Messages Inline: 0 1

Note: Use, Conservation, and Preservation of Public Lands

Re: : Use of the National Forests in the 21st Century (Mark Garland)
Date: Wed, 27 Jan 1999 21:31:56 GMT
From: Dave Iverson <Iverson_Dave/>

Try as we might, we will not be able to discuss public lands "use" absent discussions of "preservation" and "conservation." A century ago, in a frontier world, Gifford Pinchot talked about use and conservation and tried to avoid the preservation issue. But he alienated some, including John Muir, even back then. Today all three will need to be addressed together if we are to have a chance for reasoned dialogue about the future of the National Forests and other public lands.

And I don't believe this discussion can proceed outside a political context. The issue of "the public interest" in public land and resource management has been politicized for a long time. To gain perspective I'd recommend three books to begin: The Politics of Ecosystem Management, by Hanna Cortner and Margaret A. Moote, The Wisdom of the Spotted Owl: Policy Lessons for a New Century, by Steven Lewis Yaffee, and Barriers and Bridges to the Renewal of Ecosystems and Institutions, edited by Lance H. Gunderson, C.S. Holling, and Stephen S. Light.

Don't forget to take a look at the introductory material I posted in "Use of the Natonal Forest"

I don't know where our disucssion will lead, if anywhere, but I do believe that we need to talk about "use," "preservation" and "conservation" generally, as well as to deal with all three specifically as we plan for the management of our public lands.

More: Giltmier's Review of "Politics of Ecosystem Management"

Re: Note: Use, Conservation, and Preservation of Public Lands (Dave Iverson)
Date: Thu, 28 Jan 1999 22:37:20 GMT
From: Dave Iverson <Iverson_Dave/>

Jim Giltmier, Pinchot Institute Senior Associate, recently reviewed Cortner and Moote's The Politics of Ecosystem Management for the Journal of Forestry (Dec. 1998). He was kind enough to share a another review with us. To whet your appetite, Giltmier says: "This book has a richness and originality of thought to it that commends it to those who care about natural resources policy. ... Though some people will feel threatened by this book, it will be an essential forest policy text, if only because of the richness of the sources it draws from, and the truth of the connections it makes to provide interactions between science, humanity and political idealism."

None: Free Market Forestry Review of The Politics of Ecosystem Management

Re: Note: Use, Conservation, and Preservation of Public Lands (Dave Iverson)
Date: Fri, 05 Feb 1999 10:52:51 GMT
From: Travis C. Cork, III <>

Review of The Politics of Ecosystem Management

Island Press, purportedly a nonprofit organization that specializes in publishing books advocating government control and allocation of natural resources, has issued The Politics of Ecosystem Management by Hanna J. Cortner and Margaret A. Moote. Reading the book, I am reminded of the radio ad for a degenerative disease in which the foot or the hand calls the brain and gets an operator saying the service has been disconnected. This book has a number of disconnects. For those with a real-world understanding of the dynamics of natural and social systems, the book is a tedious, irritating read. In short, the book is irrational.

Mmes. Cortner and Moote write the "[k]ey to ecosystem management is the goal of ecological sustainability protecting and restoring critical ecological components, functions, and structures in perpetuity so that future as well as current generations will have their needs met." 1/ This statement melds ecological ignorance with the economic illiteracy of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. It acknowledges an ignorance of current needs but presupposes a prescience that can determine future needs. No one possesses this prescience. The statement is irrational.

How will the vision (paradigm) of ecosystem management be implemented? Once the muddled rhetoric in the book is boiled down—government command-and-control.

Four principles of ecosystem management are enumerated.

Number 1 is socially defined goals and objectives. "Although it can be argued that the goals and objectives of resource management have always been socially defined, ecosystem management makes this explicit. This reflects a recognition that many scientific concepts, including the definition of an ecosystem and criteria for a healthy ecosystem, are essentially value judgements [emphasis added]." 2/

In other words, an ecosystem is whatever the designer wants it to be. If the designer is government, it is a recipe for bureaucrats, driven by self-interest (self-interest run amok), to define the largest ecosystems possible to expand their power and perks. As documented in Ecosystem Management in the United States: An Assessment of Current Experience, 3/ this is exactly what is happening.

The obligatory holistic, integrated science is Number 2. Under this principle the authors claim that "[i]n ecosystem management, there are no externalities. (Externalities are environmental effects that are not factored into economic analysis and decision making.) Instead, downstream and long-term effects of changes in any ecosystem component are taken into account." 4/ This is an incredibly ignorant claim. For it to be true, the decision makers would not only have to be omniscient but know the future. No such mortal exists, especially not in any bureaucracy.

Incredibly, in Number 3, adaptable institutions, Mmes. Cortner and Moote write "there can be no explicit guidelines or management prescriptions for ecosystem management; uncertainty will always be inherent to it." 5/

To operate under uncertainty, "ecosystem management institutions themselves must be ‘characterized by an emphasis on the inter-relatedness, hierarchical complexity [?], dynamism, openness, and creativity of systems to be managed.’ In other words, institutions such as organizations, laws, policies, and management practices need to be flexible, in order that they may rapidly adapt to changes in social values, ecological conditions, political pressures, available data, and knowledge." 6/

If uncertainty is inherent, no one can possibly know all of the downstream and long-term effects necessary to eliminate externalities. The authors contradict their own claim. Their thesis is discredited.

Further, there is no institution less flexible or adaptable to change than government. Given that ecosystem management can only be implemented by government force, any suggestion that it will be characterized by dynamic, creative thought is irrational.

Number 4 is collaborative decision making. Here the rubber meats the road. "Ecosystem management means management across ecological, political, generational, and ownership [emphasis added] boundaries. Clearly, when management units are defined ecologically rather than politically, greater coordination among local landowners and between private landowners and natural resource management agencies [bureaucrats] is required. Management decisions must be made collectively by all parties because in most cases no single entity has jurisdiction over all aspects of an ecosystem. Combined with the need for interdisciplinary science discussed previously, this suggests that ecosystem management requires the acquiescence, if not active support, of a broad section of society.Ultimately, in a democratic society, the public must decide what value to place on each issue surrounding an ecological approach." 7/

At best, the authors are espousing management by the tyranny of majority rule. At worst, they are espousing management by the tyranny of factions.

(Bureaucracy and NGOs such as The Nature Conservancy are factions.) This is essentially fascism. In the fascist state, property holders are given the pretense of ownership by being allowed to hold title to the property, and, of course, to pay taxes. Supposed elites in government decide how the property may be used.

Interestingly, the authors acknowledge some of the problems inherent in bureaucracy. Writing about the politics of interest, the authors state "[t]he preponderance of federal legislative activity [in the 1970s] tended to centralize decision making in Washington, assuring the primacy of ‘national interests’ defined by national interest groups. Washington-based agency leadership and Washington-based interest groups took center stage. Decisions with local impacts often became separated from local interests, history, and culture….The great majority of environmental groups adjusted to the dominance of expertise [?] and interest group-driven politics…Through lobbying, lawsuits, and appeals, these groups have strengthened the role of environmental values in government decision making, but they have done little to build a sense of public responsibility in public affairs….Furthermore, resource agencies often promote divisiveness and polarization of interests by asserting authority rather than sharing power… [T]raditional agency procedures tend to foster participation by organized interest groups while limiting participation by the general public…current participation techniques often lead to political alienation…Citizens… become more likely to use other forums, such as the courtroom, to affect agency decisions and policies. In such venues, issues are cast in narrow legal terms and decisions declare winners and losers, further polarizing interests…[T]he emergence of competing groups has created an often dysfunctional system of interest group acrimony and gridlock." 8/

In spite of this, the authors still see government as the solution. In their "new kind of democracy," 9/ they would apparently substitute tyranny at the national level for tyranny at the local level. In spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, they cling to the irrational belief that somewhere, someone can make government work in an efficient and just way. Only by restricting government to a very limited number of functions, principally protecting individuals from predators, can we approach an efficient and just government. When government (as we find today in America) becomes the predator, there is no hope.

People who have no business worth minding often end up minding the business of everyone else. Creative, productive people tend to mind their own business. Given the demands of family and livelihood, the masses do not have the time, energy, or knowledge to participate in many issues. The solution is not to empower elitists or create government edicts that demand only obedience, but to define responsibilities and boundaries and provide a forum where individuals can defend their boundaries. This is best done with private property rights.

The politics of ecosystem management are a politics of divisiveness and polarization. The arguments espoused by Mmes. Cortner and Moote are not just irrational. They are destructive.

Literature cited:

1/ Cortner, Hannah J. and Margaret A. Moore. 1999. The politics of Ecosystem Management. Island Press. Washington, DC. P. 2.

2/ Ibid., p. 40

3/ Yaffee, Steven L., et al. 1996. Ecosystem Management in the United States: An Assessment of Current Experience. U. of Michigan/Wilderness Society. Island Press. Washington, DC.

4/ Cortner, Hannah J. p. 42.

5/ Ibid., p. 43.

6/ Ibid., p. 44.

7/ Ibid., p. 44.

8/ Ibid., pp. 18-19.

9/ Ibid., p. 137.

Travis C. Cork, III
Free Market Forestry
P. O. Box 853
Conway, SC 29528

Feedback: A note on respect, rationality, and paradox

Re: : Free Market Forestry Review of The Politics of Ecosystem Management (Travis C. Cork, III)
Keywords: respect, rationality, paradox
Date: Sun, 07 Feb 1999 20:51:00 GMT
From: Dave Iverson <Iverson_Dave/>

In another forum on Eco-Watch we provide a stage for a public discussion on dialogue and introduce it with Helpful Hints for Online Dialogue. The purpose for dialogue is to gain understanding and find common ground. Over-arching all Eco-Watch dialogues are Moderating Criteria. One of these is about "respect" and reads:

... Disparaging remarks, no matter how subtle, towards the thought of others is strongly discouraged.

No doubt I have some learning to do here as well, so I'll try to refrain from throwing rocks at others.

Another "moderating criterion" is about "Evidence vs. Beliefs" and reads,

"Messages need to do more than just reflect the belief of the submitter. They need to be accompanied by thoughtful reasoning or some form of evidence. Appeal to authority is a weak form of argument although it is sometimes interesting to know the authorities that stand behind a particular view. References are encouraged.

In Travis C. Cork, III's review of Cortner and Moote's The Politics of Ecosystem Management, he says: "For those with a real-world understanding of the dynamics of natural and social systems, the book is a tedious, irritating read. In short, the book is irrational." Perhaps I am hypersensitive, but I have a bit of trouble finding this comment to be in keeping with the spirit of true dialogue.

That said, I do believe that Cork, III provides us an opening for inquiry. What is rationality anyway? We could go to a host of sources for perspectives on "rationality" (and maybe we will should this discussion continue). Today, I opened up Barriers and Bridges: to the Renewal of Renewal of Ecosystems and Institutions, edited by Lance H. Gunderson, C.S. Holling, and Stephen S. Light (Columbia University Press, 1995) and found several references to "rationality." All had about the same message so I'll just grab one: "There is also a fundamental contradiction, becoming increasingly apparent, between the basic paradigm for understanding ecosystem dynamics and the paradigm that forms the foundation for many major institutions and 'management' organizations. ... The prevailing view is one of "instrumental rationality" that reduces wholes into parts to be analyzed or managed independently. It underlies the traditional natural and (some) social sciences, and the design of management organizations." ("Barriers and Bridges to the Restoration of the Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem," George R. Francis and Henry A. Regier, p. 284).

David Bohm in On Dialogue ( Routledge, 1996, Chapter 4: The Problem and the Paradox) relates "rational thinking" to "problem solving behavior" and makes a case that the latter is inappropriate when dealing with paradox. Bohm says, "if the mind treats a paradox as if it were a real problem, then since the paradox has no 'solution,' the mind is caught in the paradox forever. Each apparent solution is found to be inadequate, and only leads on to new questions of a yet more muddled nature" (p. 64).

Since Cortner and Moote build much of their discussion around paradox, (as do the authors of Barriers and Bridges...) it should come as no surprise to thoughtful observers that their ideas and methods would be found to be outside the boundaries of "instrumental rationality," perhaps beyond the boundaries of "rationality" itself? Does that make them irrational? Perhaps, but only in the sense that greater understanding can be found when dealing with paradox by using tools other than problem-solving tools.

None: Island Press Accusation

Re: : Free Market Forestry Review of The Politics of Ecosystem Management (Travis C. Cork, III)
Date: Mon, 22 Feb 1999 23:11:47 GMT
From: Dick Alston <unknown>

The Free Market Forestry claim concerning Island Press - to wit: "Island Press, purportedly a nonprofit organization that specializes in publishing books advocating government control and allocation of natural resources, has issued The Politics of Ecosystem Management by Hanna J. Cortner and Margaret A. Moote" belies its publication of Randal O'Toole's Reforming the Forest Service (1988). I suspect Randy would be incensed to have his book lumped together with those advocating government control. Beyond that point, I found the review charged with hyperbole and uninformative.

Feedback: and private forestry?

Re: : Free Market Forestry Review of The Politics of Ecosystem Management (Travis C. Cork, III)
Date: Thu, 02 Dec 1999 04:31:28 GMT
From: Jed Blanton <>

I wish free market ideologues would stop rehashing the same old propaganda-like phrases and buzzwords and be honest about the real outcomes of their proposals. All property rights means is immunity from government regulation (regulation protect important,democratically-derived social values). Assigning property rights would not result in some magical outcome that's better than government ownership. In my region, privatization of forestland would result in even more forest simplification and species extinction. I don't see the pine plantations in the South or the spruce plantations of Maine as anything for national forest policy to emulate. I prefer the divisiveness and polarization of ecosystem management over the tyranny of market-based profiteering anyday.

Disagree: big brother knows best

Re: Feedback: and private forestry? (Jed Blanton)
Date: Thu, 02 Dec 1999 15:25:37 GMT
From: bruce erickson <unknown>

The problem is that people don't invest in private property with the expectation it will be donated to the first government agency that has a whim to manage that chunk of land. That's why we have both public and private property in this country. A certain set of ground rules, so to speak, is reasonable and neccessary (zoning, access, pollution, etc), but as layers of government control get added the cumulative result is total lack of choice, lack of freedom. A return to the feudal societies the founders of this country sought to escape.

So every piece of private land in the south has been converted to softwood plantations, huh? Some of it has, some has been managed for hardwoods, some has been left alone, all based on the owner's choice. Choice which, by the way, is not always based on pure profit motive. And what is wrong with a softwood plantation? It takes pressure off wild public land somewhere in the west.

But, maybe you are right. Maybe the government knows what is best for us. They know best how we should spend at least a third of our income (I'm sure many would like to increase that percentage). Maybe in the end all of our decisions will be made for us in Washington, or Austin, or Sacramento, or St. Paul. And it will be for our own good, since big brother knows best.

Feedback: only with forests

Re: Disagree: big brother knows best (bruce erickson)
Date: Sun, 05 Dec 1999 18:13:35 GMT
From: Jed Blanton <>

   Unfortunately, the management of private land is overwhelmingly directed towards profit-making or owner satisfaction. I'm not saying private individuals are necessarily bad land managers but nearly everybody I know who owns land either wants to build a house on it, sell it to developers, mine it, farm it or log it. If they don't, then the person who will gets it after them will. This is the result of "free markets". This is unavoidable because competitive pressures (as in corporate timberland i.e. the Redwoods)and/or high opportunity costs. Government ownership is valuable because the government can bear the high opportunity costs of not harvesting trees a lot better than most people or companies can. In private woodlands, many regular people and companies can't afford large reserve areas, wide buffer zones, green tree retention, high quality access roads like the government can because they have to pay bills, put the kids through college, pay grandma's medical bills or pay stockholder dividends.

   I don't think I said Big Brother knows best or anything like that because that's not what I believe. I don't think the government should interfere in the more personal and intimate aspects of my life. But,I do believe that public ownership and professional bureaucratic management of a significant portion of U.S. forestland is a desirable policy because it will provide public goods (e.g. wilderness, free public access, staggered harvest) that just wouldn't emerge from a privatized/free market/laissez-faire system. I still find the current system with all its nasty political gridlock, endless legal battles and wasted dollars on planning and other faults superior to a system of privatization.

More: Avoiding the Tyranny of Both "Market Economics" and "Government Economics"

Re: Feedback: and private forestry? (Jed Blanton)
Date: Thu, 02 Dec 1999 15:53:07 GMT
From: Dave Iverson <diverson/>

In the previous message, Jed Blanton says,

I wish free market ideologues would stop rehashing the same old propaganda-like phrases and buzzwords and be honest about the real outcomes of their proposals. All property rights means is immunity from government regulation (regulation protects important,democratically-derived social values). Assigning property rights would not result in some magical outcome that's better than government ownership. In my region, privatization of forestland would result in even more forest simplification and species extinction. I don't see the pine plantations in the South or the spruce plantations of Maine as anything for national forest policy to emulate. I prefer the divisiveness and polarization of ecosystem management over the tyranny of market-based profiteering anyday.

I agree completely. But I also have trouble swallowing the cost benefit analysis justifications often promoted by government economists. If you are interested in a "third-way" approach to evaluating proposals in terms of economics (as one aspect of broader social choice) take a look at the three-part series on economics in the 1995 Eco-Watch Archives, that begins with Robert Gilman's "Design for a Sustainable Economics."

For a more detailed critique of current Forest Service economics principles and practices, in response to a Friends of the Earth, Forest Guardians and others' complaint, look at "Is it Time to Rethink FS Economics Directives?" as posted in the E-W Social Science Coordination Forum.

None: Sell seeds of Picea abies (from Lithunia)

Re: : Free Market Forestry Review of The Politics of Ecosystem Management (Travis C. Cork, III)
Date: Thu, 06 Jan 2000 13:13:46 GMT
From: Giedrius <>

We would like to sell 100 kg of seeds of Picea abies - Norway spruce. Contact

Question: Can any one explain the term sustainable yield basis with respect to forests and logging?

Re: Note: Use, Conservation, and Preservation of Public Lands (Dave Iverson)
Date: Sat, 06 Feb 1999 06:01:13 GMT
From: <>

Can any one explain the term sustainable yield basis with respect to forests and logging?

None: Sustained-Yield Definition and related Web Site

Re: Question: Can any one explain the term sustainable yield basis with respect to forests and logging?
Keywords: Sustained-Yield, Forest Management, Multiple-Use
Date: Sun, 07 Feb 1999 18:47:38 GMT
From: Dave Iverson <Iverson_Dave/>

The National Forest Management Act Regulation defines "Sustained-yield of products and services: The achievement and maintenance in perpetuity of a high-level annual or regular periodic output of the various renewable resources of the National Forest System without impairment of the productivity of the land." (36 CFR 219.3, 9/30/1982)

For a more thorough -- but not highly favorable -- discussion of the Sustained-Yield concept try SUSTAINED-YIELD:WITH A SPECIAL FOCUS ON THE LIQUIDATION-CONVERSION PROJECT IN BRITISH COLUMBIA

Question: what does Sustainable yield Mean???

Re: : Sustained-Yield Definition and related Web Site (Dave Iverson)
Keywords: Sustained-Yield, Forest Management, Multiple-Use
Date: Mon, 11 Oct 1999 20:01:40 GMT
From: <>

If anyone knows, please e-mail me at I need a definition as soon as possible.

Thank you

Ok: Sustained-Yield Definition

Re: Question: what does Sustainable yield Mean???
Keywords: Sustained-Yield, Forest Management, Multiple-Use
Date: Thu, 14 Oct 1999 17:07:56 GMT
From: Moderator <diverson/>

The Multiple-Use Sustained Yield Act of 1960 (MUSY) defines sustained-yield:

(Sec4.(b)) "Sustained yield of the several products and services" means the achievement of a high-level annual or regular periodic output of the various renewable resources of the National Forests without impairment of the productivity of the land. (16 U.S.C. 531)

More: New hyperlink for "SUSTAINED YIELD: Focus on British Columbia"

Re: : Sustained-Yield Definition and related Web Site (Dave Iverson)
Keywords: Sustained-Yield, Forest Management, Multiple-Use
Date: Mon, 02 Apr 2001 18:11:11 GMT
From: Dave Iverson <>

You can now find



Question: Untitled

Re: : Sustained-Yield Definition and related Web Site (Dave Iverson)
Keywords: Sustained-Yield, Forest Management, Multiple-Use
Date: Sun, 03 Jun 2001 19:18:17 GMT
From: <unknown>

can any one tell me what sustainable logging means in brazil?

Feedback: Untitled

Re: Question: Can any one explain the term sustainable yield basis with respect to forests and logging?
Date: Sun, 03 Jun 2001 19:15:01 GMT
From: <unknown>

dose any one know what sustainable logging is ?

Question: A newbie speaks up

Re: Note: Use, Conservation, and Preservation of Public Lands (Dave Iverson)
Date: Mon, 08 Feb 1999 20:37:44 GMT
From: Chuck Engel <>

Will someone wake me up when the discussion gets down to Fee Demo and there aren't as many two-bit words being thrown around like so much chicken feed?

Is anyone else out there who thinks Fee Demo "sucks" (there's a monosyllabic word for ya!) and can help point us public land users/volunteers in a direction that will topple this turkey?

Chuck Engel, Trail Volunteer

Agree: also new

Re: Question: A newbie speaks up (Chuck Engel)
Date: Fri, 12 Feb 1999 19:24:42 GMT
From: <>

I'm also just the average citizen who thinks the user fees for the national forest is unfair. Some of the letters hear are over my head, but I do agree that the fee is a way of keeping the nature lover out of the forest. I love to go hiking, camping, or just driving around in the mountians or the deserts. Now with this fee, I have to pay for what I should be able to do for free. I thought that's why national forests were created. But they seem to be becoming more like private land where a person must ask permission and pay a fee before they enter. Sure, it's not an expensive fee now-but how long will it take before its raised?

I also wonder why it is that when I go to the mountians now, the only thing I ever see rangers and voulanteers doing is patroling parking lots to write tickets to people who didn't pay their fees.

Feedback: Dont Pay the fees & why

Re: Agree: also new
Keywords: user fees don't pay tax taxes
Date: Sat, 13 Feb 1999 16:20:29 GMT
From: John <>

User fees are nothing more then a “User Tax”. They have became the new cash cow for all levels of government to “tax the public without representation”. Were you ever allowed to vote directly on user fees, NO.

A long time a go the citizen of Boston got real upset with the same type of taxing. Fortunately they had some backbone and were willing to do something about it. What we need today is more Americans with some backbone that are willing to stand up to the government and say “hell no I won’t pay”.

Better yet try this one on for size. If the User Fee program is a demonstration program then we should not have to pay the fees because we are demonstrating that we oppose them.

None: Untitled

Re: Feedback: Dont Pay the fees & why (John)
Keywords: user fees don't pay tax taxes
Date: Thu, 18 Feb 1999 01:28:40 GMT
From: <unknown>

I couldn't agree more!!! Our Forest Service employees should be working on forest restoration and management; they should not be forced into becoming "fee police". Perhaps if enough people have the courage and the conviction to say NO -- to say we already support forest management with our taxes and we want corporate subsidies reallocated to forest management -- then we can end this horrible program.

Feedback: Do Something!

Re: Question: A newbie speaks up (Chuck Engel)
Date: Sat, 22 May 1999 14:36:40 GMT
From: Alexander Day <>

The fee demo program was established by Congress to help fund the National Forests and other public land agencies during a time when there was no money in the general fund for such agencies. Now there is supposedly a surplus in federal coffers, but Congress won't allocate it to the agencies whose budgets were slashed in the previous recession. Congress needs to be told that the public will not stand for fees charged to use public lands when there is money out there that was at one time intended to help fund these agencies. I realize that the Forest Service used to get some of its money from timber sales that are now falling out of favor but what about BLM, Wildlife Refuges, and other public lands that are not logged?(I am aware that some BLM lands get logged and grazing fees are established, but these commercial fees are miniscule.) In my community, fees were going to be established for a few campgrounds that were previously free. These campgrounds are in bad shape and a camping fee is a reasonable way to pay for upkeep. However, the uproar from the community caused the Forest Service to back off on the proposal. The community got together and made it perfectly clear that under no certain terms were they going to accept more fees for using public lands. Why aren't other communities demonstrating this unwillingness to accept new fees? Why aren't elected officials being bombarded with letters and emails stating opposition to the fee demo program. The officials are elected into office by us! They will listen to us if enough people make it clear that they will no longer be in office if they don't listen. In the time it took you to read this message, you could have emailed your Congressman/woman and told them to properly fund our National Forests and quit charging new fees (taxes) to their constituents. Don't just sit there, DO SOMETHING!

Agree: double taxation without representation

Re: Question: A newbie speaks up (Chuck Engel)
Date: Fri, 04 Jun 1999 20:51:50 GMT
From: smuldoon <>

i would agree with you, as stated.

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

Re: Note: Use, Conservation, and Preservation of Public Lands (Dave Iverson)
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


Warning: Be informed and be afraid, very afraid!

Re: Note: Use, Conservation, and Preservation of Public Lands (Dave Iverson)
Keywords: Fee Demo
Date: Thu, 18 Feb 1999 02:02:18 GMT
From: Chuck Engel <>

I find it interesting that there are others who dislike Fee-Demo as much as I and that no "pro" comments have come in to this site so far. So I have done some background sleuthing for those of you in a similar frame of mind as me.

I have a definite anti-Fee Demo stance so even when I list a pro-fee demo website below I call out items critical to the program. But the pro arguments are there for you to read regardless. I have pulled many of these gems from Scott Silver's Wild Wilderness site where he has done an excellent job of showing the link between big business, the Republican dominated Congress in Washington DC, and the push for Fee Demo.

The following is broken down into Neutral, Pro- and Anti-Fee Demo sections. I tried to use the original postings where ever possible but some links would no longer work and I do not have the time to track them down further.

I do not expect you to come to the same conclusions that I do nor should you use this as your only source of info. But being informed is much better than just reacting from the gut. When you discuss Trail Park and other user fees, at least you will have had the opportunity to see what both sides have to say.



Neutral: Quote: "Resistance to the fees is strong in the Pacific Northwest, where nature is in the foreground of the region's identity.

Opponents say new fees are the precursor of corporate-managed lands that will create recreational playgrounds for motorized vehicles. Some point to a proposed aerial tram in the Quinault rain forest as the dawning of this transformation."


Pro: Quote: " The report said there were some questions about a provision of the program requiring 80 percent of the fees to be retained at the location where they are collected. It said some sites may reach a point where they have more revenues than they need." Quote: "Congress authorized the Recreation Fee Demonstration Program in 1996 and recently extended it through Sept. 2001." Quote: "As an urban forest, Baker-Snoqualmie was one of the country's first to make money in the pilot program. The foresters needed it. Cost per mile to maintain trails: $1,200." (Yikes! - What are they doing? Paving them???) ". . .The dam - simply a boulder imbedded into the ground to make a step - keeps water flowing off the trail. Cost: $75." Quote:"Until priorities change, user fees are going to be as much a part of the forests as the trees." Quote: " Agencies funded out of their net income will be subject to several new laws. First is the Law of Profits, which says that the agency should avoid any activity that loses money. ...The Second is the Law of Responsiveness, which says that the agency will be most responsive to the users whose fees generate the most profits. Quote: " When our national forests give away recreation, private managers cannot compete. But when national forests charge fees, private land may open up to recreation, also for a fee. Quote: "The 1996 survey was also designed to help the recreation industry and government officials understand public attitudes towards higher recreation fees, asking how much more recreationists would have been willing to pay on their last visit to a Federal recreation site. Four out of five reported a willingness to pay more while one in five were unwilling. Not surprisingly, those who were extremely satisfied with their most recent experiences at Federal sites were far more likely to pay higher fees.

. . .The Recreation Roundtable is comprised of chief executives from more than twenty of America’s leading recreation companies, including Coleman, REI, Walt Disney Attractions, Times Mirror Magazines, L.L. Bean, and KOA."


Con: Quote:"He cannot be arrested for refusing to pay a parking ticket but is subject to $30 fines, according to Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, custodian of the Snow Lake trail and many of Western Washington's favorite routes." Quote: "It baffles me that the Department of Agriculture tracks the value of soybeans, corn, or wheat to the penny by the day, yet, rarely is recreation and tourism on federal lands understood as a revenue generator. Instead it has been perceived as an amenity - something extra that we are privileged to enjoy. Fortunately, that's beginning to change." Spoken by: Michael Dombeck, Chief of the Forest Service,  (12/97).

"The bill calls for the Forest Service to develop a significantly improved program to encourage private-sector investment, construction and operation of forest-based lodges, resorts, marinas, riding stables, campgrounds, and stores..." From: The National Forest Recreation Site Enhancement and Management Act; Legislation proposed by the National Forest Recreation Association (5/98). Quote: " Many in the agency believe that "big business" is the answer to their current funding woes - suggesting that large corporations might take on all the concessions on a single Forest, much like the National Parks model..."

Quote from Snow Country magazine: "Derrick Crandall, director of the American Recreation Coalition and one of the chief architects of the fee plan, hopes that within the next decade roughly 40 to 50 persent of recreation funds might be raised through visitor fees. "Under this demonstration program, [public lands] are run more like a private business," he says. "The more visitors you have, the money money you will have to service those customers. We think recreation programs will do better in the marketplace than they have done on the political front." Quote: "Washington, D.C. -- Land-management agencies will have to change their operations to accommodate a ‘tough’ funding environment according to United States Senator Craig Thomas (R-WY). The Senator, who serves as Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Parks, Historic Preservation and Recreation, made that observation during his appearance at the American Recreation Coalition’s February Recreation Exchange.

Returning to the issue of privatization, Senator Thomas closed his formal remarks by commenting on legislation directing the Office of Management and Budget to decide which functions performed by federal agencies are essentially governmental and which should be handled by the private sector. ‘I hope we look at privatization,’ he said. ‘We could save money and things could be done better in the private sector.’ -- " Quote: "A Golden Arches National Park? Hey, Don't Laugh (by Tom Wharton, The Salt Lake Tribune) A few weeks ago, cartoonist Gary Trudeau ridiculed corporate sponsorship of national parks in a series of biting “Doonesburry” cartoons. To American Recreation Coalition president Derrick Crandall, the idea is no laughing matter. His organization represents many companies who benefit from the booming $350 billion-a-year outdoors industry... The idea of corporate sponsorship of national parks resulted in satirists joking that Yellowstone National Park would soon turn into McDonald’s National Park or the Grand Canyon would be renamed Disney’s Grand Canyon {Disney is an ARC sustaining member}.

Crandall suggested that private industry could play several roles in helping public-land managers. For example, the Coleman Company {an ARC sustaining member} could sponsor a weekend of free entry to a popular national or state park, allowing those struggling to enjoy a vacation a way to save money. Kodak could put together a detailed book on how to take great pictures in the national forest that would be distributed free at ranger stations. A major sporting-goods dealer such as R.E.I. {represented on ARC’s Recreation Roundtable} might sell required permits to urban forest areas while providing environmental-education materials on protecting the land...

Corporations realize investing in the outdoors and lobbying Congress for increased funding of trails, campgrounds and parks will ultimately increase their bottom lines. Besides, it is the right thing to do. MOU between THE WALT DISNEY COMPANY ("TWDC") and the UNITED STATED DEPARTMENT OF AGRCULTURE FOREST SERVICE ('FS') UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE NATURAL RESOURCES CONSERVATION SERVICE ('NRCS') UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY ARMY CORP OF ENGINEERS ('COE') UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR BUREAU OF RECLAMATION ('BOR') UNITED STATED DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE ('FWS') UNITED STATED DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR NATIONAL PARK SERVICE . . . The purpose of this MOU is to establish a general framework for coordination and cooperation between the FS, NRCS, COE, BLM, BOR, FWS, NPS and TWDC.

This agreement will provide a foundation for the FS, NRCS, COE, BLM, BOR, FWS, NPS and TWDC to work together in partnership on issues of common interest and upon which the cooperators can jointly plan and carry out mutually beneficial programs and activities consistent with each organizations mission and objectives.

. . . The Walt Disney Company is dedicated to integrating business needs with environmental values and concerns and communicating the need to conserve resources to the public.

None: Balance of recreation and the land

Re: Note: Use, Conservation, and Preservation of Public Lands (Dave Iverson)
Date: Tue, 12 Feb 2002 03:43:29 GMT
From: <unknown>

The mission of the Forest Service(as I understand it) is to balance the needs of the owners of the land (American citizens) with the needs of the occupants of the land (those that live there...whether that be plants, animals or Humans or maybe even an occasional sasquatch or 2 ;) ). 1)The Forest Service is a branch of the American Government and therefore acts on the wants and needs of the people(or it should ). 2)The Forest Service is responsible for the preservation of the land. At times these wants and needs are seemingly in conflict with preservation or is it? Some think the best way to manage the land is to lock it up and not allow Human influence....kind of a Star Trek "prime directive" in action here on Earth (meaning no contact with Nature). I feel this is wrong on many aspects. 1)By being among Nature we learn to love and appreciate it. I shudder to think of generations of Americans learning about "Nature" by display rides at Disney's conglomerate of entertainment arenas or other places. 2)We ARE part of Nature. Like it or not we are animals and are part of the ecosystem. We are the top of the rung or so we like to think. We belong in and among Nature, if anything, for the Natural sequence of things. 3)We need to recreate. Recreation takes on many differing forms. With this said I'm not against forming some Wilderness-designated lands. With that said I feel we may already have enough of such lands designated already. I enjoy the land for many different activities. 1)I love being in and among Nature as it helps me appreciate and love it more each and every time I'm out. 2)I love to recreate. I enjoy hiking, skiing, birdwatching, mountain biking and trail motorcycle use. Quite DIVERSE isn't it. That is what I think our lands should be for. Diversity. Many people talk about the great diversity of our cities and forget the word belongs in our Public Lands also. I don't envy the job of the Forestry, but I sure do respect the "calling". Please keep in mind that our lands need to reflect the diversity of our people and need to be protected also. It's a tough balancing act, but we trust you can do it.

Bill Malec Humboldt, Tn.

Question: Whatever happened to "Multiple Use"?

Re: Note: Use, Conservation, and Preservation of Public Lands (Dave Iverson)
Date: Mon, 06 May 2002 03:03:14 GMT
From: <unknown>

It seems to me that the USFS has forsaken one of it's original ideals; managing forests for commodity use. Instead, because of fear of lawsuits and litigation,the USFS became an agency whose core business is providing recreation and fighting wildfires. Because of this, many rural communities,whose economic infrastructure was centered around commodity use of national forest resources, have become ghost towns where service/tourist industries (low wage jobs) have replaced higher paying, commodity based industries. Unfortunately, people fail to realize that use of natural resources created wealth and thus stimulated economic growth.

None: Mission-Shift happened to "Multiple Use" as Society Changed

Re: Question: Whatever happened to "Multiple Use"?
Date: Fri, 10 May 2002 17:03:03 GMT
From: Dave Iverson <>

To some extent the allegation is true that, “the USFS has forsaken one of its original ideals; managing forests for commodity use. Instead, because of fear of lawsuits and litigation, the USFS became an agency whose core business is providing recreation and fighting wildfires.”

In another sense, what has happened is that the older and, despite rhetoric about “sustained yield,” largely unsustainable “utiltitarian” mission for the Forest Service (see, e.g. Gifford Pinchot’s Use Book) has transformed in the wake of recent social pressures. This is understandable since it has been a hundred years since the original mission was forged. In my words, the Forest Service mission now reads something more like:

The US Forest Service works with the American people to care for their forests as sources of inspiration and recreation, and sources of biological diversity and ecological integrity. The Forest Service also works with the American people in using "resources" from the national forests in pursuit of sustainable development--within ecological limits, according to social values for use AND aesthetic, scientific, spiritual, etc. appreciation of forests and grasslands as part of our national heritage.

Because the Forest Service has not yet figured out how to balance the twin aspects of its new-found mission, and because it continues to react mainly to litigation that keeps it in check, the balance seems to some to be skewed to the “protection, recreation” side of the equation. In time, the balance will likely move to a more centrist position or the mission will shift further toward the “inspiration, recreation, biological diversity, ecological integrity” side of the equation. Another possibility is that we’ll all realize that current commodity flows from the forests are “about right,” once we downsize our American consumption appetites. Then the debates will rightly focus on "betterment of practices," protecting the environment while serving people.

Along with the mission shift for the national forests, rural communities are transforming as well. Almost none have become ghost towns. Some Western communities have become high-end recreation centers, some have become getaway hamlets for urban dwellers, some (including some of the first two categories) have become high-tech “footloose” industry strongholds as people who have a choice choose to live closer to the natural beauty of America’s wildlands. Some continue to struggle. Many of these communities grapple with the diversity of older dwellers co-located with new-comers.

There IS a real problem in attempting to protect our natural forest heritage without limiting our consumption appetites, thereby exporting both environmental degradation and human rights problems to “less-developed” countries. But we will not solve such problems by turning a blind eye to them here at home, in a wild “race to the bottom.”

Instead, we must face these problems squarely and develop diplomatic, economic, and other policy that allows other countries to prosper along paths of sustainable development, that seeks to remedy harms already imposed on them by our American hegemony, and seeks to not impose further harm on them. We also have to chart-out our own Amercian path to sustainable development and more broadly framed “sustainability.”. None of this is easy, but must be attempted if we are ever to learn to live in discordant-harmony with Others on Earth (Other People and Other Species).

