Forum Index > Stewardship > Trump Administration Seeking To Overhaul Forest Management Rules 06/12/19
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Ski
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PostWed Jun 12, 2019 11:11 am 
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Trump Administration Seeking To Overhaul Forest Management Rules / NPR / 06-12-19

who didn't see this one coming?

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Doppelganger
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PostThu Jun 13, 2019 7:38 am 
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Ski wrote:
Trump Administration Seeking To Overhaul Forest Management Rules / NPR / 06-12-19

who didn't see this one coming?

USFS wrote:
(WASHINGTON, D.C., October 10, 2018) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced that Vicki Christiansen will serve as the 19th Chief of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Forest Service. Christiansen has been serving as Interim Chief since March of this year. Following the announcement, Secretary Perdue issued the following statement:

“As a former wildland firefighter and fire manager, Chief Christiansen knows what’s needed to restore our forests and put them back to work for the taxpayers. With seven years at the Forest Service and 30 years with the states of Arizona and Washington, Vicki’s professional experience makes me confident that she will thrive in this role and hit the ground running.”

Tomorrow, Secretary Perdue will swear-in Christiansen as Chief in the Sidney Yates Building in Washington, D.C. Immediately following the ceremony, Secretary Perdue will hold a media availability.

Any AZ or WA residents who recall Vicki's level of work while in our states?
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Ski
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PostThu Jun 13, 2019 9:01 am 
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^ never heard of or saw the name until yesterday when I found the article.

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Malachai Constant
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PostThu Jun 13, 2019 10:15 am 
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Was WA state forester and has been acting supervisor for awhile. Has been promoting removing environmental reviews and accelerating logging, big surprise.

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PostThu Jun 13, 2019 5:40 pm 
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If there is more logging...then I would like to see more roads to trailheads in operation without delays.  I could live with that.

But we seem to be getting enough wood products and living fine without much logging in our neck of the woods on Forest Service Land.  Most wood products coming from State and private lands.

Don't know how anyone could get around the fish court mandates.

Maybe one of the changes they make will be for more rakes.  For fire suppression you are going to need to rake up more leaves in the forest!

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PostSat Jun 15, 2019 5:28 am 
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This popped up in my subs a while back. I found it interesting. Remember logging is market driven also. Vicki comes in at minute nine ish.

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treeswarper
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PostSat Jun 15, 2019 7:47 am 
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Gee, a president changing forest management?  Who'd a thunk it?  Remember how the wonderful Northwest Forest Plan happened?  Look it up and add the name Clinton to your search. 

Define "logging" please.  The term is usually meant as something horrible on this site.  A forestry class or two might help. 

I've heard good things about the new Chief, that she has hands on experience with fire management.  That's rare these days for bureaucrats.  My source is a landowner friend who was surprised to be standing next to the new chief at a small meeting in the woods, and talked with her. 

I also expect this attempt to change a law that badly needs to be changed to fail.  Too many industrial environmental groups out there.  Too many people who don't understand or are not educated in forestry controlling forestry practices via threats of lawsuits or lawsuits.  Too many on the other side not providing funding for their propaganda.  Just like politics, there will be no reason and no middle ground. Llook at the comments on here.  It's all about "logging" which I'm not sure what your definition is, and nothing about other projects, like thinning out the overstocked, doghair, fire prone junk on the eastside to reduce fuels, or prescribed burns.  And yes, probably some timber harvest on the westside, where plantations are now at a desired size and also could easily be thinned or clearcut, depending on what outcome is desired.  Clearcuts make for early seral wildlife habitat and huckleberries at higher elevations.  Commercial thinning makes stands keep growing at a good rate--making big, healthy trees.  However, thinning is not the answer everywhere, just like clearcutting is not a one size fits all.  Study a bit of forestry for more on that.  I've simplified it just as the term "logging"  simplifies things for lay people. 

These projects take years which equates to $$$ to get all the analysis and lawsuit avoidance work completed.  Oh well, we can hope that another big smoke out won't happen.  We are a nation of idiots who believe that Thoughts And Prayers will cure everything.   Meanwhile, fire contractors will have another great year of profits, fire crewmembers may be able to get a new pickup, and it'll all be good.

Be sure to carry a rake instead of a "trekking pole".  Use it.  The idiocy is about the same as "stopping logging" on the other end of the spectrum.

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Gregory
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PostSat Jun 15, 2019 9:46 am 
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A bad cold has slowed me down today so I googled forest service budget. and found this. Do not know anything about the source but the article negates my market driven comment. Only the government

https://www.taxpayer.net/energy-natural-resources/proposed-cuts-increased-timber-cutting-forest-service/

Hers the part I am referring to in the article

Regardless of how high the timber sales target is, taxpayers should hope the Forest Service falls far short of its goal. As we’ve noted in past years, to the extent the Forest Service continues to fund below-cost timber sales, taxpayers will continue to lose. The size of those losses is hard to calculate because of limited financial data disclosure. But under generous assumptions, the Forest Service spent roughly three times as much to conduct timber sales as they received from them in 2016 and 2017, costing taxpayers more than $300 million per year, on average.

