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altasnob
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PostTue Jul 28, 2020 10:40 pm 
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RodF wrote:
My concern is "Wild Olympics" will also forestall stewardship of 45,000 additional acres which are not roadless areas.

Where again do you get the Wild Olympics proposal includes 45,000 acres that has roads and needs to be thinned and roads decommissioned? I see in 2012 you mentioned 50,000 and now you use 45,000 acres. I also see on Wild Olympics' page:

"Creates 126,661 acres of new Wilderness in Olympic National Forest."

and

"Creates potential for additional 5,346 acres to become Wilderness (Potential Wilderness) if Forest Service completes restoration under current management plans."

I assume this 5,346 acres are lands like you mentioned that are not today suitable for wilderness because they need to be thinned and roads decommissioned. So looks like Wild Olympics dropped some lands from their original proposal for the exact reasons you mentioned.

So of the 126,661 acres you state 80,000 acres of those are road less and meet the criteria for wilderness. Just wondering where you get 80,000 acres? I added up all the most updated, roadless areas from appendix C in the FEIS and got 85,807 total roadless acres. So I assume that means 85,807 acres of the 126,661 acres proposed as wilderness by Wild Olympics are roadless, do not need to be thinned, and do not require roads to be decommissioned.

If you want to see where I got the 85,807 acre number see page 224 of this document:

https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fsbdev3_049474.pdf

If 85,807 acres of the 126,661 acres proposed are roadless, that leaves only 40,854 acres having roads. Not all of these 40,854 acres have been clear cut. In 2012, you mentioned 12,400 acres have been clear cut.

So to get to my point, it appears the vast majority of the 126,661 acres of proposed wilderness are suitable as wilderness and are not  "doghair stands of pecker poles" as Ski describes. Sure, maybe not all the lands proposed as wilderness should have been included, but it appears most of the lands are prime candidates for wilderness. When it takes decades for any wilderness to be created, I am ok with overshooting a bit.

I am curious about where specifically the lands RodF argues are not suitable for wilderness are. You can read the exact language of the act on page 246 of this document:

https://www.congress.gov/116/crec/2020/07/20/CREC-2020-07-20-pt1-PgH3114-2.pdf

It lists the specific acres included in each wilderness unit but does not describe the acres by roadless/not roadless. The map I posted does not answer my question either. Wild Olympics says no roads will be closed so I assume today, one cannot not drive through these wilderness areas that have been previously logged with roads now closed.
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Ski
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PostTue Jul 28, 2020 10:48 pm 
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altasnob wrote:
"...the vast majority of the 126,661 acres of proposed wilderness are suitable as wilderness and are not  "doghair stands of pecker poles" as Ski describes..."

FALSE.

that is not at all what I said, counselor

again, you attempt to put words in my mouth.

FAIL

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altasnob
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PostWed Jul 29, 2020 8:10 am 
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The strongest argument from those who oppose the wilderness seems to be that some of the lands have been logged and need to be thinned, roads decommissioned, so that they can regain old growth characteristics as soon as possible.

My counter argument is that 85,807 acres of the 126,661 total acres are roadless. So the argument above does not apply to them.

So what about the remaining 40,854 acres? In a perfect world, where the forest service was fully funded, stands would be thinned (but not sold) and left to decompose. Roads that the forest service wished to permanently close would be decommissioned. But as Kim Brown has pointed out, the forest service has had years to do this and has not acted. This could be lack of funding, but I don't see that changing anytime in the future. So the low cost alternative is to place them in wilderness status where eventually, they will regain old growth characteristics.

And again, I am trying to deduce the actual state of these 40,854 acres. These acres have roads through them. But Wild Olympics says no roads will be closed so the roads that exist today on these 40,854 acres are not roads that the Forest Service wants to decommission. These roads will continue to be maintained and are not actually in the proposed wilderness areas (there is a 200-500 setback from any existing road). I don't know the status of the forests in these 40,854 acres. I assume they have been logged, and RodF states 12,400 have been clear cut logged (not sure where he gets that). Do these forests have any old growth characteristics today? If left undisturbed, when will they regain old growth characteristics? If I can identify these specific areas we are talking about, we can make a list or roads that will be surrounded by wilderness if the Wild Olympics proposal passes, and trails that will be included. Then people can travel out to these areas and see for themselves the state of the forests.

My overall point is the argument against Wild Olympics only applies to a small percentage of the proposed lands. I am trying to deduce just how small of a percentage.
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Kim Brown
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PostWed Jul 29, 2020 8:56 am 
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Ski wrote:
(There is still, as Rod mentions, the issue of decommissioning roads and removing culverts, which won't happen under the "Wild Olympics" plan. Dumb, dumb, and more dumb. Leaving old plugged-up culverts in place is a recipe for disaster, which you should know all about.)

So how about contacting the advocate organizations to suggest they include that in the plan while they're pushing for wilderness. Because, as I mentioned, wilderness will be signed into law someday. You know it, I know it.

Might as well get those culverts out.

The USFS will hate that, but they should do it regardless of whether wilderness is hanging over them; wilderness is actually a great cost to them for these reasons. (signs, road decommissioning, public processes, studies).

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PostWed Jul 29, 2020 9:03 am 
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Good question Kim, but now you're getting into the finer points of the proposal, with which I am not completely conversant. Maybe Rod might know the "why" on that one.

If I had to make a wild guess on this, I'd say that the hurdle on getting the thinning done would have been money (just as it was on that USFS land adjacent to Yosemite NP that went up in flames several years back.)
And that last part is one of the things that concerns me: leaving these stands in their present state is asking for trouble down the road - either from catastrophic wildfire, or from some pathogen or infestation taking out the entire stand and creating a potential hazard to NPS lands in the immediate proximity (as happened on that Yosemite incident.)