Ok: rural communities coping with change

Re: : Mission-Shift happened to "Multiple Use" as Society Changed (Dave Iverson)
Keywords: rural poverty, urban elitism, preserving nature at expense of working people
Date: Fri, 16 Jan 2004 04:39:42 GMT
From: ignored ruralite <unknown>

"Along with the mission shift for the national forests, rural communities are transforming as well. -not for the best, unfortunately.

"Almost none have become ghost towns". Not a single one should have, if there were any justice or real balance.

"Some Western communities have become high-end recreation centers", That seems to have the most to do with ski resorts, golf courses and cheap, ex-ranch land, not turning all of our federal lands into late sucessional biodiversity preserves."

"some have become getaway hamlets for urban dwellers," -only if they are within daily communting distance of a major city. If not, "Oh Well, out of luck".

"Some continue to struggle". -That's putting it mildly.

Question: Can We Dance with Corporate Giants?

Re: : Use of the National Forests in the 21st Century (Mark Garland)
Date: Fri, 29 Jan 1999 19:31:14 GMT
From: Dave Iverson <Iverson_Dave/>

Without getting squashed, that is. A related question is, "Who, or what is likely to get squashed: Forest Service employees, the public interest, neither?"

Pinchot's dream of accommodating small-users first never worked too well for the Forest Service. Big timber, grazing, and mining interests always pushed for what they considered their "fair share" of the action. Pinchot tried to keep big money interests in their proper, and decidedly secondary place but it problably didn't work well then and arguably hasn't since.

Now it looks like it's big commercial recreation's turn to apply pressure. In the past, commercial interests were treated as permittees or contractors. Now they are more often than not called partners. I tried to link-up the US Forest Service Partnership Guide for reference, but all I get these days is a broken link. So instead, here are three articles that might help to get a ball rolling for this discussion:

News: Forest Chief Warns Recreationists to Stay Within the Limits of the Land

Re: Question: Can We Dance with Corporate Giants? (Dave Iverson)
Date: Tue, 09 Feb 1999 07:51:46 GMT
From: Moderator <>


     Forest Chief Warns Recreationists to Stay Within the Limits of the Land


Note: Forest Service Partnership Guide

Re: Question: Can We Dance with Corporate Giants? (Dave Iverson)
Date: Wed, 17 Feb 1999 17:56:02 GMT
From: Scott Silver <>

While the USFS may have removed their partnership guide from the web, Wild Wilderness has returned it to the web!

The document is currently available at:

Other internet documents that are especially relevant to this topic are:

Private/Public Ventures

A Forest Service Flier called: "A Strategy for Recreation"

A dubious private-public program called: "Partners Outdoors"

A remarkable candid statement from the Forest Service

To retrun to the original question:

Can we dance with giants?

 ... of course we can, if we don't mind them walking all over us.

None: What do you mean by "big commercial recration"?

Re: Question: Can We Dance with Corporate Giants? (Dave Iverson)
Date: Thu, 14 Feb 2002 15:13:32 GMT
From: <BillMalec>

I don't call allowing averge American citizens access to the land to recreate BIG COMMERCIAL RECREATION, however I do call The Sierra Club's intention to lock up the forests and then have "club hiking and scenic exploration events" BIG RECREATION. How is it when it's a conservative idea it's called CORPORATE and when it's a real corporation like the Sierra Club it's called something else? Never quite understood that platform.

Feedback: Big Money Recreation Interests

Re: : What do you mean by "big commercial recration"?
Date: Thu, 14 Feb 2002 23:04:03 GMT
From: Dave Iverson <>

Who are the Big Money Recreation interests that I and Jon Margolis in "The Latest 1000-lb Gorilla" refer to?

I would include pretty much any big money commercial interests who stand to gain from gaining influence in public lands decisions. Right now we could include major automobile, truck, and sport utility vehicle makers, makers of Jet Skiis, boats, ATVs, camping and hiking equipment,etc. Later, if worst nightmares happen, we might include Hotel and Motel concerns, Fast Food and other restaurant concerns, etc.

We might include some outfitters too, like commerical float boat concerns.

The list is long.. Go to Margolis's article for a visual.

None: I can tell you from experience that...

Re: Feedback: Big Money Recreation Interests (Dave Iverson)
Date: Tue, 19 Feb 2002 23:51:09 GMT
From: <BillMalec>

Major manufacturers of OHV's don't give a hoot about selling OHV's. To them it's a "nuisance". They'd much rather sell automobiles and trucks and heavy equipment (ie: Honda, Kawasaki). 
The give NOTHING or very, very, very little money to organizations that fight for the right to access Public Lands.
So much for "big business" influencing things.
It comes down to this. Our lands are set up for multiple use and that is that. It is the average citizen that recreates that is pushing to KEEP their access to lands( and not for more access as you like to try to make people believe)
 I don't like the owners of cars driving down the road with THUMP, THUMP, THUMP stereos, but I have no right telling them they can't use the highway. Pretty much the same thing if you think about it.

None: User Fees

Re: : Use of the National Forests in the 21st Century (Mark Garland)
Date: Sun, 07 Feb 1999 01:40:48 GMT
From: Ron Ziblis <>

  The main issue I’d like to discuss in this forum is the national forests inception of this "park pass" or "adventure pass" trail tax. In 1995, this new tax was sold to the public as a "demo" program that would only succeed if the public accepted it. Well, this has proven to be a sham. How much public input was considered last year when an extension was slid through Congress by tagging it as a rider to a must pass appropriations bill? Does Frank Murkowski have public opinion in mind by introducing a bill to expand the program and make it permanent or is he responding to pressure from the corporate lobbyist who keep his larder full?
  I have yet to meet a fellow hiker or outdoor enthusiast who is in favor of this program. I have seen trail fee signs vandalized, countless vehicle illegal parked without passes, and trail registers crammed with negative comments about this program. Yet the Forest Service seems to interpret this as public support. Until this forum, I have not seen any public discussion of this issue. I look forward to expressing and discussing the reasons for my dissatisfaction in future postings in this forum.

Agree: Why the Recreation Fee "Demonstration" Program is Wrong

Re: : User Fees (Ron Ziblis)
Keywords: recreation, fee, demonstration, program, forest, user, park, service, BLM, Fish & Wildlife
Date: Tue, 09 Feb 1999 00:29:36 GMT
From: Michael Zierhut <>

The authorization of the Recreational Fee Demonstration Program (RFDP) by Congress has never been, to my mind, about conservation or stewardship. Private business played a pivotal role in its creation. The American Recreation Coalition (ARC), a lobbyist group representing large recreation interests pushed the RFDP through Congress. Not surprisingly, members of this group are contributors to the election campagins of key Congress members who support the program (e.g. Derrick Crandall, the ARC's president, donating to Senator Frank Murkowski's election campaign).

This association of the RFDP with the ARC should come as no real surprise. Private interests have often been at the forefront of actions taken to deprive people of their birthright to explore and roam freely within their world. From the damming of every running river, to the clear cutting of the last American rain forests, to the clouding of our skies with smoke, to the paving and flattening of every inch of city lands, the profits of private business have taken precedent over any other consideration. Considerations of social and ecological impact have ever been secondary to the bottom line.

And so, the divorcement of Americans from areas of the world which they have not paved marches on. Starting with early Puritan ideas of forests being the domain of the devil, moving to the clear-cutting march of Paul Bunyan across the continent, alongside the industrialization and urbanization of the lives of citizens, on to the progress of man conquering nature, this program is the culmination of our divorcement from the very world which sustains us. After all, humans are a part of the planet's ecosystem.

This fee program represents one of the last actions to totally separate our society from nature. To require a fee to enter a forest while cities remain relatively free to roam through is to say that we are not a part of the natural world - we don't belong out there. Worse than this even, is the possibility, that millions of underprivileged children who are already often oblivious to the world outside cities will never set foot in wilderness because they can't afford to get in. To not know the source of your life is to not know life itself.

We should wake up before it's too late. For too long, private interests have greased the legislative gears of our country. They have won the right using their economic muscle to extract every last penny of profit through resource extraction. First it was mining, logging, and cattle interests who profited to the detriment of the wilderness. Now more private interests want to commodify the land itself. Already the Forest Service is gearing up to let them move in and pillage for profit. The land is not their revenue generator, it is our birthright! When are citizens going to be given the recognition that seems to be reserved only for corporate interests?

To paraphrase Eisenhower (with poetic license): Beware of the recreation-industrial complex.

Michael Zierhut

None: If Not Recreation Fees, Then What?

Re: Agree: Why the Recreation Fee "Demonstration" Program is Wrong (Michael Zierhut)
Keywords: recreation, fee, demonstration, program, forest, user, park, service, BLM, Fish & Wildlife
Date: Tue, 09 Feb 1999 20:29:36 GMT
From: Dave Iverson <Iverson_Dave/>

In the previous message Michael Zierhut argues:

This fee program represents one of the last actions to totally separate our society from nature. To require a fee to enter a forest while cities remain relatively free to roam through is to say that we are not a part of the natural world - we don't belong out there.

Some time back I reviewed a wonderful book titled Nature and the Human Spirit, that argues the same point. For example,

In Chapter 26 Frank Magary argues for restraint in our whole attitude toward nature--our penchant to dominant nature. Magary makes the case that in late twentieth-century America almost everything, including Nature, is essentially being reduced to the status of "commodity," to be bought and sold. But he sees irony in the fact that our attachment to Nature is not to be so easily dismissed. If we destroy the nature from which our human cultures have emerged, then the essential mystery and wildness that is our touchstone to reality vanishes, leaving us without any cultural anchor to reality. Public lands in the U.S. have never been far from Americans' thoughts of wildness and mystery. Magary believes that it is not too late to restore lost trust by the Forest Service, and that the answer lies in resisting the temptation to reduce everything to a commodity. He argues that, "If the Forest Service could sometimes resist the universal commodification of nature--which could be part of a program to define 'nature-based, hard-to-define' landscapes--this would do much to restore trust in the agency." Maguary concludes by recommending restraint: "Restraint excercised by public agencies toward spiritual things, the willingness to provide a space--but not to fill it--is analogous to the silences that are essential in music."

I too have thought long and hard about this subject and believe that if we (the American people as owners of the National Forests) need recreation user "fees," they probably ought to be structured more like money used to fund matters of the spirit, as "offerings" not as "admission tickets" to theme parks. I do not know what our "needs" as a people are, but I do know a little about the history of the public lands and know that the US Congress has never (yet) been too fond of providing funds for public lands management. As extractive-industry "cash cows" have begun to run dry, both the Administration and the Congress have turned increasingly to both recreational user fees and partnerships with the recreation industry. I believe that decisions regarding what to do in both areas should be approached with utmost caution. Still we are faced with the question, "If not recreation fees, then what?"

Feedback: a few solutions

Re: : If Not Recreation Fees, Then What? (Dave Iverson)
Keywords: recreation, fee, demonstration, program, forest, user, park, service, BLM, Fish & Wildlife
Date: Tue, 09 Feb 1999 23:38:36 GMT
From: Ron Ziblis <>

Funny you should ask. Driving home today, I passed large stack of slaughtered old growth at one of many local mills. I could not help but remember the report earlier this year where the Forest Service finally admitted their timber program operates at a loss, the figures for 1997 amounted to more than $88,000,000. This is more than 9 times what the recreational fee demo claimed to have brought in during the same period! I can’t help but ask why a low impact hiker or nature lover should be asked to pay for the ineptness of the forest service?
  Another simple solution has been offered by Representative Peter Defazio in the form of House bill H.R. 2818. This legislation would repeal the fee program and place a royalty on hard rock minerals. The proceeds would then be used for recreation programs in the National Forests. This is a very reasonable way to generate revenue for public lands. For too long, mining interests have been able to remove billions of dollars in minerals off public lands essentially for free.
  If the forest service must charge fees for recreation, then at least only tax those activities that are potentially damaging. A sticker for off-road vehicle such as ATV’s and snowmobiles would be appropriate. Maybe even a mountain bike sticker should be considered. How about charging a little for those firewood collecting permits? But to charge someone to go out and get a breath of fresh air is morally and spiritually wrong.

Feedback: a few more solutions

Re: : If Not Recreation Fees, Then What? (Dave Iverson)
Keywords: recreation, fee, demonstration, program, forest, user, park, service, BLM, Fish & Wildlife
Date: Wed, 10 Feb 1999 22:26:15 GMT
From: Michael Zierhut <>

So if not the RFDP, then what? Well, our federal income taxes already provide for public lands budgets. If Congress unwisely removed funding from the Departments of Agriculture and Interior, then they should reinstate workable budgets which include considerations for the backlogs of work due to the original budget cuts.

The money is there. I have heard that government receipts are to exceed $1.5 trillion this year. President Clinton, as we know from his State of the Union address, is looking to give $112 billion to the Defense Department (which also got a $9 billion boost last year). Taking just a sliver of that money would easily fund public lands. The cold war is over. Public lands need funds. In my mind, boosting the military budget, while we remain the world's only real superpower, makes the Defense Department's name all the more Orwellian. The public interest demands access to public lands, ans so public lands deserve proper funding. We already have enough guns and bombs.

I realize that the many war hawks of Congress may not be able to find it in their hearts to fund public lands by taking away some of the money slated for weapons and machines of destruction. Well then, I have another suggestion: instead of giving out subsidies and tax cuts to large corporations with no strings (known colloquially as "corporate welfare"), make some strings. Give these breaks and grants only to those companies that satisfy conditions of social and ecological responsibility set up by law. I would think that, if properly monitored, many of these grants and breaks would not be given out, thus providing another source of revenue for the government which could be spent on public lands. After all, almost every case of damage to the ecology of the land has been due to profit-hungry, private interests. A further, beneficial side-effect of such a strings-attached program would be the shifting of corporate business incentives from solely a profit motive to one of ecological and social responsibility.

If neither of these ideas work, due to the power structure's entrenchment against the possibility of these suggestions, then why not expand the original concept of the RFDP by examining how public lands are used. If public lands policy is to change to a "wise use," "pay-to-play" paradigm, then the degree of usage should be considered. The average citizen when using public land has a negligible impact - no matter how much poaching or littering they do - compared to even the smallest of mining, logging, or grazing companies. Oddly, these companies get subsidies and tax breaks from the government to do business on our public lands. It would seem logical that the heaviest users should pay the heaviest user fees. Mining, logging, and grazing corporations should be paying fees instead of getting free hand-outs from tax dollars that come mostly from the public. Furthermore, the language of the RFDP itself allows "fees for admission to the area or for the use of outdoor recreation sites, facilities, visitor centers, equipment, and services by individuals and groups," which does not appear to preclude fees for non-recreational use of public lands. A truly equitable fee system would not charge non-motorized users, and would most heavily charge strip-miners and clear-cutters. Representative Peter DeFazio's legislation to replace the RFDP with a 5% hard mineral tax is just one example of how a more rational and proportional user-fee system could be implemented.

As you can see, there are reasonable alternatives to charging fees for the public to use lands that are "in the public trust." The agency charters never said "in the corporate trust." Charging a fee for the public is not only double taxation, it is irrational considering the past abuses of public lands by private interests. Already, the recreation interests working with the Forest Service on the RFDP have changed the terminology regarding the public from "visitors" to "customers." Would these private interests be any more responsible than previous corporate users of public lands, or would their marketing concepts for public lands drive them to the same kinds of ecological abuses in the name of profit. The idea that they and the Forest Serivce can reduce a wilderness experience to a revenue generating "commodity," flies in the face of fair, logical, and ecologically responsible alternatives.

Michael Zierhut

None: Spritual and mental renewal must not be based on ability to pay!

Re: Feedback: a few more solutions (Michael Zierhut)
Keywords: recreation, fee, demonstration, program, forest, user, park, service, BLM, Fish & Wildlife
Date: Fri, 12 Feb 1999 20:42:02 GMT
From: <unknown>

I couldn't agree more with previous message by Michael Zierhut. This is an extremely personal issue to me. I have been spending time in MY national forests for the past 29 years. The older I get, the more important it has become to me to spend more time in the natural world for all the benefits that time brings. My husband and I are not rich, we are just working class people, and one of the main reasons we have been able to afford to spend a few weeks every year hiking, birdwatching, photographing in the national forests is because we remote camp without using any developed facilities. This is one of the most important activities in our lives, so this fee program was my worst nightmare come true! First and foremost, it's absolutely unconscionable for the federal government to be subsidizng extractive industry (which is causing untold and in many cases irreversible damage to our public lands) to the tune of MILLIONS of dollars each and every year, and then to tell common working citizens that they must ante up fees everwhere they go just to take a walk on their own public lands!

And it's not just the cost of the fees, but the terrible intrusion of having to spend precious time and effort dealing with yet another bureaucratic, regulatory system trying to find out where to buy stickers, who vendors are, etc. Accessing the national forests and BLM lands was our last refuge from an increasingly restrictive, regulated and crowded society. Last year we drove all the way from the Midwest to Oregon in order to see Opal Creek wilderness. We drove 27 miles down a rough gravel road only to find a FEE AREA sign at the hiking trail - BUT NO PLACE TO PAY. We would have had to drive all the way back to God knows where, and then try to find out where to pay. THIS IS NOT HOW I AM GOING TO SPEND MY TIME ON MY PUBLIC LANDS! Everywhere we went, we found that the only way to avoid having to buy the daily stickers was to buy an annual one -- BUT EACH FOREST HAS THEIR OWN, SO IT WOULD HAVE COST US OVER $300 TO BUY THEM FOR ALL THE FORESTS WE VISIT!! The alternative is to have to buy a sticker every day???!! I REFUSE TO BE MANIPULATED LIKE THIS!

In our national forests here in Wisconsin, we have been informed that to PARK OVERNIGHT ANYWHERE IN THE FOREST BOUNDARIES, EVEN IF IT'S IN A CLEARCUT, we must buy the parking pass. THIS IS NOT CHARGING FEES FOR "HIGHLY USED" AREAS! I will tell you that they will have to arrest me before I will purchase a sticker to do this!

I do not believe for one minute the propaganda that says the public supports the fees - at least not in the national forests. Maybe it's different in the national parks - but I won't go there because it is far too crowded. I haven't talked to ANYONE who supports this, and in fact I'm still finding a lot of people who don't even believe me when I tell them such a program exists in the national forests and BLM land. I guess they'll find out more this summer when they try to visit their own public lands!

The ONLY WAY I will agree to spend my hard-earned money for a fee program is if there is ONE NATIONAL STICKER THAT IS GOOD FOR ALL PUBLIC LANDS ACROSS THE COUNTRY.

People should take note that in the interim report to Congress on the fee program about a year ago, there was a statement in the report THAT THE GOLDEN EAGLE PASSPORT (not the one for those over 62, but the regular access pass) WOULD BE ACCEPTED IN ALL NATIONAL FORESTS IN LIEU OF ADDITIONAL FEES. Obviously this position has been rescinded.

I have actually seen reference in some forest service documents that the service would be working with RELIGIOUS AND SOCIAL WELFARE agencies to help people who can't afford the fees. This is absurd! ACCESS TO OUR OWN PUBLIC LANDS SHOULD NOT BE BASED ON ABILITY TO PAY - THEY MUST BE OPEN TO ALL. The federal government is forcing me to become a lawbreaker - I will not pay to take a walk in my own forests. - Irene Schmidt

Sad: Great Responce

Re: : Spritual and mental renewal must not be based on ability to pay!
Keywords: recreation, fee, demonstration, program, forest, user, park, service, BLM, Fish & Wildlife
Date: Sat, 05 Jun 1999 02:48:56 GMT
From: <>

Hiking fees, et all, are just a way for non-extrative industries to try and justifiy the unproven use figures for recreation on public lands of late being put forth to the people. This will back-fire iam afraid tho as cost increases use will decrease, but perhaps thats the whole point. Everyone is always saying how the problem with the forest is two many people, weather their bird watching or bird shooting. When the KING opened up the land, the commons, to the people, they soon had killed and cut it all, and he was back to hanging the poachers.

Disagree: Fee protesters should be willing to contribute

Re: : Spritual and mental renewal must not be based on ability to pay!
Keywords: recreation, fee, demonstration, program, forest, user, park, service, BLM, Fish & Wildlife
Date: Wed, 13 Dec 2000 17:04:52 GMT
From: Farmer <>

You don't want to pay any fees to use our forests- well, boo hoo hoo! You will go to jail first? Really? That sort of protest bluster is more likely to result in fines- big fines- them's the rules! Rules are there for a reason. Anarchy is not the answer-

Maybe I should ignore the rules and ride my OHV anywhere I please- after all I DO pay $21 just to have an opportunity to ride- then I have to pay the other fees too! If you feel you are above the rules, why not me? Why not everyone? In many areas, ALL our OHV riding options have been eliminated. If anyone is justified in "civil disobedience" it should be OHVers!

No one is "forcing YOU to become a lawbreaker". All the forests are open for your use.

So quit your whining; pay your fee.

None: I am a forest OWNER, not a "customer".

Re: Feedback: a few more solutions (Michael Zierhut)
Keywords: recreation, fee, demonstration, program, forest, user, park, service, BLM, Fish & Wildlife
Date: Sun, 21 Feb 1999 17:11:35 GMT
From: <unknown>

Once again, Michael presents a most logical, common sense and practical description of exactly what needs to happen. I would really like to see a specific response to his comments by the FS. I find the notion of considering my experiences in the natural world as a "commodity" extremely repulsive. Has our consumer culture really degenerated to the point that we would consider the beauty and wonder of nature a "product"?! If so, then we are indeed a very sick culture.

Michael's points are so logical, that it has doubled my resolve to refuse to pay any hiking or remote camping fees until the corporate subsidies END, and these extractive industries either get off our public lands, or start paying us, the public landowners, fair market value for what they're extracting.

To get even more basic, it is incumbent upon all of us who care about these issues to continue to contact our legislators (yes, even if they don't often listen) and the president and vice president and Katie McGinty's replacement on the Environmental Quality Council and DEMAND that these changes be made. Even if there is some support within the FS to eliminate the fee program (I hope there is some, at least), they are controlled by Congress and have no choice but to follow congressional mandates, although it's obvious that some forest mgrs. have taken it to extremes such as in Okagagon where you're supposed to pay to park anywhere overnight within the forest whether you're in developed facilities or not. We the people must let our so-called representatives know how strongly we feel about our access to our public lands, and how they should be used. And we should all make sure that we ask political candidates about these issues, and get a specific answer. This is important enough to me to be the keystone of any voting decisions I make. I am extremely disappointed that President Clinton apparently supports making fee demo permanent. Please let him know how you feel about this -- if enough letters are written, they can't be ignored.

News: Implementation of the Recreational Fee Demonstration Program

Re: : User Fees (Ron Ziblis)
Date: Tue, 09 Feb 1999 06:49:13 GMT
From: Mark Garland <>



Before the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
United States Senate

Implementation of the Recreational Fee Demonstration Program
February 4, 1999

Angry: Lying with Statistics

Re: News: Implementation of the Recreational Fee Demonstration Program (Mark Garland)
Date: Tue, 09 Feb 1999 22:39:02 GMT
From: Ron Ziblis <>

  I really must wonder who was given the survey cards mentioned in this report. I guess they must come with your park pass if you are dumb enough or intimidated enough to buy one. I have stopped at many ranger stations to express my displeasure with this nature tax and have yet been offered a survey to fill out. They pretty much tell me to write my congressman if I don’t like it. This forum is the first time I have seen any effort on the Forest Services part to receive public comment.
  In fact my representative in the House, Peter DeFazio, has introduced a bill, H.R.2818 (|/bss/d105query.html| ), to repeal the trail tax in response to the overwhelming response from his constituents. In an article in the local paper it was stated he has received more letters about this than any other local issue.
    Out of the twenty or so letters to the editor in my local paper on this subject, only one was in support of the trail tax. No surprise, it happened to be written by a forest service employee. It is insulting to hear the Forest Service say public acceptance of the fee program is high, it is also a flat out LIE!

Agree: Correct address for the bill to repeal the pilot recreation fee program

Re: Angry: Lying with Statistics (Ron Ziblis)
Date: Thu, 11 Feb 1999 06:33:20 GMT
From: Moderator <>


H. R. 2818

To repeal the pilot recreation fee program,
and to establish a royalty on hardrock minerals,
the proceeds of which are to be used for public recreational sites
managed by the Department of the Interior or the United States Forest Service, and for other purposes.


Idea: Statistics which tell a different story

Re: Angry: Lying with Statistics (Ron Ziblis)
Date: Thu, 18 Feb 1999 16:39:25 GMT
From: Scott Silver <>

Lying With Statistics, perhaps...

.... But what is one more lie, more or less, when everything that is being said about Fee-Demo is directed toward facilitating a specific outcome rather than promoting a fair "demonstration" of a new management paradigm?

It would appear as if the USFS has generally taken a flexible attitude in its interpretation of statistics. This is most true when it comes to showing user acceptance of the Fee-Demo Program.

The following data were generated through a private public partnership involving the USFS, the BLM and the American Recreation Coalition's - Recreation Roundtable.

If there is bias in these data, one can logically assume the bias supports the position of the parties who have purchased this study. And, that is precisely why these data are so very revealing!

The following quotes come from a document entitled: Outdoor Recreation In America 1998© Prepared For: The Recreation Roundtable. It is available on the web on at ARC's web site.

----begin direct quotation----

Recreation fees for specific types of services and opportunities

For the first time, the 1998 Roundtable survey asked Americans to express their thoughts on the appropriateness of fees for specific areas and services. We did see a clear difference in the kinds of sites for which fees were seen as appropriate as well as differing views among participants in various recreation activities. We asked respondents to indicate preferences for fees, use of general revenues or a combination of fees and general revenues for four types of opportunities: 1) general access to a recreation site, 2) use of a visitor center, 3) parking at a trailhead, 4) use of picnic areas.

Of these sites, trailhead parking fees proved most acceptable, with one in three expressing support for cost-recovery through fees and another one in three supporting use of a combination of fees and general revenues. Fees for visitor centers drew the least support-fewer than one in five (19%) supported fee funding, while 36% favored funding these facilities entirely with general revenues.

There is an interesting difference in the views about funding recreation opportunities held by those who actually visited a federal recreation site during the past twelve months: while 10% of all Americans respond that they are unsure about who should pay for specific recreation opportunities, the unsure response nearly disappears among those who have visited a federal site. But those actually visiting sites are not more supportive of fee-funding; in fact, they tend to favor increased use of general tax revenues.

Those who hunted within the past year were among the least supportive of fees, expressing support below that of the general public for all four types of recreation opportunities. Canoeists and birdwatchers also reported support for fees that ranked substantially below the general public three of the four opportunities.

Regionally, westerners are the strongest supporters of fees charged for trailheads (44% vs. 33% nationally), as well as of fees charged for the use of picnic areas (33% vs. 23% nationally). Midwesterners, on the other hand, show the lowest level of support for reliance on fees for all four types of recreation opportunities. For example, only 16% of Midwesterners supported reliance on fees for picnic areas, as compared to 23% of the total public and 33% of Westerners.

------end direct quote ------

The data gets even MORE interesting in the very next contiguous paragraph quote from the same source. Here we get to the real issue behind fee-demo.

By now most people either realize or suspect that fee-demo is not really about charging a few bucks to take a hike in the woods or enjoy a picnic on public lands. Fee demo is about the Corporate Takeover of Nature.

The following is a formal presentation of the data which the USFS (and their Corporate Partners) are using to justify this agenda...

----begin direct quote ------


Because of the large funding needs of federal, state and local recreation facilities, it has become necessary to look to other sources of funding beyond general tax revenues and entrance and recreation fees.

One additional potential source of funding is both on a local and national level. A donation by the retailer Target is helping to fund renovation of the Washington monument while thousands of businesses have become part of "Adopt-a-Highway" programs. New York State recently selected Coca Cola as the official soft drink of its state park system, a move which will provide the state with millions of dollars of new funding.

In an effort to gauge the public attitudes toward business support of recreation sites and reactions, this year's survey for the first time included a series of questions directly related to this issue. Specifically, respondents were asked the degree to which they agreed with or opposed each of the following five statements:

  • I like the idea of businesses providing financial support to our parks and recreation areas.

  • Companies should be encouraged to adopt trails and visitor centers, just as they are encouraged to adopt stretches of roadways to reduce litter.

  • I think it would be a good idea to experiment with corporate underwriting of parks and recreation programs.

  • I fear that allowing corporations to become more active in our parks and recreation areas will result in too much commercialization of these sites.

  • I'd rather pay higher recreation and entrance fees than have companies underwrite some park and recreation area costs.

    Feelings Toward Corporate Involvement With Public Facilities

    (data not included here because original is in tabular format)

    The public is generally agreeable to having corporations provide financial support for parks and recreation areas and supports adoption of trails and visitor centers. Approximately 7 out of 10 (71%) agree with the idea of corporate financial support, while 67% agree with the idea of businesses adopting public facilities. A majority (57%) believes that it would be appropriate for corporations to underwrite parks and recreation programs. Although somewhat concerned that corporate involvement might result in too much commercialization, the public seems to be unsure of whether or not this will occur: 36% agree, 31% are neutral and 24% disagree with the statement.

    There is no doubt that Americans would rather have industry foot the bill than be forced to pay higher fees on their own. Only about one-quarter (24%) would rather pay additional entrance and recreation fees than have companies underwrite some of the costs.

  • More affluent Americans are more likely to agree with all of the statements than their less affluent counterparts. Among those with incomes in excess of $75,000, 76% agree that business should provide financial support, 74% agree that business should be encouraged to adopt trails and visitor centers, and 69% agree that it would be a good idea to experiment with corporate underwriting of park and recreation costs.

  • Users of public lands within the last 12 months are also more likely to agree with all of the statements. Those who have used Fish and Wildlife Services facilities are the most positive in their response. Eighty two percent agree that businesses should provide financial support, 83% say that businesses should be encouraged to adopt trails and visitor centers, and 70% are in agreement with experimenting with corporate underwriting of park and recreation costs.

  • On the other hand, African-Americans are the group least likely to agree with all of the proposed ideas. Sixty percent agree with financial support by corporations, 56% agree that business should be encouraged to adopt facilities, and only 50% agree that it is a good idea to experiment with corporate underwriting of parks and recreation costs.

    These results suggest that it would be appropriate for public parks and recreation areas to approach businesses with partnership programs that offer corporations an incentive for providing funding for the maintenance and expansion of public parks and recreation areas.

  • Note: Forest Service surveys inaccurate

    Re: Angry: Lying with Statistics (Ron Ziblis)
    Date: Thu, 18 Feb 1999 17:08:46 GMT
    From: Ron Ziblis <>

    I found the following tidbit in a report to Congress on the fee demo which can be found at: As you can see the survey was only given to those who purchased a fee permit and this could be anything from camping fees to visitor centers. The questions beat around the bush rather the come right out and ask if respondants agreed with the fee demo. The author of the report even cautioned the accuracy of the results obtained with this questionable sampling approach. The end result is the survey is not accurate and can be easily manipulated. No wonder they think the public loves fee demo.

    "Similar findings were reported by the USDA Forest Service. When forest customers purchased a fee permit at any test site, they were given the opportunity to respond to a customer "Comment Card." On a five-point scale, from "strongly agree" to "strongly disagree," 64.4 percent of the respondents either agreed or strongly agreed with the statement that the opportunities and services they experienced were at least equal to the fee they paid. However, a substantial number (23.8 percent) disagreed with the statement. The results were about the same for the statement that recreationists should help pay for visitor services on public lands by paying recreation fees.

    While public responses were substantially positive with regard to the recreation fee demonstration project, and similar to findings in the National Park Service, caution should be exercised in interpreting these results. The comment cards were strictly voluntary, and respondents were not selected according to the strict standards of statistical sampling. Usually, people who fill out comment cards feel strongly one way or the other. The results bear this out, for there were few responses (usually less than ten percent) in the middle, or "neutral," category."

    None: More Statistics.

    Re: Note: Forest Service surveys inaccurate (Ron Ziblis)
    Date: Thu, 18 Feb 1999 23:43:15 GMT
    From: Scott Silver <>

    Some of the most creative uses of statistics I have yet observed were presented in a speech by Jim Lyons (Undersecretary of Agriculture). The speech was given on June 8, 1998 at the American Recreation Coalition's "Outdoors Recreation Week."

    Full text of this speech is available at:

    To justify strong "Customer Support" for the new Forest Service push toward "Industrial Strength Recreation", Mr. Lyons made the following statement.

    "We developed a marketing strategy and an icon that we hope will become to outdoor recreation what the Nike swoosh is to sporting goods and that famous Mercedes Benz hood ornament is to automobiles - a sign that connotes high quality outdoor experiences and customer satisfaction.

    Along those lines, we initiated customer surveys and introduced the concept of customer satisfaction as a means to measure our performance and as a goal for which we should strive.

    Recently a review of customer surveys of our outdoor recreation programs was completed. We learned a number of things. First, with regard to the national forests overall, our customers want improved services and facilities (38 %), more and better recreation facilities (18 %), and more and better interpretive information maps and signs (18 %). "

    Just 18 percent of those sampled said they wanted "better recreation facilities" and or wanted "better interpretive information, maps and signs." But, those pathetic positive response numbers were what Undersecretary Lyons used to justify the major push of the USFS to provide more of those very goods and services.

    Perhaps as many as 82 percent of the public do not want these things. Fully 82% of the sampled population did not say they wanted these things. Yet, just a few paragraphs later in his speech, Mr. Lyons said:

    "We're building partnerships more than ever before, because we need the help, and we know that high quality outdoor recreation experiences are the product of public/private partnership. Just look at the alpine skiing that occurs on the national forests. The Winter Sports Partnership was our first adventure in aggressively promoting the benefits of working together to promote our brand of outdoor recreation. We think it's paid off - for the ski areas, for the Forest Service, and for the customers WE serve."

    It is at this point that I must ask: "Who are the Customers to which Mr. Lyons was referring?" Was he speaking about "WE", as in "We the People", or was he speaking about the new Corporate partners of the USFS, the ski area operators, etc. (the Private "WE")?

    The title of this forum is "Uses of the Forests in the 21st Century". Surely, from everything I have learned about the new USFS Wreckreation Agenda, it appears that the agency has learned precious little from the battles it fought against the environmental community. Or, maybe it learned everything it needed to learn in order to create ever more imaginative ruses for misleading the American public.

    For decades it raped and pillaged America's Natural Resources in the name of Wise Use so that untold government subsidies could be heaped upon the "Private Companies" with which it dealt. And, when "We the People" finally said, that we would tolerate this not one minute longer, the USFS suddenly switched direction.

    Today, the issue is no longer Classical Extraction, it is Wreckreation. Those "Private Companies" are no longer called "Contractors" or "Concessionaires" but have been elevated to the ranks of full "PARTNERS" (partners of the USFS, not of the public).

    Today, the USFS is actively seeking Partners with whom they can share in the risk, and financial rewards, of developing Recreational Infrastructure on public lands. And, if the naughty public doesn't seem to want this infrastructure, or doesn't seem to even like the concept of "paying to use their own land", then the USFS seems remarkably amenable to using whatever statistics it has to tell the desired story. They aren't even being sophisticated enough to try and cook the books. They simply say (with a straight face) that 18% is reason enough to do what we wanted to do in the first place. Or they say that 33% compliance with the Fee-Demo program proves that the public thinks fees are the greatest thing since sliced white bread!

    What ever happened to Democracy?

    The data show that "We the American People" do not support Fee-Demo, we do not support the current proposals to build extensive new infrastructure on public lands and we do not like the idea of now being called "Customers", when we are, in fact, owners.

    So.... what are the appropriate uses of the Forest in the 21st Century? Should the USFS be looking to recreation as a revenue generator or should it forever remain, "An Amenity - Something we are privileged to enjoy"?

    There are dozens of possible answers to the first of these questions. We could truly value our public lands for their ability to nourish the earth, to cleanse the air we breathe, and to provide us with clear waters and healthy ecosystems. But none of these values will help the USFS pay its bills or keep the USDA Inspector General from calling it "Fiscally Irresponsible and Incompetent".

    Under such intense pressures, it is easy to understand why the USFS is willing to clutch at recreation-for-profit for its own salvation. The fact that the recreation industry is so eager to provide all the money that the USFS needs to create this new infrastructure and facilitate this new business must be irresistible to such a battered and beleaguered agency.

    The only hope that "We the People" have of "Using" our forests for the good of ALL Americans is to finance their management from the tax revenues of ALL Americans.

    There is no way that Pay-to-Play can ever be an effective and equitable way of funding our public lands. The system is fundamentally corrupt because - "He who pays the most - Plays the most".

    Pay to Play is fundamentally and unalterably unfair. It is a model that can not be tweaked and made to work. It is corrupt in its philosophy and made more corrupt in its implementation. In the hands of an organization with such an abysmal track record as the USFS, adopting Pay-to-Play as a management paradigm for our nation's public lands makes no more sense than handing a loaded pistol to a 6 year old.

    As for the second question: "Should recreational access to our public lands forever remain an amenity of being an American?", I suggest that the public has already spoken. But, I fear we have to shout this message LOUDER AND MORE CLEARLY, so that even the deaf and dumb can no longer deny that the People have spoken.

