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More: Forest Service Natural Resource Agenda in the 21st Century

Re: : US Forest Service Natural Resource Agenda Dialogue (Mark Garland)
Date: Tue, 13 Oct 1998 08:47:57 GMT
From: <unknown>

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US Forest Service Natural Resource Agenda in the 21st Century

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News: From Combat Biologists to Restoration Practitioners

Re: More: Forest Service Natural Resource Agenda in the 21st Century
Date: Sun, 20 Dec 1998 21:17:24 GMT
From: Mark Garland <>

None: natural resource agenda and grizzly bear conservaton

Re: More: Forest Service Natural Resource Agenda in the 21st Century
Date: Tue, 22 Dec 1998 22:53:34 GMT
From: jay gore <jgore/>

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

Question: Can we truly have a dialogue?

Re: More: Forest Service Natural Resource Agenda in the 21st Century
Date: Tue, 09 Feb 1999 06:32:55 GMT
From: Dave Thomas <Thomas_Dave/>

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...

More: Protecting and Restoring a Nation's Land Health Legacy

Re: More: Forest Service Natural Resource Agenda in the 21st Century
Date: Tue, 09 Feb 1999 07:14:35 GMT
From: Moderator <>

Mike Dombeck
Chief of the United States Forest Service
Missoula, Montana
February 3, 1999

    Protecting and Restoring a Nation's Land Health Legacy


None: Press Release: Forest Service Limits New Road Construction

Re: More: Forest Service Natural Resource Agenda in the 21st Century
Date: Thu, 11 Feb 1999 19:19:22 GMT
From: Moderator <diverson/>

Dan Glickman, Secretary of Agriculture
Jim Lyons, Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment
Mike Dombeck, Chief, U.S. Forest Service
Washington, D.C.
February 11, 1999

    Forest Service Limits New Road Construction In Most National Forests


News: USFS Road Moratorium Criticized by Sportsmen and Congressmen

Re: : Press Release: Forest Service Limits New Road Construction (Moderator)
Date: Sun, 07 Mar 1999 19:41:03 GMT
From: moderator <diverson/>

Washington, D.C.
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

News: Dep. Chief Ron Stewart's Statememt on USFS Revised Roads Policy

Re: News: USFS Road Moratorium Criticized by Sportsmen and Congressmen (moderator)
Date: Sun, 07 Mar 1999 19:24:59 GMT
From: moderator <diverson/>

    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

Idea: roadless areas and fires are good for sportsmen

Re: News: USFS Road Moratorium Criticized by Sportsmen and Congressmen (moderator)
Keywords: roadless areas, hunters, fires
Date: Mon, 14 Feb 2000 21:31:34 GMT
From: Jed Blanton <>

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.

More: big fires, game and roadless areas

Re: Idea: roadless areas and fires are good for sportsmen (Jed Blanton)
Keywords: roadless areas, hunters, fires
Date: Wed, 28 Feb 2001 23:24:49 GMT
From: Jed Blanton <>

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.

News: Washington Post Editorial Praises USFS Revised Roads Policy

Re: : Press Release: Forest Service Limits New Road Construction (Moderator)
Date: Mon, 08 Mar 1999 20:17:50 GMT
From: moderator <diverson/>

    Washington Post Editorial--Good Move in the Forests -- February 15, 1999

Question: Trickle-Down Dombeck

Re: : US Forest Service Natural Resource Agenda Dialogue (Mark Garland)
Date: Wed, 28 Apr 1999 19:33:06 GMT
From: Amelia Jenkins <>

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?

Feedback: when will ecosystem restoration start?

Re: Question: Trickle-Down Dombeck (Amelia Jenkins)
Date: Wed, 14 Jul 1999 13:57:40 GMT
From: Bruce Erickson <berickson/>

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?

Feedback: Yes, but....

Re: Feedback: when will ecosystem restoration start? (Bruce Erickson)
Date: Sat, 16 Oct 1999 15:25:33 GMT
From: Tom Haswell <>

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 created.

