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MCaver
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PostFri Jan 11, 2002 12:55 am 
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Chris has mentioned in several posts before about not liking the practice of declaring land an official Wilderness Area to protect it (paraphrasing, please forgive me if I'm slightly general here), and it got me thinking about the different designations for federal land and what it means.

It seems to me, if my knowledge is correct, that there aren't many other choices. National Forests are open to logging and mining (a practice I dislike, but won't get into here), as are National Recretation Areas. National Parks are protected, but generally come with a lot of costly infrastructure such as roads and visitors centers. National Monuments are generally declared around unique land features (although they have been used before to protect an area from development and/or commerical activities). Wilderness Areas seem to be to only designation that protects an area from commercial interests without creating costly infrastructure. Do we need an intermediary designation, such as National Protected Area, that protects against commercial interests and development without restricting access? Maybe more National Parks with few facilities, like North Cascades, should be made?  There are areas currently in National Forests that have their days numbered (White Chuck!) which don't really fit into the categories. For me, protecting these areas is a priority, but certainly not at the expense of recreation and access. But there seems no middle ground in the current designations.

Thoughts?
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MtnGoat
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PostFri Jan 11, 2002 10:41 am 
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"Chris has mentioned in several posts before about not liking the practice of declaring land an official Wilderness Area to protect it "

I don't have a problem with it when it's used in the proper circumstances, which to me, are unroaded areas where wholesale protection is not changing the access status of the area for normal citizens, and where the nature of the land status is such that no sign of disruption is present.

I just think there should be an intermediate status to protect areas that have had usage in the past without reducing access. Some kind of logging ban would be the approach I'd suggest, where access is preserved but commercial utilization in terms of logging is ceased. That way you protect the forest and still allow many recreation uses.

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Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock. - Will Rogers
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Backpacker Joe
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PostFri Jan 11, 2002 12:03 pm 
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Mr. Goat said that very well.  

tongue.gif  tongue.gif  tongue.gif  tongue.gif  tongue.gif  tongue.gif  tongue.gif

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"If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide."

— Abraham Lincoln
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Sore Feet
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PostFri Jan 11, 2002 12:47 pm 
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If the forest service wanted to protect an area, or rather if the people complain enough at the government so they make the forest service protect an area, it can be made a National Monument.  St. Helens NVM is administered by the FS, by as Mike said previously, it is rather unique.  

HOWEVER, the recently established Siskyou National Monument in southern Oregon, does not encompass anything too spectacular.  There are apparently some rare plants and trees, but aside from that, the land is more or less a wilderness without the wilderness restrictions (like no roads).  

I would bet that one day in the future (not necessarily soon though), we'll see a very large chunk of the Cascades (between Rainier and the Canada border at least) protected by a Park or Monument.

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MtnGoat
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PostFri Jan 11, 2002 12:50 pm 
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The Monument designation also comes with all kinds of management and access baggage. I'm wondering why there isn't an action that simply prevents logging without adding all kinds of other caveats that cause access problems.

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Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock. - Will Rogers
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Allison
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PostFri Jan 11, 2002 1:22 pm 
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"I'd love to see a new designation of FS land, something with a level of protection between wilderness and non-wilderness where development is prohibited beyond what is there (roads), trees are protected from being logged, but where road and trail maintenance can involve the use of power tools. I call this concoction of mine "Wilderness buffer" zone. In order to further this idea, no existing wildenress could turn into one of those, and Wilderness buffers would probably have to be adjacent to Wilderness areas. This designation would get a lot of play in our state, the Sky area and a lot of the MFk could benefit from it. Does anyone know if this has ever been considered? Or did Big Timber have a cow?"

The above is a quote of mine from the "proposed Sky Wilderness" thread. 'Member, guys, we've talked about this. We need another designation that allows for mixed, non-extractive or commercial uses and roads. I might talk to the lobbyist over at WTA to see if this has been considered and if so why it's never been legislated into existance.

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MtnGoat
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PostFri Jan 11, 2002 2:35 pm 
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I'll tell ya why. Any form of protection that does not involve locking out users who aren't hikers isn't of interest to them. Any designation that would still allow non foot access dilutes their core focus, and would allow an option that does not jive with what they consider acceptable protection to become usable. With a designation like that, they wouldn't be able to push for all or nothing "preservation" acts. If a logging only ban gets implemented where they favor booting everyone but foot traffic, that hurts their agenda.

IMO, they intentionally use the tension between "saving" the wilderness and "destroying it" as they (and others) often present the situations, in order to create the impression that only their restrictive bills do any good. They benefit from the black and white situation currently present in predefined management acts by casting restrictions on commercial *and* recreational activity as the only acceptable course.