    Feedback: somebody has to pay

    Re: : More Statistics. (Scott Silver)
    Date: Mon, 20 Dec 1999 01:34:02 GMT
    From: Jed Blanton <>

    Financing public facilities like trails is subject to economics like any other scarce resource. The bottom line of economics is: There's no free lunch; somebody, somewhere has to pay for things. Even if it's considered "commodifying nature" or promoting industrial "wreckreation". For people who believe paying a few dollars is "commodification of nature", I remind them that the trails they use to visit nature are not free. They're not paying "just to walk in the woods". They're paying for pulaskis, shovels, drainage bars, ditches, laborer paychecks, etc that aren't free. Basically, trails cost money. I've helped build and maintain them as a volunteer so I know. It's time-consuming, hard work maintaining trails. People worried about "commodification of nature" can bushwhack cross-country for free. I do this when hunting grouse (bushwhacking is fun; I recommend it). But for trails, either the taxpayers pay collectively, the users of the trails pay or some combination of the two. I've heard non-outdoor recreationists say they find it unfair and unethical that hikers are subsidized while more important government programs go underfunded. They think it's only reasonable that the hikers spend a few dollars to "pay-to-play" for the trails that only hikers use. Also, I don't take the USFS official speeches too seriously. It's just speech rhetoric, telling certain groups what they want to hear. Pay-to-play doesn't need to be scrapped. It needs to be reformed so hiker dollars don't get used to upgrade ATV trails and other undesirable developments. Finally, I don't see how so many people with decent incomes can reasonably complain about spending a few dollars.

    Feedback: You've got it backwards...

    Re: Feedback: somebody has to pay (Jed Blanton)
    Keywords: ohv, access, trail users, green sticker funds, motofarm
    Date: Sun, 17 Dec 2000 00:11:19 GMT
    From: <unknown>

    Actually, here in the Tahoe National Forest (and elsewhere) hikers do make use (to varying degrees) of trails that were primarily designed and paid for with OHV "green sticker" funds. Yet, OHVs are BANNED from hiking trails I pay for with my tax dollars.

    Hikers also have better access to important trailheads thanks to improvements in primary and secondary roads- improvement the Forest Service says wouldn't be possible without the OHV funds.


    News: DeFazio Co-sponsors Bono's Bill To Remove Forest User Fees

    Re: Angry: Lying with Statistics (Ron Ziblis)
    Date: Fri, 26 Feb 1999 06:10:32 GMT
    From: Moderator <>



    Re: News: Implementation of the Recreational Fee Demonstration Program (Mark Garland)
    Date: Sat, 20 Feb 1999 17:41:14 GMT
    From: <unknown>

    I've just read the Ronald Stewart report on the fee demo program to the senate committee. I am particularly concerned by the discussion on marketing of the fee demo and recreation (in addition to the recommendation to make fee demo permanent when a HUGE portion of the public doesn't even realize it exists yet!).

    It seems that THE key issue for this entire discussion all comes down to WHY the national forest system exists. All across the country we see development and habitat destruction increasing exponentially. We're losing species at an alarming rate, along with the "genetic bank" that those species represent, and the ecological services that they provide (many we're too ignorant to even be aware of yet). Yet it seems that the new emphasis of the FS is not what Michael Dombeck has been supposedly promoting - protection of watersheds and biotic diversity - but instead news ways of generating revenue and new ways to meet "customer demands" for whatever types of playgrounds people want. The population and ethnic diversity of this country is increasing so rapidly that if the FS continues on this path, with emphasis on trying to satisfy everyone for everything, the end result will be development on so much of our public lands that fragmentation will start unraveling what little is left of our intact ecosystems.

    The purpose of the national forests MUST BE, before anything else, the protection of every bit of biological diversity we still have left, along with restoration of as many of the pieces as possible. Recreation must fit WITHIN THAT FRAMEWORK. Have you ever asked ALL forest users if they want private enterprises operating in our national forests, or only the folks in the big motorhomes in the big, developed campgrounds who want all their creature comforts? PERSONALLY, I WANT ALL PRIVATE CONCESSIONAIRES OUT OF MY PUBLIC FORESTS.

    If people want fancy showers, and laundromats and mini-golf and aerial trams and paved trails, etc., etc. then they can go to a KOA campground. Those needs must be met by private enterprise ON PRIVATE LAND, ON PRIVATE LAND, ON PRIVATE LAND, ON PRIVATE LAND!!!!! OUR NATIONAL FORESTS CANNOT TAKE THIS KIND OF DEVELOPMENT.

    The FS could even work with "partners" (how I'm growing to resent that word!) to support private enterprise and meet increasing recreation demands on all those cutover private lands that have been trashed by the timber companies. Those lands could be purchased or LEASED and restored (with the help of FS grants perhaps????) BY PRIVATE COMPANIES GETTING INTO THE RECREATION BUSINESS! Instead of having the timber companies waiting around for another chance to harvest their private forests (if some of them ever regrow after the poor mgt. of private lands!), why not work with others to speed restoration of those areas? There's lots of recreational activities that could happen within young forests, and future cutting could be shifted around to coordinate with recreational uses. This would even provide a revenue source (through leasing fees) for the landowners! There are plenty of people who would be perfectly happen recreating in these areas - who really don't care if they ever experience an old growth forest as along as they get to ride their ORV. This would take the pressure off of recreational development in our precious old growth forests. For some people, walking through an ancient forest can be one of the most profound experiences of their lives. And keeping these forests intact also means the protection of all the resources and wonders within them.

    You've only done surveys of the people who are in the developed facilities - so of course they must like them. But how about listening to all the people WHO DON'T WANT TO SEE ANY FURTHER DEVELOPMENTS within the national forests?


    Feedback: Wildness versus user satisfaction

    Keywords: Wildness
    Date: Thu, 04 Mar 1999 06:13:46 GMT
    From: Jim Giltmier <>

    The national parks have already established a role for concessions on the public lands. The national forests clearly have another constituency, notwithstanding the enormous recreational demand on these 190-million acres. The recreation is largely taking place near roads, or at the margins of forest boundaries. Ski areas are a good example. But all recreationists from snowmobilers to skiers have a stake in protecting the wildness of the national forests. Wildness means a lot of different things to different people, but it is clearly what America wants of the national forests.

    None: Opening the Door to Concessions

    Re: : User Fees (Ron Ziblis)
    Keywords: commercial concessions
    Date: Thu, 11 Feb 1999 17:37:37 GMT
    From: Aileen Jeffries <>

    The users fees mean adding another level of paperwork, funding for unwanted and unnecessary "improvements", and an invitation to commercial interests to "manage" the collection of the user fees. I do not want to see more roads and out-houses. I do not want concessions period. There is a lot of comercial interest in the National Forests as a way to make money. These are public lands. Please let us not commercialize them!!

    News: Shasta NF hiking fiasco fizzles - FS dismisses case, avoids Rec. Fee showdown

    Re: : User Fees (Ron Ziblis)
    Date: Sun, 14 Feb 1999 07:43:31 GMT
    From: Moderator <>


    Shasta NF hiking fiasco fizzles - FS dismisses case, avoids Rec. Fee showdown
    San Francisco Examiner 1/23/99



    Re: : User Fees (Ron Ziblis)
    Date: Thu, 01 Apr 1999 03:11:18 GMT
    From: <unknown>

    On a trip to Arizona last week, a number of interactions with Forest Service employees has made it very clear to me that there is only one way to provide my citizen input on opposition to fee demo, and that is to refuse to purchase a sticker. Otherwise, anywhere you actually buy one, you are by default saying that you SUPPORT these heinous fees. In addition, of course, to all your taxpayer dollars that go to corporate subsidies instead of managing YOUR public lands.

    At Sabino Canyon when I asked if there was an opportunity to provide my comments about the program, I was told by the person running the front desk that the comment period ended in 1997 and there was no more opportunity to comment on it.

    At the toll booth on the Mt. Lemmon Highway ($5 a day to drive up the road and stop for a few pictures!!!), the employee in the booth actually LAUGHED at me when I asked for a comment card of some other way of providing my opinion, and told me "write your congressman".

    At the ranger station in Sedona (where dispersed camping in the national forests anywhere around Sedona is now ILLEGAL - DAY USE ONLY), all I got for my polite request to provide input was a blank look and "maybe you could write the forest supervisor".

    At the Madera Canyon trailhead, parking was $10 PER DAY IN ADDITION TO THE CAMPING FEE. The camp host had no knowledge of any public input process and didn't have a clue what I could do.


    Of course, you can write your legislators and let them know of your opposition, but by purchasing the stickers, you've already provided the FS with the figures on the number of people who "support" the fees.

    Something is very, very wrong with this picture.

    None: The BLM ADMITS that more then HALF of the users don't pay.

    Date: Mon, 25 Aug 2003 19:23:24 GMT
    From: Brian Covey <>

    ::Quote - BLM REVISED business Plan for the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreational Area::

    Page 37 Compliance and the need for enforcement to achieve compliance are the two most obvious concerns arising out of the ISDRA’s four-year Fee Demo experience. Without LEO-staffed checkpoints, compliance has been dismal. Several issues come into play when discussing compliance and enforcement.

    Page 25 More importantly, the majority of the ISDRA clientele have demonstrated that they will not comply with fee requirements unless they are forced to do so. Such an additional, discounted pass, without an airtight enforcement methodology would lead to even less actual compliance as multiple visitors would purchase two passes either then share the second with friends and fam ily, or split the combined cost. This happens on a regular basis with the USFS Adventure Pass.

    Page 26 As is evident from the following tables, we have presented a range of cost-recovery prices. Our recommendations are shaded and surrounded with a hairline border. W e recommend that the Non-Holiday, 7- Day Pass price be based upon a 41% com pliance rate because these are the periods that currently have the lowest compliance rate (less than 26%), whereas we recommend that the Holiday Pass and the ALL-Season pass be based upon a 50% because the Holiday periods currently have the highest compliance rate and purchasers of season passes will likely be attending during Holiday as well as Non-Holiday periods. ::END QUOTE::

    So, if the compliance rate is EXPECTED to be 41% isn't that a RESOUNDING vote AGAINST Demo Fee? What is the point of not buying a pass if they are STILL going to TAX us after we vote AGAINST it? Furthermore:

    ::Quote (same document):: Page 37 [i]The penalty/fine is not a sufficient deterrent; it is too low.[/i]The penalty/fine does not come back to the site, nor Penalty/Fine is not a sufficient deterrent is another legitimate concern. However, California Vehicle Code §38301 requires compliance with federal regulations and carries a higher fine than do the federal codes—instruct the qualified LEOs to cite violators under this law. BLM staff should also work with the appropriate court systems to update appropriate collateral bail schedules. ::END QUOTE:: This says that the BLM doesn't think that the fines are large enough so have decided to use STATE law to impose LARGER fines, circumventing the provision in Demo Fee that says no fine can be more then $100

    The BLM are running roughshod over us and we are powerless!!! HELP!!! Brian Covey

    Disagree: Why Recreation Fees are Right

    Re: : User Fees (Ron Ziblis)
    Date: Sat, 29 May 1999 08:28:48 GMT
    From: J Walker <>

    Even if one thinks it is the right thing to do, it’s still hard to get too excited about paying another user fee. It’s like saying “I like paying taxes!” I imagine that is the reason why support of Recreation Fees will never be as audible as its opposition. I live in an area that borders National Forest and own an Adventure Pass. I recently became interested in the issue when my County Supervisors voted to draft a letter demanding the repeal of the Adventure Pass program locally. It is politically safe to protest a Federal tax, so the Board listened to a few non-resident activists and a couple residents and signed up.

    There is one problem with this protest. The program makes too much sense to anyone in this country without a National Forest in his or her backyard. There is no question that our public lands are a national treasure. We are all responsible for their stewardship to ensure they are in better condition for future generations. Under the current system, all taxpayers pay a portion of the maintenance bill. Why is not equitable for taxpayers that actually use the land to pay a minimal amount more?

    Opponents seem to consider this additional cost “double taxation”. Yet there are many user fees in this country that are paid in proportion to usage. Commercial truckers and other heavy users pay more highway taxes than the average driver. Similarly, I do not believe a family in Kansas who may never get near a National Forest should pay the same as my family, who visits these lands frequently.

    It is not a birthright to drive a car onto public land and park it. If it is, then oil companies are denying our freedom to use the forest by raising gas prices. If the DMV revokes your license, they are also revoking your birthright to visit the forest. If trailhead parking is full, you’ve been denied your freedom. The escalating auto visitation of our National Forests will continue to demand management resources. Why is asking taxpayers that contribute to the problem help pay for the solutions so wrong?

    Recreation Fees for automobiles in heavily visited forest areas are a positive step in managing our National Forests in the 21st Century. It encourages carpooling, use of public transit and non-polluting forms of transportation when visiting forests. The program keeps fees generated by a forest in that area not in Washington, provides greater accountability of how our recreation tax dollars are spent, ensures continued funding for the areas that need it most and eases long-term forest management planning.

    I am sorry to see so many great environmental minds against this program. Most are pushing for the status quo where politicians in Washington make the funding decisions for our forests year-to-year, where automobile visitation remains unchecked and where instead of phasing out mining and logging operations, they are relied on to support recreation costs.

    Whether the money comes from our wallets or paychecks, we all pay to use public lands. The forest will never be free. Let’s find equitable and effective methods of raising and deploying the funds necessary to manage our public lands in the 21st century. Programs such as the Adventure Pass are a step in that direction.

    Feedback: holes, problems, and a key missing issue

    Re: Disagree: Why Recreation Fees are Right (J Walker)
    Date: Sat, 05 Jun 1999 20:31:43 GMT
    From: Michael Zierhut <>

    I find a few holes and have a few problems with the arguments made to support recreation fees.

    Q: We are all responsible for [public lands] stewardship to ensure they are in better condition for future generations.

    A: I personally have a problem with this line of thinking. This is the same mentatlity that resulted in the idea that forest fires are bad. (This has only recently been realized by Americans to be untrue. Without forest fires, manzanita, many conifers, and numerous other plant species would never expand their populations.) The conditions of ecosystems are not dependent on whether we manage them. They do just fine, and often better, without our intervention. After all, the most massive and rapid extinction of species since the end of the age of dinosaurs is the legacy of modern civilization interfering with wild areas.

    Q: Why is not equitable for taxpayers that actually use the land to pay a minimal amount more?

    A: The increase in cost for a user fee versus support of public lands budgets through taxes is dramatic. It takes well under a dollar a year per person in taxes to support public lands while user fees are anywhere from 10 to 60 times that amount. More of our tax dollars go to subsidizing extractive industries and other mega-corporations than to support of public lands. One cannot fairly discuss the difference in cost without this context. Furthermore, in the eyes of U.S. law, these corporations are individuals, and, as such, we are not receiving equal protection under the law when we are unfairly taxed while they get subsidies and tax breaks.

    Q: It is not a birthright to drive a car onto public land and park it....Why is asking taxpayers that contribute to the problem help pay for the solutions so wrong?

    A: No one has ever called driving a car onto public lands a birthright. However, not all user fees are parking fees as with the Adventure Pass. The Recreational Fee Demonstration Program allows public lands agencies to implement access fees as well. This could literally mean a future where only those who are priveledged enough to afford a pass can access public lands (the rest would be barred by armed Forest Protection Officers). It is no secret that once a program such as this has existed for some time, fees go up. Often this is due to the "demand" for increased services in return for paying fees.

    Q: Recreation Fees for automobiles in heavily visited forest areas...encourages carpooling, use of public transit...

    A: I am unaware of any public transportation systems that link up with National Forests. I would also go out on a limb to say that most visitors probably already carpool when going to National Forests due to the distances most must drive to get there.

    Q: ...instead of phasing out mining and logging operations, they are relied on to support recreation costs.

    A: This statement has no basis in truth. Mining and logging revenues go directly to the national Treasury. These dollars can be slated for whatever Congress deems necessary. Recreation budgets, along with the budgets for almost every governmental funstion, have been provided for by Congressional appropriations from the Treasury.

    One more aspect of this argument that has problems is its lack of recognition of the recreation industry's involvement in the program's original implementation. The American Recreation Coalition (ARC; representing almost 200 recreation industry corporations and organizations) calls the Recreational Fee Demonstration Program (RFDP) "the direct result of our efforts."

    The Forest Service almost never discusses (at least with the public) one major aspect of the program: public/ private partnerships. The RFDP allows private enterprise to enter into an agreement with public lands agencies where they put up half of the costs and get half of the say in the program's implementation as well as the right to report to Congress on the success of the program.

    This is only the first step in an effort to allow private enterprise more access to profiteering on public lands. The ARC is shopping new legislation around in Washington that allows them another form of public/ private partnership. This legislation would let private enterprise construct new recreation facilities on public lands. Most likely these would be run by, or include space for, concessionaires.

    I cannot imagine any serious-minded person believing that private enterprise would do this out of the kindness of their hearts. Anyone who knows anything about the present state of capitalism in America knows that the only driving factor for big business is profit. Furthermore, in an interview with Motor Home Magazine (the journal of the Good Sam Club), Derrick Crandall, the president of the ARC stated that he believes that "the Forest Service largely will be out of the developed-site camping business within the next 10 years."

    This is the issue for most environmentalists who oppose the RFDP. On the surface, the program looks benign to many people, but when you look under the veil, the ugly face of the RFDP should scare anyone who belives in the cause of conservation.

    Note: correction

    Re: Feedback: holes, problems, and a key missing issue (Michael Zierhut)
    Date: Thu, 29 Jul 1999 21:38:40 GMT
    From: Michael Zierhut <>

    It was pointed out to me that I made a false statement in the preceeding message. My appologies for posting incorrect information. Here is the correction sent to me via e-mail:

    >> I skimmed your eco-net note regarding user fees. Just a quick correction.
    >> In fact, the Forest Service keeps over 60 cents on the dollar from timber
    >> it sells. These sale receipts do not return to the Treasury, but are kept
    >> by the FS in several so-called trust funds, including the
    >> Knutson-Vandenberg fund, the salvage sale fund, the brush disposal fund,
    >> and the roads and trails fund. One-third of the budget to operate the
    >> national forest system is financed from these funds, e.g., it is financed
    >> by selling timber and keeping the receipts. This doesn't even count the
    >> direct congressional appropriations made to support the timber sale

    None: An example of what will happen

    Re: Feedback: holes, problems, and a key missing issue (Michael Zierhut)
    Date: Fri, 26 Sep 2003 01:25:10 GMT
    From: Brian Covey (Vor) <>

    Mr. Zierhut makes several very good points that I would like to add to. I am not what you would call your normal conservationist. I am an OHV hobbiest. Many will discount my opinion based on that simple fact. That would be a mistake. We also have to deal with this Demo Fee on BLM lands. The difference is that in general, the OHV community has embraced or at least accepted these fees. I am not in that group. I have been fighting against them since their inception.

    In my particular case the BLM put in place a $30 yearly fee for the use of the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreational Area (ISDRA). Most OHV groups accepted this as "a minor cost for the use of the land." That may have been true. But, just like Mr. Zierhut says, the price didn't stay at $30. This summer the BLM attempted to raise the cost to $180 per year. They had no solid numbers on usage. They had no idea how much money they needed. They simply pulled a price out of the air and forced it on us. After many letters and lots of phonecalls we were finally able to reduce the price to $90 per year. Cutting the price in half. Of course the obvious questions arose. "If $90 per year is enough, where did the $180 price come from?"

    To many of us it is quite plain where that $180 came from... from their desire to raise massive ammounts of money.

    We are not a huge National Park. Our budget is somewhere between $2mil and $5mil per year. Pennies to the Federal Government. Yet we are constantly threatened with the complete closure of our recreational area if we don't pay the fees. Their business plan mentions prosecution on alternate STATE laws for failure to purchass a pass because the fines are stiffer. (Demo Fee only allows a $100 fine) It also says that they expect a 41% compliance rate. At that rate it is simply not fair to those who pay the price, that so many do not. The Demo Fee for the BLM is flawed. It must be revoked.


    None: FBI probing accusations filed against BLM ranger

    Re: : An example of what will happen (Brian Covey (Vor))
    Date: Mon, 10 Nov 2003 21:53:59 GMT
    From: Brian Covey (Vor) <>


    GLAMIS — A 19-year-old Encinitas man remains in a wheelchair with limited mobility after suffering spinal cord injuries here Nov. 2 allegedly caused by a Bureau of Land Management ranger against whom allegations of abuse of power and use of excessive force have been raised.

    The Federal Bureau of Investigation's office in El Centro is investigating the incident that a third-party witness described as being "pretty tragic" and "a shame." Brian Boyd suffered bruising to the spinal cord in the neck area as well as having vertebrae in his neck and lower back wrenched out of place, said Tom Boyd, the alleged victim's father.

    Tom Boyd, 52, of Encinitas, is a commercial airline pilot who served as an aircraft carrier fighter pilot in the U.S. Navy from 1973 to 1993. He retired from military service with the rank of commander and attended the prestigious "Top Gun" fighter pilot school twice during the course of his naval aviation career.

    "There seems to be a bunch of cowboys out there abusing people. ... They thought he was a punk kid they could harass. ... We truly believe that an independent investigation is needed to let people know of the abuse," said Tom Boyd.

    Roberta Boyd, 46, of Encinitas, is Tom Boyd's wife and Brian Boyd's mother. She witnessed the incident that led to her son being injured and said she was so distraught from seeing the alleged abuse suffered by her son that she had to look away and began dry-heaving.

    "If I had interfered in any way, I really believe they were going to arrest me because that's what they told me," said Roberta Boyd.

    The BLM rangers involved in the incident were identified by the Boyds and their attorneys as Ray Leloup and R.C. Magill. A spokeswoman with the BLM office in El Centro said Leloup is a ranger assigned to the El Centro office. The spokeswoman said Magill is not assigned to the El Centro office and information on where he is stationed was unavailable.

    The Boyds and their attorneys have alleged Leloup was the ranger who injured their son.

    The incident as recounted by the Boyds appears to have arisen from an apparent misunderstanding over a recreational use permit the rangers believed Brian Boyd had not purchased allowing him access to the Glamis-area sand dunes.

    The Boyds, an avid off-roading family that frequents the Glamis area, were leaving the sand dunes the afternoon of Nov. 2 after having spent the weekend there. BLM rangers were checking vehicles on Gecko Road exiting the area for the recreational use permits guests are required to purchase to access the dunes. The Boyds had purchased two yearlong recreational use passes allowing them access to the Glamis sand dunes area.

    According to Brian Boyd's parents, a long line of vehicles was backed up on Gecko Road. Their son was traveling separately in his off-road pickup truck and got tired of waiting. He decided to spend some extra time in the dunes and planned to get back in the line with his family once they were closer to Highway 78.

    A short while later Brian Boyd used his cell phone to call his parents and said he was being harassed by a woman dressed in plain clothes who demanded to see his recreational use permit.

    "He didn't know who she was and she didn't identify herself clearly as being a BLM official," said Tom Boyd.

    Brian Boyd was in a nearby area and Roberta Boyd proceeded there on foot to help her son resolve the misunderstanding over the permit. Leloup and Magill had responded to the area by the time Roberta Boyd arrived and were questioning her son.

    Roberta Boyd said she forgot to bring one of the two yearly passes with her. She and her son pointed out to Leloup and Magill that guests who had not purchased permits were merely being required to buy weekly passes as they exited the park. Roberta Boyd told the rangers she would purchase the weekly permit for her son in an effort to quickly resolve the situation, but the rangers refused to allow her to do so.

    "I don't understand why they would not let me buy the weekly pass to resolve the whole issue. There was this whole line of traffic and people without passes were being asked to buy the weekly passes. They were all given the opportunity, but we weren't," said Roberta Boyd.

    Leloup then asked Brian Boyd for his driver's license and he told the ranger it was in his pickup. It was when Brian Boyd turned around to get his driver's license that the alleged abuse of power and excessive use of force occurred.

    "Brian turned to the left and just as he broke eye contact with the BLM ranger he grabbed him from behind with a chokehold using his right arm and he used his left arm to put pressure behind his neck like he was trying to snap it," said Roberta Boyd.

    Her son immediately fell to the floor with Leloup still using the chokehold on him and Magill then jumped on top of both of them, said Roberta Boyd. It was at this time that her son began telling the rangers that he could not feel his legs.

    "He told them ‘I can't feel my legs. I need medical attention. I can't feel my legs,'" said Roberta Boyd.

    Roberta Boyd said Leloup told Magill her son was lying about his injuries and that both men picked him up, dragged him about 10 feet through the sand and released him onto the back of an ATV, causing the injuries to his lower back.

    "The arresting officer (Leloup) said he was faking it and they both released Brian and he basically crumbled down to the ground because he couldn't support his weight on his legs," said Roberta Boyd.

    The rangers are then alleged to have waited 20 to 25 minutes before calling for medical help even though there was a paramedic on standby at a nearby ranger station. Tom Boyd had by this time gotten onto Highway 78 and was unaware of the incident involving his wife and son.

    Brian Boyd was taken to Pioneers Memorial Hospital in Brawley, where doctors ordered him life-flighted to San Diego because of concerns his neck and back were broken.

    Leloup accompanied Brian Boyd to Pioneers Memorial and kept both his hands handcuffed despite the fact he was taped to a backboard because of the concern over his spinal injuries, said Roberta Boyd. Tom Boyd said he arrived and began asking questions of Leloup, who allegedly threatened to arrest him and his wife if they did not remain quiet.

    "Tom had not seen any of this and had no idea what had happened except for bits and pieces I had told him over the patchy cell phone service. Tom had a lot of questions and he (Leloup) kept telling us to shut up or we were going to be arrested," said Roberta Boyd.

    "The way my son was beaten was outrageous," said Tom Boyd.

    The Boyds' allegations against Leloup cannot be easily dismissed because of a third-party witness who saw the incident and was so angered by what he saw that he left his contact information on a note placed on the windshield of Brian Boyd's pickup.

    Lee Mize, 69, who lives near Sacramento, said he was driving through Glamis on Nov. 2 with his wife, Pat Mize, because they wanted to enjoy the scenery of the sand dunes. They had only seen the sand dunes from onboard the airplanes they frequently fly in when traveling to Arizona to visit family.

    "Every time we fly over the area we think it's a nice-looking place to go to. This time we decided to drive by the sand dunes," said Lee Mize.

    The Mizes stopped at the BLM ranger station near Highway 78 in Glamis to look at a map of the area when they heard "a lady" arguing with "a young man" who they later learned was Brian Boyd. The Mizes were about 20 to 30 feet from where the argument was taking place. Mize said he and his wife really did not start to pay attention to the argument until two rangers (Leloup and Magill) arrived on their ATVs.

    Lee Mize said he could not make out the discussion between Brian Boyd and the two rangers, but he described it as being "a heated discussion going back and forth." Lee Mize added it was when Brian Boyd turned around to go to his pickup truck that he witnessed a "tragic" incident.

    "The next thing I see is this kid turning around and take a few steps towards the back door of his pickup truck. When he reached for the door handle it looked like the officer was trying to block him from doing it. ... The officer grabbed the kid in a chokehold with his right arm that appeared to me to be very unnecessary. He put his left arm behind the kid's head and took him down real strong, real violently. It appeared to me that by doing that you could really hurt somebody," said Lee Mize.

    The second ranger then jumped on top of both men, said Mize. It was after both rangers had handcuffed Brian Boyd and gotten off of him that Mize witnessed what he described as a "sickening" sight.

    Lee Mize said: "The arresting officer grabbed him (Brian Boyd) by the back of the neck and started hammering his face into the dirt. I thought that was uncalled for because I didn't see that kid moving. He was just laying there saying he was hurt."

    Lee Mize continued: "One of the officers said ‘Ah, hell, he's not hurt' and they pick him up off the ground and they drag him to the ATVs a few feet away. Then they held him there and let him go. Apparently, he had no feeling in his legs because he just fell down onto the back of the ATV and then to the dirt. He said ‘I have no feeling in my legs. I'm hurt.' I just thought the whole thing was a shame," said Mize.

    Especially of concern to Lee Mize was the fact that it appeared to him that Brian Boyd posed no threat to the rangers as he stood barefoot in the sand as he spoke with them.

    "The way they just stormed at him it was like they thought he was some kind of threat. It was just way too much an abuse of power. If the kid had taken a swing at them it would've been different, but he just stuck out his hand to grab the door handle of his truck," said Lee Mize.

    What he witnessed disturbed him so much that Lee Mize almost intervened on Brian Boyd's behalf, but his wife convinced him not to do so considering his age. At his wife's urging Lee Mize left a note on Brian Boyd's pickup with the couple's phone number written on it so they could be contacted about what they had seen.

    "When I saw this I could visualize that it had been my own son. I'm 69 years old and if not I would have been combative. It was just sickening what I saw. It was uncalled for. I hate to see police do that because there are some good cops out there. Sometimes some of them think they're the judge, jury and executioner all rolled up into one. When they have you handcuffed you're pretty much at their mercy," said Lee Mize.

    If the situation had differed and Brian Boyd had done something wrong to deserve such treatment, then things would be different, added Lee Mize.

    "I wouldn't have left a note if I would have seen the kid being smart or something like that. It was uncalled for. ... I had a hard time turning my back on something like that. We don't have to put up with that kind of stuff. People are out here to have fun. ... He (Brian Boyd) didn't look like a troublemaker. ... He looked like a clean-cut kid," said Lee Mize.

    According to family, Brian Boyd remains in a wheelchair, cannot walk more than a few steps before experiencing debilating back pain and has no feeling in his right leg below the knee. He has been unable to attend his aviation science classes at Palomar College in San Marcos and it is unknown when he will be able to resume his studies.

    Doctors are taking a wait-and-see approach, but they have indicated Brian Boyd will most likely have a lifetime of back problems.

    Tom Boyd said he is especially disheartened because his son's career plans are in jeopardy because of his injuries. His son was planning on becoming a naval aviator like his father but his future is now uncertain.

    "His whole future is in jeopardy because of these guys," said Tom Boyd.

    The Boyds said they plan to file a complaint with their congressman, Randy "Duke" Cunningham, R-Escondido, and ask him to launch a congressional investigation into the matter. Cunningham flew in the Navy with Tom Boyd and was one of his "Top Gun" instructors. Tom Boyd describes him as being a "mentor" to his son.

    A spokeswoman with Cunningham's office said the Boyd family's complaint has not yet been received. The spokeswoman said Cunningham would like to help them and make this case a priority.

    Tom Boyd said his biggest worry is that the investigation of the incident will be whitewashed by federal law enforcement officials. His attorneys are looking into whether the incident occurred on state land, thus allowing the Imperial County Sheriff's Office to perform its own investigation.

    An ICSO spokesman said the investigation into the incident is being handled by the FBI office in El Centro.

    Bob Sellers, the supervisory resident agent at the FBI office in El Centro, said a complaint against the BLM rangers has been received by his office from the Boyd family's attorneys.

    "We have received a complaint concerning the incident. We don't know any of the specifics involved yet. ... We'll interview the involved parties to determine the viability of these allegations like we do in every case," said Sellers.

    The Boyds said ultimately they would like to see the rangers involved in the incident face criminal charges. They are also planning on filing a civil lawsuit against the BLM and the rangers involved in the incident.

    Officials with the BLM office in El Centro were unavailable for comment.

    Tony Staed, the BLM's deputy state director for external affairs, said information on the incident has not yet made its way to the BLM's state headquarters in Sacramento. Staed said there are a variety of disciplinary actions that could be taken against the rangers if the allegations against them are determined to be true by the investigation.

    The Boyds have asked that anyone who might have witnessed the incident to call the legal firm representing them, Singleton & Associates in San Diego, at (619) 239-3225.

    Brian Covey

    Angry: no use fee

    Re: : User Fees (Ron Ziblis)
    Date: Sun, 30 May 1999 03:39:01 GMT
    From: Nese <>

    The only fees that should be paid in a National Forest is for overnight camping. (period)

    Question: what about...?

    Re: Angry: no use fee (Nese)
    Date: Thu, 26 Oct 2000 22:21:43 GMT
    From: Jeremy Boyer <>

    What about undesignated, non-official camping, like pulling off the side of a logging road and setting up? This is what I usually do. If I get my water out of a creek, pack out my own garbage and the site is not "improved" than I shouldn't have to pay for it. The Forest Service or whoever, isn't spending any money for camping like this. Maybe you're just referring to developed campgrounds?

    Feedback: ranchers help forest lands

    Re: : Use of the National Forests in the 21st Century (Mark Garland)
    Keywords: ranchers
    Date: Tue, 09 Feb 1999 05:02:51 GMT
    From: Billy Rucker <>

    The rancher helps the national forest more than anyone I know, their cattle graze the grass helping to keep the root systems strong, they spread seed, and mow the grasses and shrubs so ne healty leaves can sprout. The rancher pays for his permitt giving the forest money. The rancher also keeps the country watered and salted, the trash cleaned up and the roads maintained. But if we keep cutting the ranchers permits we will loose all of this, and if we lose this we will have to pay another ranger to go out to fix the waters, maintain the roads, watch the country, pick up trash, and put ount salt at the governments expense.

    None: Livestock Industry Myths

    Re: Feedback: ranchers help forest lands (Billy Rucker)
    Keywords: ranchers
    Date: Tue, 09 Feb 1999 06:58:52 GMT
    From: Moderator <>

    George Wuerthner
    Box 1526
    Livingston, Montana 59047


        As the issue of grazing fees on public lands has raised the visibility
    of public livestock grazing issues, the livestock industry has used the
    opportunity to perpetuate myths that have largely been unanswered or refuted
    by environmentalists.

        One myth is that ranchers have been good "stewards" of the land. The
    emphasis on public lands has permitted people to overlook the fact that, by
    and large, private lands are actually in worse shape than the public lands.
    Although 160 million acres of public lands are considered to be in
    unsatisfactory condition, more than 270 million private acres fall into the
    same category. This is nearly equal in area to the eastern seaboard states
    with Missouri thrown.

        This is particularly disturbing because private holdings tend to be more
    productive and better watered than the public lands, thus more resilient to
    grazing abuse.

        In total, according to the Soil Conservation Service more than 410
    million acres of public and private lands are in unsatisfactory condition
    meaning that they ecologically trashed. This equals 21% of the United States
    outside of Alaska. Nearly all that degraded land is concentrated in the
    West! Not an impressive record. Although there are obvious exceptions, the
    fact remains livestock production is still one of the most destructive and
    wide-spread human activities in the West.

        A second myth is that rangelands are "improving." There is a slight bit
    of truth to this. Rangelands were so trashed at the turn of the century that
    most lands could not get any worse. Nevertheless, rangeland degradation is
    still occurring. For example, on BLM lands according to statistics complied
    by the Society for Range Management, range condition is improving on 15% of
    the lands. However, this is nearly matched by the 14% of its lands that
    continue to decline in condition. The vast majority of BLM holdings are
    "stable" neither improving or declining, in part because the majority of its
    lands are in fair or poor shape and can not get much worse.

        Furthermore, despite an "improvement" on uplands primarily resulting
    from a decrease in livestock numbers, riparian areas continue to be
    devastated. According to a 1990 EPA report, our riparian areas are in the
    "worst condition in history." And a 1989 General Accounting Office report
    found that livestock were the major source of riparian degradation on public
    lands in the West. Since riparian areas are part of an entire allotment,
    overall "range condition" may improve while riparian areas continue to be
    devastated. Uplands which receive little use are averaged in with the
    declining riparian zones, thus masking the true degradation that is still
    occurring to our lands.

        Though riparian areas make up only 1% of the landscape, they provide
    shelter and feed 60-80 percent of the species in the West. Properly
    functioning riparian areas also store water reducing flooding and providing
    late season flows. While it may be possible to fence cattle out of these
    fragile areas, the magnitude of the problem makes the cost prohibitively
    expensive as a west-wide solution. There are hundreds of thousands of miles
    of riparian habitat on public lands in the West. Fencing averages more than
    $5,000 dollars a mile. In addition, we need to ask whether the public wants
    or needs more fences on its lands in order to make these lands better
    livestock pastures for someone else's cattle?


        A third myth is that "wildlife" benefits wildlife. There are two things
    wrong with this statement. The first is " wildlife" as defined by most range
    people and livestock advocates amounts to nothing more than deer and a few
    other big game species--typically animals that thrive on human disturbance
    or are the object of intensive wildlife management. You can mask the impact
    of dams on salmon by intensive management as well--i.e. hatchery production,
    but that does not mean dams are not detrimental to salmon populations.

        Furthermore, the original decline in big game was due in a large part to
    market and year round meat hunting. Once these abuses were checked, big game
    numbers increased. It is not that livestock production is particularly
    compatible with big game, rather with better wildlife management, big game
    species have been able to increase. Many species like bighorn sheep and
    antelope, while at higher numbers than in the past, are still far below
    their potential because domestic livestock use continues to compromise the
    available habitat in ways detrimental to these species.