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

Feedback: Yes but but...

Re: Feedback: Yes, but.... (Tom Haswell)
Date: Mon, 18 Oct 1999 22:13:55 GMT
From: Bruce Erickson <unknown>

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,

Feedback: yes but cubed

Re: Feedback: Yes but but... (Bruce Erickson)
Date: Mon, 18 Oct 1999 23:40:27 GMT
From: Andy Stahl <>

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!

Feedback: Phooey

Re: Feedback: Yes but but... (Bruce Erickson)
Date: Tue, 19 Oct 1999 05:50:40 GMT
From: Tom Haswell <>

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

Note: Oh Please!

Re: Feedback: Phooey (Tom Haswell)
Date: Wed, 20 Oct 1999 15:36:11 GMT
From: Kat <unknown>

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?

News: GAO REPORT: The Forest Service's Evolving Mission

Re: : US Forest Service Natural Resource Agenda Dialogue (Mark Garland)
Keywords: US Forest Sevice, mission, timber, recreation, governing statutes
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 1999 20:27:39 GMT
From: Dave Iverson <diverson/>

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)

Ok: 1998 Report of the Forest Service

Re: : US Forest Service Natural Resource Agenda Dialogue (Mark Garland)
Date: Tue, 14 Sep 1999 16:03:40 GMT
From: Moderator <diverson/>

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.

News: President Clinton Unveils Strategy to Protect USFS Roadless Areas

Re: : US Forest Service Natural Resource Agenda Dialogue (Mark Garland)
Date: Thu, 14 Oct 1999 15:18:17 GMT
From: Moderator <diverson/>

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.

And I think it's worth pointing out they are also very often a source of clean and fresh water for countless communities. They are, therefore, our treasured inheritance.

Today, we launch one of the largest land preservation efforts in America's history to protect these priceless, back-country lands. The Forest Service will prepare a detailed analysis of how best to preserve our forests' large roadless areas, and then present a formal proposal to do just that. The Forest Service will also determine whether similar protection is warranted for smaller roadless areas that have not yet been surveyed.

Through this action, we will protect more than 40 million acres, 20 percent of the total forest land in America in the national forests -- (applause) -- from activities, such as new road construction which would degrade the land. We will ensure that our grandchildren will be able to hike up to this peak, that others like it across the country will also offer the same opportunities. We will assure that when they get to the top they'll be able to look out on valleys like this, just as beautiful then as they are now.

We will live up to the challenge Theodore Roosevelt laid down a century ago to leave this land even a better land for our descendants than it is for us.

It is very important to point out that we are not trying to turn the national forests into museums. Even as we strengthen protections, the majority of our forests will continue to be responsibly managed for sustainable timber production and other activities. We are, once again, determined to prove that environmental protection and economic growth can, and must, go hand in hand.

A Chronology of Events leading up to Clinton's Presidential Involvement, including "Acts and Policies" is found on the Wilderness Society's website.

President Clinton's "memo" to Agriculture Secretary Glickman on "Protection of Forest 'Roadless' Areas" is linked here too.

Feedback: strange timing

Re: News: President Clinton Unveils Strategy to Protect USFS Roadless Areas (Moderator)
Date: Thu, 14 Oct 1999 23:41:23 GMT
From: Bruce Erickson <unknown>

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").

Feedback: Dan Kemmis on Roadless Initiative: "Bad Politics and Bad Ecology"

Re: News: President Clinton Unveils Strategy to Protect USFS Roadless Areas (Moderator)
Date: Tue, 26 Oct 1999 17:09:38 GMT
From: Moderator <diverson/>

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:

"As an environmentalist, I pretty thoroughly approve of what President Clinton is aiming at with his administration's decision to create more than 40 million new acres of new wilderness. ... Yet I am convinced, as an environmentalist and as a Westerner, that this initiative is a bad decision."


