive sales. Economic justification cannot be used to justify the destruction of the larger (and more fire resistant) trees and the very forest the FS is trying to "save". Yet the FS does it.
Finally, roads. I did several FS sponsored monitoring trips this year to sites involving roads. Yes, many roads are being decommissioned and obliterated, and the Siuslaw in particular is doing a good job on this. But the new roads keep going in. On one "sale", over a mile of abandoned and un-used road was brought up to "standard". This road hadn't been used in about 50 years, but was re-graded, re-surfaced, and widened to the "new" standards so that one small stand could be reached for a single thinning activity, after which the road will be de-commissioned. Even many of the FS folks couldn't beieve it. To keep this note short, I'll skip the other examples, but you get the idea.
Old-growth sales? High-grading in the inter-mountain west? Baloney. Get your on-the-ground "walk" (and priorities) to match your talk. There are folks who want to belive in the "new" FS, but many anti-FS environmentalists are created every day because of the sorts of hypocrisy noted above.
Tom Haswell 541-757-7608
|Like I tried to say before, Tom, there are alot of things that
don't look like they fit the Natural Resource Agenda/Ecosystem Management
until you dig into them alittle. Looking at the tool does not neccessarily
equate to looking at the result. Without knowing the specifics of the
examples you brought up, I can think of many reasons why those things may
have occurred and be completely within the scope of NRA/EM. Unfortunately,
opinions -- positive and negative -- are created and solidified by what we
see on the ground, and some times our most strongly held beliefs are based
on poor information. Other times they are absolutely right. |
That is not to say there aren't mistakes going on out there, and some outright bad management. There is diversity between individuals, districts, forests, and regions just as there is diversity in the people they serve and the ecosystems they manage.
Most of the Forest Service people I've worked with or talked to over the years firmly believe in and try to practice the principles of EM. The NRA is a bit fuzzier, but most are working to implement the subtleties of that, too. The devil is in the details. Is it alright to create a short-term increase in sediment yield to a stream in order to get a long-term decrease? Is it alright to cut a few old growth trees in order to perpetuate an old growth stand? Some folks believe EM/NRA should be a labor of love and selling by-products (wood) is an abomination. Others believe that EM/NRA can and should be financed through product removal.
It isn't an easy debate, and using exceptions to describe the whole isn't fair. The heck of it is, it is entirely possible that what I've experienced as the whole is, in fact, the exception!
Yours in caring for the land and serving people,
|I'd be more sanguine about local forest managers practicing their
art of silviculture in the public's forests if the managers didn't
themselves profit. By profit I mean the diversion of timber sale receipts
to K-V and SSF so-called trust funds.|
To use one of Bruce's examples . . . logging some old-growth trees to preserve the integrity of an old-growth forest. I've never seen a west-side old-growth forest, e.g., stand replacing frequency of about 500 years, that needed old trees removed to ensure its integrity. But, I've seen over the past 20 years too many forest managers who used that justification to sell old trees and, perhaps not so incidentally, fatten the K-V and SSF pots of their budgets.
In sum, one-third of NFS's total non-fire suppression budget is funded by timber sales, i.e., appropriated funds plus trust funds. With sale levels sharply down from the 1980s, the agency's response has been to keep for itself an ever increasing proportion of total sale revenues. See, for example:
Salvage sales, which now account for 50% of total harvest, are even more blatant. The FS keeps almost 100% of salvage sale revenue for itself.
These funds finance every layer of the organization, not just on-the-ground work. About one-third of these funds is spent on agency overhead.
Clean up the funding/incentives for managers and I'll have more confidence in the decisions managers make!
|You speak with the creativity I have come to know well in some FS
folks. A little bit of double-speak and patronization, and we're off to
the races (one more time). Thanks, but no thanks.
Andy has it right.