        Many other species are not so fortunate. If you review the status of non
    game and predators, hundreds of species are extinct or continue to decline
    largely due to impacts associated with livestock production. While its true
    that livestock production can increase the numbers of a few species, these
    are, without exception, animals that are widespread and abundant like
    brown-headed cowbirds, carp or whitetail deer--"weedy" species that thrive
    on disturbance and degraded habitat. On the other hand species that require
    undisturbed habitat or high quality landscapes have declined. Species as
    varied as the Bruneau Hot Springs Snail to the willow flycatcher to the
    Bonneville cutthroat trout are all endangered as a consequence of habitat
    loss or degradation due to livestock production.

       A number of recent reviews articles looking at livestock effects on
    wildlife found that far more species have decreased or been harmed by
    livestock production than have benefited. This is true no matter whether we
    are discussing birds, fish, mammals, or amphibians. Other literature reviews
    have concluded that livestock production was the leading cause of decline in
    native plant species in the West, as well as one of the major agents
    responsible for the spread of weeds and exotics. In terms of impacts on
    biodiversity, livestock production (which includes dewatering of rivers for
    irrigation, predator control, "pest" control, forage competition, etc.) is
    responsible for the extinction and extirpation of more species than any
    other human activity in the West.


        A fourth myth is that access to public lands supports the family
    rancher. Grazing subsidies, like most agricultural subsidies,
    disproportionately benefits large land holders. According to a recent GAO
    report the largest 2000 allotment permittees in the West control 74% of the
    public lands forage. This gives the larger landowners, many of them
    corporations or extremely wealthy individuals, a competitive advantage over
    small operators.

        This is inequality is a factor of the way public lands allotments are
    distributed. Access is based upon ownership of private base operations. The
    wealthy ranchers own more land, thus more base property, hence wind up with
    more federal lands allotments. Only 10% of the public lands forage goes to
    permittees considered "small operators." Thus, if we restricted access to
    public lands only to those operations that are truly the small ma and pa
    ranch operations, we'd still be able to eliminate livestock from 90% of the
    public lands.


        A fifth myth perpetuated by the livestock community is that we know how
    to manage rangelands. In reality our knowledge of rangeland ecosystems is
    minimal. Most range professionals know almost nothing about rangelands other
    than a bit about a few of the dominant grass species. The effects of
    livestock production on soils, lichens, insects, watersheds, wildlife and
    most ecological processes is virtually unknown. For example, ask any range
    professional to identify common butterflies and bees in an area and have
    them explain how livestock affect them? If domestic animals remove the
    blossoms these insects fed upon, it's obvious it has an impact, yet, we hear
    almost nothing about these impacts. A similar lack of knowledge exists for
    the effects of domestic livestock upon nearly every living thing found on
    our rangelands. Considering the vast majority of the West is utilized for
    livestock production, it is reasonable to suggest that domestic animals may
    significantly affect many species. How can one manage what one doesn't


        A sixth myth is that you can protect biodiversity or even enhance it
    with livestock production. Even many environmental groups spout this dogma.
    Biodiversity by definition is preservation of NATIVE species in something
    approaching original distribution and numbers--allowing, of course, for
    natural population changes. You cannot be putting the majority of the forage
    into domestic animals and using the majority of the water in the West to
    grow livestock feed, without significantly impacting native species.
    Domestic animals are quite literally taking food, and water right out of the
    mouths of native species. Grass does not follow the cow. The forage and
    water pie is only so big. If the majority of these resources are allotted
    to domestic animals as is the case, then you significantly reduce the amount
    available to native species. Every cow on public or private lands is
    reducing the overall potential habitat for most NATIVE species from
    grasshoppers to bighorn sheep. This results in smaller, fragmented
    populations, ultimately reducing the long term viability of species.

        Biodiversity preservation also requires preservation of natural
    evolutionary processes like wildfire and predation—both of which have been
    significantly reduced as a consequence of livestock production.
    Unfortunately this biological impoverishment has been going on so long, and
    is so pervasive, that most people are simply unaware of the degree that
    livestock has destroyed our native ecosystems.


       A seventh myth is that domestic animals, primarily cattle, have replaced
    native herbivores like the bison. Though cattle and bison have a common
    evolutionary ancestor, so do polar bear and black bear, yet we would not
    suggest that they use the landscape in the same way. Cattle evolved in moist
    woodlands in Eurasia and are not well adapted to arid landscapes. They use
    more water than bison, spend more time in riparian areas, and have been bred
    for lack of mobility. They are poorly adapted to arid western rangelands,
    hence one reason why domestic livestock grazing has been so detrimental to
    these ecosystems.


       The eighth myth follows the previous one, arguing that since cows emulate
    bison, and since rangelands were obviously grazed in the past, then domestic
    livestock grazing cannot be detrimental. Some even take this a step further
    to suggest that rangelands "need" to be grazed.

        There are two objections to this line of reasoning. First, much of the
    public lands base in the western United States lies between the
    Sierra-Cascades and the Rocky Mountains. Most of this vast region never had
    large herds of grazing herbivores, hence the plants species and soils are
    not adapted to continual removal and trampling from domestic animals. The
    area without significant herd "impact" includes most of the Great Basin
    (bison occurred in a small portion of southeast Idaho and northeast Utah,
    but in no significant numbers elsewhere in the region), the southwestern
    grasslands, the Palouse prairie, California grasslands, and various deserts
    like the Mohave, Sonoran, and Chihuahuan. Even herds of antelope, bighorn
    sheep, and other herbivores although found throughout this region, were
    never more than locally abundant.

        Secondly, even where large herds of bison, elk and antelope were common
    such as on the Great Plains, the plant species found there "tolerated"
    grazing. They have adaptations that permit them to thrive in spite of
    grazing, but not necessarily because they "need" grazing. Just as exploited
    (read trapped, shot, and poisoned) coyote populations can compensate for
    losses by producing larger litters, some rangeland plants can compensate for
    some grazing losses. However, it would be wrong to argue that coyotes "need"
    to be trapped, shot, and poisoned to be "healthy" just as it is wrong to
    conclude that most rangelands plants require grazing to remain "healthy."

        Furthermore, if cropping is necessary, there is no reason why this
    shouldn't be done by native species from grasshoppers to prairie dogs to
    bison rather than by domestic animals-- at least on our public lands.


        The ninth myth is that livestock production is important employer in
    rural communities. It's easy to see the fallacy in this argument if you
    think about the numbers involved. In all of Nevada, there are only 880
    permittees that graze upon public lands. And in the entire state less than
    2,000 people are engaged in any kind of agriculture including farming. One
    casino in Las Vegas employs more people than the entire agricultural economy
    in the state. Although other states may have higher numbers of people
    involved in ranching, their overall numbers are typically a small proportion
    of the state's economic picture. Livestock production is a labor unintensive
    industry. It requires a lot of land, but doesn't provide many jobs. This is
    partly the result of the limited productivity of the western rangelands.
    Idaho, for example, ranks 21st in the nation in beef production, though the
    majority of its landscape is devoted to livestock production. Wyoming , the
    "cowboy" state, is 30th . Nevada, Utah, and Arizona fall somewhere well
    below these states.

       One recent study done by the University of Arizona in Tucson found that
    rural communities rather than being dependent upon the livestock industry
    for their jobs, found the opposite to be true. Ranch families actually
    depended upon the town for their economic survival. Since all but the
    largest western livestock operations are marginally profitable, most ranch
    families have at least one or more people working full or part jobs in town
    to help support the ranch. Without the income from positions as school
    teachers, local government, or whatever, ranch ownership would not be
    possible. The vast majority of people who call themselves ranchers do so
    because they enjoy the lifestyle and the prestige that comes with being a
    rancher, not because it's a viable economic activity. As a consequence their
    contribution to rural economies is minimal. The towns would survive without
    the ranches, but most ranchers could not survive without the towns.


        The tenth myth concerns subdivisions. Ranchers always try to silence
    critics by suggesting that reducing or eliminating livestock from our public
    lands, will lead to subdivisions. Supporting the livestock industry, even
    increasing its subsidies, will not stop the subdivision of ranchland into
    housing tracts. Those who advocate such a strategy will fail because they
    don't understand the root of the problem.

         Ranching in the West is dead. As an industry it has always depended
    upon marginal, inexpensive land. Ranchers in the West compete with livestock
    productions in more productive, humid regions by an economy of scale. They
    use more land. But when land prices rise, this is no longer an option.
    Ranchers in the West can no longer compete.

          Furthermore, subdivisions are market driven, not supply driven. You
    can have millions of acres of land for sale (as is the case over most of the
    Great Plains), but if it's not in a location that has some other attractive
    qualities, it will not sell--at least not for subdivision development. It is
    the availability of jobs, amenities like good fishing, skiing, scenery,
    bookstores, good restaurants and other values that leads to subdivisions.

          However, it is a fallacy to suggest access to public lands grazing
    allotments has prevented subdivisions anyplace in the West, nor will it in
    the future. It does not make sense to support an industry that has degraded
    more of the West than any other human activity to avoid further degradation
    from subdivisions, than it is for someone to accept the slow death from
    cancer because they otherwise might die from a heart attack. Neither is a
    good choice and one would be wise to avoid both.

        Furthermore, while subdivisions are a major impact upon the landscape
    they influence, compared to livestock production, they affect a tiny
    percentage of the land base. If livestock production were significantly
    reduced over the entire West, we'd find the situation closely analogous to
    Alaska, urban centers are surrounded by relatively wild country. There is no
    reason why much of the West cannot be restored to a near-pristine condition
    outside of the major and minor urban areas. The only part of Colorado where
    subdivisions and urban areas influence a significant proportion of the
    landscape is the Fort Collins-Colorado Springs area. Ditto for Utah's
    Wasatch Front , Nevada's Reno and Las Vegas or Oregon's Willamette Valley.
    The West is, by and large, an urban population. We live in cities or small
    towns. Inbetween is a lot of space with almost no human habitation. If the
    degradation resulting from marginal land uses like livestock production and
    logging were eliminated or reduced, landscape ecosystem restoration across
    much of the West would be possible.

          If we wish to preserve open space, and biodiversity, there are only
    three tools that have been shown to work effectively—zoning, conservation
    easements and outright fee purchase. Of the three, fee purchase provides the
    strongest long term protection. If we devoted the same amount of money we
    currently waste propping up the livestock industry and paying for all the
    environmental damage wrought by the industry including loss of species, soil
    erosion, water pollution, and other costs, we could easily purchase most of
    the critical wildlife habitat in the West.

           It's not a choice between condos and cows. Right now, following the
    strategy most advocate of propping up the livestock industry, all we will
    have is both condos and cows.


         Perhaps the biggest myth, accepted as much by some conservationists as
    by the industry is the idea that if we only reform or modify livestock
    practices, there's room for both livestock and ecosystem functioning,
    landscape restoration and native species on the public lands. Unfortunately,
    if we are giving a large percentage of our landscape and resources from
    water to forage over to livestock production, we are reducing that land's
    capacity for native species and landscape functions. The choice is really
    between whether our public lands should be used to subsidize private
    industry or might not serve a greater good if we attempted to maximize and
    enhance natural ecosystems. After all preservation of native species on
    private lands faces an uncertain future. Perhaps we will learn how to use
    the land while sustaining native species and ecosystems. But we should admit
    that we have not successfully done this on any kind of a landscape-wide
    scale anyplace. It would be a prudent and reasonable goal to make
    preservation of biological diversity and ecosystem functioning the primary
    function of public lands. These lands are the only places where landscape
    wide management can be effected. To suggest that we know how to support
    logging, grazing or other resource consumptive uses while sustaining native
    biodiversity is to perpetuate the greatest myth of all.

    George Wuerthner
    POB 1526
    Livingston, Montana 59047

    Disagree: all generalities are false

    Re: : Livestock Industry Myths (Moderator)
    Keywords: ranchers
    Date: Wed, 14 Jul 1999 16:38:02 GMT
    From: Bruce Erickson <berickson/>

    Every thing you say is true, and everything you say is false. Isn't it great!! Cattle ranching, timber harvest, vacation home in the woods, riding a bike, "preserving" nature. They all have impacts on the environment both known and unknown, both positive and negative depending on your (our) points of view. Nature itself survives and thrives. Changed, yes. Altered, perhaps irreversibly. But nature has no grand plan. Things live and die. Gaps are created and gaps are filled. There are many examples of good ranching practices that preserve the biodiversity of lifeforms and processes. There is continued experimentation to improve management practices. Bottom line is cattle ranching cannot be blanketly condemned, nor can timber harvest or subdivisions or anything else. It is all a matter of tradeoffs and intelligent risk management. The world, especially ecosystems and our understanding of them, is shades of gray.

    Agree: Your soooo right!

    Re: Disagree: all generalities are false (Bruce Erickson)
    Keywords: ranchers
    Date: Wed, 14 Jul 1999 22:57:32 GMT
    From: Dawn <dheiser/>

    Your message about generalities is right on! Nothing is black and white, and the sooner more of us realize it the sooner we will be able to reach common ground on some of the issues that we find ourselves confronted with.

    Ok: Please

    Re: Disagree: all generalities are false (Bruce Erickson)
    Keywords: ranchers
    Date: Sun, 05 Mar 2000 22:58:42 GMT
    From: <unknown>

    To assume that everything is gray, is to deny that some ideas or activities carry more value. If our world was gray, decisions would hold no meaning. Effective management depends on nothing less than wiser judgement. Be brave. Despite the discomfort of controversy or the congeniality of of being non-judgmental, a better future demands that some people be displeased by the ethical judgements of knowledgeable people.

    News: Western Grazing Practices Blasted in Recent "Survey

    Re: Feedback: ranchers help forest lands (Billy Rucker)
    Keywords: ranchers
    Date: Wed, 10 Nov 1999 16:39:10 GMT
    From: Dave Iverson <diverson/>

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

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

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

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

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

    Feedback: My answers to the Inquiry questions by Dave Iverson

    Re: : Use of the National Forests in the 21st Century (Mark Garland)
    Keywords: land poicy, fee demo, public lands, national forests,national parks
    Date: Fri, 12 Feb 1999 16:32:17 GMT
    From: <>

    1.Q: What type commercial uses are appropriate on the National Forest in the 21st Century?

    A: This is not a question most people are qualified to answer. It would take much research of public records and environmental studies to form an intelligent opinion. A general policy that addresses the following concerns would be more appropriate for the general public. The presence of commercial interests in our National Forests are the most devastating to the environment. We all know that our country's needs are varied. I would like to see a shift to more ecologically sound policy regarding extractive industries and the way they are managed. As for recreation industries, they should be subject to the same scrutiny as extractive industries. They should also not be allowed to enter into public/private partnerships. This would give them to much power by way of funding or not funding unless they get their way. Land managers will have to keep them happy in order to secure funding for their budgets. Additionally, if an anti-environment congress is in majority, they can bring pressure to bear by cutting funds until the Forest service has no choice but relax environmental concerns and allow expanded recreational development. This same strategy can be used to encourage a recreation policy more diversified than would be ecologically sound in a given area.

    2.Q: Is a "wise use"/multiple-use policy still sufficient when biological diversity, Wilderness, and other public use issues loom large?

    A: See above answer to 1.Q

    3.Q: Is their still reason to be wary of large scale commercial interests?

    A: This question seems to imply that if enough time lapses, commercial interests will magically start considering public interests over their own need for profit. To even ask such a question in this manor is absurd. Industries will never put aside their need for profit to serve the public interest. That is the job of government. It is high time government starts doing its job and stop trying to pass the responsibility to self-serving profit driven corporations.

    4.Q: 1. How ought we to fund the management of A. National Forests, B. the National Parks, C. BLM lands, D. National Wildlife Refuges, etc.? 2. Are user fees appropriate mechanisms? 3. Are commercial permit fees appropriate? 4. If so, in what mix and under what circumstances?

    A: 1A. Through general funds (taxes) and fees collected from For Profit industries, both extractive and recreational, also special use permits and Hunting and fishing licenses. Limited fees for highly developed campgrounds with piped in water, showers, general stores, boat launches and the like. 1B. National Parks are a sore issue with a lot of us. For years we have seen our government siphon money from National Parks into the general fund. If the money collected in National Parks funded the Parks budget in full before any money could be sent to the general fund, there would be no need to implement the Fee Demo program in National Parks. 1C. Same as National Forests 1D. Same as National Forests 2. Only for highly developed camp grounds 3. Yes, since they profit from our public lands 4. See answer to 1.Q

    5.Q: 1.What roles, if any, might non-government organizations play in the funding of federal lands management? 2.What roles, if any might corporations and other for-profit organizations play? 3.What roles, if any, might nonprofit organizations play? 4.Are all nonprofits created equally?

    A: 1. Grants, donations, fees from special use permits, and volunteer labor. 2. Same as above 3. Grants, Donations, volunteer labor. 4. NO, The American Recreation Coalition for instance, represents the For Profit recreation industry while implying that they represent the recreating public. Every thing the A.R.C. does generates profit for the recreation industry. It's hard for me to believe that they even have nonprofit status. I consider them to have a conflict of interest regarding policy on our public lands.

    Personal comments: I don't care for the way these questions are worded. They are designed to herd the respondent to the prescribed response. Only a person well versed on these issues can navigate the questionnaire to reflect his or her opinion accurately without being influenced by the way the questions are asked.

    Regarding the Recreation Fee Demonstration Program: Derrick Crandall, president of the American Recreation Coalition has had carte blanche in representing the For Profit industry, while the recreating public, seekers of solitude and environmental organizations have been largely ignored. This will soon change, do to the grass roots movement growing across this country. Clearly, the American Recreation Coalition, the lobby group that represents the $400 billion a year recreation industry, is very powerful. I'm sure they expect to realize a healthy return on their investment in this program much to the detriment of the real owners of public land, the people of these United States.

    Agree: Great Answers! Do you have better questions too?

    Re: Feedback: My answers to the Inquiry questions by Dave Iverson
    Keywords: land poicy, fee demo, public lands, national forests,national parks
    Date: Fri, 12 Feb 1999 17:54:06 GMT
    From: Dave Iverson <Iverson_Dave/>

    I like your answers, and agree with most of them -- maybe all of them. If I were in your shoes I too would likely say "I don't care for the way these questions are worded." But that is the beauty -- should there be beauty -- of forums. We can change the questions in minutes if we can agree on a better set. I threw the "inquiry questions" together for this particular forum together last summer when I was first toying with the notion of a forum like this.

    I never really thought of the inquiry questions as anything other than a few seeds that might get folks thinking as they worked on the main theme "Appropriate Use of the National Forests in the 21st Century." So if you can think of a better set, offer them up.

    As per your idea that the inquiry questions "are designed to herd the respondent to the prescribed response," I guess I should plead guilty. Since my personal feelings on Rec Fees seem to parallel yours maybe I herded you to your responses. I am always distrustful of questionaires since either by default or by design they generally seem to "herd respondents to prescribed responses." So do articles.

    Consider, for example, my Use of the National Forests reference article for this dialogue. I chose to emphasize Gifford Pinchot's bias toward small users and his distrust of corporate influence for a reason (See particularly, Gifford Pinchot's Use of the National Forests). I highlighted the split between Gifford Pinchot and John Muir for a reason. I brought Aldo Leopold into the discussion for a reason.

    So bias enters the picture everywhere. But if people are willing to engage in thoughtful dialogue, and explore deeply held values and search for common understanding we will be ahead in our search for Collaborative Stewardship. No?

    Agree: USFS in Denial

    Re: : Use of the National Forests in the 21st Century (Mark Garland)
    Date: Sat, 13 Feb 1999 01:26:35 GMT
    From: Isabelle Spohn <>

    I too feel insulted that the Forest Service continues to testify that Fee Demo is well-received by the public. The Forest Service has heard from many outraged citizens (both directly and indirectly), particularly those from rural areas surrounded by National Forest, and continues to act as if opponents really don't exist. The many (especially local) cars parked at trailheads without passes and citizens publicly proclaiming (even in court) that they will never pay are ignored. It is clear from the recent California cases in which charges have been dropped against those refusing to buy passes that the USFS does not want this issue to become a focus of the public eye.

    In reading a summary of the 2/4/99 hearing on Fee Demo before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, I was struck by several things: First, that no groups opposing the fees were invited to testify. Next, by the spectre of the counties vying for 25% of fees collected (where will it end?) Last, by the whole tone of the hearing, which was one of how fees should be implemented and finalized rather than whether they should be implemented at all.. . . while the public is still just beginning to understand what has happened.

    The people are about to lose their land without really realizing it. Let's draw the line now. Let's not allow the industrial-strength recreation giants (posing as "partners") invade what is left of solitude, biodiversity, and natural beauty for reacreational thrills and big bucks. We can do better than that.

    USFS employees and others who do not believe the fees are tied to commericialization and possibly even privatization are truly dreaming. I would suggest checking into the National Forest Marketing group, mentioned in the Feb 4 hearing, for those who still doubt the dangers of heading further in this direction.

    Agree: To call the Fee Demo a test is a lie

    Re: Agree: USFS in Denial (Isabelle Spohn )
    Date: Fri, 28 May 1999 04:59:46 GMT
    From: <>

    Congress calls the Fee Demo Program a test. Then Vice President Gore states that it is a success and the people do not oppose it. His proof is that they collected some amount of money.

    I would not call it a valid test when the only way to oppose it (short of civil disobedience) is to refrain from using our public lands. That's like testing whether people are willing to pay higher prices for food when the only alternative is to starve.

    I am urging all my friends to write Al Gore and their Senators to oppose (1) the making permanent of the program which Al Gore has done in his budget proposal and (2) promoting the Bono-Capps legislation which will end the program.

    None: Answers to "Use of the National Forests"

    Re: : Use of the National Forests in the 21st Century (Mark Garland)
    Date: Wed, 17 Feb 1999 03:44:32 GMT
    From: Joanne Vinton <>

    1. About appropriate commercial uses--there are none. The National Forests are the best hope for restoring more land to the wild. The USDA Forest Service is a treacherous and senile agency, and I hope its days are numbered.

    2. About wise use--it's not appropriate and never was. The National Forests were originally set aside as reserves in the Forest Reserve Act of March 3, 1891. A rider to an appropriations bill allowed in the timber companies.

    3 and 5. About commercial interests, NGOs, and corporations--they've done nothing but harm so far. Chief Dombeck's idea of community partnerships is just a desperate attempt to keep the Forest Service alive. Why bother?

    4. About funding management--use taxes, not user fees. We need the National Forests for providing clean water and islands of wildness for endangered species. Pushing recreation in the forests is no better than logging, mining, etc.

    About me--I monitor timber sales in Oregon. I'm also an active hiker and snowshoer. I know how bad off the forests are and I know how recalcitrant Forest Service employees can be. I'm heartily sick of it.

    None: A Redress of Grievances, please

    Re: : Use of the National Forests in the 21st Century (Mark Garland)
    Keywords: recreation, fee, demonstration, user, national, forest, service
    Date: Wed, 17 Feb 1999 03:47:30 GMT
    From: Michael Zierhut <>

    Well, this forum is ceratinly growing fallow. Most contributors to this forum, as well as myself, have used the forum to voice their problems with the new Recreation Fee Demonstration Program. The pro-fee side is without representation in this forum. Thus the forum has died down since there is no one to contend with the issues that were raised.

    As I see it, this is the first time that the forest service has sought any real public comment on its new approach "for the 21st Century." Therefore, it is also the first time it has sought real public comment on the Recreation Fee Demonstration Program. This has been a major problem with the entire implementation of this program. Congress authorized the agency to, in the words of the actual law, "implement a fee program to demonstrate the feasibility" of user fees. Part of what must be feasible about the program is not only whether it could generate the needed revenue to fund the agency, but whether the public would be willing to pay the fees in order to generate the revenue. (I would hope that the managers of the agency would not be so naive as to think that any old idea to make money would be acceptable to the public.)

    So far, the Forest Service has merely looked to compliance as acceptance. This precludes the agency from hearing the opinions of those who choose not to go to National Forests instead of buying a pass, and of those who go to the forest without a pass. I congratulate the Forest Service for making a bridge over that gap by starting this public forum. I condemn the Forest Service for not doing it sooner and with more vigor. After all, in a democratic republic such as ours, public opinion should be the benchmark for the feasibility of implementing programs that directly affect the public.

    So where is the Forest Service's response? The people who have contributed their opinions to this forum have made their case, and yet again, the Forest Service has given no response. Where is (Chief of the Forest Service) Michael Dombeck's opinion in all this? Where is (USDA Undersecretary for Natural Resources and Environment) Jim Lyons? Both have been adamant about the necesity and feasibilty of the program. The public has made its petition, now we should get our redress of grievances. I would think that, as officers of the Executive Branch of government, Forest Service officials would not want to shirk their responsibility in responding to our first amendment right. To do otherwise would demonstrate a contempt on the part of these officials for carrying out their constitutional duty.

    To the moderator of this forum: let the chief of the Forest Service and others know that, as members of the public, we who have given our opinions here demand a proper response to our valid concerns.

    Michael Zierhut


    Re: : A Redress of Grievances, please (Michael Zierhut)
    Keywords: recreation, fee, demonstration, user, national, forest, service
    Date: Thu, 18 Feb 1999 01:44:39 GMT
    From: <unknown>

    A REDRESS OF GRIEVANCES. This is absolutely correct. I too ask for a response from the list moderator. I want to know if the Forest Service is paying ANY attention to this list -- do they truly want to know how people feel, or is this just another CYA to be able to say they "gave opportunity for public input"???? Truly, there are MANY people, if not the MAJORITY of citizens in this country who use our national forests, who still don't know anything about the fee program. I think it will hit this summer in my state, where our national forest managers have declared that staying overnight anywhere in the forest, even if it's 20 miles from any "developed" facilities, requires a parking permit. NOT FROM THIS U.S. CITIZEN AND PUBLIC LANDOWNER!!!

    Everyone interested in this issue should DEMAND a response to our concerns and grievances! Do we matter, or do the corporate dollars really count so much more than the citizens of our country?


    Keywords: recreation, fee, demonstration, user, national, forest, service
    Date: Thu, 18 Feb 1999 04:52:54 GMT
    From: Isabelle Spohn <>

    I too request a response from the Forest Service to our comments. I'd like to know if any of the Forest Service folks are listening. And by the way, is there anyone out there who thinks this program is a good idea?

    None: Please respond USFS

    Re: : A Redress of Grievances, please (Michael Zierhut)
    Keywords: recreation, fee, demonstration, user, national, forest, service
    Date: Thu, 18 Feb 1999 16:42:41 GMT
    From: Ron Ziblis <>

    I too hope to see a response from the USFS or anyone who feels this fee 'demo' is the way to go. This attitude of ignoring those who oppose the fee 'demo' has gone too far. This forum doesn't reflect the high level of acceptance the Forest Service claims.

    Idea: Please be patient...

    Re: : A Redress of Grievances, please (Michael Zierhut)
    Keywords: recreation, fee, demonstration, user, national, forest, service
    Date: Thu, 18 Feb 1999 17:23:44 GMT
    From: Moderator <diverson/>

    First, I forwarded your message to the Chief yesterday afternoon. I will shortly send to the WO Director of Recreation and a couple of friends who are (or have been recently) Directors of Recreation in two of the 9 Administrative Regions of the USFS. I also sent out an "update" focused on this particular forum to about 600 people yesterday, fishing for more participation especially from people in the Forest Service.

    Second, remember that the USFS is just now getting used to the Internet, and has no real experience with two-way communication methods. And know that Eco-Watch is an experiment that two guys (your moderators--both fully employed elsewhere and doing this because we think it is needed) thought might be a break-through in government. I, at least, grew tired long ago of so-called public involvement that said, in essence, "Send us your responses to policy proposals so that we can package them with the other ten billion responses and sort them into meaningless categories, thereby stereotyping you and perpetuating the myth that people can never agree on anything so if everyone is mad at us we must be doing something right." Be grateful that the USFS allowed this forum to exist as an experiment. You tell me where else in the US Government you can find a similar one. I'd like to know so that I can get a clue as to how to manage this one better.

    Third, remember that the Chief and all Directors are very busy and not at all used to such direct intrusions on their lives as this forum may tend to be (but they are used to being called on the carpet by the Congress, others in the Administration and by powerful special interest lobbys). This does not mean that they ought not take a moment and find a way to answer key policy questions, but it does suggest patience on your part. Government works very slowly by design.

    Fourth, since there are so many forums scattered throughout the Internet it becomes incumbent on participants to make the most of what they have and to work hard to attract others to participate. If this forum becomes a substitute for "letters or emails to the Chief" I will likely kill it myself. Redundancy can never substitute for insight and inquiry.. So again, be patient... thanks, Dave.

    None: Comprehensive citizen input should be a top priority

    Re: Idea: Please be patient... (Moderator)
    Keywords: recreation, fee, demonstration, user, national, forest, service
    Date: Sat, 20 Feb 1999 02:51:52 GMT
    From: <unknown>

    First of all, I do want to thank you, Dave, for the obvious hard work you've put into doing this forum. I do appreciate your efforts.

    However, I have to take some exception to your statement that we should be "grateful" for the existence of the forum. Isn't government supposed to be listening to what its citizens have to say? Over and over you hear how people have opted out of any participation in government, voting, etc. and here you have citizens actively involved and voicing their concerns and opinions.

    As to FS managers being very busy...well, there are a whole lot of folks out there who are devoting considerable personal time, and personal money, to educate people about fee demo and to advocate for better management of our forest ecosystems, and to work for elimination of corporate subsidies for mining, ranching and timbering, to work very hard for the protection of irreplaceable national resources, and on and on. And they do this AFTER putting in a full day of work earning a living. They DESERVE to be listened to, and responded to.

    This is a critical issue and one that literally affects millions of people who are national forest users. The fee demo program has had a substantial negative impact on my personal life and the quality of my outdoor experiences. I have a great deal of fear for the future, as one of my key plans for my retirement was to spend a lot more time hiking, camping and exploring the places I love so much. But in another 10 years, will I even be able to afford it? Will my favorite forests be overrun with ORV's, laudromats, burger joints, Disney-style attractions?

    The national forests and BLM lands were my last refuge; a place to go where you didn't have to fill out more paperwork, or buy a Golden Eagle Passport; where you could go into the woods for days and be at peace. A place to be away from the things of man. Now that's being taken away too and it feels like a wound.


    Re: Idea: Please be patient... (Moderator)
    Keywords: recreation, fee, demonstration, user, national, forest, service
    Date: Fri, 16 Apr 1999 01:30:12 GMT
    From: Michael Zierhut <>

    Conveniently, the Forest Service has let legitimate First Ammendment requests for a redress of grievances be denied, by attempting to ignore them into oblivion. Obviously this agency has no desire to serve the public, yet it has done a wonderful job of reaching out to its corporate recreation "partners." Joe Blow isn't worth their time of day except in reference to buying passes into forest lands.

    The Forest Service can continue to play the game of ignoring public disagreement with its new Recreation Fee Demonstration Program and telling Congress that the public loves the program, but by doing this it further undermines the public's confidence in the agency. This is exactly what some who are pushing the fee program might want. Call the agency ineffective and ineffectual, and Congress might be more willing to concession-out more areas of public lands. I wonder if any Forest Service employees have considered their jobs could very well be at risk with the privatization drive that the agency is embracing. Don't think that Senator Frank Murkowski and others haven't already considered replacing Forest Service jobs with private-sector concessionaires.

    The Forest Service's denial of our First Ammendment rights might very well aid in the cause of Legislators and lobbyists who want to eliminate the agency altogether.

    Michael Zierhut

    Ok: lighten up

    Keywords: recreation, fee, demonstration, user, national, forest, service
    Date: Wed, 14 Jul 1999 16:47:59 GMT
    From: Bruce Erickson <berickson/>

    Lighten up. 72 posts does not exactly constitue overwhelming majority of public opinion.

    Regarding the first amendment. Your posting the message was your exercising your first amendment rights. Nothing in the Bill of Rights says that when one person speaks, another has to dance.

    Feedback: A question of redress of grievances, not free speech

    Re: Ok: lighten up (Bruce Erickson)
    Keywords: recreation, fee, demonstration, user, national, forest, service
    Date: Sat, 06 Nov 1999 20:49:00 GMT
    From: Michael Zierhut <>

    The First Amendment issue addressed in the initial posting was not freedom of speech. An often forgotten right of the citizenry provided by the First Amendment is the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances. It is this right that makes Congress and the rest of the government have to listen to letters written by constituents; not simply that people won't vote for them if they don't listen, but that they are required by the Constitution to listen.

    For the last three years, when the Forest Service has reported to Congress on the progress of the program, they have claimed that the majority of the public supports the program. They have never spoken of the over 100 activist groups fighting the program (Wild Wilderness, the Sierra Club, Free Our Forests, Free the Forests, American Lands, the Access Fund, and the American Whitewater Association, to name a few). They have also never mentioned the governments of California which have taken up positions against the program (California State Legislature, Kern, L.A., Santa Barbara, and Ventura County Boards of Supervisors, Ojai and Berkeley City Councils). Finally, they have never mentioned the two bills introduced in the House which are designed to end the program.

    It was my impression that this was to be a discussion forum. However, the Forest Service has not responded to any of the postings here. Thus, with this and the above information, it can be quite easily deduced that the Forest Service refuses to recognize our right to a redress of grievances as accorded in the First Amendment.

    Note: Agree with Dave

    Re: Idea: Please be patient... (Moderator)
    Keywords: recreation, fee, demonstration, user, national, forest, service
    Date: Tue, 27 Apr 1999 20:17:37 GMT
    From: <dheiser/>

    As a Forest Service employee, I can attest to what Dave says about us just learning a new form of communication. Our new IBM system is much different from our former system which did not have access to the "net" and many of us are still learning what we can and cannot do with this system. I must admit to being unsure if this is considered a "permissible" use of the system or not but am willing to take a chance. We have been told that an "in-appropriate" use of the system will result in our losing the priveledge to be on the system.

    As to Demo Fees, I must admit to being somewhat ambivelent about them. Congress doesn't want to increase our budget to pay for things like "smell good toilets", or upkeep on facilities we already have; yet the "public" doesn't want for us to continue with our traditional means of making money to fund these projects i.e. logging, grazing, etc. So where does that leave the Forest Service? Caught in the middle with both sides beating us with sticks! I am frequently amazed at the willingness of our employees (myself included)to keep trying to do what we can in spite of disappearing budgets, reduced personnel, and angry cries from all sides. Many times our frustration is as great as yours!

    Angry: Paying corporations to destroy publicly owned forrests is a bad idea.

    Re: : Use of the National Forests in the 21st Century (Mark Garland)
    Keywords: zero cut national forrest subsidy logging road
    Date: Wed, 17 Feb 1999 04:38:49 GMT
    From: Michael Adler <>

         It surprises many Americans to learn that our govornment 
    and their tax dollars (throught the Forresst service) pay 
    corporations to log in our national forrests.  Everyone I talk
    to is opposed to this practice.  It may have been less 
    unpopular fifty years ago, but it was always a bad idea.  The 
    Forrest Service has wasted BILLIONS of taxpayer dollars that 
    go right into the pockets of the wealthy timber companies.  
    These programs have not returned one cent to the national 
    treasury. One of the major ways in which the Forrest service 
    subsidizes logging is by building logging roads.  Logging
    roads cause erosion and fragment ecosystems (which makes it 
    less able to support certin animals that require large ranges)
    even in areas that are not being logged.  Logging roads also 
    contribute to landslides, and degradation of water quality.  
    Logging of old growth forrests in the Pacific Northwest has 
    decimated the salmon industry.  Logging causes errosion and 
    siltation of the streams that salmon use to spawn.  This put 
    out of work many more people than conserving those forrests 
    ever would have.  The woodcutters would have lost their jobs 
    anyway when they cut down all the trees, because most timber 
    companies do not practice sustainable yield as the Forrest 
    Service would have you believe.  They can make a lot more 
    money a lot quicker from clearcutting and leaving.  Now that 
    so much of the United States' forrests are gone, American 
    timber companies are going abroad to take advantage of the 
    lax environmental laws created by trade treaties such as GATT 
    and NAFTA, to pillaging the forrest resources of other 
    countries, particularly Chile (Boise Cascade and others) and 
    Mexico (Kimberly Clark, International Paper, fromerly Boise 
    Cascade, and others).  In order to crush any public opposition 
    to the indigenous peoples being pushed off their land for 
    logging, and of the decimation of their forrests, The US is 
    training millitary and paramillitary units from those countries
    in Colombus Georgia at the School of the Americas 
    (see for info).  Training includes such things as 
    guerilla warfare, psychological warfare, and torture techniques.
    Such training results in things like the murder of 17 and 
    maiming of 23 anti-logging protestors by Mexican police, and 
    the Dec,22,97 massacre of 45 indigenous peoples praying in a 
    church in Acteal in Chiapas Mexico.
         I think I've gotten a bit off subject, and I apologise.
    Only 4% of our nation's timber comes from the National Forrest
    system.  Most American timber comes from privately owned tree
    farms, so protecting out national forrests won't even damage
    the industry very much.  Tourism and recreation contribute to
    the economy 30 times the amount contributed by logging.  Laws 
    such as the endangered species ammendment do not actually 
    protect endangered species any more since the innovation 
    (during the Reagan administration) of "habitat conservation 
    programs (or HCP's, a misnomer at best), or species "take" 
    permits.  These HCP's, which proliferated in the Clinton 
    administration essentially give corporations the ability to 
    bypass the endangered species act. THey are typically granted 
    by regulatory agencies without the required research or any 
    form of actual conservation.  All these terrible things happen 
    because the timber industry is very wealthy and therefore has 
    the power to influence the policies of our govornment.  I 
    don't have time to explain how that works, but if you're 
    intersted, I recomend a book called "What Uncle Sam Really Wants" 
    by Noam Chomksy.  There is a national grassroots campaign to 
    support legislation in congress.  There is a bill that will be 
    introduced to the house as HR2789.  It will do these four things:

    1) End all commercial logging on public lands.