"So while Clinton's environmental intentions are entirely admirable, this initiative is bad politics and bad ecology. Bad politics because it gives the fed-bashing demagogues a huge drum to beat. Bad ecology because the sustainable integrity of ecosystems cannot be imposed from afar, but must come from the people who inhabit them.

"Of course, the industry-financed demagoguery of many Western Republicans convinces Clinton's advisers and supporters that the West would never make the right ecological choices. But they are wrong. For a decade, in dozens of watersheds throughout the region, Westerners have been working across ideological lines, developing sound solutions that can advance both ecological and community sustainability. Now the Western governors have upped the ante with their Enlibra doctrine, declaring that kind of collaborative problem solving to be the leading way we do business in the West.

"Clinton's initiative is one more round in the old, imperial, stuff-it-down-the-West's-throat approach to public land policy. It will create a predictable backlash from the timber and mining industries and their political minions. Clinton will have gained Democratic votes outside the West; Republicans will have strengthened their hold inside it. The result is likely to be more deadlock, with no new policy and no clear sense of direction. Out of that deadlock, the new Western voice of cooperative problem-solving must speak up and offer a genuinely Western alternative."

Feedback: Letters Counter Kemmis' Claims of Bad Ecology, Bad Politics

Re: Feedback: Dan Kemmis on Roadless Initiative: "Bad Politics and Bad Ecology" (Moderator)
Date: Thu, 28 Oct 1999 19:23:37 GMT
From: Dave Iverson <diverson/>

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.

Disagree: what a bunch of negative nannies!!

Re: Feedback: Letters Counter Kemmis' Claims of Bad Ecology, Bad Politics (Dave Iverson)
Date: Fri, 29 Oct 1999 20:11:15 GMT
From: Bruce <berick/>

I had to shovel this stuff as a kid back on the farm.

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.


None: dans nose keeps getting longer all the time

Re: Feedback: Letters Counter Kemmis' Claims of Bad Ecology, Bad Politics (Dave Iverson)
Date: Mon, 27 Dec 2004 16:32:13 GMT
From: <unknown>

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

News: Nov 3: Some Congressional Delegates Bash, Dombeck Defends Roadless "Directive"

Re: News: President Clinton Unveils Strategy to Protect USFS Roadless Areas (Moderator)
Date: Wed, 10 Nov 1999 17:12:38 GMT
From: Dave Iverson <diverson/>

Representive Don Young, R-AK, Chairman of the House Resources Committee lead the charge against the President's Roadless "directive" at a Nov 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.

"I can think of no clearer case of a decision that is more arbitrary and capricious and without legal authority than this one. In fact, this proposal is not the result of careful scientific study or research."
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.

"Roadless areas are controversial, in part, because of their important social and ecological values. Roadless areas provide clean water, habitat for wildlife, food for hunters, and amazing recreational opportunities. They act as a barrier against noxious invasive plant and animal species and as strongholds for native fish populations. Roadless areas serve as reference areas for research and often provide vital habitat and migration routes for numerous wildlife species and are particularly important for those requiring large home ranges. Many roadless areas also act as ecological anchors allowing nearby federal, state, and private lands to be developed for economic purposes. Indeed, roadless areas are critically important for the long-term ecological sustainability of the nation's forests.

"In recent years, the public has rightfully questioned whether the Forest Service should build new roads into controversial roadless areas when the agency has difficulty maintaining its existing road system. The current national forest road system includes 380,000 miles of roads, enough to circle the globe more than 15 times. The agency currently has a road reconstruction and maintenance backlog of approximately $8.4 billion and it receives only about 20 percent of the annual funding needed to maintain the safety and environmental condition of its road system."
The dialogue will prove intersting and ought to give us food for thought and conversation here on Eco-Watch.

News: Todd Wilkinson on Roadless Initiative (High Country News, 11/8/99)

Re: News: President Clinton Unveils Strategy to Protect USFS Roadless Areas (Moderator)
Date: Wed, 10 Nov 1999 19:34:30 GMT
From: Dave Iverson <diverson/>

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.