The "recreation of old-growth characteristics" won't affect me personally (or any of us here) because the end results wont be seen until long after we're all long gone.
However, considering we are currently experiencing changes in climate and weather patterns, we simply don't have millenia for those changes to take place.

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RodF
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PostSat Aug 01, 2020 3:19 pm 
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altasnob wrote:
I added up all the most updated, roadless areas from appendix C in the FEIS and got 85,807 total roadless acres. So I assume that means 85,807 acres of the 126,661 acres proposed as wilderness by Wild Olympics are roadless, do not need to be thinned, and do not require roads to be decommissioned.

Correct!  Thank you.

altasnob wrote:
If 85,807 acres of the 126,661 acres proposed are roadless, that leaves only 40,854 acres having roads. Not all of these 40,854 acres have been clear cut. In 2012, you mentioned 12,400 acres have been clear cut.

Correct, that's USFS' estimate from their land use map (but may be off by hundreds of acres, as "gyppo" logging companies often cut beyond the boundaries of their contracted harvest units in earlier years).

altasnob wrote:
So to get to my point, it appears the vast majority of the 126,661 acres of proposed wilderness are suitable as wilderness

I'm confident that most, and perhaps all, of the 85,807 acres of inventoried roadless areas, if studied in the next Forest Plan as required under the 1984 Washington State Wilderness Act, would be recommended for wilderness designation.  85,507/126,661 = 68% is a majority.

altasnob wrote:
Wild Olympics says no roads will be closed so I assume today, one cannot not drive through these wilderness areas that have been previously logged with roads now closed.

Correct, passage of the "Wild Olympics" bill would not close any roads which are now open.

However, please realize not all of the closed roads have actually been decommissioned.  Some have simply been abandoned or "placed in storage", with culverts in place.  These culverts become blocked or rust out and collapse.  This can result in washouts or block natural flows into wetlands and may possibly block fish migration.

Please realize there are also hundreds of miles of uninventoried roads within Olympic NF.  They appear on no map, but they're there!  Some are just skid paths, but many were permanent roads with culverts, many of which have failed.

altasnob wrote:
If I can identify these specific areas we are talking about, we can make a list or roads that will be surrounded by wilderness if the Wild Olympics proposal passes

I tried to do this for you; please see the "Appendix: Roads" in the original posting in this thread.

altasnob wrote:
But Wild Olympics says no roads will be closed...

Correct, but...

altasnob wrote:
...so the roads that exist today on these 40,854 acres are not roads that the Forest Service wants to decommission.

...this conclusion does not follow.  The Forest Service very much wants to be given the time to study this as part of the Forest Plan process, to survey these areas, inventory and examine its roads, and determine whether beneficial restoration projects would be practical.  Passage of the "Wild Olympics" bill would summarily foreclose this.

altasnob wrote:
So the low cost alternative is to place them in wilderness status where eventually, they will regain old growth characteristics.

Which do you prefer: the "low cost" alternative or the more environmentally responsible alternative?

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RodF
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PostSat Aug 01, 2020 4:46 pm 
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altasnob wrote:
I am curious about where specifically the lands RodF argues are not suitable for wilderness are...  And again, I am trying to deduce the actual state of these 40,854 acres. These acres have roads through them.

These are excellent questions.  They deserve clear, definitive answers before they are  permanently designated wilderness.  The Forest Plan process will answer these questions... if we give USFS time to do it.  If we're impatient, we should give USFS more resources so Forest Plans can be done in a more timely manner.

These past 3 years has been deeply disheartening to me (and I hope, to many others).  We see ill-considered policies put forth on diplomatic relations, immigration, climate, public health, defense, tax policy, education, etc. based on whims, with little or no prior consideration of the facts nor of their adverse, unintended consequences.  Anyone who points this out is denounced in an emotional and highly partisan manner.  This is no way to run a country.

It is also no way to manage our public lands.  No Forest Plan to answer these questions.  No public hearings on the peninsula, as Sen. Evans held prior to drafting the 1984 Washington State Wilderness Act, to vet any additional concerns before even drafting this legislation.

atlasnob, I have not argued that these 40,854 acres are unsuitable for wilderness designation, only pointing out that we don't know, and there are legitimate environmental concerns, particularly with ~12,400 acres of them which have been logged, which should be addressed prior to their permanent designation.

Wilderness is good!  Wild and Scenic Rivers are good!  This is very much a "feel good" issue.  However, these areas are under no imminent or even foreseeable threat.  Wild Olympics serves no need and has no tangible benefit, only a desire to "feel good".  And it may have unintended adverse consequences.

atlasnob, your questions deserve to be answered before Wild Olympics is drafted, let alone passed.  But they were not.  Instead, it became a political campaign promise to be fulfilled.

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"the wild is not the opposite of cultivated.  It is the opposite of the captivated” - Vandana Shiva
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PostSat Aug 01, 2020 8:00 pm 
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RodF wrote:
"...these areas are under no imminent or even foreseeable threat.  Wild Olympics serves no need and has no tangible benefit, only a desire to "feel good".  And it may have unintended adverse consequences."

^ well put.

thanks Rod.

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treeswarper
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PostThu Aug 13, 2020 9:23 pm 
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Just a bit of clarification about roads.

Decommissioning may include and usually does, removing culverts and fill, and stabilizing the road.  The road is then removed from the system--it is no longer a road.

Closing is different.  Closed system  roads are often considered to be Level 1 maintenance roads.  They may be gated or blocked and not maintained.  But, they are still on the system and can be opened up again if needed.

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