    2) Redirect logging subsidies to restoration and community aid.

    3) Establish a forrest restoration program that preferentially hires displaced forrest workers to perform restoration work.

    4) Saves taxpayers over $300 million annually.

    This campaign is known as Zero-Cut and is being supported by a number of reputable enviromnetal organizations. Campaign headquarters can be reached at PO box 453 Charlottesville,Va 22902. I encourage anyone reading this to write tho their elected representatives and urge them to support his legislation, and all simmilar legislation, and to sign the petition (if you are presented with one). Congresional e-mails and other information can be found at

    Thank you for your time,

    Michael Adler

    None: And fight forest fires at the cost of.......?????

    Re: Angry: Paying corporations to destroy publicly owned forrests is a bad idea. (Michael Adler)
    Keywords: zero cut national forrest subsidy logging road
    Date: Thu, 14 Feb 2002 16:21:13 GMT
    From: <BillMalec>

    YOu forgot the cost of fighting the forest fires that will occur(and have for the past few years) due to "lettting the forests go". I don't agree with PAYING logging co's to harvest wood(and I don't think that happens), but I don't agree with having them pay either. I think a good symbiotic realtionship allowing them to harvest trees at no cost and is beneficial to all of us. Why no cost?....because it would cost the Forest Service millions of $$ to pay someone to come in and do thinning OR pay someone milions to fight the forest fires that WILL happen. Yeah, yeah, yeah, forest fires are nature's way of rebuilding............blah, blah, blah. After a forest fire is when the most erosion of the land is caused. Look, we have enough beautiful Forests and enough Wilderness and enough Monuments. ENOUGH ALREADY!!

    Dr. Bill Malec, major in Biology.

    Ok: I like user fees and think they're entirely appropriate!

    Re: : Use of the National Forests in the 21st Century (Mark Garland)
    Date: Tue, 23 Feb 1999 23:40:13 GMT
    From: Linda Knowlton <>

    Yes, the national forests belong to everyone. And that means that the person who lives in the city and finally gets an opportunity to visit one shoudn't find it trashed by people who live next door and treat it as their backyard. People who use the forests have a special obligation; hiking is NOT a no-impact activity. I agree that it would be nice if fees were assessed based on impact. But to say that you won't pay a fee because miners and loggers have already trashed the forest is to say that "If they can trash it, so can I." Despite what contributors to this forum say, the fees are at least accepted by, if not popular with, a majority of Americans. And, no, I'm not a Republican and not a fan of big business. I live near, and use heavily, a national forest and a national park. And I consider it an honor - and my duty - to contribute to their upkeep.

    Feedback: problems with this statement (not the pro-fee stance, though)

    Re: Ok: I like user fees and think they're entirely appropriate! (Linda Knowlton)
    Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 18:48:17 GMT
    From: Michael Zierhut <>

    This pro-fee position is an entirely valid position to take. In fact, the American Recreation Coalition (ARC) would consider you a model citizen. They are working on the design of a pass that reflects a citizen's attachment to the land whereby that citizen can pay more than the required fee to enter public lands. I think that they call it the Hero Pass.

    I must take issue with three of the points made in support of the fee program. First, you are correct, hiking is not a no-impact activity. However, ever since there have been humans in the world, hiking humans have made an impact on the land. Like every other large animal in the world, humans leave footprints and make trails. I think that believeing that humans make a damaging impact by hiking is yet another way of separating humans from nature. The impact of hiking is negligible compared to the impact of mining and logging. No ecosystem has ever evolved around the raping of the land by mining and logging.

    Second, there is an implication in this pro-fee position that if you don't support fees, then you like to trash the wilderness. This is just plain ludicrous. No one has ever stated or implied that "if they can trash it, so can I."

    Finally, neither side of the debate can back up statements as broad as: "a majority of Americans accept fees," or "a majority of Americans dislike fees." There simply has not been adequate enough study of this. Sure the ARC and the Forest Service have done some research on this, but close analysis reveals that the research is flawed. The questions are leading, and the sample populations are not reflective of the country as a whole. If the studies were unflawed, I would imagine that the Forest Service and the ARC would publish their methods alongside the study. Even newspaper polls do as much with studies that they publish. I think people should try to represent themselves and their experiences in this forum, not their opinions of what people they've never met are thinking. I do know, however, that in my town, which is next to a National Forest, I have spoken to only one person who supports the program. I can't count the number of people I have spoken to who dislike recreation fees (but it is at least 100 people).

    Michael Zierhut

    Feedback: Untitled

    Re: Ok: I like user fees and think they're entirely appropriate! (Linda Knowlton)
    Date: Sat, 27 Feb 1999 19:55:26 GMT
    From: Ron Ziblis <>

    I am sorry if your neighbors thrash your back yard. I do not live in ‘the city’ so I can’t relate. I have spent a lot of time in our National Forests and Public Lands. Anyone from the city is welcome on our public lands. These lands are ours, nobody has to wait for an opportunity to visit these lands, they open for all.
    By charging a fee you take this opportunity away. Then only those who can afford an opportunity to visit the forests can enjoy what they have to offer. Would this still be considered this ‘public’ land?
    We all should be happy to contribute to the upkeep of our Public Lands. Personally I don’t find any honor in doing it by cash.

    Feedback: Please think again.

    Re: Ok: I like user fees and think they're entirely appropriate! (Linda Knowlton)
    Date: Wed, 03 Mar 1999 23:54:48 GMT
    From: Isabelle Spohn <>

    In answer to your statement that most people approve of Fee Demo, I would like to say that my husband and I started a petition requesting that Fee Demo be stopped a few months after it started. It now has over 11,000 signatures, and we must put out very little effort to get signatures. We have had it at booths at fairs/markets also, and in all that time we've talked to probably less than 10 people who support the program or are in doubt as to whether they support it or not. In our area, the comment form asks if the visitor's experience was worth what they paid. What outdoor lover is going to say no? The question should be whether they think they ought to pay or not and whether they agree with the corporate backing/commercialization direction it represents for our public lands.

    Regarding your comment that city folks "find it trashed by people who live next door and treat it as their backyard," I am sure you must not mean this as negatively as it sounds. As a Forest Service patrol, the trash I cleaned up did not often appear to have been left by locals.

    News: Industrial Recreation Threatening National Forests

    Re: : Use of the National Forests in the 21st Century (Mark Garland)
    Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 01:30:08 GMT
    From: American Wildlands <>

         Industrial Recreation Threatening National Forests

      A delegation of grassroots activists converged on Washington two weeks ago
    to meet with Administration officials and Hill staff to express our
    concerns about the growing threat to our National Forests posed by
    inappropriate and irresponsible recreation.

    Trends in Public Lands Recreation

      At a speech in Missoula, MT on February 3, Forest Service Chief Mike
    Dombeck likened the recreation industry of today to the timber industry of
    20 years ago. While he was focusing on the overcutting of trees in the 70's
    that led to significant declines in timber production in the 90's, other
    similarities may be more relevant. The recreation industry of today has
    succeeded in influencing recreational policies on the many federally managed
    lands. Also similar to the timber extraction of the past, recreational
    developments are occurring with limited environmental analyses; from direct
    exemptions from analysis, to the overuse of categorical exclusions, to a
    disregard of applicable law by public land managers. If this trend
    continues, recreational activities on the public lands will be simply
    another form of industrial extraction, leaving a degraded, denuded land to
    the American public while filling the coffers of the recreation industries.

      While not necessarily in complete agreement on how to deal with each of
    these issues, the following problems are recognized by a growing number of
    environmental activists throughout the country.

      One of the main recreational issues facing federal land managers is the
    ongoing motorization, commercialization and privatization of the public
    lands. This is occurring through a variety of mechanisms, most of which are
    identified in the Forest Service's 1999 National Strategy for Recreation
    draft brochure. These include the proliferation of alternative funding
    mechanisms for recreation and other activities on public lands.

       • The National Strategy for Recreation promotes the privatization of the
    public lands through increased collaborative stewardship projects and
    increased public/private partnerships through challenge cost-share agreements.

       • The Recreation Fee Demonstration Program also provides separate funding
    mechanisms for Forest Service recreation. These amount to a double taxation
    for access to the public lands, with a minimal amount of revenue generated
    for the Forest Service. To maintain appropriate oversight of the public
    lands, Congress and the Forest Service need to remain responsible for funding.

    •Off-Road Vehicle Use
      For years, the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management have allowed
    the illegal development of "user-created" roads throughout roaded and
    roadless lands. This is sometimes referred to as benign neglect, though it
    is far from benign. The results from this "sweeping motorization" of the
    public lands are sediment runoff into streams; toxic pollution in the air,
    soil and water; direct vegetation destruction; direct roadkill; habitat
    fragmentation; the spread of non-native weeds, pests and pathogens; and
    increased access for illegal off-road vehicle use and poaching. And while
    this is a significant problem on all public lands, it can be especially
    problematic in roadless areas.

      The two executive orders that regulate off-road vehicle use on the public
    lands provide specific, legally upholdable regulations for managing ORVs.
    These regulations have been roundly ignored in all public land agencies,
    beginning with a lack of monitoring, from which many of the other violations
    flow. It is almost impossible to implement the EOs by closing trails that
    are causing significant environmental impacts or user conflicts, if there
    are no monitoring reports on which to base these closures.

    •Ski Areas
      While ski recreation has remained flat for several years, the Forest
    Service is actively pushing ski area developments throughout the National
    Forest System. This development acts as a mask for real estate development
    and suburban sprawl. The result of this is the loss of massive amounts of
    wildlife habitat, clean water and clean air.

    •Jet Skis and Water Recreation
      The growing use of jet skis and jet boats on public rivers and lakes is
    causing significant environmental impacts and more frequent conflicts with
    non-motorized users. Jet Skis are not covered by the existing Executive
    Orders relating to off-road vehicle use and to date, the agency has failed
    to adequately regulate their use.

      Public lands can provide recreational activities to a broad array of
    Americans as long as recreational activities are managed based on the
    ecological impacts they cause. While Chief Dombeck suggests that it is
    important to live within the limits of the land, he does not explain an
    alternative way to think about limits. Alternatively, we can cause the
    minimal impact possible to the land, rather than the maximum impact the land
    can handle. These are two fundamentally different approaches to recreation

      For more information, contact: Wildlands Center for Preventing Roads;
    406/543-9551; or Wild Wilderness;

    Steve Holmer
    Campaign Coordinator

    American Lands
    726 7th Street, SE
    Washington, D.C. 20003
    202/547-9213 fax

    News: REI Bows Out of "Recreation Roundtable"

    Re: News: Industrial Recreation Threatening National Forests (American Wildlands)
    Keywords: US Forest Service, Recreation, Rec Fee Demo
    Date: Wed, 14 Apr 1999 20:10:42 GMT
    From: Dave Iverson <diverson/>

    As noted by the American Recreation Coalition(ARC), "The Recreation Roundtable was formed in 1989 to provide a key group of creative outdoor recreation industry CEO’s with a forum for discussions regarding public policies affecting recreation and to serve as a catalyst for partnership actions which enhance recreation opportunities in America. Membership includes the CEO’s of such companies as L.L. Bean, Walt Disney Attractions, Times Mirror Magazines, Outdoor Technologies Group, KOA and more."

    Last week REI (Recreational Equipment, Inc.) decided to quit the "Recreation Roundtable." In REI's April 9th letter to Scott Silver (Executive Director, Wild Wilderness) and Mark Lawler (National Forests Committee Chair, Sierra Club Cascade Chapter), Wally Smith, REI's President/CEO, explained:

    "REI has held a seat at the Roundtable in order to represent the views of muscle powered outdoor recreation users. This is consistent with REI's history of working with a variety of organizations to protect the outdoors. REI has never been a member of the American Recreation Coalition (ARC) but since ARC sponsors the Roundtable, our participation in the Roundtable has sent a mixed message to our members.
    "It has become apparent that our continued participation in the Roundtable causes confusion, as that organization is linked with ARC. In response to this confusion, REI has stepped down from its membership in the Recreation Roundtable."

    REI was quick to note that they still support the US Forest Service "Fee Demo pilot program," as a pilot. They are listening to their members' input in evaluating options, and stressed that "this does not commit REI to pushing for permanent adoption of Fee Demo when the pilot is concluded - the program must stand on its own merits and it must have the support of outdoor users." REI also mentioned that they have been pushing and will continue to push the Congress to adequately fund public lands stewardship as "something we all pay taxes to support."

    None: Pay for what is already ours?

    Re: : Use of the National Forests in the 21st Century (Mark Garland)
    Date: Thu, 25 Feb 1999 19:52:08 GMT
    From: Doug <unknown>

     Don't we already pay for using National Forests through federal taxes? I don't think it is fair to have to pay twice.
     Many people are already unaware of their right to enjoy the forests that we have left. A user fee may discourage would-be hikers, birdwatchers and photographers from visiting the beautiful ecosystems altogether.
     And if nobody is using them sustainably, how far away are we from letting them become denuded and raped by resource-hungry industries?

    None: Now there's food for thought!

    Re: : Pay for what is already ours? (Doug)
    Date: Wed, 03 Mar 1999 01:10:54 GMT
    From: <unknown>

    Ah-hah.....I think you've got it! Think about it and you will have yet another reason to oppose the fees.

    News: Should You Need A Pass to Visit Nature?

    Re: : Use of the National Forests in the 21st Century (Mark Garland)
    Date: Wed, 03 Mar 1999 08:07:54 GMT
    From: Moderator <>


        Should You Need A Pass to Visit Nature?


    Feedback: Untitled

    Re: News: Should You Need A Pass to Visit Nature? (Moderator)
    Date: Sun, 15 Aug 1999 19:49:36 GMT
    From: Marg <>

    It is true that we all pay taxes for the federal lands. To pay again when we want to use the lands, some say is wrong. I have a question that I would like someone to comment on. The federal lands are a large part of the land mass in some states and counties. Without the resouce uses on the federal lands the economics of these areas are severly effected What are your thoughts on how the states and counties can receive a suitable taxable value for the federal lands within their counties? Is there a way that multilple resource uses can enhance the federal lands. I do not see lock up as the answer to preserving the federal alnds either.

    Thank You

    Feedback: Life After "Resource Dependency" for Counties

    Re: Feedback: Untitled (Marg)
    Keywords: Resouce Dependency, PILT, Payments to Counties
    Date: Tue, 17 Aug 1999 17:07:49 GMT
    From: Dave Iverson <diverson/>


    You point out that, "Without the resource uses on the federal lands the economics of these areas are severely effected." I assume you mean counties that seem to have grown "dependent" on commodity extraction from public lands and on associated severance taxes -- especially timber production and the 25% funds.

    You ask, "What are your thoughts on how the states and counties can receive a suitable taxable value for the federal lands within their counties?" Without comment on whether or not counties ought to receive such payment, I'll refer you and others to a website that helps answer your question.

    The Congress provided for compensation to counties with Payments in Lieu of Taxes Act of 1976. Counties rely heavily on "land" taxes, whereas states usually use sales taxes and income taxes for funding. So it was to counties that "PILT" payments were directed.

    In theory, PILT payments to counties serve the purpose you inquire about. In practice, some argue that PILT is just another unfunded, or severely underfunded, government program. And some counties that got "fat" under the 25% severance tax scheme have recently been lobbying for continued "help" from the federal government under various "bills" now pending before Congress. See, for example, Commentary: "Decouple Payments, Logging" by Amelia Jenkins and Andy Stahl.

    Visit the hyperlinks above to learn more about PILT and other measures to deal with the problem. Then decide for yourself what is the best means to accomplish the end you inquire about.

    Finally you ask, "Is there a way that multiple resource uses can enhance the federal lands. I do not see lock up as the answer to preserving the federal lands either."

    In the broadest sense, "multiple use" is always with us: there are always multiple uses and values at work in whatever we do, including use of publicly held federal lands. There are relatively few who would subscribe to "lock up" as a recipe for most public lands. Although there are many more who believe that the federal government has abused the public trust in the way "multiple use" has been practiced, particularly since the end of World War II. But it proves too easy to point finger of blame when we as a culture got caught up in "multiple use--sustained yield" forest management to compliment post World War II optimism in the United States. The whole of the Ecosystem Management "pre-paradigm" is an attempt to transcend multiple use--sustained yield thinking. For more, See Paul Hirt's A Conspiracy of Optimism: Management of the National Forests since World War Two and Hanna Cortner and Ann Moote's The Politics of Ecosystem Management. As Hirt points out, we all got into our current mess together and together we will have to find a way out of it.

    PILT payments, if funded and allocated properly, could serve to compensate counties for any apparent over-representation of federal lands relative to other lands, and as a means to level the playing field so that all land uses could work together to provide needed backdrops for cultural development: resources, scenic backdrops, "sources" of inspiration and spiritual renewal, systems to clean air and water, and so on. What seems much less clear is whether or not the Congress has the will to actually fully fund PILT and to reconsider both funding and allocation formulas. Recently, there has not been much Congressional interest in working with or fixing up PILT. So we may be looking at other remedies. Recently, Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman endorsed Representative Peter DeFazio's plan for linking payments to counties' three highest timber harvests since 1985.

    News: Fees out of control!

    Re: : Use of the National Forests in the 21st Century (Mark Garland)
    Date: Tue, 09 Mar 1999 22:36:32 GMT
    From: Ron Ziblis <>

    Here is the USFS's idea of a reasonable way for peolpe to access a small part of the Willamette National forest.

    News: Forest Service Prime Evil

    Re: : Use of the National Forests in the 21st Century (Mark Garland)
    Date: Fri, 12 Mar 1999 15:21:48 GMT
    From: Moderator <>


    • Forest Service Prime Evil -
      The U.S. Forest Service and a Cabal of Big Business Interests Are Slowly Privatizing Our National Heritage. But You Can Stop Them.

         By Sam Negri, Tucson Weekly


    Sad: Is it really true that it costs 5 bucks to take a 20 minute walk in the woods?

    Re: : Use of the National Forests in the 21st Century (Mark Garland)
    Date: Sat, 24 Apr 1999 20:59:30 GMT
    From: Brian W. <unknown>

    If so, are additional taxes of this kind being considered (ie: solar user fees for sunbathers, etc.)?

    News: New, Improved USFS Rec Fee Demo Internet Site

    Re: : Use of the National Forests in the 21st Century (Mark Garland)
    Keywords: Recreation, US Forest Service, Fee Demo
    Date: Tue, 01 Jun 1999 20:26:05 GMT
    From: Moderator <diverson/>

    On the USFS Home Page (at, the Forest Service recently unveiled a "New, Improved" Rec Fee Demo Site. Take a look at Recreation Fee Demonstration Program: Investing in the Great Outdoors.

    None: Remember to post "official comments" on FS policies and programs elsewhere

    Re: News: New, Improved USFS Rec Fee Demo Internet Site (Moderator)
    Keywords: Recreation, US Forest Service, Fee Demo
    Date: Tue, 08 Jun 1999 14:45:06 GMT
    From: Moderator <diverson/>

    This is a reminder that Eco-Watch is NOT an official comment repository for any Forest Service policy or program. It is simply a place to share ideas as outlined in our User Agreement. Specifically, Eco-Watch is intended only to "provide a forum for a robust and free-flowing exchange of information, opinions and comments. ... Comments by Users Are Not Endorsed by the U.S. Forest Service or any branch of the U.S. Government."

    The USFS Recreation Fee Demonstration internet site welcomes "your suggestions, comments and ideas on the Recreation Fee Demonstration program." For official comments, please use their comment form at Recreation Fee Demo Comment Form.

    Angry: Mystery vs Misery

    Re: : Use of the National Forests in the 21st Century (Mark Garland)
    Date: Wed, 09 Jun 1999 22:15:02 GMT
    From: Jon Johannessen <>

    There are few actions more mysterious and pleasing in life than walking in our natural forests. Mysterious because one never knows what unique and engaging event one will stumble across,like perhaps a deer nibbling a blade of grass, or maybe just the sight of a lone blue flower blooming next to a small stream. Pleasing because there is a sense of freedom in leaving behind the controlled manipulations of society and simply wandering in the smells and sights of the natural world.
    Today there is misery injected into this world. Misery because there is no longer the freedom of escape from the strictures of society; this due to the so-called "Adventure Pass" $30 fee. Everything about this miserable exercise in government reeks of the most vile kind of control, from the Disneyland like name Adventure Pass, a name obviously chosen to circumvent the odorous 'use tax' tag, to the enormous fines assessed if an unfortunate soul, who just happens to want to escape for some solitude on a whim, parks his vehicle without the aforesaid pass.
    There are so many abominations one could write regarding this unnatural tax, but somehow the only word that comes to mind is the word - evil. There are forces at work here that are not interested in serving goodness and freedom. One can only assume it will get worse, if recent history is any indication.

    Angry: Double Taxation Without Representation

    Re: Angry: Mystery vs Misery (Jon Johannessen)
    Date: Mon, 30 Aug 1999 20:19:47 GMT
    From: James Dineen <>

    This nonsense that is being hidden from the public view has got to end. I am a frequent user of the outdoors and national forests, why am I tricked into paying for the ultimate development of those lands which are SACRED to animal, plant, and certainly human existence. Many people already acknowledge that the human race is the most detrimental thing to ever happen to the planet Earth. Why compound the situation by making the destruction of our precious land irreversable? And why is the government lying to us by saying that the payment of these fees is a law? If this money actually went back into the maintenence of these PUBLIC (note the word PUBLIC) lands, I might have an entirely different viewpoint. The forest service knows that telling people the money DOES go into maintenance will tug at the heartstrings. I'm not paying anymore for big business to swoom in and take over my land that I want preserved.

    News: Poll: Grazing on Public Lands

    Re: : Use of the National Forests in the 21st Century (Mark Garland)
    Date: Tue, 06 Jul 1999 12:09:32 GMT
    From: RangeNet <>

    How do you feel about grazing on public lands? Should private commercial grazing be allowed on public lands? Should the Sierra Club adopt a Conservation Policy opposing grazing on public lands? Cast your vote and see how others have voted at

    None: To Fee or Not to Fee?

    Re: : Use of the National Forests in the 21st Century (Mark Garland)
    Date: Tue, 10 Aug 1999 22:45:54 GMT
    From: Dave Iverson <diverson/>

    In "To Fee or Not to Fee?" I argue that there are deep-seated value questions that have not been well attended to in ongoing discussions over US Forest Service recreation access fees. I trace a short history of use fees in general, highlighting distinctions between commercial and personal uses. Finally I lay out a few arguments, "pro" and "con," relative to general access fees that are playing out in the current policy debate. Here is the short list of arguments. See the longer version, highlighted above, for the rest of the story, including my usual pleas to all for civility in dialogue surrounding policy issues. Of course it is a bit difficult to have dialogue when not all stakeholders actually want to talk about the issues.

    In Defense of Recreation User Fees:

    • Fees are an increasingly popular new means to finance government, in the "read my lips, no new taxes" era of government.
    • Fees are a direct tax for use. People ought to pay for what they use.
    • The US Forest Service has always relied on fees as part of its funding. The agency was set up that way. Increasingly, timber and grazing fees don't cut it in terms of funding extant organizational priorities -- timber fees especially have been declining for two decades -- and new sources of funding are needed.
    • Recreation fees might actually be a "final line of defense" against the encroachment of "concessionaires" into the public domain. This argument says that if we collect recreation fees the Forest Service actually has the means to combat arguments that it is better to "outsource" recreation concessions -- granting virtual monopoly power to "concessionaires" and allowing further encroachment through time -- perchance big business encroachment -- into the "public" recreation domain.
    • The US Park Service gets along arguably better than does the US Forest Service -- at least in terms of having money to support recreation pursuits -- in part because they have a fee system in place for some of their most popular attractions.

    In Opposition to Recreation User Fees:

    • There is a long-standing tradition, religious and otherwise, of "Forests Wild and Free" that militates against charging access fees. One strain of this argument asks, "If we can walk free in our cities but not in our forests, what is left of Wildness?"
    • The American people and the Congress don't need yet another bureaucratic cash cow and all the problems that entails as to "oversight and accountability."
    • It has been hard for the Forest Service and/or the Congress to regulate big-business timber, mining, and grazing interests in the national forests. Recreation fees help throw the doors open wide to embrace big-business recreation interests, yet another big-business group, by condoning "America for sale or rent" commercialization ideas, and promoting "mechanically assisted recreation" that many in big-business favor.
    • Environmental Justice problems loom large when recreation fees are charged.

    Feedback: Fees for Forests, Fees for Freedom.

    Re: : To Fee or Not to Fee? (Dave Iverson)
    Keywords: Fees, freedom, public good, subsidies
    Date: Sun, 22 Aug 1999 18:20:22 GMT
    From: Jeff Borchers <>

    So why don't we Americans just get down with the libertarians and charge fees for everything? Probably because we secretly know that streets, highways, and forests fall into the category of a general public good. We as a society tend to subsidize that which we consider a public good, because we'd like everyone to have relatively equal access to it...almost like a civil right. Streets, freeways, food stamps, and mortgage interest deductions fall into this category. Arbitrary yes, but as Geo. Will's book title "Statecraft as Soulcraft" suggests, government is in the business of providing for the common good. Ideally, however, we decide where that common good lies. Increasingly the public voice is being raised against these fees, mainly becuase their sting is more than financial; what hurts the most is that it feels like another chapter in "The End of Nature", and a sad coda to the closing of the American frontier in 1890.

    In short, free access to public lands is part of our complex mythology, the sprit of which is violated by the imposition of user fees. Not only that, the fees sure do take the heat off Congress to pony up what it takes to manage the National Forests correctly.

    News: Ron Judd and Russell Sadler on Rec Fee Demo

    Re: : To Fee or Not to Fee? (Dave Iverson)
    Date: Wed, 25 Aug 1999 20:59:18 GMT
    From: Moderator <diverson/>

    Two recent editorials spotlight different views on The US Forest Service Rec Fee Demo Program.

    In Solution to fewer forest user-fees starts to take root, from the August 19 edition of the Seattle Times, Ron Judd talks about recent changes in the Fee Demo Program in the Northwest that he finds refreshing, and suggests a few further adjustments to the program including: institute even more broadly defined regional federal lands passes--buy once use anywhere, retain trail-head collections, but as voluntary donations, and more.

    In Commentary: Public lands fees limit use to those who can pay , from the August 22 edition of The Register-Guard, Eugene OR., Russell Sadler argues against fees and the economic/business arguments that brought them to us. Both are worth a look.


    Re: : To Fee or Not to Fee? (Dave Iverson)
    Date: Wed, 01 Sep 1999 02:31:44 GMT
    From: <>

    So how successful is the Fee Demonstration when Congress cuts the Forest Service budget by ANOTHER $44 million!! So now citizens have restricted access to the forests, fees will continue to increase to prevent even more people from being able to afford to visit their own public forests, and you're no further ahead than before fee demo.

    Then there's the committee report that still claims that there is wide-spread support for fee demo. This is an outright lie! I just spent almost a month in Oregon, where the number of very expensive-looking fee demo signs spread across the countryside was astounding. I can't begin to tell you how it makes me feel to see these signs WARNING me that I had better have a pass to proceed into my own national forests! Yet everywhere we went, we checked the windshields of other vehicles and found that maybe one out of 10 or 12 had a pass on their dashboard - and all the people we talked to (and we tried to talk to everyone we saw - several dozen people) HATE fee demo and said they also REFUSED to purchase a pass.

    I was particularly appalled at seeing all the picnic areas WHERE IN ORDER TO EVEN GET OUT OF YOUR CAR TO VIEW THE NEARBY RIVER, YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO PAY $4!!!!!

    And still your own employees don't know what's going on -- at the Cape Perpetua Interpretive Center in the Siuslaw we were told that the Golden Eagle Passport was good for all of the national forest fee demo sights. If only this were true.

    The other major hassle we experienced at the Cape Perpetua campground ($14.00 a night!!) was that we actually had to find the "camp host" and have our camping receipt VALIDATED in order to be covered for hiking on the trails there. Well, the camp host WASN"T AROUND, so we had to go back a couple times before we could get this bureaucratic bullshit taken care of. This is how I want to spend my precious vacation time??!! When we complained to the camp host and the concessionaire, their response was "we agree with you, but the Forest Service says we MUST do it this way!". ARE YOU SO PETRIFIED THAT SOMEBODY MIGHT SCREW YOU OUT OF $3 THAT YOU MUST MAKE PEOPLE GO THROUGH THIS OUTRAGEOUS BUREAUCRACY??!! This was yet another forest experience RUINED by the anger and great frustration this caused.

    We visited Mt. Lassen NATIONAL PARK and paid $10 which covered us for 7 days in the park, including hiking on all the trails. Yet when we went to the Redwood Nature Trail in Siskiyou National Forest near Brookings, we were supposed to pay $3.00 to hike a ONE-MILE trail which takes maybe an hour! Same thing at the Shrader Old Growth trail - about a 20 minute walk, yet another $3 for that! And since we're from Wisconsin, we're certainly not going to buy an annual pass for one forest since we visit a DOZEN different forests on the drive out and back.

    We saw no new bathrooms, no new trails, no new parking facilities, no new public education information. The only "improvement" we saw was lots of fresh gravel on the Schrader Old Growth trail in Siuslaw, which was all loose, and being kicked around the forest floor, and which crunched, crunched, crunched underfoot instead of the soft carpet of needles and leaves we experienced last year. This place was particularly sacred to me and a place I remembered as one of quiet, profound beauty. It is now ruined for me by the intrusiveness of the signs demanding money for access, and the ugly "improvements". I will probably never go back --and perhaps that's just what the FS wants.

    Another thing we saw in Tahoe National Forest were some HUGE signs that looked new, announcing parking for "staging areas" for ORV's. This would be the absolute height of insult to me, if any money I am forced to pay for hiking is going for ANYTHING to do with ORV's - damn noisy, polluting, destructive, weed spreading, erosion-causing GARBAGE.

    Being forced to pay to touch nature is EXACTLY the same as being forced to pay to go to church.

    FEE DEMO MUST GO!!!!!!!!!

    The Lois Capps Forest Access Immediate Relief HR 2295 shifting funds formerly used for roading building to management and recreation IS VERY BADLY NEEDED and I will work very hard to help this effort.

    Disagree: No, it's not. And stop YELLING!

    Keywords: Fee Demo
    Date: Mon, 14 Feb 2000 22:14:22 GMT
    From: Jed Blanton <>

    I admire kayakers. It looks hard but I'd still like to try it sometime. I gave money when I went to church. They used to pass around a wide, metal bowel. But anyway, paying to go into woods is not like paying to go to church. The institutions and funding arrangements are totally different and are not comparable. Just think of all the hard, sweaty work it took to build and maintain all the miles and miles of trails you used. When I first started doing volunteer trail work I was amazed at how long it took and how expensive it was to build just one mile of trail. When I consider the work and money it costs to maintain thousands of miles of trail, I'm surprised the USFS doesn't ask for even more money. Developed facilities are even more expensive due to materials, tools and maintenance workers who want a "living-wage". There are some definite problems with Fee Demo (like paying to look at a view on the Oregon coast and ATV area expansion) but that doesn't mean some type of fee system isn't necessary. If we don't have some type of fee system we'll go back to the bad, old budget cut days of the late 1980s and early 1990s when the trails weren't always cleared and the outhouses were even worse. Also, it really helps if you look at the Fee Demo act in the context of federal government budget priorities in Washington DC. Many in Congress would rather appropriate millions of dollars into Medicare, education or defense spending rather than into trails for middle-class vacationers.

    Disagree: Cart before the horse!

    Re: Disagree: No, it's not. And stop YELLING! (Jed Blanton)
    Keywords: Fee Demo
    Date: Thu, 09 Mar 2000 01:37:23 GMT
    From: Tom Kenney <>

    When you say that paying for an Adventure Pass is NOT like paying (donating) when in church, then cite the costs involved in improving and maintaining man-made facilities, you're missing the point entirely. Do your donations to your church help to heal God in some way? Do they feed him? Do they clothe him? NO! God (if you believe in such) is an entity unto him/herself and needs no human intervention to keep him/her alive and well. The same is true of the forest. The forest existed before humans evolved and will exist long after humans fade from the scene (barring the possibility that we will destroy the whole planet first).

    There are some of us in this country who feel much more comfortable worshipping the genetic diversity and vivaciousness of life on Earth, rather than cowering fearfully under the kooky concept of "GOD" and viewing all interaction with nature from a strictly human viewpoint.

    There was a Kirk Douglass movie ("Big Trees" I think) in which a group of religous folks set up 'church' in a grove of huge sequoias. Their reasoning was that the huge and beautiful space provided by the forest was infinitely more gratifying to the soul than sitting in some building rife with someone else's interpretations of their particular faith.

    And, while I'm travelling down this line of thought...

    A particularly insideous 'aim' of Fee Demo is the shift of focus in the views held by people with regard to the purpose of a National Forest. The powers that be (too many to list) seek to steer public perception of the purpose of a forest - they wish us to see the forest as a playground, rather than the precious cradle of life on Earth.

    There is also the issue of an equitable 'pay-to-play' fee scale. I have to pay $5 a day to walk - a very-low-impact activity - but some joker who buys a Green Sticker can, in the same day, rip and shred topsoil, release huge amounts of burned and unburned hydrocarbons into the atmosphere (and sometimes soil and water) and cause lovers of peace and quiet unmeasureable amounts of angst! So much for equity...

    Oh, and "Stop yelling!" you say? What the hell are we supposed to do? Fall upon our congressfolks with Q-tips in hand? They sure as hell aren't listening to rational input.

    Feedback: it still costs $!

    Re: Disagree: Cart before the horse! (Tom Kenney)
    Keywords: Fee Demo
    Date: Wed, 25 Oct 2000 22:58:07 GMT
    From: Jed Blanton <>

    You sure are right that ATVers and dirtbikers should have to pay more for a pass than hikers. Fees should be based on impact. But, that still allows for a modest fee to be paid by hikers. I just can not understand why people get so fired up over having to pay a few bucks to pay for trails. It's like the government is making them donate a kidney. The opposition to it has gotten downright hysterical. I'm hearing people babbling about nature being God, hearing environmental groups talk about conspiracies. And all over what is really just a minor public finance issue. As for the yelling, I'm not being literal. Writing unnecessarily in upper case letters is called "yelling" in web jargon. It's poor netiquette because it's obnoxious.

    Agree: I agree with Jed

    Re: Feedback: it still costs $! (Jed Blanton)
    Keywords: Fee Demo
    Date: Thu, 26 Oct 2000 18:06:37 GMT
    From: dawn heiser <>

    I agree that those who's recreation is more likely to cause damage to the forest should pay a higher fee than those who's recreation is low impact. Something that so many seem to be forgetting is that those fees are to help cover the maintenance costs for the hiking trail/bike trail/campground/picnic ground/boat dock etc. that is being used. What the heck is wrong with being asked and expected to pay for some of the costs associated with maintenance on lands/facilities that belong to all of us? If you don't want to pay the fee then go somewhere else.

    Feedback: I agree, so cough up your tithe.

    Date: Mon, 27 Mar 2000 16:34:43 GMT
    From: <unknown>

    People who love Christ do pay to go to church. It is called tithing. We do it for a number of different reasons, but the bottom line is we pay for something we love. Seems to me that is a lot like paying for outdoor recreation, something else we love and want to protect. You probably pay for any other recreation activity you like to participate in. Crazy thing is, it was recreationists who came up with the idea of user fees. Figured if recreation started making more money than timber harvesting, the Forest Service would shift its priorities. "But I pay taxes" you say. Yup, we all do. The timber industry, the mining industry, the cattle industry, and all citizens. But if you want your use to take priority, you'll pay. It's the American way!

    News: Randal O'Toole and Larry Swisher on Recreation Fees

    Re: : To Fee or Not to Fee? (Dave Iverson)
    Date: Thu, 16 Sep 1999 16:36:26 GMT
    From: Moderator <diverson/>

    Randal O'Toole and Larry Swisher weigh-in favoring recreation fees:

    "Recreationalists should fork over the fees", by Randal O'Toole (High Country News' Writers on the Range, 9/7/99)

    "Recreation fees a fair price to maintain our public lands", By Larry Swisher (For The Register-Guard, Eugene, OR,9/9/99)

    None: Fresh Air Pass is coming!

    Re: : Use of the National Forests in the 21st Century (Mark Garland)
    Date: Fri, 15 Oct 1999 06:30:38 GMT
    From: Tehipite <unknown>

    I support the “Adventure Pass” which helps maintain our National Forests . We must all do our part to preserve our natural resources even if it means we have to visit an ATM every time we go on a walk.

    Additional tax revenue generating measures along these lines are sorely needed. We must do more, for example, to help keep the air we breathe clean. That is why I support building on the precedent of the “Adventure Pass” and establishing a “Fresh Air Pass”. Most humans inhale on avg 13 times per minute/18,720 times per day/6,832,800 times per year. The average volume of each breath is roughly 50 cubic centimeters. In one year’s time, each person uses a whopping 341,640 liters of air and pays not one dime for the privilege! The government should abolish this archaic "free air" loophole immediately.