"But now that we have left the industrial age, motorized recreation has come on the scene to oppose the new roads policy. Longtime allies of the timber industry recognize the shift from extraction to recreation. "The president has very skillfully tried to focus the American people and the press's attention on logging," says Idaho Sen. Larry Craig. "But about 80 percent of this is (about) access: snowmobiling, camper access, off-road vehicle access."

"The roads battle promises to be as controversial and bitter as the timber wars. It pits the environmental community and its allies in the White House against the industry-backed ORV lobby and its friends in Congress. In the West, on the ground, the ORVers seem to have the advantage. They're mechanized, they're passionate and they're determined to hold all the ground they have and to gain new ground. Meanwhile, hikers, horseback riders and wildlife enthusiasts do not yet seem fully aware of what is at stake, and how crucial the next year will be."

None: Good news -- a struggle ahead

Re: News: Todd Wilkinson on Roadless Initiative (High Country News, 11/8/99) (Dave Iverson)
Date: Fri, 12 Nov 1999 20:05:05 GMT
From: Bruce Erickson <unknown>

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.

Idea: Allocating public space ethically

Re: : Good news -- a struggle ahead (Bruce Erickson)
Date: Tue, 23 Nov 1999 14:38:00 GMT
From: Bob Wetzel <>

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 desireable approach.

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

Disagree: Respectful Disagreement

Re: Idea: Allocating public space ethically (Bob Wetzel)
Keywords: OHV,share trails,enviros,conflict,motofarm
Date: Fri, 08 Dec 2000 22:51:55 GMT
From: MotoFarm <>

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.

News: USFS Unveils "Roadless Initiative" Website

Re: News: President Clinton Unveils Strategy to Protect USFS Roadless Areas (Moderator)
Date: Tue, 23 Nov 1999 16:14:04 GMT
From: Moderator <diverson/>

The Forest Service just posted a "Roadless Initiative" Website. The site ( 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.

None: "Inventoried Roadless Areas" Maps Now Available

Re: News: USFS Unveils "Roadless Initiative" Website (Moderator)
Date: Fri, 21 Jan 2000 16:32:28 GMT
From: Moderator <diverson/>

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 (

News: Three Groups Join State of Idaho in Suit Against US Forest Service

Re: News: President Clinton Unveils Strategy to Protect USFS Roadless Areas (Moderator)
Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2000 22:43:56 GMT
From: Moderator <diverson/>

--Roadless Initiative News--
Article:"Three groups join wilderness lawsuit"
Associated Press--
January 17, 2000


Three advocacy groups have asked to join a state-filed lawsuit against the U.S. Forest Service over proposed wilderness areas.

The Idaho State Snowmobile Association, the Blue Ribbon Coalition and the American Council of Snowmobile Associations on Friday petitioned the U.S. District Court to join the suit.

Idaho officials filed the lawsuit over President Clinton's plan to create approximately eight million acres of roadless areas.

The initiative would cut down access to 40 to 60 million acres of National Forest nationwide.

The groups' petition contains objections to the definition of roadless as well as to the proposed scheduling of draft Environmental Impact Statements.

More news on: 12/30/99 Idaho State-filed lawsuit
Much more information at:US Forest Service Roadless Initiative Website

News: Montana Gov. Joins in Battle against F.S. Roadless Initiative

Re: News: President Clinton Unveils Strategy to Protect USFS Roadless Areas (Moderator)
Date: Tue, 08 Feb 2000 20:40:25 GMT
From: Moderator <>

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.


Aimee Grmoljez, Racicot's lawyer, said any action Racicot takes to join the suit will be as governor and not on behalf of the state or the Land Board.


Idaho Gov. Dirk Kempthorne last month asked Racicot and governors of other Western states to support his efforts to halt the Forest Service plan. A preliminary court brief prepared by the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation says the roadless plan would threaten access to state land that is surrounded by federal property included in the roadless proposal. The plan would affect 6 million acres of national forest in Montana.

