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Token Civilian
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PostWed Sep 27, 2017 8:13 am 
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"Fleet in being".

Look up the concept.

Same applies to lawfare.

Even if you never actually file a suit, you can impose massive costs and delays on your adversary.

Since lawyers are big on hypothetical's, lets do one to illustrate:

I hate logging in all its form.  I run an enviro group, "Fluffy Forest Baby Bunny and Tree Lovers" (FFBBTL) that paradoxically is based in a building framed with timber, but I digress.  Anyways, there is a proposed commercial thinning timber sale on the Billy-Bob Redneck Ranger District in the MAGA National Forest that I want to stop, since I can feel the souls of the trees dying as they're cut (never mind that I can't feel them burn since that is "natural", and this commercial thinning is part of a larger fuels reduction program to make the MAGA National Forest more fire resistant).

Anyways, my smart guy lawyer at FFBBTL gets in there and reviews the documents on the proposed sale.  I find 4 or 5 issues.  Mind you, they're not substantive like where they'd be willfully cutting endangered amoeba habitat, but where a form isn't filled out completely right (signed by the assistant sub-olgoist, not by the chief assistant sub-ologist), or some other such trivial matter that wouldn't affect the outcome (nitpicky things that engineers call "being in the noise").  Now, I can start my lawfare.

Remember, my goal is to stop this by any means.

So, I complain that the whole ologist study that showed this sale is compliant has to be thrown out and redone since it was signed by the assistant sub-ologist instead of the chief assistant sub-ologist.  How can the results be trusted, after all, the wrong guy signed the form?  Never mind that the actual work was done by the grunt to the assistant sub-ologist and that work or the results of that work won't change one iota regardless of who signs the form that it was done, the whole thing is "contaminated" and needs to be redone from scratch.  Regulation 867, section 5309 says that only the Chief Assistant Sub-Ologist can sign the form (even though the Chief was out on medical leave and the Assistant was the acting Chief during that time, but that isn't covered in the regulation).  I pound the table, gripe and complain and threaten to file suit if it's not redone.  Since the Billy-Bob Redneck Ranger District needs this project done ASAP before too many fire seasons roll around, they agree to redo the analysis.  (The head dudes of the BBR Ranger District fire division and the forester's agree that this part of the forest is really suffering from the years and years of fire supression efforts that have lead it to be choked with dense stands and tons of litter.)  After all, redoing the analysis is faster and cheaper than defending the suit.  3 months pass by (laugh, I know, nothing happens this fast) and now they make sure the Chief Assistant Sub-Ologist signs the report that all is well with the sale.

Win for me....I've delayed the sale and imposed costs for a trivial paperwork issue that didn't change the final results.  I never actually had to file a suit either.

Now I go back to the other list of trivial things I've found and trot them out, one by one, dragging things out as long as I can.  I also nit-pick the crap out of the rework and manage to get some of that done a third time.  Wash, rinse, repeat.....

And while the 4th trivial thing I've griped about is being redone, 3 years and 3 summers later, the forest barks like a dog....WOOF, WOOF, WOOF.  That being the sound as each of those trees bursts into flames as the lightening started fire climbs the ladder fuels this thinning operation was going to address, into a crown fire, which races from one top to the next in the tightly packed, stressed forest due to too thick of stands.  The Billy-Bob Redneck Ranger District in the MAGA National Forest drops the timber sale, since it's now kind of moot.

As I survey the charred wreckage of the forest, I cheer at the Fluffy Forest Baby Bunny and Tree Lovers Enviro group & put out a press release on how I stopped that evil logging operation.
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RodF
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PostFri Sep 29, 2017 9:46 am 
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Administrator Tom, NWhikers is missing a "Like!" button I can click on postings offering exceptional entertainment value!

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treeswarper
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PostSat Sep 30, 2017 5:24 am 
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RodF wrote:
Administrator Tom, NWhikers is missing a "Like!" button I can click on postings offering exceptional entertainment value!

And a well explained example of what has happened.

To the question of "how has the GP Task Force been running the forest if they only filed one law suit?"

Merely the threat of a law suit has influenced projects.  Managers have to plan according to what will be deemed acceptable.  The "Partners" also have input but local folks who participate have said that the Task Force folks rule what goes on and it sure seems that way.  Planners must try to come up with a plan that will pass muster (not likely  to be appealed or go to court) rather that what would really benefit the land  and just maybe, the community also.

The recent timber sale put up for bid on the Cowlitz Valley RD did not get any bids.

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RandyHiker
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PostSat Sep 30, 2017 8:01 am 
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treeswarper wrote:
The recent timber sale put up for bid on the Cowlitz Valley RD did not get any bids.

That part seems a bit non-sequitur with the earlier part of your post.   Was it that complying with all the bid requirements that the USFS was including to avoid lawsuits made the timber sale not worth bidding on at the minimum price?
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treeswarper
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PostSat Sep 30, 2017 9:02 am 
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Could be.  I believe it had quite a bit of helicopter ground.  Helicopter is very spendy and requires the volume per acre (I don't know what that is now) large enough to make any money.  It's that evil thing again--somebody needs to make a profit.

However, the timber cruise volume of the FS may have differed from that of a non FS cruise enough so that the potential buyers doubted the figures of the sale--also making it uneconomical for them.

There's a couple reasons fer ya.

Putting up a sale  in the past 20 years seems to be a case of "how many requirements can we throw in and still sell timber?"  In this case, they may have gone too far.

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Humptulips
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PostSat Sep 30, 2017 9:08 am 
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RandyHiker wrote:
treeswarper wrote:
The recent timber sale put up for bid on the Cowlitz Valley RD did not get any bids.

That part seems a bit non-sequitur with the earlier part of your post.   Was it that complying with all the bid requirements that the USFS was including to avoid lawsuits made the timber sale not worth bidding on at the minimum price?

I don't know a thing about this sale but I can tell you that on the ONF including a lot of helicopter logging in a sale kills it.  It is not profitable to helicopter log even if the timber is gifted.
I know one guy thinning on ONF land that just lets the helicopter portions of his units go back. Not sure what long term repercussions will come to him from that but it would break him to log them.
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Ski
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PostSat Sep 30, 2017 9:09 am 
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Token Civilian wrote:
""Fleet in being"......... (and all the rest)..."

hey, somebody who actually gets it! up.gif

treeswarper wrote:
The recent timber sale put up for bid on the Cowlitz Valley RD did not get any bids.

^ That's happened many many times during the last 25 years up on the Cowlitz Valley (formerly Randle) Ranger District.

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drm
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PostSat Sep 30, 2017 9:27 am 
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Well the idea that the filing of only one lawsuit somehow intimidated everybody and resulted in that group running the show, aside from striking me as kind of laughable, hardly fits the story line of flagrant lawsuits with no chance of winning delaying things for valid activities. If one lawsuit could do all that, then I'm inclined to believe that the activities being intimidated probably didn't follow the rules and should have been intimidated.
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drm
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PostSat Sep 30, 2017 10:13 am 
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So we've got one lawsuit and a fictional dialog that some of you think is true and humorous. Meanwhile I've seen a number of cuts in the Gifford Pinchot in recent years on the lower slopes of Mt Adams on roads I drive to get to hikes, like on the 80 and the 8225. Yes, we can all believe what we want, but the evidence I have seen is that timber sales continue to go through.
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