    A small, per inhalation fee could be set at a reasonable 0.00005 cents. A real value! Since charging the fee before each inhalation would be impractical to government fee collectors, a $30 yearly fresh air pass could be established. This fee would be strictly voluntary. Those who choose not to inhale would not be charged anything.

    Ok: Love it!!!! (nm)

    Re: : Fresh Air Pass is coming! (Tehipite)
    Date: Mon, 18 Oct 1999 22:32:49 GMT
    From: Bruce Erickson <unknown>

    no message

    Feedback: Joni Mitchell's "Big Yellow Taxi"

    Re: : Fresh Air Pass is coming! (Tehipite)
    Date: Tue, 26 Oct 1999 14:55:56 GMT
    From: Dave Iverson <diverson/>

    Big Yellow Taxi

    by Joni Mitchell
    They paved paradise and put up a parking lot
    With a pink hotel, a boutique and a swingin' hot spot

    Don't it always seem to go
    That you don't know what you've got till it's gone
    They paved paradise and put up a parking lot

    They took all the trees, put 'em in a tree museum
    And they charged the people a dollar and a half just to see 'em

    Hey farmer farmer, put away that D.D.T. now
    Give me spots on my apples but leave me the birds and the bees

    Late last night I heard the screen door slam
    And a big yellow taxi took away my old man

    They paved paradise, put up a parking lot (choo bop bop bop bop)
    They paved paradise, put up a parking lot

    It looks like Joni Mitchell's 70s vintage "Big Yellow Taxi" has arrived, or at least is approaching fast. As I was thinking about all this a few days ago her lyrics came to mind, particularly "They took all the trees, put 'em in a tree museum ..And they charged the people a dollar and a half just to see 'em."

    Perhaps ten years from now we'll all be glad to pay for our "Adventure Pass." For now, though, it seems a bit sad to think about the "pink hotels," "boutiques," and "swingin hot spots" that may soon sit at the edge of the bus routes into our national treasures. And it seems a bit sad to think of "tree museums" and charges levied "just to see 'em." Mitchell said it best: "Don't it always seem to go ..That you don't know what you've got till it's gone."

    Disagree: you are an uneducated fool

    Re: Feedback: Joni Mitchell's "Big Yellow Taxi" (Dave Iverson)
    Date: Thu, 06 Nov 2003 09:31:16 GMT
    From: Emma <>

    Why on earth would you criticize Joni Mitchells "Big Yellow Taxi" for being unbelievable, the majority of the lyrics are symbolic not actual. Im sure You think John lennons imagine is not up to standard as its not actually ever gonna happen. As the great Shaw states "its the statements that counts and not the fulfilment".

    Ok: Don't forget the Adventure Pass definition of "voluntary"

    Re: : Fresh Air Pass is coming! (Tehipite)
    Date: Thu, 09 Dec 1999 07:40:07 GMT
    From: <unknown>

    According to Adventure Pass advocates, "voluntary" compliance means if you choose to breath without paying, you'll be fined for non-compliance.

    How long can you hold your breath?

    Disagree: Untitled

    Re: : Fresh Air Pass is coming! (Tehipite)
    Date: Thu, 01 Jun 2000 23:29:52 GMT
    From: <unknown>

    Surely you jest! If my govt. tries to charge me to breath, I'll just stop! No way I'm paying for air unless they scent it. I'd like vanilla, spice, and pine(since there'll be no pines in your world). Maybe we should charge for just occupying space too! after all, why should people be allowed to take up valuable air space? without paying? Heaven forbid. There should be a fee for tail wagging too. Why should the public be allowed to be mowwed over by the U.S. Govt. for free. It takes alot of effort to come up with ways to reduce disposable income available to constituents. After all, do people really think Congressmen care about them? No, the people exist solely to support the govt.Don't they? Take your "charge for air" idea and flush it down the toilet you crawled out of.

    Idea: the libertarians already proposed something like that

    Re: : Fresh Air Pass is coming! (Tehipite)
    Keywords: buying air
    Date: Mon, 06 Nov 2000 23:06:58 GMT
    From: Jeremy B. <unknown>

    This is just a side note. For years, libertarians (like Prof. Murray Rothbard)have proposed that we do something like that but they're serious. They'd address air pollution by selling property rights to the air. Somebody would buy they air and they'd own it as their property. Then a polluter would have to buy the right to pollute from the owner of the air. If the owner of the air was charging a lot of money for the air, then the polluter may either cut back on pollution or buy pollution rights and incorporate the cost into the good they manufacture. Libertarians want to get government regulators with their evil command-and-control regulations out of the pollution game. Then there's the Coase Theorem...

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

    Re: : Use of the National Forests in the 21st Century (Mark Garland)
    Date: Tue, 23 Nov 1999 16:59:43 GMT
    From: Dave Iverson <diverson/>

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


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

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

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

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

    News: 100 Environmental Groups Ask for Ban on ATV's in Roadless Areas

    Re: News: BLM and USFS Propose "Closed unless Explicitly Open" Policy for Montana OHV Use (Dave Iverson)
    Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2000 15:46:18 GMT
    From: Moderator <diverson/>


    Title: "Activists demand SUV, ATV ban in national parks"
    Saturday, January 29, 2000
    Knight Ridder Newspapers


    Sport-utility and all-terrain vehicles might be added to the list of endangered species in national parks in 2000.

    If environmental groups get their way, the hot-selling vehicles would be banned from off-road, back-country areas -- and even from dirt trails or unpaved roads in many national parks, such as Michigan's Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Snowmobiles and personal watercraft would be banned from national parks entirely.


    In a separate petition, the Wilderness Society and 100 other groups asked the U.S. Forest Service to ban all-terrain vehicles in 64 million acres of roadless territory in the 192-million-acre national forest system.

    Ok: Cool! I can bury my Honda Civic in a Yellowstone mudpot!

    Re: News: 100 Environmental Groups Ask for Ban on ATV's in Roadless Areas (Moderator)
    Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2000 19:36:41 GMT
    From: bruce <unknown>

    Why not? It isn't a SUV or ATV. Sierra Club will back me on this one.

    The logic on this proposal escapes me. Ban SUVs from parks because some go off where they aren't allowed? By the same logic hikers should be banned from Yellowstone because some get off the boardwalks. Why not just enforce existing laws? I guess fund-raising needs an invented crisis. Many of these organizations have some very inventive people, and it seems to pay off (I'm not talking resource protection).

    Feedback: ban motors for peace and quiet

    Re: Ok: Cool! I can bury my Honda Civic in a Yellowstone mudpot! (bruce)
    Keywords: SUVs, jetskis
    Date: Mon, 14 Feb 2000 21:52:34 GMT
    From: Tom Green <>

    The environmental groups have the right idea in trying to get the Park Service to reduce the acreage open to SUVs and jet skis in national parks and monuments. Personally, I prefer peace and quiet in my parks. Some don't I suppose.

    None: I LIKE the sound of my motor.

    Re: Feedback: ban motors for peace and quiet (Tom Green)
    Keywords: Motorcycle
    Date: Tue, 29 Feb 2000 20:28:33 GMT
    From: M. Ward Walker <unknown>

    I understand that among user conflicts, hikers prefer not to see or hear others. I hike also, and understand/respect that. On the other hand, I like to ride as well. I'm not supported by any oil company or ATV maker, either. Some of you out there would like to see me kept on the pavement. But - I have a say also. What seems to work well is the concept of zoning - motorized and non-motorized. Never would I desire to ride in a wilderness area (even footprints compact the soil and cause damage - do we ban hiking?) What I want to make sure of is my place at the discussion table. I ride a quiet, 4-stroke motorcycle on trails for which I have paid, and which I personally maintain. There are many of us responsible middle-aged, middle-class riders who treat the forest with care. We're doing our best to educate the young ones who follow. By the way, my conservation credentials are long-standing...some of you may remember the proposal for a gondola from Yosemite Valley to Glacier Point. I worked hard to help that remain a fantasy.

    Thanks for listening, M. Ward Walker Portland, OR.

    Angry: oh bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch sick of there bitching

    Re: News: 100 Environmental Groups Ask for Ban on ATV's in Roadless Areas (Moderator)
    Keywords: shut up, fuck you, mind your business
    Date: Sun, 29 Oct 2000 07:04:03 GMT
    From: devon <>

    Oh god, am i hearing some more bitching from people that should mind there own business? or think that everything is there business WE LIKE ATV'S!!! WE LIKE DRIVING THEM!!! GET THAT THROUGH YOUR HEAD! I think that those tree huggers should shut the hell up. Like listen to your self...atving is fun! lets say that you guys ohh i dunno say that sluts were legal, Ok and they were legal for 100 years or so...and all you enviromental people loved them and used them all the time and they were so much fun and you couldint get enuff of them, then some ANTI SLUT people came along and said hey screw you guys im going to try and take somthing away from you and run your life and say that you CAN NOT have sluts!!! but seriously i wish they would shut up...People are getting shot and killed and drugs are being used..You know you enviromental people are smart why dont you focus your smartness on somthing that matters and dont try and take somthing away that people love to do! and if you do ban them from any park that i see NO ATVING I DONT GIVE A FLYING #$%^ ill be there and i hope that you guys are in one of those private parks cuz i am going to burn all around you hahaha God put that there for everyone to have fun on it, i dont see your names on it , ITS CALLED CATCH ME IF YOU CAN MOTHER $%^&$%#

    More: english interpretation of bubba devon's message

    Re: Angry: oh bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch sick of there bitching (devon)
    Date: Mon, 30 Oct 2000 17:44:20 GMT
    From: bruce erickson <unknown>

    I believe what the preceeding message was trying to convey is the sense of frustration people feel when something they value highly is attacked. ATVers get just as strong a spiritual renewal from their recreational activity as do hikers, equestrians, canoeists, hunters, anglers, and bicylists. The natural environment is just as important a focus of their experience as it is to others who recreate in the National Forests. It is not a better or worse way to enjoy and appreciate nature, it is just a different way. Unfortunately, demand for this form of recreation exceeds supply of quality trails or locales. When use -- whether by foot, hoof, or wheel -- is concentrated, unacceptable impacts on the land are a result. Banning that use in one area often just leads to increased use and impacts elsewhere. Active management working in partnership with users can result in acceptable solutions that everyone can live with.

    Feedback: bitching about bitching

    Re: Angry: oh bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch sick of there bitching (devon)
    Keywords: shut up, fuck you, mind your business
    Date: Mon, 13 Nov 2000 22:05:02 GMT
    From: Ron Leyton <unknown>

    What a hypocrite to see this guy bitching about people bitching. As for the notion, "I like to do it, I have the power to do it, and you can't catch me...", it doesn't follow that it is right to do it or it should be legal for you to do it. Should and can/am are different things. As for environmentalists minding their own business, no one has the right to make noise for miles around and stress wildlife, tear up soils and pollute the air. An analogy: My neighbors are sometimes loud, noisy and disruptive and make a mess of the public hallway. Not many people would put up with it. Its reasonable for someone to speak up and combat behavior that adversely harms them. And same with ORVs. If they are damaging soils, being noisy, polluting..., it's OK for people to become active to regulate their use even though, ORVers like to do it and will do it anyway.

    Feedback: OHV opponents reap what they sow...

    Re: Feedback: bitching about bitching (Ron Leyton)
    Keywords: Reap what you sow; Off-road; OHV; Sharing trails; Greens opposition; ATV
    Date: Fri, 08 Dec 2000 18:17:09 GMT
    From: Farmer John <>

    While I don't agree completely with "Bubba ATV" (devon)I do understand his frustration. The moderator did a good job of explaining the ATV/Dirt Bike rider's point of view. The response from an Anti-OHV reader is typical. Many of his ilk do not want us to ride anywhere. This is an unfortunate attitude that doesn't allow for compromise. It's as absurd as riders insisting that nothing should be off-limits. The difference is, riders seldom if ever espouse such ideas- while it's the common mantra from the Greens side. That's the source of most of the rider's anger.

    OHV foes will reap what they sow. Confrontation instead of compromise. Anger instead of understanding. It's hard to have meaningful discussion with Greens who want to deny my access to public lands- so expect to hear a lot of anger. Like I said... OHV foes reap what they sow.

    editor at

    Feedback: OHVs sow what they reap:closures

    Re: Feedback: OHV opponents reap what they sow... (Farmer John)
    Keywords: noise, soil erosion, lack of concern for others, exxageration of agendas
    Date: Mon, 15 Jan 2001 06:10:14 GMT
    From: Ron Leyton <unknown>

    Who makes all the noise and tears up the soil? Out of fairness, it's important to remember that as we have these discussions. Those who go lighter on that land should have the most say and those who make physical impacts on the land should have a good reason, to justify it. If accepting OHV impacts were for national defense or getting to the masses to work, I could understand. But for weekend thrills, I don't know. As for, "ilk do not want us to ride anywhere", that is simply not true. I've never heard any environmentalist ever say they wanted to ban all OHV use on all federal land. Do you know why? Because they don't want to. They want the dirtbikes and 4 wheelers to stay on legitimate, designated trails (not going XC)and out of areas with Wilderness designation potential. That still leaves about 75% (about?) of the national forest system open to OHV use. In complaining about OHVs, "Greens" aren't trying to "deny all access" to public land. "Greens" believe everybody should be allowed to go anywhere they want on public land. But not on a noisy machines. Especially, noisy machines that can tear up vegetation, scare off wildlife and ruin the experience for people a mile away. But, we're willing to compromise because we're reasonable people (unlike the other side). We'll let OHVs, cars, jeeps, log trucks and 4WD rigs have access to 70% of the national forests, which is currently the case. As for who's confrontational, pick up a copy of the Blue Ribbon Coalition's newspaper. It's loaded with all sorts of nasty and belligerent name-calling. Hell, after reading an issue of that stuff, I was so mad I was about ready to get beat-up some socialist, treehugger, environmental elitists myself! I've never seen rhetoric like that in an environmentalist newsletter. Here's what I think should happen with OHV management: keep them in true multiple-use areas (a large fraction of most national forests), build them more trails, ramps, mud pits, whatever. I honestly believe there should be more OHV routes on federal lands but not in SOME areas. But OHV use should be concentrated in areas where non-motorized recreationists don't have to put up with them. That's not denying all access to all land.

    Feedback: stop complaining

    Re: Feedback: OHV opponents reap what they sow... (Farmer John)
    Keywords: Reap what you sow; Off-road; OHV; Sharing trails; Greens opposition; ATV
    Date: Mon, 03 Nov 2003 19:04:12 GMT
    From: <unknown>

    A quick note to the discussion. I have been doing research for the feds on monitoring of OHV physical impacts in southern Utah. I hope I can share some insight on the topic. It's true that most of all federal lands (USFS and BLM) allow unrestricted motorized access to the majority of lands under their management. Unfortunately the motorized user group is unable to monitor or police itself from creating large, widespread resource and multiple-user based impacts. This is FACT. For example: in the five ranger districts I have been working with, we have found vehicle encroachment on over 95% of the nearly 100 signed hiking, biking, equestrian trails inventoried.

    I wouldn't put myself on either side of the fence... although I can say that I understand much of the frustration coming from forest users who can't afford an OHV or choose not to ride one. They often can't get away from the noise and dust even on trails which are designated for non-motorized travel.

    If OHV users plan on continuing to have some place to ride on public land they had better understand that they've already got a smokin' deal with access to over 75% of public lands, even though they are out numbered by non-motorized users by more than ten-to-one. If the general public (which is largely NON-mototrized recreationist) gets really pissed, they are going to press the management agencies and public representitives to exclude the motorized users from more than just a handful of trails and wilderness areas.

    Stop complaining, stay on designated trails/roads and volunteer to reconcile some of the impacts caused by your user group.

    Feedback: motorized crowd won and they don't know it

    Re: Feedback: stop complaining
    Keywords: fairness
    Date: Fri, 16 Jan 2004 05:06:14 GMT
    From: Ron Leyton <RonLeyton>

    I regularly see 4-wheeler and dirt bike tracks on routes that are officially closed to them. More than a few times, I've seen mountain bike tracks miles from a trailhead, within a USFS/BLM Wilderness area. Even if these people stayed on the routes that are officially open to them, they'd still have access to a lion's share of federal (and especially state) lands.

    I really wish there were more law enforcement rangers USFS, BLM and state, to enforce there closures. It seems people break these closure rules for two reasons: 1.) they know they won't get caught because LEOs are few and far between 2.) they don't think they should be restricted in the first place.

    I'm not some blind anti-OHV Nazi. I really do believe that motorized recreation is popular with many folks and therefore their needs should be provided for. I just don't think that it is unreasonable to ask that they don't overrun all, or even most of public lands.

    Angry: DIE!

    Re: Angry: oh bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch sick of there bitching (devon)
    Keywords: shut up, fuck you, mind your business
    Date: Tue, 15 Jun 2004 17:55:07 GMT
    From: Brett Stone <>

    I am an all-powerful activist. Literally, omni-present, thanks to the world-wide web.

    ATVs are loud, dangerous, and tear up the land. I constantly see ATVs on Connecticut's Airline State Park Trail, where motorvehicles are banned. They are banned because they are a physical hazard to walkers and bikers, and they scare the horses that go on the trail. I bicycle on that trail to enjoy the natural beauty, as well as the serene quite. It's beautiful, but I swear to God, if I hear one of those things coming, I'll throw my bicycle in your path and laugh in your bloody face when you fly off and shatter your skull on the rocks!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    None: Yamaha Banshee atv rider

    Re: News: 100 Environmental Groups Ask for Ban on ATV's in Roadless Areas (Moderator)
    Date: Sun, 25 Aug 2002 04:29:52 GMT



    Re: News: 100 Environmental Groups Ask for Ban on ATV's in Roadless Areas (Moderator)
    Date: Wed, 04 Dec 2002 00:33:56 GMT
    From: Neil Netzer <>

    This message is in response to the ignorant and foolish messages sent by devon & Yamaha Banshee rider. Don't misjudge me by my first sentence and think I am anti-OHV. On the contrary, I have been riding dirt bikes for 25 years and am an AMA & Blue Ribbon Coalition member. Nearly every weekend and holiday you can find me out on Forest Service & BLM lands riding, camping, & 4 wheeling with my family and friends.

    The messages sent by these morons play right into the hands of the environmental groups and subsequently politicians who strive to lock up all of our public lands to feet only and ban the rest of us from enjoying the sports we so dearly love. Sure, we may not agree with land closures, restrictions, regulations, etc. but sending ignorant messages like that in a public forum gives the opposition the idea that we are all dumb punks just out to destroy mother nature.

    My wish is that ALL OHV USERS read this message or the ideas promoted by the Blue Ribbon Coalition. If you are an OHV user and are reading this, copy it and pass it on to someone else! What we must do to prolong our hobbies is to unite and make our voices and opinions heard to those who need to hear it and let them know we can and should be able to enjoy our public lands responsibly...before we are run over by well organized environmental groups and OHV use becomes a thing of the past!

    ALL OF YOU, DO YOUR PART: 1) Join the Blue Ribbon Coalition 2) Vote for politicians who support sensible land management and OHV'ers 3) Don't be idiots. Use your OHV responsibly, stay on trails, get a quiet spark arrestor, pick up your trash as well as trash others leave behind, etc. 4) Remember, your actions now will affect OHV use for you, your children, and generations to come. 5) SPREAD THE WORD!!!!!

    Idea: Remember 6 Billion can't be wrong...

    Re: News: 100 Environmental Groups Ask for Ban on ATV's in Roadless Areas (Moderator)
    Keywords: overpopulation, environment, reality
    Date: Mon, 29 Dec 2003 18:40:31 GMT
    From: Trouble <>

    I am constantly amazed that no one EVER sees the real problem here. As the United States closes in on 300 million people, it seems everyone one of them is convinced that they can do whatever they want to whatever land they can find.

    Of course their forefathers did it so why can't they? It doesn't seem to DAWN on anyone that the first consus counted about 3 million people (not counting slaves and natives). Do you REALLY think we aren't running out of land? Well if you REALLY don't and you figure there is PLENTY to go around I have an IDEA.


    See if they would let you run your ATVs on their land.....

    Angry: i agree with devon

    Re: News: 100 Environmental Groups Ask for Ban on ATV's in Roadless Areas (Moderator)
    Date: Thu, 05 Feb 2004 18:44:13 GMT
    From: YAMAHA!!!!! <>

    you tree huggers should be more worried about your hikers taking a piss or shit in the woods or stepping on ants and killing them( the poor lil things...NOT) humans themselves destruct just as much as ATV's! look where you house is, i bet that use to be nice nature land before you built on it,and you complain that we make a little rut in a sand trail...GET A LIFE! wow you guys are lame

    News: Are Recreation Fees Enforceable? At What Cost?

    Re: : Use of the National Forests in the 21st Century (Mark Garland)
    Date: Tue, 01 Feb 2000 00:10:30 GMT
    From: Dave Iverson <diverson/>

    I've been closely following the flap in Idaho where US Attorney Betty Richardson told the Idaho Mountain Express that her office would freeze prosecuting fee violations. (See: U.S. Attorney Freezes Forest Fee Prosecutions, by Greg Stahl.)

    In a telephone interview with the Idaho Mountain Express, Richardson said:

    "As it’s set up now, the program relies on the federal criminal justice system to enforce what are essentially parking tickets," she said. "In most instances, that’s an unwise use of taxpayer money, which is badly needed to fight more serious problems like fraud, drug smuggling and violent crime."

    I wonder if "enforcement costs," including law enforcement and judicial costs were ever addressed when the Recreation Fee Demo program was deliberated in Washington? Somehow I doubt that they ever entered into the picture when cost/benefit calculations were done.

    My personal opinion is that if fees are to be charged at all, the Forest Service might be better off with "voluntary fees." That way people could choose whether or not to help out with management costs of national forests and parks beyond expenses covered by taxes. If fees were "voluntary," both law enforcement and judicial energies could be directed into areas where, arguably, more serious problems lie.

    Besides, I suspect that those of us who argue that there is a spiritual side to our adventures in the national forests and parks would have fewer reservations to "contributions" relative to "fees." See my review of Nature and the Human Spirit for more on spiritual connections between people and their national forests and parks.

    Feedback: Use of U.S. National Forest

    Re: : Use of the National Forests in the 21st Century (Mark Garland)
    Date: Mon, 24 Apr 2000 15:28:17 GMT
    From: Steve Emerson <>

    The National Forest Lands in the United States contain a large percent of the usable wood that is inside of our boarders. The resource should continue to be utilized to produce wood products into the U.S. Market through time.

    Multiple use is still a valid approach to the management of public forest. However, the current management is moving to managment by special interest. Sound science needs to be the basis for Forest Management Plans. We have some of the most productive forest lands in the world. These should not be hidden under a basked.

    Steve Emerson Mississippi Registered Forester #1306 Oklahoma Registered Forester #77

    Idea: Is this beautiful agency terminally ill? How to best respond.

    Re: : Use of the National Forests in the 21st Century (Mark Garland)
    Date: Thu, 27 Apr 2000 06:04:13 GMT
    From: Bob Wetzel <>

    I love the noble mission of this wonderful agency. For a century the Forest Service has succeeded in delivering a couple hundred million public acres into the next millennium in pretty damn good condition. We have orchestrated, the best we could, that the mix of public uses and benefits were broadly viewed as fair, appropriate and sustainable. And, if you are in this agency for the right reasons, you need to be proud of your contributions toward that still valid vision and mission. But, increasingly we are getting signals from the public and their elected officials that the agency is not delivering the right mix of uses and benefits. Roadless initiatives, landscape monuments, cries for tighter controls on how and where motorized recreation fits into the mix of uses, Sierra Nevada Conservation Framework, the weight of evidence of social desire for these commonly held lands is great and growing. Yet how does the agency respond? Do we wisely honor and respect the message behind these signals of landowner preference for the use of these lands? Hell no, we keep pointing to our spin on the scientific and economic justifications for the utilization component of our complex mandate and it seems that we are only increasing the speed with which we approach the day when the public commands the plug be pulled on the Forest Service. We are not sufficiently responsive to the compellingly large social preferences for the use of these lands and that will be a fatal error. As one who sincerely believes in the nobility of the FS mission, I am in anguish over how we can be of best service to the public on behalf of their lands. Those who waste their intellectual capital attempting to find hypocricy in the advocacy of an environmentally minded society and twising economic and scientific data to support a return to aggressive wood fibre production have only undermined our chances of restoring public trust and support for our wise use of all the management tools to move toward the desired condition supported by broad public judgement. If we cannot convince the public that we can be trusted to manage their lands as they desire, we will become extinct. Perhaps the most valuable service we can perform for this fine old agency is to put it down, to pull the plug, and engage one another and this society in a respectful dialogue about what the new vehicle for carrying forward the public lands legacy should look like, who should drive it and how it's costs should most fairly be covered. Perhaps the Forest Service must be moved into a museum, if you love the cause "public lands for public benefits forever! shed not too many tears for the cause will most certainly live on even if the agency does not, this society loves it's public lands. If, on the other hand, you are fighting for a personal obsession with preserving your job or with maximum resource utilization, well maybe it's close to the time to bury your face deep in your rag, now's the time for your tears. Gifford Pinchot said, "Remember, you serve a higher master that the agency or the government, you serve the American people and as a public servant, you should go to work each day prepared to sacrafice your job if you believe that action to be in the best interests of your employer" he was inspired by Secretary James Wilson who instructed Gifford in 1905 that "the forest reserves are to be managed for the permanent good of the whole people and not for the temporary benefit of individuals or companies...Where conflicting interests must be reconciled, the question will always be decided from the standpoint of the greatest good of the greatest number in the long run." Focus on preserving the mission and retaining public ownership of all these lands and showing respect and compassion for all opinions.

    More: People want to preserve what's left.

    Re: : Use of the National Forests in the 21st Century (Mark Garland)
    Date: Thu, 27 Apr 2000 13:21:30 GMT
    From: Bob Wetzel <>

    We manage the Forests to meet the collective will of the people. Folks, they are speaking, we're not listening. If we refuse to give the land owner what is desired, we'll be replaced. The American public has consistently said, "I'm prepared to deal with scarcity and higher prices to insure the restoration and preservation of the natural landscape. We can't stop builders from building homes which now average 4,000+ square feet, we can't stop industry from importing cheap wood fibre from overseas...(And stop trying to accuse the environmentally ethical voices of America of hypocricy by supposedly trying to export forest exploitation...we've been trying to encourage conservation, smaller houses, incorporation of environmental ethics and sustainability into the global trade protocols right along with trying to reduce or eliminate industrial forestry on public lands) but the public CAN use it's existing land management laws to bring about the kinds of prescription they desire. Maximizing wood fibre availability leads to it's squandering of this resource, induced scarcity by land allocation can have a positive influence on controlling growth and consumption, the public understands these dynamics better than our internal utilization advocates imagine.

    Sad: Not even sure the lights are still on!

    Re: : Use of the National Forests in the 21st Century (Mark Garland)
    Date: Sat, 29 Apr 2000 23:03:53 GMT
    From: bob wetzel <>

    Well Dave: I think that if my previous two postings can't generate some passionate discussion, it pretty much proves my point. I'll always be an advocate for these lands, restored and protected for the best to the people, now and forever, using the best kind of government we can collectively invent. cheers!

    Feedback: So what's your point? ;-)

    Re: Sad: Not even sure the lights are still on! (bob wetzel)
    Date: Mon, 01 May 2000 23:32:12 GMT
    From: Bruce Erickson <unknown>


    You are right and wrong on everything.

    Timber extraction never was the universal overriding goal of the Forest Service. In some locations it was during certain times, in others it never was. The variation was geographic and temporal.

    The public is not speaking with one voice on the direction management of public lands should take. In many respects, the turmoil within the agency reflects the turmoil outside the agency.

    Debate about the FS is really only a small part of a larger debate in our society that is tending, by design or by coincidence, to pit urban values against rural values. It is seen in agriculture, forestry, mining, ranching, and other traditionally rural lifestyles. In general, the urban wealthy are using their greater numbers and TV-derived values to control the relatively poor rural producers of natural resource products. The only ones speaking up for the rural producers are corporations who, being higher on the food chain, have more financial resources. Naturally, this has resulted in urban demonization of those corporations.

    Frankly, I tend to give more weight to what my local public tells me than to what I hear from folks who have never even seen this forest. That doesn't mean I can do much about it with budget cuts that result in paralysis.


    Feedback: Point being, It's the people's land, not the locals.

    Re: Feedback: So what's your point? ;-) (Bruce Erickson)
    Date: Tue, 02 May 2000 03:15:33 GMT
    From: robert wetzel <unknown>

    Bruce, I'm relieved to see somebodies still struggling to make sense of it all out there. My point, Our job, serving at the pleasure of the American people, is to insure that National Will is carried out, often that means telling a willfully self induldgent local that they can't have or do their will on the public lands...and patiently explaining why... Sadly, too often our failing is that we find that it's easier to make small (and sometimes not so small) compromises in the intent of the National Land Ethics Laws to appease pushy locals. And once we start defending the compromises we've made, a funny thing starts to happen, we start believing in the righteousness of our twisted logic. Memory yields to pride when there's a conflict! Oh, And by the way, environmental orgs. cannot contribute soft money, or fund lobbying else they loose their tax exempt status. Corporations fund our democracy a hundred fold over the dollars and influence from environmental orgs...YET, politicians still know they must be responsive to a strong National Environmental Ethic. Locals can play to the hand they'll be dealt or they can fold. And this infernal whinning about their jobs, come on, a job is only legitimate if it's work that is needed. Law of nature and man, evolve or die. If National Forest ecosystem restoration and maintenance means that a very modest flow of wood fibre is yielded well, we can blame those damn environmentalists or we can blame those 4,000 ft2 new homes, wasted wood fibre filling land fills etc., I'd lean heavy on the latter myself. Lest that's my view today, but I'm still listening...yes, even to locals. cheers!

    Feedback: Wait a minute, Bob!

    Re: Feedback: Point being, It's the people's land, not the locals. (robert wetzel)
    Date: Wed, 03 May 2000 21:41:21 GMT
    From: dawn heiser <>

    "Its the peoples land, not the locals", since when did the locals stop being people? Don't you think that they have the same right to speak and expect to be heard and treated with respect as "the people"?

    Are the majority always right? I can't imagine that the majority is always right and should be followed without question. Perhaps we should just put all of our policies etc. onto the ballots every year and let "the people" vote on everything. Course it would mean that we would be hamstrung even worse on trying to do anything in a timely manner, but then we would be assured that the people would have made the decision and that majority has ruled.

    If the majority want to fire all people who have the first name of Robert or Bob in the Forest Service? Are you going to accept being fired? Or are you going to fight back? Just because a group of people are fighting to hold onto a way of life, doesn't mean that they are any less deserving of respect. Just because his name is Bob doesn't mean that he is some lowly slug who should be run out of town on a rail, no matter what the majority think.

    I guess that what I am saying is that, Yes, the people have a right to be heard and to have what they say listened to, but I don't believe that we should just blindly do as the people say without also looking at other opinions, other methods, (gasp)science, history, etc. We should be making informed decisions, not just going with the flow!

    Idea: Science and informed social judgement=frequently bad news for old school local interests

    Re: Feedback: Wait a minute, Bob! (dawn heiser)
    Date: Thu, 04 May 2000 03:34:42 GMT
    From: robert wetzel <>

    Hi Dawn, Hope Don and Eunice are well (you too!). Hey, I ended my last post with the heart and mind of a scientist, I said, I'll keep listening (keep an open mind) even to local voices... It is not a question of whether the local has a voice or not, of course they do, but they often portend that their voice as a local counts more than the national one. Thank God, the drafters of the National Land laws didn't fall for that line or powerful consumptive local resource exploitation interests would have changed the face of North American Public lands dramatically (in most instances for the worst!) The supposed voice of the local is often only the fraction of locals who stand most to benefit economically from the tragic exploitation of the commons...behind these few but noisy locals is an enthusiastic and powerful corporate bankroll. Sure, I listen, respect, share the concern and pain that locals feel, (hell, I am one) when times force the need to change, but just because someone wants to keep making a living cutting the last old growth, doesn't mean we can overlook the social and scientific fact that retaining (and increasing) the percentage of the forested landscape occupied by late succesional veg. conditions isn't a good and necessary decision. Every argument has threads of truth on many fronts and opposing sides. I'll respect yours if you respect mine. Oh, and I meant what I said, Gifford said it a hundred years ago. I love the mission of the FS so much that I'm prepared to give up my job on it's behalf. The dominant mission is not, however, to convert old growth to plantations, maximize forage, provide motortoy playgrounds, or accomodate local economic, recreation or convenience at the expense of the National Interests. The mission I work for and believe in is bigger and better and more dynamic than that "The restoration and protection of public lands so that they may provide the mix of uses and benefits which society feels are fair, wise and sustainable....forever!" Some might say that my definition of the mission "blows with the winds and whims of soicety" I'd say it's responsive to our collective and evolving wisdom as a people. cheers! b.wetzel PS: About a quarter centuary ago, your dad told me "don't ever loose your high ideals". I guess you can let him know, I'm still hanging on to em.

    None: I'm sure glad I can trust the government to run my life

    Re: Idea: Science and informed social judgement=frequently bad news for old school local interests (robert wetzel)
    Date: Thu, 04 May 2000 17:01:45 GMT
    From: Bruce <unknown>

    After all, if you can't trust the President, who can you trust?

    Actually, the drafters of the National Land laws DID fall for that one. Ever read the emphasis on public participation in NEPA? It doesn't say to use national polls to develop forest management plans, instead it emphasizes communication with the users of the lands in question which more often than not are locals. Does management of the National Forest system reflect the blending of national and local interests? You bet it does. I guess I'm sorry you have such selfish neighbors. Where ever I've lived, nearly all the locals are strong supporters of protecting fish and wildlife and old growth and scenery and ..., but also recognize that humans need and want the use of resources. They support responsible multiple use management -- primitive and motorized recreation, timber harvest and wilderness, cattle grazing and wildlife winter range, road construction and roadless areas. Living here and knowing the forest in their back yards, they know management doesn't result in the dark picture you paint of capitalism.

    The "few but noisy locals" have no powerful corporate bankroll. They have mortages and loan payments and kids to feed. They have a way of life that they love, an intimate relationship with the natural world around them that no one living and working in an urban environment can hope to understand. On the other hand, the noisy folks trying to eliminate that way of life are bankrolled by thousands of urbanites who actually believe the stuff they are fed by this special interest group.

    There is alot of middle ground socially, scientifically, and environmentally. It is that "mix of uses and benefits which society feels are fair, wise, and sustainable" as you put it. Unfortunately, many in our society are not "informed," or do not accept there are valid mixes and benefits other than what they personnally hold dear.

    I have high ideals, too. I think we can reach the same desired environmental and social goals, but we each have a different way to get there.

    More: Government just an instrument of the people.

    Re: : I'm sure glad I can trust the government to run my life (Bruce)
    Date: Fri, 05 May 2000 05:25:09 GMT
    From: bob wetzel <>

    (After all, if you can't trust the President, who can you trust?) Well, I trust the current president a great deal more than I trust the ads that Georgia Pacific and Chevron put out suggesting that I can trust them and don't really need a strong regulatory government, cause, after all, corporations just naturally forgo profits to care for the environment.

    As for the "management by polls", thats quite a twist from the way I think. Listening to all the viewpoints, allowing each stakeholder's ideas out on a level playing field and surveying the various versions of reality and truth with an open mind, is anything but blowing with the polls, it's about growing wiser by taking the intellectual pulse of the people. When I do, I find that (as you admit) most of the locals agree with the national wisdom that the commons must be used and shared in ways which provide the greatest sustainable benefits. Unfortunately, the small percentage of heavy users (need to cut old growth to make the speed boat payments or it's my right to vandalize the soundscape with my motortoy!) make their demands as loudly as the machines they have merged with and some analyists are fooled into overstating their share and their right to a bigger piece of the commons than ethical. These pushy few are indeed successful in claiming an disproportionately large share because their demands are matched by powerful corporate interests, this is not an anticapitalism view bruce, it is simply a statement that socially constructed limits to capitalistic zeal are essential safeguards against the negative consequences of the influence of greed. . You said "They have mortages and loan payments and kids to feed." So do a lot of drug dealers...doesn't mean we shouldn't shut down their drug labs...If you can cut an ancient tree or fix a busted skidder in the mud then don't tell me you can't adjust and continue to make a decent living...or is it the windfall profits from the last select lumber in those old growth trees they're so twisted up about not getting their hands on? "They have a way of life that they love, an intimate relationship with the natural world around them that no one living and working in an urban environment can hope to understand." Big reach here!!! Really bruce, I've lived and worked in N.Colorado, S.Colorado, NW Montana, Western Oregon and in the Sierra's...always in small towns, the loggers, ranchers and motorized abusers have not often displayed to me love, intimacy with the natural world...they've left busted chokers, oil cans, cow camp trash heaps, they show an awful lot of CONTEMPT FOR THE LIVING LAND...and the urban visitor frequently shows great reverence for the maintenance of the natural lands that they often are well educated about and know they depend on for clean water, air, recreation and where compatible, wood fibre and forage. "On the other hand, the noisy folks trying to eliminate that way of life are bankrolled by thousands of urbanites who actually believe the stuff they are fed by this special interest group." Bruce it's the resource hungry locals who will quickly destroy their own rural way of life if left without the balancing effect of their neighbors in town and in the distant cities. You preserve a rural life by limiting growth, you wont find many of the crowd you're defending fighting for keeping their town from sprawling into a new urban zone. Hell, somebody needs those jobs subdividing the ranchland, building pay their own morgages, loans and feed their children...right?