News: Federal Judge Rejects Idaho's Challenge to Roadless Initiative

Re: News: Montana Gov. Joins in Battle against F.S. Roadless Initiative (Moderator)
Date: Tue, 22 Feb 2000 22:36:11 GMT
From: Moderator <>

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."

"However, the judge cautioned the Forest Service to proceed slowly on a controversial plan that has drawn 500,000 comments nationwide in just two months."

Sad: My preferences

Re: News: Federal Judge Rejects Idaho's Challenge to Roadless Initiative (Moderator)
Date: Fri, 11 May 2001 14:38:20 GMT
From: Tony B <unknown>

Seems to me Edward J. Lodge has become the lumber industry's new bumboy.

Feedback: "bumboy"s

Re: Sad: My preferences (Tony B)
Date: Sun, 08 Jul 2001 21:19:31 GMT
From: Lee Crommer <unknown>

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.

News: "President gives agency a break from political meddling," or not?

Re: News: President Clinton Unveils Strategy to Protect USFS Roadless Areas (Moderator)
Date: Fri, 25 Feb 2000 20:58:37 GMT
From: Moderator <>

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:

.... "Our Forest Service has suffered. Twenty years of this continual, calculated, partisan, arrogant assault on land management policies have created a desperate need to declare a time-out. Twenty years of political posturing, petty tinkering, unproductive partisanship and budget high jinks from both the White House and Capitol Hill had tied the Forest Service into a Gordian knot and created administrative chaos on the public's land.

"The Forest Service simply had to find a way to regroup, catch its breath, grab the reins, restructure its management purposes and get its own house -- and our land -- in order. And that is precisely what the president hopes to accomplish in his road-building and wild lands planning moratoriums. His orders will, hopefully, stop the Forest Service management free fall. It is true that the political fire is now directed at the president himself, but at least for now the employees of our land management agencies have the time to recapture their legally required mandate to use good science in the performance of their duties."


From 2/22/2000 Las Vegas Sun article on "GOP attacks":

.... "'You have fatally tainted this rule-making,' Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, told Clinton administration officials at a hearing of the subcommittee he chairs.


"Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., said the administration should "declare this process is invalid and start over," and that the administration "did wrong" in favoring environmentalists in crafting the initiative.


"At one point during Tuesday's hearing of the forests and public land management subcommittee, eight GOP senators, all from the West, took turns criticizing the administration and the Forest Service. "'We do have an agency that's run amok,' said Sen. Frank Murkowski, R-Alaska, who chairs the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which includes the subcommittee. "Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell, R-Colo., in criticizing the administration for sidestepping Congress, said, 'Administrative decree may work great in a monarchy, but it's a lousy form of policy in a democracy.'

News: Mike Dombeck on "Draft Roads Policy" and $8 Billion Road Maintenance Backlog

Re: : US Forest Service Natural Resource Agenda Dialogue (Mark Garland)
Date: Thu, 27 Jan 2000 23:55:58 GMT
From: Moderator <diverson/>

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.


A crucial challenge to the Forest Service, Dombeck said, is the expense of maintaining its 380,000 miles of road, eight times the length of the interstate highway system. The roads disrupt wildlife, erode sediment into streams and open the way for the spread of invasive, exotic weeds, he said.

Some roads must be closed and then eliminated through resculpting and planting, Dombeck said. Within a few weeks the Forest Service will release a draft policy to guide national forest supervisors in deciding which marginal roads to close.

Dombeck said that his agency has got a backlog of $8 billion in road maintenance. The nation, he said, is shifting from an era when roads were a capital investment, usually installed by timber companies, to a liability.

Americans are losing 1,000 miles of national forest roads by default, Dombeck said, as landslides, erosion and a lack of maintenance close them. "If you only have the budget to maintain 17 percent of those roads," he said, "what are you going to do?"