Tom Haswell 541-757-7608
|Perhaps you would like for there to be a big fence around everything with only a couple of gates to let only the select few who meet your requirements thru!? Those people "on the ground" who you seem so ready to villify are NOT the ones who make the policy, they are only the ones who are trying to do a job the best they can within the framework dictated to them by the Washington office and Congress!! As for what funds they use or don't use, would you rather that all the employees of the Forest Service worked for free?!? Come on get a grip!, these people deserve to be paid with more than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick. If it takes using some of the money from a KV plan to accomplish the work for a KV project AND pay the employees involved in the project (including the typist or office slug)where is the evil, moneygrabbing, wrongdoing in that?|
In June, the US General Accounting Office (GAO)released a new Report titled FOREST SERVICE PRIORITIES: Evolving Mission Favors Resource Over Production (GAO/RCED-99-166). Among other things the report says:
"The past 2 decades have seen significant changes in how the Forest Service does business. Perhaps the most marked is the change in the agency's own description of its mission. In the mid-1970s, the Forest Service believed its role was primarily to produce timber and, more generally, to serve as a steward of the land. Today, the agency states that maintaining and restoring the health of the land is its overriding priority and that outputs of goods and services will be accomplished within the 'ecological sideboards imposed by land health.' (p. 7)...
"Over the years, the Forest Service has also learned more about the importance of maintaining and restoring natural systems--such as watersheds, airsheds, soils, and vegetative and natural communities--to ensure the long-term sustainability of other forests uses, including timber production. In addition, the agency has increasingly recognized that its past management decisions have led to degraded aquatic habitats, declining populations of some wildlife species, and increased forest health problems." (pp. 9-10)
The report specifically identifies declining timber harvest volumes--70 percent reductions between 1976 and 1999--and harvest revenues, along with increasing unit costs associated with offering timber sales seen during this period of USFS mission transformation, contrasting these to rapidly increasing trends in recreation use.
The report reiterates a longer standing GAO opinion that the agency's governing statutes do not provide direction to the Forest Service for making choices among competing uses on its lands. Despite this lack of specific direction, the GAO says
"Forest Service's activities are subject not only to the laws governing multiple uses but also to the requirements of numerous environmental statutes, such as the National Envionmental Policy Act and the Endangered Species Act." (p. 3)Finally, the report shows where:
"Federal courts have agreed with the Forest Service's ecological approach to land management." (p. 10)
|The 1998 Report of the Forest Service, is a good place to start to better understand how the US Forest Service is working to better align planning, management, and accountability in the context of the Natural Resource Agenda and the Government Performance and Results Act.|
On Oct 13th President Clinton unveiled a strategy to preserve "more than 40 million acres" of national forest roadless areas. President Clinton's remarks said, in part:
Within our national forests there are large parcels of land that don't contain roads of any kind and, in most cases, never have. From the beautiful stretch of the Alleghenys that we see here to the old-growth canyonlands of Tahoe National Forest, these areas represent some of the last, best, unprotected wildland anywhere in our nation. They offer unparalleled opportunities for hikers, hunters and anglers. They're absolutely critical to the survival of many endangered species, as you have just heard.
A Chronology of Events leading up to Clinton's Presidential Involvement, including "Acts and Policies" is found on the Wilderness Society's website.
|Not that it seems like a diversion from the defeat of the nuclear
test ban treaty or anything like that, but...|
It seems as though it would be more appropriate to deal with the roadless issue through the Forest Plan revision effort currently or soon to be underway across the country. We are talking about a bunch of acres with only one thing in common -- no system roads. Doesn't seem likely that a national programatic EIS will recognize the ecological diversity and unique management needs based on community-developed desired future conditions. Is it an end-run around the legislative process traditionally used to create more congressionally-designated wilderness? I guess we'll have to see as details emerge.
