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Ski
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PostWed Dec 26, 2018 9:45 pm 
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groovy. up.gif

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Logbear
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PostWed Dec 26, 2018 9:58 pm 
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http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5370647.pdf
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RandyHiker
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PostWed Dec 26, 2018 10:28 pm 
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Seems like there is a ton of confusion on this issue.

Chainsaws and various other forms of motorized tools are allowed under the wilderness act.  But use of motorized equipment isn't carte blanche, but subject to "minimum tools" analysis and paper work and approval by some higher level forest service administrator.

It seems that some desire a less restrictive regulation of chainsaws where their usage is more generally approved,  rather that requiring case by case analysis, justification and approval.

I think this would likely be permissible under the wilderness act, but any such change is the regulatory framework would require working with various advocacy groups, including preservation oriented groups like Wilderness Watch either cooperatively or advesarily via lawsuits and court.

I'm pretty sure that the FS managers figure that the costs of making changes in regulations will eat up many years if not decades worth of improved trail clearing productivity from chainsaw usage.
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Ski
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PostWed Dec 26, 2018 11:16 pm 
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Randy Hiker wrote:
Seems like there is a ton of confusion on this issue.

Only because people don't read the entire text of the bill, or choose to ignore those parts they don't think should be applicable.

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BigBrunyon
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PostThu Dec 27, 2018 2:55 am 
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Always some rubes on all them lands rippin' saw somewhere. It ain't legal but its done

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treeswarper
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PostThu Dec 27, 2018 7:06 am 
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The Regional Forester can approve a lot of stuff and I imagine this might be one of them.  Region 6, which is Oregon and Warshington is headquartered in Portland.  Idaho is in a different region as far as the Forest Service goes. 


Maybe find a currant bush out there and get a battery powered chainsaw.   biggrin.gif  I hear they are considerable quieter. Dunno what size bar they run best with or how much power they can give.

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DIYSteve
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PostThu Dec 27, 2018 8:20 am 
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treeswarper wrote:
What is big fire downfall?  Never heard that terminology before. 

I used it as shorthand for the standard adopted (per admin rulemaking) by a few Districts permitting chainsaw use to clear large stands of downed trees resulting from wildfires
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DigitalJanitor
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PostThu Dec 27, 2018 9:35 am 
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They say angels have wings.
The angels I've met so far have chainsaws.  angel.gif

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treeswarper
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PostThu Dec 27, 2018 9:43 am 
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DigitalJanitor wrote:
They say angels have wings.
The angels I've met so far have chainsaws.  angel.gif

Or packs on, carrying equipment.  He was a good partner.  We were asked to open a trail that day after a few trees went down.  It was in an area of root rot and trees were frequently falling over.


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treeswarper
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PostThu Dec 27, 2018 9:46 am 
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DIYSteve wrote:
treeswarper wrote:
What is big fire downfall?  Never heard that terminology before. 

I used it as shorthand for the standard adopted (per admin rulemaking) by a few Districts permitting chainsaw use to clear large stands of downed trees resulting from wildfires

Blowdown works for that as well as downed snags or *&^%^ snags.

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RumiDude
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PostThu Dec 27, 2018 11:32 am 
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Brian Curtis wrote:
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."

The NPS has traditionally interpreted this to include chainsaw use within the designated Wilderness within NPs. The USFS has interpreted the Wilderness Act with the view that exceptions to the ban on motorized and mechanical transport is a true exception. I believe the difference in interpretations is based on the difference in the missions of each agency. The NPS ubderstands recreation as their primary purpose and thus tries (supposedly) to keep the trails cleared. The USFS has a different mission of which recreation is just one aspect.

In my mind this is a "slippery slope" situation. That means we need to always be mindful of what is best for the wilderness rather than what is convenient to us humans. So for the most part I think the way chainsaws currently are regarded in Wilderness is a good thing. And at least for hikers, blowdown is rarely a significant impediment to a hike. For stock animals, it is an issue but usually not for hikers. In my mind, brush, washouts, and trail drainage are bigger issues than blowdown. YMMV

I have used both chainsaws and crosscut saws to clear trail in wilderness. I prefer to use a crosscut.

Rumi

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Kim Brown
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PostThu Dec 27, 2018 12:16 pm 
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Here is the guidance NPS uses for wilderness management. USFS uses this guidance as well (in todo or in part, I don't recall).

You may see the older document in various links on NPS documentation, including environmental assessments or environmental impact statements that are still active.  This was published and placed into use in 2014.

I recall a trail in the Olympics where chainsaw use was objected to by the tribe. I don’t recall if it was timing (perhaps nesting season?) or oil & gas leak potential, or another reason, but there you have it. Because of the relationships with tribes, land managers may sometimes give close credence to their requests.

Question to the original poster; you’re asking for names and dates. Curious as to what that information will be used for?

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MtnGoat
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PostThu Dec 27, 2018 1:13 pm 
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Use the tools which get the most trail cleared, for the least $$, and most bang for the buck.

The existence of the wilderness designation protecting the areas in question in the first place is the 99% solution, and keeping maintenance costs down on trails means money to spend elsewhere within them.

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IdahoHyker
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PostFri Dec 28, 2018 9:47 am 
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I am just looking for verifiable facts.  As said elsewhere, there is a lot of confusion on this issue and a lot of "opinion" on what the Wilderness Act says and how it is, and how it "should be" interpreted.  I wish to build a data set of instances where motorized use (non-fire related) has been allowed.   If that is already out there somewhere, and I hope it is, I'd like to know that also.  I am sure someone out there is better than me on gathering such formation.  Anyway, have like the responses so far.....some good discussion.
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IdahoHyker
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PostFri Dec 28, 2018 10:09 am 
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I wish to clarify:  Yes, I indeed do advocate for "limited", and, "restricted" use of chainsaws in Wilderness for trail maintenance.  I personally believe that if chainsaws were limited for say one week only, and, restricted to a given week during the year (say first week of July following the 4th, and then when the backlog  (as stated by Congress in National Forest Systems Trails Stewardship Act) of trails needed to be opened were cleared that use of chainsaws be suspended, then, most users would agree to the use of chainsaws.  All the agencies currently provided exceptions to the chainsaw prohibition in Wilderness.    I wish to build a data set of those instances (non-fire related cases).  Any help is appreciated. Perhaps the question should be:  "If you could be assured that chainsaw use was limited and restricted, would you agree to their temporary use in Wilderness Areas?"
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