Dombeck also emphasized how visits to Forest Service lands have skyrocketed toward the billion-per-year mark while timber harvest has declined 70 percent in the last decade. ....

News: Forest Service Announces Proposed Roads Policy

Re: : US Forest Service Natural Resource Agenda Dialogue (Mark Garland)
Keywords: US Forest Service, roads policy, roads, trails
Date: Fri, 03 Mar 2000 16:13:27 GMT
From: Moderator <>

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.

Road. A motor vehicle travelway over 50 inches wide, unless classified and managed as a trail. A road may be classified or unclassified.

(1) Classified road. Roads within National Forest System lands planned or managed for motor vehicle access including state roads, county roads, private roads, permitted roads, and Forest Service roads.

(2) Unclassified roads. Roads not intended to be part of, and not managed as part of, the forest transportation system, such as temporary roads, unplanned roads, off-road vehicle tracks, and abandoned travelways.

Sec. 212.5 Road system management.

* * * * *

(b) Forest Service road system.

(1) Identification of system. In planning for the management of the Forest Service road system for each national forest and grassland, agency officials shall identify the minimum road system needed for safe and efficient travel and for administration, utilization, and protection of National Forest System lands. The road system for each unit of the National Forest System must be commensurate with the resource objectives adopted in the land and resource management plan, reflect likely funding expectations, and, to the extent practicable, minimize the adverse environmental impacts associated with road construction, reconstruction, and maintenance. To provide essential information about road management opportunities within a national forest or grassland and to help identify the road system that best meets applicable statutory and regulatory requirements, Forest Service officials shall conduct a science-based analysis at appropriate scales which includes opportunities for public involvement and consultation with state, local, and tribal governments.

(2) Identification of unneeded roads. In identifying the forest road system, forest officers also shall identify those roads under Forest Service jurisdiction that are not needed to meet forest resource management objectives and that, therefore, should be decommissioned. Decommissioning roads involves restoring them to a more natural state through activities such as reestablishing former drainage patterns, stabilizing slopes, and restoring vegetation. In scheduling the decommissioning of roads, forest officials shall give priority to decommissioning those roads that pose the greatest risk to public safety or to environmental quality. Other unneeded roads should be scheduled for decommissioning commensurate with their potential risk and available funding.

News coverage was substantial. Particularly interesting to me were stories from LYCOS, MSNBC, and USA Today.

For continuing coverage, keep tabs on the Forest Service’s "Road Management Website" at

Question: History of U.S. Forests

Re: : US Forest Service Natural Resource Agenda Dialogue (Mark Garland)
Date: Mon, 20 Mar 2000 17:15:53 GMT
From: Paul Onstad <>

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?


Idea: RE: History US Forests

Re: Question: History of U.S. Forests (Paul Onstad)
Date: Wed, 06 Feb 2002 17:27:00 GMT
From: bill merrihew <>

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 wrong?

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.

None: Americans and Their Forests

Re: Idea: RE: History US Forests (bill merrihew)
Date: Wed, 06 Feb 2002 23:15:52 GMT
From: Dave Iverson <>

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'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."

None: RE: History US Forests

Re: : Americans and Their Forests (Dave Iverson)
Date: Tue, 19 Feb 2002 18:20:14 GMT
From: merrihew <>

I was unaware that McCleary dealt only with quantity versus quality.

Warning: Sierra Club's Trail-Grab Agenda

Re: : US Forest Service Natural Resource Agenda Dialogue (Mark Garland)
Keywords: off-road, access, OHV,Sierra Club,trail conflict,motofarm,trail takeover tactics
Date: Fri, 08 Dec 2000 21:50:16 GMT
From: MotoFarm <>


(Archived in 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.

Feedback: that's not right

Re: Warning: Sierra Club's Trail-Grab Agenda (MotoFarm)
Keywords: off-road, access, OHV,Sierra Club,trail conflict,motofarm,trail takeover tactics
Date: Wed, 28 Feb 2001 23:44:02 GMT
From: Antoine Meriwether <>

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.