I applaud the focus of the strategy which to my way of thinking resurrects the old "primative area" concept -- that recreation experience between developed and wilderness where hiking, biking, trailbiking, camping, horseback riding, OHV use of old non-system roads, etc can take place in a relatively undisturbed setting (notice I did not say "natural" or "pristine").
|Daniel Kemmis, director of the O'Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain
West and former mayor of Missoula, MT weighs in on President Clinton's
Roadless Initiative: An Idea Whose Time
Has Gone (posted on the Headwaters News website)
10/26/99. Kemmis' article said in part:
It didn't take long for folks to suggest that Daniel Kemmis' claim of "bad politics, bad ecology" might be a minority one. George Ochenski, John Adams, and Bob Clark were quick to submit letters to Headwaters News in defense of the President Clinton's "Roadless Pronouncement." Ochenski's remarks ring true with me when he says:
"If we took Dan's advice and waited for a western solution to roadless area preservation, the sad truth is that there would be very little left to save by the time the West's ... politicians decided to act."
While "cooperation" is an admirable goal, it certainly hasn't been among the most cherished traditions here in the West. And the disposition of "roadless areas" hasn't been a hotbed of collaboration up until now. Where it all goes from here is anyone's guess.
|I had to shovel this stuff as a kid back on the
First, Forest Plans developed with public involvement allocated roadless areas to a variety of management types: propose for wilderness, manage for roadless character, and develop for multiple use and a spectrum in between. Collaboration can work in the west, even if it isn't called that. That doesn't mean that everyone is happy with the result.
Generally only the roadless areas slated for development have been roaded, and only a relatively small amount has been affected. Since harvest is responsible for most new roading, in the overall scheme of things only about 35% of the forested FS lands are available for harvest. In the Northern Region (Montana, Idaho) that is about 38%. Hardly cause for Ochenski's concerns over loss of significant wildlife habitat. Those Forest Plans are due for revision in the near future -- a logical time for site-specific management planning for roadless areas.
Adams forgets that some conservation initiatives have been passed by the people of Montana. Dismissing the unsuccessful efforts has happened because they were ill-conceived, not because they were proposed by "environmental outsiders."
Ochenski has a real warped view of motorized recreation. The same enviromental degradation from motor vehicles he cites happened a couple decades ago from hikers and horse riders. It took a multimillion dollar campaign plus industry and organization cooperation to change that, and it is still easy to find high-trace hikers and riders. That all happened while the supply of trails exceeded the demand of hikers. There is a similar trend today, although the supply of motor trails is much less than the demand. If he would actually read the magazines he disparages, he would find out that most of them support TREAD LIGHTLY in spirit, editorial policy, and financially. Those photos are taken on private land or on motorized recreation areas provided by county, state, or federal government. TREAD LIGHTLY is also supported by the manufacturers of the equipment. Are there rogue "motorheads?" Sure, just like there are rogue hikers and environmental terrorists. Most have just as strong a connection to the environment and as much of a preservation ethic as Ochenski, but their recreation is different. Not evil, just different. And they want to have a place to play, too.
|bastard dan, how much longer do you think, that you will be able to commit intellecual fraud. youre so superfical and phony that one can hardly believe it. come clean dan|
|Representive Don Young, R-AK, Chairman of the House Resources
Committee lead the charge against the President's Roadless "directive" at
3rd hearing. Young said, in part:
"If the President wishes to impose wilderness restrictions on our National Forests, he must, under the law, come to Congress. Only Congress can designate wilderness or impose wilderness restrictions upon National Forests or other federal lands. This is a flagrant violation of law and an abuse of the power given to the President and the Forest Service to regulate the uses of our forest system.USFS Chief Mike Dombeck delivered testimony supporting the Presidential directive. Dombeck said, in part:
"At the direction of the President of the United States, the Forest Service has begun a public dialogue. We have no proposal yet. There is no preferred alternative. We have begun a very open and public dialogue with the American people about how they want their remaining, unfragmented, public lands to be managed.The dialogue will prove intersting and ought to give us food for thought and conversation here on Eco-Watch.
In a recent High Country News article, "The Forest Service sets off into uncharted territory," Todd Wilkinson provide perspective on the controversies surrounding the recent Presidential Directive on roadless areas and the events that led up to it.