    "There is alot of middle ground socially, scientifically, and environmentally. It is that "mix of uses and benefits which society feels are fair, wise, and sustainable" as you put it. Unfortunately, many in our society are not "informed," or do not accept there are valid mixes and benefits other than what they personnally hold dear." Agree! Trouble is, we identify different sectors as being misinformed. I see a stubborn closed minded refusal to look at the broad social environmental intersts (ABSOLUTELY NOT A SPECIAL INTEREST! ENVIRONMENTALISM IS AN ETHICAL AND UNSELFISH POSITION OF WILLINGNESS TO RESTRAIN PERSONAL GREED, PROFIT, COMFORT, CONVENIENCE OR RECREATIONAL PLEASURE FOR BROAD AND LONG TERM HUMAN BENEFIT) by certain pushy noisy local heavy resource users. And I see environmental advocates, sympathetic and understanding of the pain that locals must experience in adjusting to needed environmental change...Somehow you miss seeing it that way. I do understand and regret the pain and fear and anger that heavy users feel as they are increasingly confronted with the undeniable truth that they must be restrained from traditional ways of working and playing. Doesn't change the fact that change they must.

    Bottom line, it's a finite piece of the earth we all share, and there's more and more of us. The local way of life you're defending can only be sustainable in a big land with few people. Stick a fork in em, they're done. If their minds were engaged they'd see that the only strategy to restore and preserve their way of life is population reduction and stabilization. Haven't seen any "loggers for zero population growth or dirt bikers for community growth management" how about you?

    Let's work together to describe our desired condition for our shared North American landscape. When we all share the same understanding of where we're trying to get, our individual actions will be much more likely to be complimentary.

    Feedback: so much for open minds and willingness to listen, eh bob?

    Re: More: Government just an instrument of the people. (bob wetzel)
    Date: Fri, 05 May 2000 18:29:38 GMT
    From: Bruce <unknown>

    Hang tight to your stereotypes, generalizations, and polarizations. It really helps open and honest communication.

    "Complex problems have simple solutions, but they are all wrong." Don't know who said it, but s/he's right.

    Question: Do Recreation User Fees Discriminate Against the Poor?

    Re: : Use of the National Forests in the 21st Century (Mark Garland)
    Date: Tue, 02 May 2000 21:28:11 GMT
    From: Dave Iverson <>

    "Do user fees exclude low-income people from resource-based recreation?"

    That's the question of the hour in an article scheduled to be published this fall in the Journal of Leisure Research . Authors Thomas More, of the Forest Service Northeast Research Station in Burlington, Vt., and Tom Stevens, a professor of Resource Economics at the University of Massachusetts, argue that "user fees, although widely accepted, significantly discriminate against low-income people."

    For more see: Survey finds forest fees discourage some users, By Lois R. Shea, Globe Staff, 4/30/2000, published in the Boston Globe's New Hampshire Weekly on 4/30/2000.

    Feedback: California State Parks Agrees

    Re: Question: Do Recreation User Fees Discriminate Against the Poor? (Dave Iverson)
    Date: Thu, 04 May 2000 05:25:46 GMT
    From: robert wetzel <>

    California Department of Parks and Rec just announced that they're cutting all park fees in half based on evidence that participation by lower economic groups has fallen in proportion to the aggressive fee era of the past few years. The fee for use of the commons is likely an experiment which will be rejected by the citizens...hurry up citizens, reject already!

    Feedback: or are the poor discriminating with their use of limited funds?

    Re: Question: Do Recreation User Fees Discriminate Against the Poor? (Dave Iverson)
    Date: Thu, 04 May 2000 22:23:54 GMT
    From: Bruce <unknown>

    People always use discrimination when allocating their limited funds. Whether it is eating out, seeing a movie, going to a museum, buying toys, visiting National Parks, or traveling, those of us with limited funds are priced out of some recreational experiences. $3 for a day in the woods ($0.07 per day at the annual rate) is too high? I hate to be callous, but jeez. I think it is a lousy excuse for ditching the system when there are so many other good reasons to ditch it as a general practice. I believe it is valid and appropriate at some specific developed sites.

    Agree: Reasonable fee for developed sites...Sure, Fee to hike and picnic...I think not.

    Re: Feedback: or are the poor discriminating with their use of limited funds? (Bruce)
    Date: Fri, 05 May 2000 04:13:46 GMT
    From: robert wetzel <>

    Hey Bruce, Found something else we agree on. I think a reasonable and fair market pricing for costly-to-manage developed sites is entirely appropriate. But an entrance fee to go for a hike or sit by a stream and eat a sandwich...that's downright sick in it's callous commercialization of a living human's god given right to walk out and touch nature. We as a nation have the sense to subsidize the maintenance of the commons to provide free access to all.

    Disagree: who's to pay?

    Re: Agree: Reasonable fee for developed sites...Sure, Fee to hike and picnic...I think not. (robert wetzel)
    Keywords: trail fees
    Date: Sat, 07 Oct 2000 20:07:20 GMT
    From: Jed Blanton <>

    In paying for a trail use fee, you're not actually paying for the act of sitting by a creek and eating a sandwich. You're paying to use the trail which requires money to maintain. It should be free to hike cross country to a stream to have lunch. That's what I do sometimes. I don't think the general public appreciates how expense, time and hard work that goes into a trail. It costs money and there 's a lot of mileage to take care of. Funding only comes from appropriations, user fees or some combination of the two. People don't like to pay taxes so that leaves more of the slack to be taken up by user fees. Or we can leave trails unmaintained. I don't think trail-use fees (which generally aren't concessionaires)are commercialization since no profit-seeking business is receiving the money. As for fees excluding low income people, I make $7 an hour and live off money I make in the summer. My car is on the verge of dying, I can't afford health care, etc. If I can afford $3 a day, so can other working poor. The studies which analyze if fees exclude low-income people (I think)say more about low-income willingness-to-pay and recreation substitutes rather than their actual ability to pay.

    None: Hiking cross-country? Really?

    Re: Disagree: who's to pay? (Jed Blanton)
    Keywords: trail fees, cross-country, hiking, ohv,motofarm
    Date: Wed, 13 Dec 2000 15:05:29 GMT
    From: Farmer <>

    Jed says: "In paying for a trail use fee, you're not actually paying for the act of sitting by a creek and eating a sandwich. You're paying to use the trail which requires money to maintain."

    ***Absolutely, Jeb- that's why OHVs have green stickers- to pay for facilities and trails we use. Hikers, rafters and other non-OHV users should also contribute for maintainence. OHVers have to pay and pay but hikers should get a free ride?

    Jeb says: "It should be free to hike cross country to a stream to have lunch. That's what I do sometimes."

    ***Hiking cross country!!! Hold on a minute, Jeb. Greens demand that OHVers ALWAYS stay on the trails when they are allowed at all (even in OHV areas where intensive use has been allowed in the past, and such use will not have a significant effect. They claim cross-country travel by OHV is ALWAYS "harmful")... Now many areas that used to be open for riding are closed primarily because OHV opponents "fear" riders MIGHT "go cross-country"!

    BUT consider this: I've seen the devastating effect of HIKERS "blazing their own trails"; "cutting switchbacks"; etc-and it happens in the most PRISTINE areas including wilderness. If OHVers should ALWAYS stay only on trails, why shouldn't you?

    Otherwise I agree with your assesment that even low income people should be willing and able to make a small contribution in return for using our National Forest facilities and trails.

    Rules should be consistent. If I can't ride cross-country ANYWHERE than hikers should stick to the trails EVERYWHERE. Cross-country hiking? I think NOT!

    Feedback: XC: like comparing apples & oranges

    Re: : Hiking cross-country? Really? (Farmer)
    Keywords: trail fees, cross-country, hiking, ohv,motofarm
    Date: Sat, 10 Feb 2001 00:20:32 GMT
    From: Jed Blanton <>

    We agree that hikers, horse riders and other non-motorized users should have to pay a small fee to help pick up the costs of maintaining the infrastructure they use. That's good. Unfortunately, some people don't agree with us and the trail system will suffer if the Fee Demo Act is not renewed and the money is not replaced by appropriations. But, I think you got it all wrong on the cross-country issue. When a few hikers walk through the woods off trail, there is no impact. When a few 4 wheelers or dirtbikes ride through a woods not on a trail, there is a noticeable impact. Depending on the surface, it only takes a few knobby tires to gouge up duff and soil and create a track when OHVs go cross-country. At the very least, there's double track of crushed vegetation. I saw this last September when some person on a 4 wheeler rode through a waterlogged subalpine meadow then up on a trail officially closed to motorized travel. The trail is only a foot wide but their 4 wheeler tracks were about atleast 2.5 ft. wide. So, they ran over and crushed huckleberry bushes and other vegetation along the side of the trail for the several miles they rode on it. And, don't you try to deny it. I've seen it with my own two eyes. For example, when I was a teenager, me and a friend would ride his 4 wheeler cross-country through the woods behind our house. After two weeks, we created our own trail network. Face it: those big, fat knobby tires on 4 wheelers and dirtbikes tear up far more ground than even 20 hikers. I think it's OK to walk cross-country depending on the surface. Thousands of hunters every fall walk right through the woods cross-country without leaving a path. But, I wouldn't defend cutting switchbacks or making your own trail. I don't know anyone who would. What's a "motofarm" by the way?

    Question: Who's watching the eco-watchers?

    Re: : Use of the National Forests in the 21st Century (Mark Garland)
    Date: Mon, 15 May 2000 00:43:22 GMT
    From: <unknown>


    Re: Question: Who's watching the eco-watchers?
    Date: Thu, 14 Feb 2002 19:46:59 GMT
    From: <BillMalec>

    None: Comments on Roadless Initiative DEIS

    Re: : Use of the National Forests in the 21st Century (Mark Garland)
    Date: Wed, 19 Jul 2000 23:47:33 GMT
    From: bruce erickson <unknown>

    Interesting compilation of comments on the Draft Roadless EIS from Rocky Mountain Region USFS employees at:

    Some of the comments address the apparent bias of the authors, and there is a tie to Gore's predecisional decision.

    None: Cogressional Support for "Concessionaires"

    Re: : Use of the National Forests in the 21st Century (Mark Garland)
    Date: Fri, 18 Aug 2000 20:37:54 GMT
    From: Dave Iverson <>

    In an earlier Comment looking at pros and cons of “Recreation User Fees” I argued on the “pro” side that ”Recreation fees might actually be a ‘final line of defense’ against the encroachment of ‘concessionaires’ into the public domain.” It looks like that argument was built on a foundation of sand.

    Right now in the 2001 Interior Appropriations Bill we find a prohibition against using Recreation Fee Demo money to displace extant concessionaires, etc.


    SEC. 331.
    A project undertaken by the Forest Service under the Recreation Fee
    Demonstration Program as authorized by section 315 of the Department of
    the Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year
    1996, as amended, shall not result in--
    (1) displacement of the holder of an authorization to provide commercial
    recreation services on Federal lands. Prior to initiating any project,
    the Secretary shall consult with potentially affected holders to
    determine what impacts the project may have on the holders. Any
    modifications to the authorization shall be made within the terms and
    conditions of the authorization and authorities of the impacted agency.
    (2) the return of a commercial recreation service to the Secretary for
    operation when such services have been provided in the past by a private
    sector provider, except when--
    (A) the private sector provider fails to bid on such
    (B) the private sector provider terminates its relationship
    with the agency;
    (C) the agency revokes the permit for non-compliance with
    the terms and conditions of the authorization.
           In such cases, the agency may use the Recreation Fee
    Demonstration Program to provide for operations until a subsequent
    operator can be found through the offering of a new prospectus.

    So my list of pros and cons pars down to:

    In Defense of Recreation User Fees:

    • Fees are an increasingly popular new means to finance government, in the "read my lips, no new taxes" era of government.
    • Fees are a direct tax for use. People ought to pay for what they use.
    • The US Forest Service has always relied on fees as part of its funding. The agency was set up that way. Increasingly, timber and grazing fees don't cut it in terms of funding extant organizational priorities -- timber fees especially have been declining for two decades -- and new sources of funding are needed.
    • The US Park Service gets along arguably better than does the US Forest Service -- at least in terms of having money to support recreation pursuits -- in part because they have a fee system in place for some of their most popular attractions.

    In Opposition to Recreation User Fees:

    • There is a long-standing tradition, religious and otherwise, of "Forests Wild and Free" that militates against charging access fees. One strain of this argument asks, "If we can walk free in our cities but not in our forests, what is left of Wildness?"
    • The American people and the Congress don't need yet another bureaucratic cash cow and all the problems that entails as to "oversight and accountability."
    • It has been hard for the Forest Service and/or the Congress to regulate big-business timber, mining, and grazing interests in the national forests. Recreation fees help throw the doors open wide to embrace big-business recreation interests, yet another big-business group, by condoning "America for sale or rent" commercialization ideas, and promoting "mechanically assisted recreation" that many in big-business favor.
    • Environmental Justice problems loom large when recreation fees are charged.

    Idea: Concessionaires rip off the public

    Re: : Cogressional Support for "Concessionaires" (Dave Iverson)
    Date: Sat, 20 Jan 2001 06:35:27 GMT
    From: Michelle Rodriguez <unknown>

    I believe the federal land management agencies aren't the most efficient institutions around. But that's OK. That's life. But, turning over campgrounds and other areas on federal lands over to private concession companies isn't going to solve anything. It just gives companies a license to rip off the public. It becomes legal monopoly in which the rates don't usually reflect a "fair" market return to concessions. A campground near here costs $18. The USFS used to only charged me $12. Now, I just get a retired couple in a motor home and an increased fee with no new services. And, many say the federal government is the big, bad bully! Atleast, the campground operation is no longer part of the federal budget. Whew! I'm relieved.

    Sad: willingness to pay for recreation

    Re: : Use of the National Forests in the 21st Century (Mark Garland)
    Date: Fri, 02 Mar 2001 22:46:49 GMT
    From: Lisa <>

    I am a Forestry major with a specialization in outdoor recreation. I am very disappointed to hear all the comments about the unwillingness to pay to utilize natural areas for recreation. Where do you think the money comes from? The government obviously does not allocate enough funding for parks to function adequately. Especially with the new administration, we are likely to see an extreme budget cut. I am a strong supporter of fees in national parks and forests. I am a college student with limited funds, but I understand the amount of money that parks need. The land that is referred to as "yours" is also mine. How do you expend trails and scenic areas to be maintained without money? I think that there is no monetary value that is high enough to put a price on nature. A few dollars to enter a park should not be too much to ask. Just think of all the benefits that outdoor areas have. Where would you be without them? We could not survive without these valuable sites.

    Agree: people seem to think that public services are free

    Re: Sad: willingness to pay for recreation (Lisa)
    Keywords: public finance, taxes, recreation, user fees
    Date: Fri, 02 Mar 2001 23:05:42 GMT
    From: Antoine Meriwether <>

    Some people don't think at all about user fees. They want what they want (free services) and that's, that. Not much thought at all, just emotion. They seem to assume that because the government provides services, all services should be free. What bugs me is the paranoid notion (like from that big, bad corporations are behind the fee demo act to privatize and motorize national forests. It's simply not true. Few people understand how much money it really costs to maintain the expansive trail and recreation system we have.

    Feedback: pony up

    Re: Agree: people seem to think that public services are free (Antoine Meriwether)
    Keywords: public finance, taxes, recreation, user fees
    Date: Tue, 06 Mar 2001 18:26:12 GMT
    From: Leroy <>

    so its the same B.S. for fees what about our city parks gonna charge fee at local city now!which is cover by our taxes which ever one pays in one form or another. Access to our public land is a basic freedom and right!Why? does ever thing got to have a price tag. Were suppose be a free country then why? does cost so much to live here! instead of scamming the American people and giving us this gimmick called the recreation fee demo program Let congress take its stewardship more responsible and fund our public lands approiatelly. Seem the shuffling of there duties to private entities is better than earning there big fat checks. Remember what the old warrior says the price of freedom is constant! its in the here and now always.sell your soul for old almighty dollar then and sell your basic rights and freedom off for security and worldly comfort!

    None: paying for it

    Re: Feedback: pony up (Leroy)
    Keywords: public finance, taxes, recreation, user fees
    Date: Wed, 07 Mar 2001 03:56:49 GMT
    From: Antoine Meriwether <>

    That's a lot of high falootin' hyperbole (quoting "price of liberty is eternal vigilence", FDR?)to get out of paying a few bucks. Some people just don't get it: it costs money to upkeep trails, campgrounds and other recreational facilities. Period. Access to cleared trails isn't a basic right. Things that require work and money from other people aren't basic freedoms or rights. "It" (trails?) "have a price tag" because "it" costs money to keep them clear of blowdowns and other things. People work hard to keep those trails clear and most of them won't work for free. And those people doing the work need tools. Labor and equipment cost money and somebody has to pay for it. Congress won't appropriate enough money to keep all the trails in tiptop shape, so there has to be some source of additional income to pay for trails. Congress and the President won't appropriate more money for trails because they want to make room for tax cuts, a missile defense system, military pay raises, more prescription drug spending, paying down the debt and many other things. If you want to get out of paying money and be really free, go walk off trail which doesn't require the work and money of other people. You can do it without leaving a trace and you'll get out of paying that $3 (or whatever it is)that you feel so strongly about.

    None: Don't chase people away

    Re: Sad: willingness to pay for recreation (Lisa)
    Keywords: Adventure Pass
    Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2001 04:57:33 GMT
    From: <>

    It's bad when people are chased away by forest service employees because they haven't bought an "Adventure Pass". Here in the San Bernardino mountains I've seen forest service people chasing away people who've pulled to the side of the road to throw snowballs at each other. It's astonishing.

    Angry: rights of forest dwellers

    Re: : Use of the National Forests in the 21st Century (Mark Garland)
    Keywords: forest dwellers
    Date: Wed, 07 Mar 2001 03:48:05 GMT
    From: m m lohia <>

    Forest dwellers are faced with peculiar situations when the policy makers without understanding their need and culture, imposes decisions which frustrates them. We donot want to live the dwellers peacefully as we want to grab their forest for our own purposes. We give them schemes and plans, forced once, in turn, change their culture and make them same urban creatures who are facing brunt of modern culture.

    In the name of sustainable development/harvesting, we have our own targets, we should stop doing these things.

    m m lohia

    Idea: Over 3100 Sign Internet Petition Against User Fees on Public Lands

    Re: : Use of the National Forests in the 21st Century (Mark Garland)
    Keywords: public lands recreation user fee demonstration internet petition
    Date: Mon, 12 Mar 2001 14:55:17 GMT
    From: Dave Iverson <>

    As of this morning there are over 3100 signatures on an internet petition asking President Bush to do away with mandatory fees for access to public lands. You can view the petition and comments left by those who have signed at You can also voice your own opposition if you feel so inclined. The comments are particularly intriguing, spanning various and sundry views from "no new taxes," to "spiritual opposition," to "taxation without adequate representation," To "federal land and power grabs, "to "subsidized destruction of Wildness,".....

    Question: petition against user fees incomplete

    Re: : Use of the National Forests in the 21st Century (Mark Garland)
    Keywords: willingness to pay for recreation, petition, user fees
    Date: Tue, 27 Mar 2001 05:14:03 GMT
    From: Lisa Perveneckis <>

    I understand that some people are not willing to pay user fees to recreate on public lands. Where will the funding come from to maintain these areas? The government obviously is not allocating enough funding for these sites to be operated effectively. I would suggest an added comment on the petition to increase the allocation of funds to government agencies, such as the National Park Service and Forest Service, who provide recreation. The reson why I approve of user fees is that these agencies need the money and they are not getting it any other way.

    More: error

    Re: Question: petition against user fees incomplete (Lisa Perveneckis)
    Keywords: willingness to pay for recreation, petition, user fees
    Date: Tue, 27 Mar 2001 06:01:24 GMT
    From: Lisa <unknown>

    sorry for previous message. I see that allocation of funding is included in the petition. I hope that the message gets to Congress and things change so that these agencies can properly manage recreation sites to protect the resource and provide for the enjoyment of the people.

    News: Dombeck says farewell. Asks for continued vigilance on Roadless, Old Growth and more

    Re: : Use of the National Forests in the 21st Century (Mark Garland)
    Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2001 21:36:23 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.

    News: no drill ANWR = drill other federal lands?: an article

    Re: : Use of the National Forests in the 21st Century (Mark Garland)
    Keywords: oil drilling, natural gas, federal lands
    Date: Fri, 30 Mar 2001 18:13:08 GMT
    From: Ray Simpkins <unknown>

    I read and it says that since Bush doesn't have enough votes in Congress to open up the Arctic Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling than he'll work on opening other federal lands to oil and natural gas production. He says we need to open up more land to gas and oil production to increase supply to fight "the energy crisis". A few years ago Gloria Flora, the supervisor for Lewis & Clark national forest in Montana, closed down the Rocky Mtn Front to oil and gas exploration. I wonder if Bush will issue an executive order to reopen that area. It's part of the Overthrust Belt and there's definitely gas underneath. Too bad a lot of elk, grizzly bears and other wildlife consider those valleys on the Rocky Mtn. Front as winter range. I reckon wildlife in those areas will not appreciate road building, helicopters, setting off bombs and the other impacts associated with oil and gas exploration and development. I used to live/work near the Badger-Two Medicine area of the Lewis & Clark NF in between Glacier Park and the Bob Marshall Wilderness. I wonder if the energy companies will finally get into there. Call me a NIMBY but I'd rather have them drill the ANWR than Badger-Two Medicine and other areas along the Overthrust Belt.

    More: they're working on it now

    Re: News: no drill ANWR = drill other federal lands?: an article (Ray Simpkins)
    Keywords: oil drilling, natural gas, federal lands
    Date: Fri, 06 Apr 2001 17:20:13 GMT
    From: Ray Simpkins <unknown>

    It looks like VP Cheney is working on easing restrictions and regulations that block oil and gas development on federal lands. They mention Lewis and Clark National Forest in the article and they mention the Jack Morrow Hills, BLM land in Wyoming.

    Feedback: where did you get your info?

    Re: News: no drill ANWR = drill other federal lands?: an article (Ray Simpkins)
    Keywords: oil drilling, natural gas, federal lands
    Date: Mon, 23 Apr 2001 23:02:12 GMT
    From: <unknown>

    I worked on the North Slope of Alaska for sevral years in the oil fields. I just can't remember them setting off any ( bombs). When their done pumping oil out of the prudehoe bay well's there going to remove ALL roads All the pump houses All the flow stations in other words every thing that is there now will be gone. The alaska department of conservation would fine the company $1000.00 per foot if you were to drive on any of the tundra. People need to wake up its the 21 st century we have the technology. It would also help if we didnt sell all of our north slope crude to japan.


    None: gas exploration techniques

    Re: Feedback: where did you get your info?
    Keywords: oil drilling, natural gas, federal lands
    Date: Sat, 28 Apr 2001 17:05:15 GMT
    From: Ray Simpkins <unknown>

    Perhaps your experiences on the North Slope are not applicable to the Rockies? In the 1980s, people used to complain about "bombing the Bob", the Bob Marshall Wilderness area in Montana. They were referring to an exploration technique in which bombs would be set off at various points to create seismic waves which bounce off of different geologic formations in different ways. The wave information would then be interpreted to try to locate cap rocks over any gas and oil traps. Basically, waves from explosions were used to identify any geologic formations that usually harbor gas and oil. It sounds like they don't use this technique in Alaska where you worked. Maybe this technique doesn't work with the geology of your area? I got this info. in college geology courses, books, newspapers and magazines. An issue of National Geographic from the 1980s has very good pictures of it. Many biologists say this exploration technique is detrimental to grizzly bears, elk and especially bighorn sheep. The explosions, roads, and other intrusions stress wildlife. I agree: we shouldn't be shipping North Slope crude oil to Japan.

    Feedback: wildlife stress

    Re: : gas exploration techniques (Ray Simpkins)
    Keywords: oil drilling, natural gas, federal lands
    Date: Mon, 30 Apr 2001 21:32:56 GMT
    From: bruce <unknown>

    So the explosions, roads, and other intrusions stress wildlife. Good! Why should a bunch of darn animals be better off than we are? =:)

    Agree: Untitled

    Re: Feedback: wildlife stress (bruce)
    Keywords: oil drilling, natural gas, federal lands
    Date: Wed, 02 May 2001 17:34:03 GMT
    From: Ray Simpkins <unknown>

    Roads; explosions; creating all that stress, raising blood pressure; altering annual migration routes and worst of all, disturbing seasonal mating rituals. Then there's my partying neighbors. I feel for the animals because I can sympathize with them. I feel their pain. LOL

    None: explosions and gas

    Re: Feedback: wildlife stress (bruce)
    Keywords: oil drilling, natural gas, federal lands
    Date: Wed, 02 May 2001 17:42:26 GMT
    From: Ray Simpkins <unknown>

    I got an idea on how to keep those companies out of the Rocky Mtn Front. I'll invite them over to my house when after my wife cooks for my brother and me. There'll be plenty of explosions and gas then.

    None: ummm

    Re: Feedback: where did you get your info?
    Keywords: oil drilling, natural gas, federal lands
    Date: Fri, 10 Jan 2003 05:30:33 GMT
    From: <unknown>

    intersting, very intersting

    Idea: Five Policy Recommendations for the New Chief

    Re: : Use of the National Forests in the 21st Century (Mark Garland)
    Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2001 17:01:27 GMT
    From: Dave Iverson <>

    About a year ago I sent five policy recommendations to Chief Dombeck and others. Let’s restate them here for incoming Chief Bosworth and to talk about them, if anyone is interested.

    Five Policy Recommendations for the US Forest Service:

    • Throw the USFS manual and handbook in the Potomac: We cannot adopt "adaptive management," which we must do alongside "working politics" while harnessing ourselves to extant straight-jackets of a manual and handbook that sits on 18 feet of shelfspace. I challenge anyone to find one healthy organization that has 18 feet of policy manual/handbooks.
    • Emphasize public use: Get out the commercial permitting business and sell off the ski resorts. We are distracted at best in our feeble attempts to regulate commercial permits. Some argue that we are "captured." Why not focus on public use and let the commercial entities fend for themselves, largely in domains far apart from our Natural Treasures.
    • Lead with policy: Use the Natural Resource Agenda as a compass bearing and stress policy development as collaborative stewardship to lead the USFS into the next century. Emphasize "adaptive management/working politics," not Planning with a capital "P" as we have heretofore done. The NFMA regulation should boldly lead by promoting adaptive management and positioning "planning" as one part of adaptive management. Policy development would be key. Planning as we have know it would be relegated to the "watershed scale. "
    • Culture Leadership into the USFS: Follow Ronald Heifetz' (Harvard: Kennedy School of Public Administration) leadership principles and practices and find means to instill leadership ethics alongside "Leopoldian land ethics" into the USFS culture.
    • Infuse the USFS culture with a number of social science/humanities practitioners that would be on par with the number of wildlife and fisheries biologists: One thousand would be a good start, say 100 per year for 10 years. Charge them to help line officers in moving the Forest Service toward more collaborative assessment, policy, plan, and project development and monitoring.

    Responding to my list, then Regional Forester Dale Bosworth suggested that maybe a “controlled burn” would be a better approach to deal with the manual/handbook problem. Dale worried, tongue in cheek, that we might cause a pollution problem if we dumped that much material into the Potomac.

    Many people questioned my recommendation for more social science/humanities practitioners. In my opinion we need to begin to better understand real "human dimensions" of ecosystem management that are found in cultural development viewed in relationship to the environment not apart from it. If you believe as I do that there are no “natural resource issues,” apart from “social value formation and transformation issues” then you’ll begin to see how we have erred in our policy choices, assessments, planning, monitoring and more. We have attempted to frame them too narrowly as science-based natural resource issues rather than science delimited social value issues. If I am correct, I see no reason why we don’t seek to balance the interdisciplinary playing field by adding more social science/humanities practitioners.

    Idea: Timber Harvest and Recreational Use Policies

    Re: : Use of the National Forests in the 21st Century (Mark Garland)
    Date: Sat, 12 May 2001 07:59:48 GMT
    From: <>

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    BD Kochis Woodland Park, CO

    Feedback: timber harvest and recreation

    Re: Idea: Timber Harvest and Recreational Use Policies
    Date: Sun, 20 May 2001 23:28:00 GMT
    From: Ray Simpkins <unknown>

    I don't know about " ecologically disasterous practice...". Clearcutting is bad for some species and benefits others. Some species, particularly game species like quail, grouse, turkeys, deer, elk and many non-game songbirds, benefit from clearcutting. In the eastern national forests many species (such as those listed above)are in decline due to aging forests. In George Washington National Forest there's not enough young forest and not enough old forest compared to pre-colonial conditions. There's too much middle age forest there. Limited clearcutting improves the distribution of various ages of forest (assuming roads are properly designed to minimize hydrological impacts, exotic weeds don't move in on roads, etc.) In GWNF, banning clearcutting will actually decrease biodiversity. Thinning can indeed reduce fuel loads and reduce fire intensity but if you're concerned about below-cost timber sales it's not logical to extol the virtues of thinning. Thinning, leave trees, large buffer zones all reduce revenue brought in from timber sales. If you don't like below-cost timber sales you should not do these things (they are done regularly on national forests). Instead you should operate like a profit-maximizing timber company. That means big clearcuts, shoddy, sediment-leaking roads, not leaving buffer zones. These things maximize income and minimize opportunity costs which in turn brings in more money to the federal treasury.

    Many rural communities near national forests have embraced tourism out of necessity, not choice. To me it seems many of these communities would rather go back to the old days (1980s and before). They'd rather work as loggers,log truck drivers and millworkers (high wages) rather than pumping gas or working at a restaurant waiting on tourists (low wages).

    Riding OHVs is recreation and thousands of people visit national forests to ride OHVs. And OHVers like to ride logged off areas because they have lots of roads, skid roads, 4WD roads, etc. So, I don't see how you can logically extol recreation and denounce timber harvest and OHV use when a significant portion of national forest recreation is OHV use improved by timber harvest. Hunting is recreation too and hunting would be harmed by ending clearcutting. This is why hunting and OHV special interest groups like logging and generally fight Wilderness designations.

    I don't think the public would go for your forest access pass program. Many national forest users I know really hate even the low fees in place now. The public really hates being told what to do by government agencies even if it may be the right thing to do.

    None: Did you know?

    Re: Idea: Timber Harvest and Recreational Use Policies
    Date: Mon, 18 Feb 2002 19:59:58 GMT
    From: <BillMalec>

    That a whole 2% of the logging industry is done on Federal Lands? 2% !! Sounds like something to be concerned about...NOT! You have been spoon-fed info that makes you emotional about the topic. Big-business environmemtalism has lost it's path and will do anything to keep you donating to their "cause". Ever been to a Public Land and seen anyone logging? Not me, and I ride a trail motorcycle for over 600 miles a year on Public Lands......and that is much further into the Forest than you'd ever think of hiking. You didn't mention much about recreation, so let me put in some input: 1)Our Public Land is set up under multiple use guidlines. That means many different users can use the lands. Our country is very diverse and the usage of the lands needs to be as diverse as our people(hmmm ...I wonder what that DIVERSITY that these people are spouting actually means ?). Multiple use contains, but is not limited to: 1)Hunting 2) all it's forms.. hiking, moutain biking, trail motorcycling, horseback riding, skiing,etc. 3)Logging and mining. The Feds put these lands aside for future needs of Americans and that includes using Natural resources. Now I believe this needs to be addressed very carefully and it is. Can you imagin the hoops a company has to jump thru to log or mine in Public Lands? 4)Wilderness. Yes I agree there needs to be Wilderness designation to lands. But I think we have more than enough 100's of millions of acres of lands set aside already. 5)We need much more investigation into the practices of environmental groups and wildlife Biologists. They have been found to plant evidence of endangered species to get lands closed and this is completely unacceptable. I feel old studies need to be examined for the validity of the results and lands that were closed to the Public be re-opened. This is a crime against the American public of the highest order. 6)Recreation by OHV's(trail motorcycles and the like) needs to be limited and watched. Say what! Yeah I believe it needs to be monitored better and that includes MUCH BETTER maintenance on the part of Forest officials. Get them off their butss and out of their cozy Jeeps and have them do an honest day's work for a change.

    Idea: Industrial Hemp

    Re: : Use of the National Forests in the 21st Century (Mark Garland)
    Keywords: hemp
    Date: Tue, 10 Jul 2001 00:09:29 GMT
    From: <unknown>

    Commercial logging is destroying out natural environment. Period. Why arent we using renewable resources, specifically Industrial Hemp?? If we continue to destroy forests/wildlife habitats, the earth's ecosystem will no longer be able to be the perfect system that was created for life. There is a definite alternative to deforestation in the use of Industrial Hemp, this is a fact, and if this fact is ignored, we will surely face the consequences. Can someone please give me one good reason why commercial logging of trees should continue when there is a viable and evironmentally sound alternative??

    Disagree: one reason

    Re: Idea: Industrial Hemp
    Keywords: hemp
    Date: Fri, 13 Jul 2001 18:39:44 GMT
    From: Bruce <unknown>

    What makes you think trees are not a renewable resource?? Which environments will you "destroy" in your quest to grow enough hemp to replace trees? Hemp can replace the fiber uses of trees, what about all the other uses (resins, structural products, etc)? How much biodiversity is in a hemp monoculture annually mowed down compared to even the most intensively managed forests on, for example, a 40-year rotation? Deforestation in the US is limited to lands cleared for crops like hemp and for urban development. Even with those activities, there is more forest now than there was a century ago. Commercial logging does not result in deforestation, but rather results in reforestation. There are critters that depend on young stands just as there are critters that depend on old stands. Would you do away with them in following your dogma?

    None: Hmmm...

    Re: Disagree: one reason (Bruce)
    Keywords: hemp
    Date: Fri, 30 Nov 2001 02:07:55 GMT
    From: William Edwards <unknown>

    Well, I would seriously doubt that any forests have been recently cleared to grow hemp, since the DEA considers it to be a controlled substance. But, even if American farmers could grow hemp, they would do so in the fields the are now using for corn and other grains, not clearing forest for new fields.

    None: Bruce are you high?

    Re: Disagree: one reason (Bruce)
    Keywords: hemp
    Date: Sat, 29 Mar 2003 15:17:20 GMT
    From: Guy <>

    how can you say there are more forests now than a century ago? State your source! Try and think about it logically: Are there more or less people on the planet now or a hundred years ago. I'll answer that for you, there are more people the ball park of 2 billion more! Do you understand the difference between a million and a billion? A million seconds is 11 days, a billion seconds is 32 years! So 2 billion more people, plus or minus, now inhabit the earth. These people need houses, and houses are bulit from ....wood! Now if we planted some trees 100 years ago we could a 3rd of the way to an old growth forest. Or we could have had 5 harests of soft wood, which is only useable for paper. As third world nations populations grow, the free resource of trees are an easy target, and of course industrialized nation will pay top for lumber. So to answer you ridiculous statement, there are less forests. Hemp could very well be the answer, perhaps not a single definitive answer but one of many that will help preserve the world's forests/eco-systems. If you don't believe me regarding deforestation, maybe you'll believe the Canada gov't or the US gov't good luck on your emlighenment Guy

    Feedback: nope, how about you?

    Re: : Bruce are you high? (Guy)
    Keywords: hemp
    Date: Fri, 04 Apr 2003 20:24:44 GMT
    From: Bruce <unknown>

    Here is the most accessible source:

    Forests covered 307 million hectares in the US in 1907 and 302 million hectares in 1997 -- a decrease of 1.6% in land area. That's only part of the story. Since systematic nation-wide timber inventories started in 1953, standing timber volume has increased from 17,430 million cubic meters to 23,650 million cubic meters -- an increase of 35.6%. Are we importing too much wood? Yup. Could we produce more wood ourselves? Yup. Would it lead to deforestation? Nope.

    Also, open your mind to this:

    Feedback: hemp, lumber and forest products in general

    Re: Idea: Industrial Hemp
    Keywords: hemp
    Date: Tue, 24 Jul 2001 01:37:52 GMT
    From: Jon Anderson <JonAnderson>

    I agree with you, in part. The high rates of intensive commercial logging that took place on national forests in the 1970s and 1980s did indeed damage habitat for species that need old forest. But it also helped species that prosper in young forests like deer, grouse and many other game species. I do think industrial hemp should be legalized for products like paper, rope, etc. But, I don't think it's correct to use a blanket statement that "logging has destroyed the environment". Well, designed, low levels of logging can provide habitat for all species. You may want to consider that hemp probably will not work very well for structural material. Hemp is great for pulp and fibre but can't be used for lumber like 2 x 4 s or plywood. Most timber cut on national forests is for lumber and not for pulp. Smaller logs and certain species are used for pulp. And, sawmills produce byproducts that is used for pulp. This is the problem with hemp. Unfortunately, hemp is not the solution to any problems many people think it is. When old growth forests are harvested it isn't for material that hemp can replace. I think this is what you're getting out.

