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IdahoHyker
IdahoHyker



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IdahoHyker
PostWed Dec 26, 2018 2:17 pm 
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I would like examples (name, dates, places) of chainsaw use in Wilderness areas by either NPS, BLM, USFS, US Fish and Wildlife service.   For example, Colonel Bob Wilderness, USFS, about 2008. And Pasayten Wilderness, Mthow Valley Rangeer District, about 2017.
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markweth
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PostWed Dec 26, 2018 2:52 pm 
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Olympic National Park, Daniel J. Evans Wilderness, on the trail to Gray Wolf Pass (near Falls campsite, coming from Deer Park Campground), August 2017.
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treeswarper
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Alleged Sockpuppet!
PostWed Dec 26, 2018 4:06 pm 
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Why?

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Pyrites
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PostWed Dec 26, 2018 4:28 pm 
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Treeswarper,

The personal webpage on Idahohyker’s profile seems to answer question.

https://friendsofsevendevils.org


Best.
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Ski
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PostWed Dec 26, 2018 4:37 pm 
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Olympic National Park has been running chainsaws to perform trail maintenance as long as I can remember, and it has insignificant impact on the wilderness.
If the crew is more than about half a mile away, you usually can't hear them.

Maybe the trees in Idaho are skinnier and they don't muffle the sound as well.

With hundreds of miles of trails, limited staff, and limited resources, if the trail maintenance at Olympic National Park wasn't being done with chainsaws it would not be getting done..

So stop whining about the use of chainsaws already - it's not that big a problem. There are much larger issues in the big picture. Focus your resources on something that might really make a difference, like adequate Congressional funding appropriations for National Parks and National Forests.

Going after the low-hanging fruit is lame.

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Jeff
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Ramen Elitist
PostWed Dec 26, 2018 5:08 pm 
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I worked as a ranger in Sequoia (they have really big trees as you might have heard). You can get it done with a misery whip, trust me.
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IdahoHyker
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PostWed Dec 26, 2018 5:13 pm 
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I am an advocate of limited use of chainsaws in Wilderness.  Public Law 114-245 speaks to the need for maintenance when Congress states:  "The lack of maintenance on National Forest System trails threatens access to public lands, and may cause increased environmental damage, threaten public safety, and increase future maintenance costs". The Chief of the USFS states the need for "new solutions" and the time for "bold solutions".

The Wilderness Act itself offers and allows exceptions to the prohibition against motorized use.  The USFS has policy to allow the use of motorized equipment in Wilderness.  I know of a few exceptions allowed.  I wish to find more examples.
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Ski
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PostWed Dec 26, 2018 5:20 pm 
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yeah... "minimum necessary" is the language verbatim, which is open to subjective interpretation.
obviously the Superintendent and Trails Supervisor at Olympic consider the use of the chainsaw the minimum.
how is that a problem?

there is nothing in the Wilderness Act of 1964 which prohibits the use of chainsaws in designated wilderness.

nothing. nada. zip. zero.

certainly trails can be open with old-school hand saws. we could fix our highways with shovels and wheelbarrows and teams of oxen too, if we were to so choose.
if municipal governments would allow it, we could dig holes in our back yards and go back to using outhouses and shut down all the sewage treatment plants.

and shoes. shoes are something we could do without. we could just go barefoot.

yeah.... shoes... I think shoes should be banned. there are just too many shoes.

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"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. 
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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Brian Curtis
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PostWed Dec 26, 2018 8:13 pm 
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Ski wrote:
there is nothing in the Wilderness Act of 1964 which prohibits the use of chainsaws in designated wilderness.

nothing. nada. zip. zero.

Except for the part where the Wilderness Act says that the use motorized equipment is not allowed. Chainsaws certainly qualify as motorized equipment. Of course the issue is not completely black and white. The act says that motorized equipment is banned "...except as necessary to meet minimum requirements for the administration of the area...". And this is why each agency that administers wilderness areas ends up with slightly different interpretations and why they do Minimum Requirement Analysis when evaluating what tools will be used in wilderness areas. The NPS routinely uses helicopters and is more likely to allow chainsaws than is the USFS. I know nothing about how BLM interprets the act on their lands.