Wilkinson's insight helps us to better understand the forces lining up on various sides. Wilkinson focuses keenly on "motorized recreationists," "the timber industry" and "preservationists." The story centers on the Targhee National Forest in Eastern Idaho, bordering on Yellowstone National Park.
Here's a snippit:
"If they were only up against the timber industry, Dombeck and Clinton would have it all their own way. The cut on public land has dropped by two-thirds in the last decade, and the industry is in decline and out of favor with the public.
|Glad to hear there is strong support for maintaining and expanding
the OHV trail system on FS lands! Many of the site-specific problems
referred to are due to the shortage of trails designed for OHVs. And no, a
gravel road does not provide a recreational experience like a OHV trail
anymore than a mall provides the communing-with-nature feel of a
backcountry hiking trail. There needs to be a spectrum of opportunities
for everyone. |
So with two-thirds of the national forest system in wilderness or roadless areas, hikers have to worry about being displaced by hordes of families on hondas? I really don't think so. Even in the worst case scenario it won't be anything like the personnal impacts associated with timber harvest that has plumeted in the past decade. Any associated unmitigated environmental damage won't even come close the the damage caused by shifting timber harvest to other countries (think locally, ignore globally).
In many ways, it comes down to a choice or balance between making National Forests the pet projects of the Rich and Famous who provide the bulk of funding for the professional environmental industry or making them a low-cost spirit-renewing outdoor resource for the middle class.
That said, despite the screwed-up ecosystems we have to deal with but recognize we have to ignore (the Great Experiment), there should be roadless areas with protection similar to wilderness, roadless areas with limited OHV access, and roadless areas that are developed in the most eco-friendly responsible manner possible. Whether this mix is best determined by national interest through the legislative arena, by local interest through the Forest Plan Revision public collaboration process, or by political interest through single-issue presidential decree remains to be seen.
|Bruce: For your consideration: here's another way to look at the
current social/political continuum associated with public access to public
lands. But first I'll say this, the folks who love motorized recreation
are as good a group of humans as any. They love their sports and feel
their tradition of use establishes some degree of right to continue (with
a little legal justification). But these public lands (the commons) are to
be shared in ways which are broadly viewed as the fairest and most
sustainable. I don't know about your part of this living land that is
North America but out here in California we humans are breeding like
bunnies (and a whole lot of other bunnies are flocking here for the
climate and opportunities real or perceived). The acres which make up the
commons are finite, the population keeps climbing. When the number of
humans (or any species) reaches and begins to exceed the capacity of the
land to either sustain them minimally or (and preferably) sustain them
with a high quality of existance, then if they are smart they choose to
change the manner in which they share the space or limit their numbers (or
some combination). If they are unable to exercise self-restraint then a
combination of factors begin to limit their numbers for them...a much less
We are at a waterloo though many would prefere to cling tenaciously to traditon and the status quo. The issue goes far beyond primitive motorized recreation but it's a good microcosm for the larger scale confrontation of growing human population and consumption or standard of living competing for limited resources and space. The Forest Service is in a position where we can answer a call to lead each other to confront the difficult issues or we can cower in the background clinging to our trickle of special interest funding sources such as state motorized recreation payola.
So how do we deal with visitation to the public domain when it begins to exceed the capacity? We pride ourselves in the FS with providing the full range of the Recreation Opportunity Spectrum. Primitive motorized recreation is what the Forest Service arguably does better than any (along with the BLM) and when it's properly managed in areas of low visitation, hey, I love driving out to some isolated place and setting up a camp to contemplate, meditate and commune with the living land. But in many parts of the west the number who come in their (allbeit comparatively fuel sipping) Sport Stupidity Vehicles, dirt bikes, atv's, snowmobiles, jet skis et Al. occupy more space with greater impact than an increasing number of citizens feel is appropriate when we all gotta share in ways that feel most fair.