News: Dombeck Goes. NR Agenda stays? Dombeck hopes so..

Re: : US Forest Service Natural Resource Agenda Dialogue (Mark Garland)
Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2001 21:20:06 GMT
From: Moderator <>

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

I hope the Administration's intent is not to negotiate a settlement with those opposed to roadless area protection. …. Due to complexity, cost, and controversy more projects fail in roadless areas than anywhere else. Most important, not a single private land owner or corporate interest would continue to build new roads in pristine areas while saddled with a crumbling 386,000 mile road system with an $8.4 billion road maintenance backlog liability. One quarter of one percent of our nation's timber and a fraction of a fraction of our oil and gas is a small price to pay for the protection of 58.5 million acres of our children's natural resource inheritance. The long-term public interest in conserving these areas should prevail over short-term private interests.

Old Growth

… it makes little sense to harvest old growth forests simply to bring their short-term economic values to market. The greatest good of these remnant forests is found through their research and study, conservation and restoration. The mark of a truly wealthy nation is not measured in acres harvested, rivers dammed, oil barrels filled, or mountaintops mined. Our maturity is most ably displayed by demonstrating mastery over ourselves. Our willingness to say, 'Enough, these ancient forests cannot be improved through commodity timber production' honors our nation far more than engineering an expensive road to harvest an old growth stand. Timber harvest remains an important function of the National Forest System. For example, thinning of brush and small diameter trees may help protect communities and restore fire dependent ecosystems, and in the process employ thousands of people in high quality jobs. But not if timber harvest comes at the expense of our rarest and most biologically significant old growth forests. Ensuring the conservation of old growth forests should become among the highest Forest Service priorities.


… Although the Forest Service practically invented the wilderness ethic, we struggle with recommending new wilderness designations from the most biologically productive lands. Existing wilderness areas remain under threat today ' from proposed mining operations under the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness of Montana to chronic under-funding. Remaining vigilant against these threats and recommending the expansion of wilderness from remote high elevation areas to old growth forests, prairie grasslands, and bottomland hardwoods would demonstrate your commitment to this enduring resource.

Until Congress demonstrates the willingness to reform the outdated 1872 Mining Law, I urge you to continue to aggressively recommend the segregation and withdrawal of our most sensitive forests and grasslands from hard rock mining.

Off Highway Vehicles

… Off highway vehicles should remain a legitimate use of public lands where expressly allowed. We must ensure, however, that their use does not compromise the integrity of the soil and water resource and wildlife habitats. …

All off road vehicle decisions, including those that change present levels of use, should be made through an open and public process, except where emergency closure is needed to protect public safety or forest resources.

Motorized use should occur only on designated routes and areas. Development and use of unauthorized roads and trails should be illegal. This will require adequate signing and mapping for responsible off road vehicle users.

If such recommendations are not implemented, the litigation and controversy that greatly reduced the timber program, will almost certainly soon haunt the Recreation Program.


… As Chief, it was my policy that watershed health and restoration serve as the overriding priority of all forest plan revisions. … Ensuring the multiple benefits of the National Forests water resource will require, among other things, a willingness to assert water rights to preserve wilderness values, providing minimum instream flows for fish, and securing bypass flows for other resources.

None: Congratulations to USFS.

Re: : US Forest Service Natural Resource Agenda Dialogue (Mark Garland)
Date: Fri, 23 Aug 2002 21:22:24 GMT
From: Johothan Rears <>

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

Idea: Forest Policy - Forest Practice Web-log

Re: : US Forest Service Natural Resource Agenda Dialogue (Mark Garland)
Date: Mon, 25 Apr 2005 20:35:52 GMT
From: Dave Iverson <>

Forest Policy - Forest Practice, at

Add message to: "US Forest Service Natural Resource Agenda Dialogue"

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