Personally I have zero problem with trail crews using chainsaws in wilderness. I think that crews should be able to use the most efficient means possible to clear trails. But that being said, I have spent my fair share of time on the end of a crosscut saw clearing trails in wilderness and I do understand and respect the reasoning the FS uses to decide to use non-motorized saws. For the couple days I spend clearing trails most years I quite enjoy it.

Here is the relevant section of the Wilderness Act:

"PROHIBITION OF CERTAIN USES
(c) Except as specifically provided for in this Act, and subject to existing private rights, there shall be no commercial enterprise and no permanent road within any wilderness area designated by this Act and except as necessary to meet minimum requirements for the administration of the area for the purpose of this Act (including measures required in emergencies involving the health and safety of persons within the area), there shall be no temporary road, no use of motor vehicles, motorized equipment or motorboats, no landing of aircraft, no other form of mechanical transport, and no structure or installation within any such area."

[Note: Ski significantly edited the post I was responding to between the time I originally read the post and posted my response. I will leave my response as originally written]

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DIYSteve
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PostWed Dec 26, 2018 8:27 pm 
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Brian nailed it. The controlling restrictive language is "motorized equipment" and any reasonable interpretation of that term includes a chainsaw. The issue boils down to the language of the exception:
Quote:
.  .  .  except as necessary to meet minimum requirements for the administration of the area for the purpose of this Act (including measures required in emergencies involving the health and safety of persons within the area).  .  .  .

Several FS Districts permit chainsaws to clear large stands of trees downed by wildfire, per a set of strict conditions. AFAICT, those Districts developed rules based on proper findings supported by a competent factual record. IMO, the line has been drawn in a place consistent with the Act.
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Ski
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PostWed Dec 26, 2018 8:28 pm 
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It's this little portion of it that some seem to have a difficult time comprehending:

The US Congress, in the Wilderness Act of 1964 wrote:
"...except as necessary to meet minimum requirements..."

Different agencies interpret it differently. The language of the bill allows them to do that. Why is this such a problem?

I do not see people complaining about the use of chainsaws in wilderness areas trading in their automobiles for horses to get to the trailhead.

I have yet to hear the sound of a chainsaw in the Queets Valley in the 60 years I've hiked up there except for one trip in the early 1990s when they were doing some logging on the north side of the ridge on DNR land. (Letter to the Editor posted on that one in an old WTA "Signpost" magazine.)
And I've been up there lots of times when the trail crews were actively working. Never heard a saw running.

Much ado about nothing.

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"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. 
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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treeswarper
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Alleged Sockpuppet!
PostWed Dec 26, 2018 9:16 pm 
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DIYSteve wrote:
Several FS Districts permit chainsaws for big fire downfall, subject to a set of strict conditions. AFAICT, those Districts developed rules based on proper findings supported by a competent factual record. IMO, the line has been drawn in a place consistent with the Act.

What is big fire downfall?  Never heard that terminology before.  Are you talking about large trees that topple during fires?  Blowdown?  Snags that finally go over?

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catsp
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PostWed Dec 26, 2018 9:29 pm 
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Ski wrote:
Maybe the trees in Idaho are skinnier and they don't muffle the sound as well.

So stop whining about the use of chainsaws already - it's not that big a problem.

Maybe I'm misreading what IdahoHyker is saying, but it looks to me that you are completely misunderstand what he is saying.  Like, polar opposite.
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treeswarper
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Alleged Sockpuppet!
PostWed Dec 26, 2018 9:34 pm 
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Yup.  He/She just seems to be asking for info unless I am missing something.

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catsp
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PostWed Dec 26, 2018 9:36 pm 
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treeswarper wrote:
Yup.  He/She just seems to be asking for info unless I am missing something.

Well, a little more than that. But the point being, as I read it, IdahoHyker is advocating that chainsaw use be permitted, not "whining" about it.
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