I propose a basic principle of public land access allocation: "Your share of the space is inversely proportional to the invasiveness of your activity". A thousand acre valley can accomodate 10 kids on dirt bikes racing around and having a great time, or a 1,000 walkers sharing the space and realizing high quality benefits. I hope we can continue to accomodate those who want to do the motor thing (though we must set the bar much higher for the technologies of cleanliness and noise pollution abatement!) with appropriate areas of low conflict. But we're fooling ourselves and all the stakeholders if we imply that the share of limited space allocated to invasive/motorized activities will not of necessity continue to shrink as long as human numbers continue to grow.
thanks for this forum for respectful and objective communication. These are emotional issues and messy with no clear answeres. Our best chance at finding a higher truth is to continually challenge each other to define our personal definitions of ethical behavior and assert that what we suggest in terms of our personal profit, convenience or recreation does not come inappropriately at the expense of others, the living land or the future. b.wetzel
|Bob Wenzel says: "I propose a basic principle of public land access
allocation: "Your share of the space is inversely proportional to the
invasiveness of your activity". A thousand acre valley can accomodate 10
kids on dirt bikes racing around and having a great time, or a 1,000
walkers sharing the space and realizing high quality benefits. I hope we
can continue to accomodate those who want to do the motor thing (though we
must set the bar much higher for the technologies of cleanliness and noise
pollution abatement!) with appropriate areas of low conflict. But we're
fooling ourselves and all the stakeholders if we imply that the share of
limited space allocated to invasive/motorized activities will not of
necessity continue to shrink as long as human numbers continue to grow."
Sir, I strongly disagree with your proposal. For starters, it is based on flawed logic- reflecting your personal opinion.
I'm a photojournalist who has covered over a hundred dirt bike competition and recreation events (for National and Local publications)- events where we used anywhere from only a few acres to maybe a few hundred- and anywhere from 50 to 500 riders had a great time! There have been a few events that may have used more, but they are rare. To say it takes 1,000 acres to satisfy 10 "kids on bikes" is suprisingly ignorant of the realities of many types of motorized recreation. Where are your statistics to support such an outrageous statement? Have you ever even seen an Observed Trial?
Furthermore, there is no reason why hikers, etc. always need exclusive use. Separate trails for Hikers, Dirt Bikers, and Mountain Bike riders can co-exist in the same area. It's only the enviro's objections- (We hate the noise! We hate the dust! We just don't like 'em!)- that usually keep all of us from getting maximum use of our lands. Not all lands could be used this way, but a lot of it can be. My experience is it's the greens who ruin any chance of a shared arrangement, to everyone's detriment.
Should there be areas off-limits to motorized recreation? Of course! We have lots of them here in California... Wilderness, Wild and Scenic zones, Refuges, National Parks, etc. But outside of these areas, you ought to share some of our National Forests with OHVs. To go into OHV area and trails (using your logic) and try to "kick out" the dirt bikers is really going too far. Riders will react accordingly and fight to keep our OHV areas.
As a final thought, those who propose sweeping changes to OHV management should have at least a passing knowledge and understanding of the dynamics of said recreation. Your "feelings" and "objections" are not enough.
The Forest Service just posted a "Roadless Initiative" Website. The site (http://roadless.fs.fed.us/) is, and increasingly will be, filled with news, history, definitions, schedules of events, maps, and more. Have a look, and leave them some comments if you like.
The Forest Service has developed Roadless Area Maps by State for "Inventoried Roadless Areas." The Maps show National Forest Boundaries, existing Wilderness, and Inventoried Roadless Areas. Take a look!
The Forest Service's Roadless Initiative site is found at (http://roadless.fs.fed.us/).
--Roadless Initiative News--
Three advocacy groups have asked to join a state-filed lawsuit against the U.S. Forest Service over proposed wilderness areas.
|Montana Governor Racicot vows to join Idaho lawsuit challenging U.S.