    None: Hemp is the answer

    Re: Feedback: hemp, lumber and forest products in general (Jon Anderson)
    Keywords: hemp
    Date: Sat, 26 Oct 2002 19:34:09 GMT
    From: Gary Cade <>

    This message is in response to Joe Anderson's statements.

    First, you stated that high rates of commercial logging in the 70's and 80's destroyed habitat for species, which I can agree with. However deer and grouse do NOT need young forests to thrive. Second, regarding to the statement "logging has destroyed the environment". It has. Many places in Australia, Brazil, Indonesia, and the US have been destroyed from logging. It's difficult to replace trees which take many decades to reach maturity. Fortunately in some places in the US and Australia people are practicing Forest Management, which I think you referred to it as ...well designed low-level logging. Third, and most important HEMP CAN BE USED FOR STRUCTURAL PURPOSES. Hemp is a very fibrous plant, the fibers from a hemp plant can be several feet long. But wood fiber is only a 3/4 of an inch. Hemp can be used to make particle or fiber board. This fiber board can be made into ANY size wood comes in ...i.e. 2x4, 4x4, plywood ...etc. Since the hemp fiber is longer than wood fibers it is stronger than wood. A 2x4 of hemp is stronger than a 2x4 of wood. The beauty of using hemp is that it's a resource that renews in 90 to 110 days! There are many more benefits to use hemp. Growing hemp naturally regenerates the soil with nutrients, which in turn increases the yield of the next crop. Studies have shown rotating hemp crops with corn crops increased the corn yield by 50%; rotating soy the yield increased a whopping 80%! The Miracle of hemp is it has 1000's of uses. It can be used to make plastics, fuels, food, clothes and more! Don't believe me do some research yourself.

    Note: Follow the Money

    Re: : Use of the National Forests in the 21st Century (Mark Garland)
    Date: Fri, 03 Aug 2001 21:03:09 GMT
    From: Dave Iverson <>

    Follow the Money

    Randal O’Toole once remarked about the US Forest Service: “If you want to follow the action, follow the money.” This past weekend I read articles in my local papers titled “Fires Actually Do Much to Aid Western Economy” and “Wildfires Can Mean Money to Burn,” Both were from an Associated Press feed and talked about those who stand to gain much--both individual government contractors and local economies--when forest fires burn.

    How much money is spent fighting fires? The federal government spent a record of nearly $1.4 billion last year on fire suppression. Fighting the Yellowstone fires of 1988 cost the taxpayers about $120 million, as I recall. The recent Green Knoll fire near Jackson Hole, WY was tallied today at $10.6 million in suppression costs. In both cases some money went to pay for government operations, themselves the source of continued controversy, and some to private business interests. See the National Interagency Fire Center website for more on the fire scene.

    Wildland Fire Suppression is a widely known but seldom discussed “Cash Cow.” You can find more in High Country News with titles like "The Year It Rained Money" and "Smokey’s Secret is Out”.

    As I ponder possible links between the fire program and those who stand to gain financially from it, my thoughts wander to other program areas where individuals seem to get rich by attaching themselves to government programs and sucking money from them. Examples include timber operators, grazing “permitees,” commercial float boat operators, commercial ski resort operators, mining operators, and fire suppression operators of various types, to list a few. In addition, there is a small cottage industry of folks seeking to gain riches via land exchanges.

    I do not mean to suggest that all who deal with the government in these areas are “gold diggers,” but only to suggest that as government regulators we need to be mindful of the potential for abuse in these and other areas.

    It seems to my admittedly biased eyes that the Forest Service pays too much attention to programs that confer special financial favors to individual business operators. In fact my personal top 5 policy recommendations to the Chief include consideration of getting out of the commercial permitting business and selling off ski resort lands. Not that I believe that the recommendation will be acted on any time soon.

    There is, of course, another side to this story from those who argue that the public interest is best served by leveraging public good from private enterprises from enterprising individuals. The argument from these is that valuable services are provided at a better cost than could be obtained if the government were to provide the service directly.

    The jury is out. Have the Forest Service and other federal agencies failed to adequately safeguard the public interest through the long and somewhat troubled history of dealing with those (now sometimes labeled "partners") who they are supposed to regulate? If so, how serious is the failing? And will our "politics" and the pressures applied to those in charge of fire suppression and other programs allow even for serious inquiry into the questions, yet alone serious efforts at policy change if allegations of failure stand up under scrutiny?

    Feedback: profiteering during unrest is as old as history

    Re: Note: Follow the Money (Dave Iverson)
    Date: Tue, 07 Aug 2001 18:57:32 GMT
    From: Bruce <unknown>

    Fires are no different than floods, hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, or war. There is always someone who will figure out a way to make some quick bucks out of the situation. Couple that with a government that is all too eager to spend my money for me, and windfalls are made. More typically, wages are made and some losses are compensated.

    As for timber operators, grazing permittees, outfitters and guides, etc getting rich at the federal trough, it sure isn't happening everywhere. Most of those folks in western Montana and north Idaho are making wages and earning enough on their investment to get by -- some comfortably and some by the skin of their teeth. Some worked damn hard all their lives only to go bankrupt.

    Since when has it become unAmerican to profit by filling a demand?


    Question: What Profit at What Cost?

    Re: Feedback: profiteering during unrest is as old as history (Bruce)
    Date: Thu, 09 Aug 2001 16:47:56 GMT
    From: Dave Iverson <>

    I agree with you Bruce:

    "Fires are no different than floods, hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, or war. There is always someone who will figure out a way to make some quick bucks out of the situation. Couple that with a government that is all too eager to spend my money for me, and windfalls are made. More typically, wages are made and some losses are compensated.

    "As for timber operators, grazing permittees, outfitters and guides, etc getting rich at the federal trough, it sure isn't happening everywhere. Most of those folks in western Montana and north Idaho are making wages and earning enough on their investment to get by -- some comfortably and some by the skin of their teeth. Some worked damn hard all their lives only to go bankrupt."

    "Since when has it become unAmerican to profit by filling a demand?

    What I don't understand is why you would conclude that I have a problem with people making a profit by filling a demand.

    My concern is with government officals unwilling and/or unable to regulate those who they are charged to regulate. You seem to share that concern.

    Peter Drucker once said that correctly perceived "profit" must be viewed as a cost of doing business now and in the future. What Drucker meant was that business enterprises must make enough at some points in their existence to continue that existence by investing in things that help them continue to exist. I have no problem with that definition of "profit." But that is something quite different than taking advantage of crisis to "make a quick buck."

    Another concern of mine is whether or not the public lands ought to be managed as places where commercial interests are allowed to do business. That is a separate issue.

    "If" we are to continue to manage the public lands to allow private enterprises to offer services to clients, we need to be attentive to our regulatory function. If we choose otherwise, then we have to be attentive to cost-effective means of providing service through government function.

    Either way we continue to have a responsibility to decide what type experiences to provide on the public lands and how intensively to develop infrastructure to facillitate such. I believe we could call that responsiblity "governance." Governance is a shared responsibility by the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial branches of US Government. The US Forest Service and other agencies ought not to take governance responsibilites lightly.

    Feedback: the effect of firefighting is often negative

    Re: Note: Follow the Money (Dave Iverson)
    Date: Fri, 10 Aug 2001 02:39:16 GMT
    From: Mike Chisolm <unknown>

    I do think that Congress needs to cut the budget for fire-fighting budget. Fire managers need to consider that they can't have a blank check if we want to control fire spending. Anyone will spend and spend if you give them pretty much all the money they want. Also, fire suppression has led to negative ecological changes. Quaking Aspen has a range a fraction of what it used to be. This has led to species declines and other things. Fire suppression has led to sick, overstocked forests over much of the West. Fire suppression has led to the decline of the Whitebark Pine, an important food for wildlife. I think fires should be suppressed in areas with houses and very valuable managed timberland. But over many more national forests fires should be atleast given more leeway to burn. I think fire management teams also overestimate the escape potential of fires. This is from my own personal observations. I've read some stuff by Dr. Tim Ingalsbee of The Western Fire Ecology Center on this issue. I read the SLC Tribune article posted. They mention thinning of forests to reduce forest fires. I reply "Good Luck". Near where I live the local environmental groups try to stop every Forest Service logging operation, including the little ones just for thinning for fires. They don't really care about the environment or wildlife. They want to turn all the national forests into wilderness backpacking preserves and they don't like to see the effects of people because they're all from the city.

    More: link to firefighting and taxpayer article

    Re: Feedback: the effect of firefighting is often negative (Mike Chisolm)
    Date: Thu, 30 Aug 2001 02:34:10 GMT
    From: Mike Chisolm <unknown>

    Here's a good article on the high costs of firefighting

    Angry: another link to article: firefighting took money from more valuable things

    Re: More: link to firefighting and taxpayer article (Mike Chisolm)
    Keywords: money, firefighting
    Date: Fri, 28 Sep 2001 16:05:35 GMT
    From: Mike Chisolm <unknown>

    article called "Forest Service Burns up Budget" about how firefighting costs so much and even worse, they took money from other needed things to pay to fight fires in remote wilderness areas where they cahnce of escape is almost nil. They need to do some honest, objective cost-benefit analysis before they go in. I don't want my tax dollars going to suppress lightning fires in wilderness areas that cost $10,000 an acre to suppress. So what if a fire burns up thousands of acres in a wilderness? Putting it off into the future is makes things far worse.

    Note: Bio: Aubrey King

    Re: : Use of the National Forests in the 21st Century (Mark Garland)
    Keywords: ARVC
    Date: Sun, 30 Dec 2001 18:55:28 GMT
    From: <Searcher>

    Fmr Executive Director: Travel and Tourism Government Affairs Council (Travel Industry Association (TIA))
    Washington Representative :  National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC)
    Former President & CEO :  National Alliance of Gateway Communities 
    Board of Directors, Former Chair :( Government Relations) American Society of Association Executives
    Chairman :  ( Transportation Task Force) American League of Lobbyists 
    Executive Committee : Congressional Travel and Tourism Caucus 
    Chairman : Convocation of National Hospitality and Tourism Associations
    Cofounder& Director : Campaign to Keep Travel Competitive
    Fmr Vice President and Director : (National Affairs )National Club Association
    Board of Directors : National Park Service Advisory Committee on Use, Recreation andTourism. 
    Washington Director : Western Summit on Global Tourism
    Member of Executive Committee : Congressional Travel and Tourism Caucus Advisory Board
    Adjunct Professor of Travel and Tourism : George Washington University
    Principle : Albertine Enterprises, a lobby group.
    Recent Photo: Aubrey King at a 'Travel Business Roundtable' event with notables:
    His ARVC office:
    1156 15th Street, NW Suite 505
    Washington, DC 20005
    Strangely enough, the same Suite is used by this man :
    Micheal J. O'Neil
    1156 15th St. NW Suite 505
    Washington, DC  20005
    Current North American Director : Trilateral Commission
    Bio :

    None: Pay Demo & Public Lands Exchange

    Re: Note: Bio: Aubrey King
    Keywords: ARVC
    Date: Sun, 30 Dec 2001 21:01:53 GMT
    From: <===>

    In case you didn't catch it, 
    Aubrey King in his various positions .. 
    ( most notably:
    National Alliance of Gateway Communities 
    National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds 
    Travel and Tourism Government Affairs Council )
    .. provided policies to get the Pay Demo laws on the books.
    Aside from his policy and lobby work,
    he has had legal experience in Private for Public land exchange
    ( as defined in the  Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976: )
    He is a also a recent member of the Public Lands Foundation :
    (check out the company he keeps)
    "Gateway Communities Need Public Lands" 
    Testimony by Bob Warren, current Director of the National Alliance of Gateway Communities,
    before the Congressional Subcommittee on Forests and Forest Health 
    September 25, 2001 

    Question: what's your point?

    Re: : Pay Demo & Public Lands Exchange
    Keywords: ARVC
    Date: Wed, 02 Jan 2002 04:53:26 GMT
    From: Donald Sullivan <unknown>

    What's this about? Here's my guess. I noticed you didn't include a name. Are you Scott Silver, the Wild Wilderness guy, the anti-fee demo activist or one of his kindred?

    OK, so this guy is a lobbyist for development interests and he has worked the government to implement user fees. So what? I still don't see a devious conspiracy. Is that what your posting is about?

    News: FBI investigating Eco-terrorism

    Re: : Use of the National Forests in the 21st Century (Mark Garland)
    Keywords: eco-terrorism, environmentalists, environmentalism, terrorism
    Date: Thu, 14 Feb 2002 19:20:33 GMT
    From: <BillMalec>

    FBI: Radicals Double As Terror Group Tue Feb 12, 9:18 PM ET By ROBERT GEHRKE, Associated Press Writer

    WASHINGTON - A radical environmental group that has carried out 600 attacks since 1996 has become the largest and most active U.S.-based terrorist group, the FBI (news - web sites)'s top domestic terrorism officer said Tuesday.

    But a House committee's efforts to shed light on the Earth Liberation Front and its companion, the Animal Liberation Front, were frustrated when former ELF spokesman Craig Rosebraugh refused to answer questions from members of Congress.

    "I'll take the Fifth Amendment," Rosebraugh said more than 50 times to questions ranging from whether he helped produce an ELF training film to who was paying for his attorney.

    Rosebraugh was subpoenaed to testify at the request of Rep. Scott McInnis (news), R-Colo., chairman of the House Subcommittee on Forests and Forest Health.

    Rosebraugh has said he relayed anonymous messages on ELF's behalf from 1997 until he quit last September, but had no firsthand knowledge of any attacks.

    FBI expert James F. Jarboe said that since 1996, the ALF and ELF have caused $43 million in damage in more than 600 attacks, ranging from spray-painting buildings and breaking windows to firebombing fur farms, research centers and a ski resort.

    "They're the most active. They cause the most damage," Jarboe said, although white supremacist groups are still considered more dangerous because their attacks are often aimed at people.

    Nobody has been killed in an ELF or ALF attack, but McInnis said it is wrong to think of the ecoterrorists as "nature-loving hippies" or misguided youths.

    "These are hardened criminals," he said. "They are dangerous, they are well-funded, they are savvy, sophisticated and stealthy, and if their violence continues to escalate, it is only a matter of time before their parade of terror results in a lost human life."

    In a report the ELF and ALF issued last month, the groups claimed responsibility for 67 illegal actions in 2001, including burning down a $5.4 million horticulture building at the University of Washington.

    In 1998, the ELF claimed responsibility for an arson attack at Vail Ski Resort that did $12 million in damage.

    Rep. Jay Inslee (news), D-Wash., said he understands that die-hard environmentalists are frustrated with some of the Bush administration's policies, but ecoterrorism hurts the cause by making it harder for him and others to promote more environmental-friendly policies.

    Asked about Inslee's criticism after the hearing, Rosebraugh said, "I was forced to come to Washington, D.C. I'm not going to answer that question."

    Rosebraugh's attorney, Stuart Sugarman, said he wanted "to thank Mr. McInnis for providing attention for this important cause."

    None: Untitled

    Re: News: FBI investigating Eco-terrorism
    Keywords: eco-terrorism, environmentalists, environmentalism, terrorism
    Date: Thu, 14 Feb 2002 19:25:36 GMT
    From: <BillMalec>

    All I can say is: "It's about time!" As someone that fears for his safety while enjoying the backcountry on an OHV and has had unprovoked run-ins with these types of folks in Telluride, Colorado, all I can say is..... I hope they treat them just like any other terrorist group.

    Feedback: more accurately "eco-sabotage"

    Re: : Untitled
    Keywords: eco-terrorism, environmentalists, environmentalism, terrorism
    Date: Tue, 19 Feb 2002 02:04:26 GMT
    From: John Carson <JohnCarson>

    Let me emphasize that I intensely dislike protestors chaining themselves to trees, people burning down buildings they disagree with, etc., but until they kill somebody it should be labeled eco-sabotage, not terrorism. Terrorism is harming people physically, sabotage is property damage. Again, to make it clear, I intensely dislike those people behaving that way, but they are saboteurs, not terrorists. Sabotage just doesn't have the ring to it like terrorism, does it? Different connotations between sabotage and terrorism.

    None: Untitled

    Re: Feedback: more accurately "eco-sabotage" (John Carson)
    Keywords: eco-terrorism, environmentalists, environmentalism, terrorism
    Date: Wed, 20 Feb 2002 20:18:48 GMT
    From: <DR.billZ>

    So your're saying UNTIL they KILL someone it's sabotage? They've already injured plenty of people. You know what really gets me about this..... WHERE'S THE MEDIA COVERAGE? Where's the outcry? When do Jim and Mish at the Environmental,uh, I mean the Weather Channel cover this?

    Feedback: are you a psychic?

    Re: : Untitled
    Keywords: eco-terrorism, environmentalists, environmentalism, terrorism
    Date: Thu, 21 Feb 2002 16:36:05 GMT
    From: John Carson <unknown>

    I can't predict the future. But, if they haven't killed anybody, they haven't killed anybody. When they do kill somebody, then they're terrorists. But, not until then. You shouldn't label somebody as guilty for something they haven't done yet. That's not right.

    Judging from what they've done, I wondering if they'll ever kill anybody by accident. They've released minks from a fur farm, damaged logging trucks and SUVs at night. They did burn down a timber company office at night last year, though.

    I don't know where you live but where I live there's been plenty of media coverage. It's made the front page of The Oregonian newspaper many times. And I've seen eco-sabotage TV coverage on our local small town 6 0'clock news headlining. The media really love the arrogant, righteous skinny bald guy in Portland who releases communique's for the Environmental Liberation Front.

    More: good editorial on the subject

    Re: Feedback: are you a psychic? (John Carson)
    Keywords: eco-terrorism, environmentalists, environmentalism, terrorism
    Date: Mon, 25 Feb 2002 19:48:37 GMT
    From: John Carson <unknown>

    check this out, an op-ed on the subject It seems fast food restaurants are a favorite target of these righteous saboteurs.

    Note: From Left or Right, Terror is Wrong

    Re: More: good editorial on the subject (John Carson)
    Keywords: eco-terrorism, terrorism
    Date: Mon, 25 Feb 2002 21:10:45 GMT
    From: Dave Iverson <>

    Indeed, Todd Wilkinson's Writers on the Range article From the Left or Right, Terror is Wrong is a very good editorial on the subject of eco-terriorism. Thanks John.

    Wilkinson denounces both terriorists and those who fuel the fires of hatred, including politicians who routinely 'spew incendiary rhetoric against the federal government and any citizen they don't agree with.'

    Wilkinson concludes:

    "Just as it is glaringly wrong for a logger to face the possibility of being permanently maimed by slicing into a tree laden with a spike, so, too, is it deplorable for anyone to harass or intimidate a federal employee or citizen because they want to challenge a timber sale or enforce regulations on a livestock grazing allotment.

    "No matter what direction it comes from, terrorism and hate, whether from the left or right, is just plain wrong."

    Question: What about hunting in National Forests?

    Re: : Use of the National Forests in the 21st Century (Mark Garland)
    Date: Fri, 04 Oct 2002 04:22:35 GMT
    From: Perris <>

    I am in an environmental science class at my high school, and I was assigned to answer the question, "Should duck or deer hunting be allowed in National Forests or on Bureau of Land Management land?" Hunters say that it is public land so there should be public hunting, and that hunting helps control the population. What do you think, and what are your reasons for your opinion? If you know of any other resources that could help me, I would appreciate them. Thanks.


    Re: Question: What about hunting in National Forests? (Perris)
    Date: Sat, 29 Mar 2003 04:51:54 GMT
    From: <unknown>


    Feedback: morality of hunting = depends on where you grew up; habitat for game spp.

    Keywords: game management, habitat
    Date: Fri, 16 Jan 2004 04:55:17 GMT
    From: Jed Blanton <unknown>

    This is more of a cultural and philosophical issue than an "environmental science" issue. Some urban and suburban dwellers, of that type, often women, sometimes think that animals should be given a right-to-live/protection from murder like people or pets.

    Their main philosophical point is "necessity". They usually say hunting for food is not necessary. Therefore, killing takes place for pleasure. This, they feel, is ethically indefensible. Therefore, hunting should be banned. It is then not a public land/private land issue. If something is inherently immoral, than it is wrong on public and private land; ownership does not matter.

    Here's an interesting angle for you. Clearcutting usually improves habitat for game species (deer, grouse, quail) but can make that tract of forest less habitable for T&E species that people seem to focus on. If you want to write a paper on a real quandary, present your classmates with a paper on trying to make everybody happy and why and what everybody wants from public (public = state, federal and county/ non-private) lands.

    Question: Management Indicator Species--The Forest Service intentionally fails to monitor

    Re: : Use of the National Forests in the 21st Century (Mark Garland)
    Date: Wed, 30 Oct 2002 03:20:31 GMT
    From: bodhi <>

    What do you think?

    An environmentalist friend of mine recently described an insidious plot by the FS to not monitor MIS species in order to "not know" what is on the forest. He stated that by not knowing what is out there, not having records, the FS finds it much easier to crank out large timber sales in OG, Roadless, or anywhere they like.

    IS the forest service intentionally failing to monitor? Where did such an insidious plot originate from??

    Feedback: source of insidious plot

    Re: Question: Management Indicator Species--The Forest Service intentionally fails to monitor (bodhi)
    Date: Fri, 01 Nov 2002 19:59:51 GMT
    From: Bruce <unknown>

    I suspect the "insidious plot" originated in your friend's overactive imagination.

    The unfortunate reality is that funds for monitoring are scarcer and scarcer. That goes for monitoring of wildlife, water quality, timber, plants, etc. Thus, a fair amount of monitoring does not consist of formalized, recorded surveys. Monitoring more and more includes observations and comparisons with expectations derived from scientific literature, experience, and some sampling.

    If your friend is really concerned about a lack of monitoring, I'm sure the local Forest Service office would welcome his/her volunteer time to work with agency specialists to develop and implement monitoring for MIS.

    Note: Forest Service chose where to allocate funds

    Re: Feedback: source of insidious plot (Bruce)
    Date: Mon, 04 Nov 2002 20:43:48 GMT
    From: Dave--Dixie NF <unknown>

    While it is true that the forest service has seen many funding cuts, I believe that it has chosen to not monitor by taking money away from those programs. We could have axed development or other projects to maintain a current status and trend of MIS species on the forest.

    At the same time, funding shortages make a fine excuse for projects to proceed without monitoring data. It seems that the FS has diverted most funding to development projects while forgetting its responsibilities to the land.

    The FS makes excuses about money all time to justify shortcomings. Somewhere in the past 30 years the FS has become inept at lobbying congress, with budgets shrinking they can only blame themselves for the whole problem. The republican congress and the "Contract with America" is also partly to blame as it has starved the budgets of the FS. The FS has also admitted (Bosworth) to misusing funds and cannot account for significant amounts of cash from congress. All part of a screwed bureaucracy with multiple motives.

    I doubt that the monitoring problem is "insidious", yet there is undoubtedly a dislike of carrying out projects correctly under NEPA. More emphasis is placed on the development such as "getting out the cut" than on how the FS is impacting wildlife populations. It is this reason that we are so vulnerable on monitoring cases, we don't like to do it, and see it as an impediment to "progress". Monitoring wildlife, and thus knowing what is on the ground, is not profitable, in fact it is very time consuming and expensive.

    So, while not "an insidious plot", I believe that the FS has knowingly avoided monitoring as it greases the skids for timber sales and other development projects, and it saves considerable sums of money.


    More: This is fun!

    Re: Note: Forest Service chose where to allocate funds (Dave--Dixie NF)
    Date: Tue, 05 Nov 2002 17:52:38 GMT
    From: Bruce <unknown>

    It would be interesting to shut down the campgrounds, stop road maintenance, stop reforestation, stop range reclaimation, stop watershed rehabilitation, etc so there would be more money to monitor MIS. Of course, we would then not be able to monitor campgrounds for safety and user impacts, road sediment delivery to streams, reforestation as required by NFMA, vegetative changes affecting MIS, or anything else. That's why forests tend to spread out the money so every resource has some, but none have all they want or need. Ya gotta do the best you can with what you have. It's been like that for years.

    I blame the Democrat-controlled senate, which has chosen not to even vote on any significant legislation for the past half-year.

    So the Forest Service hasn't effectively lobbied congress. I'm pretty sure that is illegal. The FS probably has not effectively communicated to congress the trade-offs associated with different budget levels, but the FS is small potatoes in terms of everyone else demanding money. The FS has mushroomed in terms of number of employees and budget, while the outputs are only a fraction of what they were 20 years ago. What sort of track record is that showing congress?

    Actually, timber sales and other development would be considerably cheaper if there was enough monitoring to know everything about everything. But there isn't. People monitor what they can with what they have, make inferences and educated predictions, which makes for lots of expensive analysis.

    Disagree: Not fun if you are say, a pileated woodpecker.

    Re: More: This is fun! (Bruce)
    Date: Mon, 11 Nov 2002 18:58:39 GMT
    From: <dave>

    <<Spreading the money around>>. Who determines where the money is spread? This a very corruptible process that is failing. MIS monitoring is non-existent on many forests. The absence of this data leads to consequences that the FS is unwilling to evaluate. If we are spreading the money around, I find it is often stopped short of wildlife monitoring. This monitoring simply creates more and more paperwork that leads to more trouble in the NEPA process. If there is no monitoring, thus no evidence of declining wildlife species on the forest, the NEPA process us thereby streamlined.

    << Ya gotta do the best you can with what you have>> This too is highly corruptible and all to common within the agency. 'We're trying to do our best" this is not good enough.

    Bruce>>>I blame the Democrat-controlled senate, which has chosen not to even vote on any significant legislation for the past half-year. >>> Half-year?? Is that when the problems for the agency began, during the summer? Doubtful.

    The FS has a horrible track record with Congress, indeed. This will be the final downfall. Bosworth is no help here. Who are the accountants anyhow?

    <<People monitor what they can with what they have>>

    This process is failing.

    I don't have the answers, but I do like the discussion. A democratice senate has absolutely nothing to do with the problem. So the agency is overstaffed, I suppose this means all the biologists will be fired and laid off. My idea would be to gut all the middle managment in the agency...lean up. If you are not on the ground, you are gone. Too many people pushing around paper in the agency, and then whining about all of the paper.

    Republicans have never been a friend to the FS, and will continue to destroy the agency. There will be little or no money coming in for the next two years.


    Feedback: MIS, an unworkable assignment

    Re: Question: Management Indicator Species--The Forest Service intentionally fails to monitor (bodhi)
    Date: Fri, 12 Nov 2004 18:49:09 GMT
    From: Steve Funk <>

    The MIS rule is not actually a part of the NFMA legislation, but was added by the Forest Service in the l982 rule-making process. I've been to a couple of workshops on the subject, and I have yet to find one biologist or ecologist that thinks we can really monitor population trends of these species. We have spent untold millions, maybe billions, monitoring the northern spotted owl, a species which has a low population and is easy to spot because of its distinctive call. Yet we still don't have a really clear idea what the trends are. With MIS, we are typically dealing with hard to locate species which are widely distributed over public and non-public lands, and which have natural cycles of abundance and scarcity which are not well understood. The MIS regulation was a classic example of an agency shooting itself in the foot. MIS was dropped, in the l995 revision of the planning rule, which was rejected by undersecretary Lyons as not being green enough. It was dropped in the 2,000 planning regulations, which were rejected by the Bush administration as too green. It was dropped in the 2,002 revision of the planning regulations. Not only are the MIS surveys impossible to eliminate, but most biologists believe that you can not really determine the health of an entire guild by monitoring one example of that guild.

    Question: Untitled

    Re: : Use of the National Forests in the 21st Century (Mark Garland)
    Date: Wed, 30 Oct 2002 03:29:52 GMT
    From: <unknown>

    What is the number for sustainable harvest? 50 mmbf per year across the whole FS????

    Feedback: definition of sustainable

    Re: Question: Untitled
    Keywords: sustainability, timber harvest
    Date: Sun, 22 Dec 2002 16:49:49 GMT
    From: Tim <unknown>

    It seems different people with different desires for the land have different definitions of sustainability. To me, sustainability implies some type of use or extraction. To others, such as a forest preservation activist sustainability means existence of late successional species and T & E species such as pine martens, fishers, spotted owls, marbled murrelets, and lynx.

    So, I guess what type of sustainability? Straight-forward, classical sustainability is non-declining flow in the volume of material produced.

    I think the USFS coud atleast double the amount of board feet currently produced, and it'd still be sustainable. But, if such a harvest level were implemented some T & E species would be negatively affected in some areas.

    Feedback: sustainability numbers

    Re: Feedback: definition of sustainable (Tim )
    Keywords: sustainability, timber harvest
    Date: Fri, 12 Nov 2004 18:59:32 GMT
    From: Steve Funk <>

    In the pacific northwest national forests, the current sustainable target is about 600-700 MMBF/year. This is under the northwest forest plan, designed to conserve all riparian and old-growth dependent species. Prior to l988, the estimate of sustained yield in these national forests was 4,000-5,000 MMBF/year. I don't know offhand what the number is for the entire national forest system.

    News: New NFMA Planning Rule and President's Healthy Forests Initiative

    Re: : Use of the National Forests in the 21st Century (Mark Garland)
    Keywords: National, Forests, Initiatives, Rules
    Date: Tue, 17 Dec 2002 23:38:57 GMT
    From: Moderator <>

    On December 6, 2002 the Forest Service unveiled a "proposed rule" to make changes to the November 9, 2000 National Forest Land and Resource Management Planning Rule. You can find it at

    On December 11, 2002 Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman, Interior Secretary Gale A. Norton, and Council on Environmental Quality Chairman James L. Connaughton, briefed President Bush on the status of proposals to improve results in reducing the risks of catastrophic wildfires to communities and the environment as called for in the "President's Healthy Forests Initiative." You can find it at

    News: Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Lifts Injunction on "Roadless Rule"

    Re: : Use of the National Forests in the 21st Century (Mark Garland)
    Keywords: National, Forests, Roadless, Rule,
    Date: Tue, 17 Dec 2002 23:57:15 GMT
    From: Moderator <>

    On December 12, 2002 a three judge panel from the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit "reversed and remanded" a injunction on the Forest Service's Jan 5, 2001 "Roadless Rule." The injunction itself stemmed from a decision in the United States Disrict Court for the District of Idaho on May 10, 2001.

    A two-judge majority issued the "reverse and remand" order in 55 page opinion that can be found on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Website at Note: look under "Opinions" for "Kootenai Tribe v. Idaho Conservation." One judge offered a minority opinion "concurring in part and dissenting in part."

    Question: how big does a roadless area have to be to be preserved under the rule?

    Re: News: Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Lifts Injunction on "Roadless Rule" (Moderator)
    Keywords: National, Forests, Roadless, Rule, George Washington, Jefferson, early seral,
    Date: Sun, 22 Dec 2002 17:01:53 GMT
    From: Tim <unknown>

    Off hand (I don't have time to hunt this info. down), does anyone know how many acres a roadless area has to have, in order to be under the roadless area rule?

    It's all relative. I know people who would consider a 500 acre roadless area as deserving preservation.

    The reason I ask is due to the applicability of the roadless rule to George Washington and Jefferson national forests in Virginia and West Virginia. This/these national forests are made up of lots of small roadless areas. If the rule, applies to say roadless areas down to 1000 acres, than the FS won't be able to do much to these national forests (a good thing is some people's eyes). If the rule only applies to roadless areas 30,000 acres and up than these national forests won't really be affected by it.

    I'd like to see some logging on these national forests to address the age class imbalance caused by regrowth of forests after early 20th century logging. There's too much middle-aged forest and not enough young forest and not enough true old-growth. I'd like to see the FS in the GW&JNF thin to speed up succession to old-growth and use small, patchy clear-cuts to create young, thick, shrubby areas for early seral game and non-game wildlife.

    None: a very good article on Northwest federal lands logging and the shift to The South

    Re: : Use of the National Forests in the 21st Century (Mark Garland)
    Keywords: future forest conditions, Northwest
    Date: Sun, 22 Dec 2002 17:19:33 GMT
    From: Tim <unknown> is "Northwest logging heads South" from The Oregonian newspaper. It's very good. Mostly facts/research from the USFS Pacific Northwest Research Station on current forest trends and quotes from various experts.

    I don't see the trends in this article as positive things. The forest preservation activists in the Northwest do. They're getting closer and closer to their goal of stopping all logging on all federal lands. That's been displacing harvest to other places but hey, "out of sight, out of mind", right?

    I'm disturbed by the forecast of future forest conditions of "If you're not cutting, you've got 100 million acres of timber that's all going to grow old together. You end up with mostly old timber on public lands and young timber on private land, with not a lot in between."

    From a wildlife diversity perspective, I don't think that trend is good. I'd like to see a variety of forest age classes on federal lands. Also, since many of the young, intensively-managed private timberlands I've seen are not good early seral wildlife habitat due to herbicides, high road densities, and monocultures.

    The trend towards old stands on federal lands is welcome to the forest activists I know. To them, the only good forest, is a old, wild forest. They like young forest a little bit, but only if it's regenerated by a fire or other natural disturbance. To them, management by people (especially commerical)only has negative effects.

    Question: undergrad research....Privitization

    Re: : Use of the National Forests in the 21st Century (Mark Garland)
    Date: Wed, 16 Apr 2003 16:33:24 GMT
    From: Jeremy <>

    Been looking everywhere, and not having any luck. Im looking for a cost comparison for current expeditures/ Vs. Privitization.

    Please send any info to

    Has anyone seen any graphs or charts?

    thanks in advance!

    Feedback: Complexity Often Not Reducible to Numbers

    Re: Question: undergrad research....Privitization (Jeremy)
    Date: Wed, 23 Apr 2003 22:11:56 GMT
    From: Dave Iverson <>

    The problem you frame is a very complex and politically wicked one, not directly reducible to numbers. You are talking about very different institutional arrangements that can't be cross-compared direclty.

    The closest I've ever come to dealing with the issues is in my critique of Robert Nelson's book Public Lands, Private Rights at

    Feedback: no numbers available

    Re: Question: undergrad research....Privitization (Jeremy)
    Date: Fri, 16 Jan 2004 04:23:52 GMT
    From: Antoine Meriwether <AntoineMeriwether>

    I don't think there are any numbers available for the question I think you're answering. I don't think that is possible because there hasn't been any widescale privatization of public lands since the 1800s (Thank God!). And that wasn't really privatization. That was more like taking from Indians and giving to settlers and others.

    Are you doing some type of pro-con/libertarian/socialist/ political economy paper?

    In general, you could look at the difference between Maine (which mostly private) and Nevada (which is largely federally-owned).

    Angry: Adventure Pass Debacle

    Re: : Use of the National Forests in the 21st Century (Mark Garland)
    Keywords: Adventure Pass
    Date: Tue, 23 Mar 2004 19:42:40 GMT
    From: John Karevoll <>

    	The Forest Service estimated that "Adventure Pass" compliance is at 62% in the LA Times 3/16/2004.
    	Yeah. Right. I live in Running Springs and maybe one of twenty vehicles parked by the forest "display an Adventure Pass" as they're supposed to. Tops.
    	According to the article the Forest Service has written 250,000 citations, and around 70% pay? I keep track of these things and I can count on my fingers the number of instances where the Forest Service has done any further enforcing beyond writing the citation. Robert Bartch probably ticked them off because he informs fellow forest visitors about how stupid it is to buy the pass. I've got some of those 75,000 citations pinned to my bulletin board here, and I would love it if the Forest Service tried to collect.
    	The Forest Service is holding its breath with this soft enforcement, hoping to keep protest down. Enraged citizens who are criminalized for visiting public lands should contact congress and ask that this "experiment" be killed off.

    John Karevoll Running Springs

    Angry: ATV's FOREVER!!!!!

    Re: : Use of the National Forests in the 21st Century (Mark Garland)
    Date: Tue, 11 May 2004 12:35:37 GMT
    From: Aj <>

    I have been riding sence 1980 & don't plan to stop. Ya close down the woods & we will ride on your golf corse. Tell ya what! I will trade the woods for your golf corse! Deal?? Just let me know!!! A-HOLE!!!

    Disagree: very eloquent

    Re: Angry: ATV's FOREVER!!!!! (Aj)
    Date: Sun, 06 Feb 2005 00:06:45 GMT
    From: pete <>

    people will take your point much more seriously if you do not resort to name calling. it is the tell tale sign of an uneducated point of view.

    Sad: ATV's Impede Motorcycle Recreation

    Re: Angry: ATV's FOREVER!!!!! (Aj)
    Date: Tue, 10 May 2005 02:48:34 GMT
    From: <unknown>

    Please stop blocking the trails.

    Thank you.

    Idea: Forest Policy - Forest Practice Web-log

    Re: : Use of the National Forests in the 21st Century (Mark Garland)
    Date: Mon, 25 Apr 2005 20:31:25 GMT
    From: Dave Iverson <>

    Forest Policy - Forest Practice, at

    Add message to: "Use of the National Forests in the 21st Century"

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