I predict this kind of bill would be decried as compromising preservation, as a hidden way to keep from protection forests (when compared to what they want,) and all kinds of other hoo haa. The problem is, compromising overly restrictive acts is exactly what is needed if you don't belong to their one core constituency.

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Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock. - Will Rogers
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MtnGoat
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PostFri Jan 11, 2002 3:40 pm 
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"Chris, this is wone of the most frustrating things about land use issues. People and companies and eveyone else (I am generalizing) have a hard time seeing shades of grey. We need to see shades of grey when it comes to land use issues."

That's a big problem. The MFK thread is a good example. Because I support keeping a dirt road open, I'm accused of being against wilderness, for destruction and visitors centers, and in favor of dumping old washing machines in the woods. No grey. Hikers only: Good. anyone else: bad, or worse.

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Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock. - Will Rogers
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Brian Curtis
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PostFri Jan 11, 2002 4:05 pm 
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Is that really all you got out of that thread, Chris? Some people felt that your position would lead to some of those things but I never heard anyone who said they thought you were in favor of them. OTOH, you have neatly taken everyone else's arguments and reduced them down to a simple (and incorrect) summary of hikers good, everyone else bad.

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MtnGoat
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PostFri Jan 11, 2002 4:55 pm 
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"Some people felt that your position would lead to some of those things but I never heard anyone who said they thought you were in favor of them. "

Given the nature of the comments, it was hard for me to come away with another take. No, no one directly accused me, it was repeated enough in enough ways to have a strong undercurrent of those sentiments.

I ceased posting in that thread precisely because of that, and because of my frustration with people I like, and respect, who are the very ones who will, for all practical purposes, end my visits to my favorite places in that location.

I spend considerable time back there, but since I am limited to maybe one long trip a year, if the closure takes place, my best and favorite place to while away a few hours fishing after work, spend time at a fav camp below Crawford with my wife and daughter every year, will all come to an end. Those places become out of reach for them, and only in reach for me by using my limited long trip opportunities to go only there.

I practically grew up on that portion of river and now it's possible I'll see it once a year at *best*. Having people take away regular visits to a place you love is a pretty freaking bitter pill to swallow. I'm just supposed to smile and eat the loss of access. That's fine in theory.

If that's colored my commentary on the issue, I plead guilty as charged. I'm sure lots of other folks like it back there just as much as I do, and I'm sure some of them support the closure. That's fine, we have a difference of opinion. It doesn't, however, make me feel even the slightest bit better about seeing Burntboot above my fave hole maybe once a year while these same people stand in my way.

"you have neatly taken everyone else's arguments and reduced them down to a simple (and incorrect) summary of hikers good, everyone else bad. "

Perhaps I am guilty of reductionism, but the hard fact also remains, that in the end, the result is *exactly* what my reduction results in. Hikers only, all others users go spin. Find somewhere else to go, we'll be coming there to kick you out later. Is my frustration evident?

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Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock. - Will Rogers
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Brian Curtis
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PostFri Jan 11, 2002 6:27 pm 
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I can assure you that I never had any such thoughts about you. During the whole conversation I never thought you meant anything except what you said. I also never realized how personally frustrated the conversation would make you. You obviously love that area and I can understand why you would fight tooth and nail to retain easy access up there.

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that elitist from silverdale wanted to tell me that all carnes are bad--Studebaker Hoch
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MtnGoat
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PostFri Jan 11, 2002 6:39 pm 
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I appreciate that and don't want to appear as if I have animosity for folks because we don't agree on this issue. I like this forum a lot and the people here, but this particular issue hits too close to home for me to be as objective as I'd like to be.

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Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock. - Will Rogers
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Stefan
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PostFri Jan 11, 2002 6:47 pm 
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All the land about 10 meters away from any road in a particular area should be designated wilderness.  Leave the roads under county control/or forest service control and do not include them in any official wilderness boundary.

That fixes the problem!  Man, I should be politician.

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polarbear
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PostFri Jan 11, 2002 11:04 pm 
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A politician, though, would define the wilderness as 10 *vertical* meters from the road so the rest could be logged.  Take a look at this...

http://www.wildmontana.org/asarco.htm  

confused.gif

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McPilchuck
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PostSat Jan 12, 2002 1:34 am 
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I wish I had an answer to all this, but I don't.  Stefan may be onto something.  In fact I think some of the Sky Wilderness Proposal does just that...allows road access with preservation around them, but don't quote me on that as it's been a bit since I looked at the mapping proposal.

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