Forest Service roadless plan, according to Billings
Gazette 2/05/2000 article.
Gov. Marc Racicot, rejecting a request by Attorney General Joe Mazurek to stay out of the legal fight, will join Idaho's attempt to block a U.S. Forest Service plan to set aside 40 million acres of roadless national forest across the country.
According to the Spokesman-Review, Idaho and Montana have come up short on their legal challenge to the Administration's Roadless Initiative. See "Idaho challenge to roadless plan rejected", 2/19/2000.
"U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge sided with the U.S. Forest Service's motion to dismiss the lawsuit, brought by Idaho Attorney General Al Lance."
|Seems to me Edward J. Lodge has become the lumber industry's new bumboy.|
|If he upheld the roadless initiative would he be the environmentalists's "bumboy"? Love it or hate it, the roadless initiative had some legal shortcomings.|
Ex Congressman Pat Williams, D-MT, praises the President's Roadless Initiative amid attacks from the GOP (see: "President gives agency a break from political meddling" and "GOP Attacks Clinton's Forest Plan".
Snippets: From Williams:
From 2/22/2000 Las Vegas Sun article on "GOP attacks":
Scripps Howard News Service, 1/26/2000, San Francisco, reporting on a speech Forest Service Chief Mike Dombeck gave at the Commonwealth Club of California: Forest Service chief aims for new direction.
Saying Americans "need to focus on what we want the land to be like, not what we can take from the land," U.S. Forest Service Chief Michael P. Dombeck is painting a new direction for national forests in which roads are dismantled and recreation overshadows logging.
The Forest Service announced a proposed policy for "Administration of the Forest Transportation System" (PDF) in the Federal Register March 3, 2000.
From my quick read it looks like the Forest Service has clearly spelled out definitions for roads that will help clear up some of the confusion that has prevailed relative to road and roadless issues. Specifically, roads are clearly separated from trails and so-called "ghost roads."
Sec. 212.1 Definitions.
For continuing coverage, keep tabs on the Forest Service’s "Road Management Website" at http://www.fs.fed.us/news/roads/
I've seen statistics saying only a small percentage of U.S. forests that existed in, say, 1600 still survive. However, someone tells me this refers only to "old growth" and that forests, in toto, have survived pretty much constantly on an acreage basis. Is there any authoritive, web-based historical study which shows the extent of U.S. forests through recent centuries? -Paul
|1. I noted that this question was posed in Mar 2000? Doesn't anyone
try to "help" folks with these types of questions? Or did I read the dates
2. You might try contacting Douglas McCleery Senior Policy Analyist US Forest Service Washington Office 202 205 1745. Over the years he has developed several articles concerning the development of American Forests before and since 1492.
Sometimes things fall between the cracks, particularly when so few in the Forest Service have warmed up to the idea of bulletin board information systems.
I'm not much of a "quant jock" so my information sources tend toward the qualitative. On that front I recommend Michael Williams 1992 book Americans and Their Forests: A Historical Geography. You can find a short review of that book and others at Forestshop.com. Forestshop's review says this about Williams book:
"The most detailed assessment of the evolving economic, political, and cultural relationship between Americans and their timber resources. Addresses the question "what happened to the forest that once covered so much of the United States?" For forest ecologists and others, provides an excellent, readable cultural view of forest change in the U.S. to present."
|I was unaware that McCleary dealt only with quantity versus quality.|
|SIERRA CLUB'S MISLEADING STATEMENTS CAN’T HIDE TRAIL GRAB REALITY:
(Archived in www.motofarm.com November 29, 2000)
On several occasions prominent Sierra Club members have suggested that off-highway vehicle enthusiasts should leave the California's State Parks department managed Mammoth Bar OHV park to the rafters who want exclusive use, and instead use "the extensive trails above Foresthill". This is a misleading argument in the first place due to the dramatic differences between the two areas. But putting that aside, it's also a cruelly disingenuous statement, as the Sierra Club is actively trying to stop all OHV use in (or even adjacent to) our National Forests.
Virtually all of the riding areas remaining for our use- including Tahoe National Forest OHV trails such as those above Foresthill, CA- are under intense attack by the anti-OHV zealots. In a well-orchestrated campaign, the Sierra Club is encouraging hikers to visit our OHV areas and cry "conflict!" when they see or hear riders. Next, the Sierra Club wants it's supporters to call and/or write the Forest Service and (using their biased interpretation of the law) demand that Rangers immediately close all the trails in the area. This is happening nation-wide, as well as lin our the Sierra Nevada forests. But don't take my word for it... check it out for yourself on the Sierra Club's web sites!
Regardless of where we ride, and no mater what OHVers do, the OHV opponents will never be satisfied. After all, sharing public lands is not their goal... eliminating OHV-based recreation is.
Dirt bike enthusiasts and other OHVers have a legitimate complaint with the Sierra Club’s tactics from a safety standpoint. Riders aren’t expecting to see hard-to-spot hikers on our OHV trails, and may collide with the hikers or veer off the trail and crash while attempting to avoid a collision. Hikers on OHV trails are suspicious in and of themselves- who knows what they are up to? “Booby traps” and other forms of trail sabotage are realities in today’s world. These issues are just a few of the reason why out-of-place hikers are a genuine source of “conflict” from an OHV rider’s point of view.
If your OHV trail “hikers” turns out to be OHV enthusiasts, wish them a good day. But if they are Sierra Club members or like-minded individuals, you may wish to advise them that you will be preemptively reporting this trail encounter "conflict" to the Forest Service... then do it! If they refuse your request for information or get snippy with you, assume that they are Sierra Club troublemakers and report them anyway- just let the rangers know they refused to give their names or state their intentions. Whether you speak to them or not, report their presents on the OHV trails to the Forest Service, and be sure to use the word "conflict" when describing the encounter.
This "offensive attack" approach may be distasteful to some of you, but it's an effective way to fight against the Sierra Club's troublemaking tactics on our OHV trails. The bottom line is, with so much of our public lands already off-limits to OHVs, there is no excuse for the Sierra Club's actions.
|Mr. Motofarm, that's just not right that the Sierra Club is doing that to you and your friends. The line has been drawn in the sand and they've made out OK in the big picture so they should accept it. They must really be dedicated anti-OHV zealots to have a high tolerance level for exhaust stink and loud, obnoxious noise to be willing to put up with OHVs on your trails. They shouldn't be grabbing your trails. They should stay in their wilderness areas and national parks and other "natural areas". I'm not being facetious, I'm sincere. They should leave you all alone and just sacrifice that small (I'm assuming it's small)area to you guys. I don't like the Sierra Club that much because they want to ban all logging (I mean, ALL logging, everything)and soon here they'll vote to support banning ALL grazing on ALL federal land. I reckon they just don't care about how much poverty they inflict upon rural Americans.|
Forest Service Chief Mike Dombeck announced his retirement on March 27, 2001. In Dombeck’s letter to Secretary of Agriculture Ann Veneman, Chief Dombeck highlighted several areas of continued concern and expressed his hope that the Administration would continue to work toward many land stewardship goals that he believes are important to the people of the United States and the world.
Dombeck targeted areas of concern and hope for Roadless Area Protection, Civil Rights and Financial Management, Old Growth, Timber Trust Funds, Wilderness, Fire Management, 1872 Mining Law, Off Highway Vehicles, Private Land Conservation, and Water. I took liberty to pull out a few snippets:
Roadless Area Protection
|Just wanted to say a few words to congratulate the USFS and all who
work for this organization. I have found it a wonderful place to work in
the past and great people to interact with for information. Their drive
toward quality is finally paying in big dividends.
Johnothan Rears Operations Research Analyst United States Army firstname.lastname@example.org
|Forest Policy - Forest Practice, at http://forestpolicy.typepad.com/|