WOW!
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treeswarper
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PostSat Jun 15, 2019 3:39 pm 
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Gregory wrote:
A bad cold has slowed me down today so I googled forest service budget. and found this. Do not know anything about the source but the article negates my market driven comment. Only the government

https://www.taxpayer.net/energy-natural-resources/proposed-cuts-increased-timber-cutting-forest-service/

Hers the part I am referring to in the article

Regardless of how high the timber sales target is, taxpayers should hope the Forest Service falls far short of its goal. As we’ve noted in past years, to the extent the Forest Service continues to fund below-cost timber sales, taxpayers will continue to lose. The size of those losses is hard to calculate because of limited financial data disclosure. But under generous assumptions, the Forest Service spent roughly three times as much to conduct timber sales as they received from them in 2016 and 2017, costing taxpayers more than $300 million per year, on average.

WOW!

Gee.  I wonder why?  Let me see, gotta do survey and manage for many "sensitive" species, even though those species are easy to find and survived clearcutting and burning in the past.

There are many fingers in the pie..(budget) when it comes to timber sales.  There always have been.

Now, not looking at pissy junky timber sales on the east side, but at sales on the west side, bids were and have been pretty good, depending on the market IF there wasn't too much "mitigation" put into the package.  The latter would include specifying equipment that is too expensive--helicopters, lengthy haul routes because roads are washed out or bridges and cannot be repaired, short operating seasons (sometimes only a month) due to wildlife concerns.  It seems like folks thing, "Well, they bought that sale so lets add on more stuff and see if they'll buy another."

The FS has lost much of its timber folks due to the purge of the past and current retirements.
I heard they are not getting many applicants for vacancies in the timber shop.  It's the job nobody wants to do and the benefits--working for the gubmint are not attractive now.

Benefits of timber sales besides profits?  Well, you get some forest improvement going.  Trees get thinned out or managed so they get more sunlight, water, and nutrients.  Fuels get treated.  Sunlight gets to the forest floor and depending on the location, may make browse or grass for wildlife or cows to munch on.  Roads may get fixed because logs have to get out on trucks.

Just some things to think about besides $$, but the FS could make $$ if restrictions were changed--not completely done away with, but changed.

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thunderhead
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PostSat Jun 15, 2019 8:42 pm 
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I fully support a few wisely chosen clear cuts on 15-35 degree slopes above the typical snowline near seattle with good road access cool.gif
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Ski
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PostSat Jun 15, 2019 9:47 pm 
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This is no Congressional mandate that the Forest Service is required to make a profit (or even break even, for that matter) on timber sales.
Ergo: Timber is sold from federally-owned lands often at a price that is actually less than the cumulative costs in putting together the sale (e.g., "survey and manage" projects, NEPA process administrative costs, ad nauseam.)

This is nothing new, and applies to all sorts of federally-owned natural resources. It is not exclusive to timber or other forest products.

If you believe that the USFS should make a profit (or even break even) on timber sales, you should address that issue to your elected representatives.

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PostSat Jun 15, 2019 10:41 pm 
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Anyone know what kind of average profit logging companies make on NF lands?  If its a lot more than 10% that is unfair to us taxpayers.

Also im sure there could be improved efficiency on government surveys.  Possibly by a lot.
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RodF
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PostSun Jun 16, 2019 1:55 pm 
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All the restoration environmental assessments (aka "timber sales") I've read in the Olympics are designed to maximize the amount of road maintenance and decommissioning (costs), primarily accomplish thinning (which is often little more than a "break even" proposition) and include just enough harvesting to possibly break even if timber prices are high.

Gregory wrote:
taxpayers should hope the Forest Service falls far short of its goal.

This comment entirely misses the point.  The goal of "timber sales" is not to make profits for the taxpayers.  The goal is to accomplish road maintenance and thin former overstocked clearcuts to accelerate the development of old-growth characteristics.  These are needed, beneficial projects which the taxpayers are unwilling to pay for.

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Doppelganger
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PostMon Jun 17, 2019 8:35 am 
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treeswarper wrote:
Benefits of timber sales besides profits?  Well, you get some forest improvement going.  Trees get thinned out or managed so they get more sunlight, water, and nutrients.  Fuels get treated.  Sunlight gets to the forest floor and depending on the location, may make browse or grass for wildlife or cows to munch on.  Roads may get fixed because logs have to get out on trucks.

https://goo.gl/maps/WLZ2yiWmNchYmDQ56 (or pick any of those neighboring hundreds of clearcut sites on the Peninsula alone from the last few decades)

1. Trees get thinned out - check, I guess
2. Sunlight gets to the forest floor - check (just a floor afterwards, technically)
3. Depending on the location, may make browse or grass for wildlife or cows to munch on - sure, let's grasp for some extra positive straws
4. Roads may get fixed because logs have to get out on trucks - check, the only unconditional bonus

treeswarper wrote:
Just some things to think about besides $$

Had to dig deep for these huh rolleyes.gif
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RodF
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PostMon Jun 17, 2019 10:53 pm 
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Doppelganger wrote:
Had to dig deep for these huh rolleyes.gif

No, simply have to read the Purpose and Need section of any restoration thinning project environmental assessment listed in the Schedule of Proposed Actions for any National Forest in which you may be interested.

I also suggest the section on economics and cost/benefit analysis.  Many of these get no bids because the road maintenance and decommissioning costs exceed the timber revenues.

All of this is off the topic of modernizing the forest management rules, which, by the way, has been in the works for several years.  It is no more a Trump initiative than it was an Obama initiative.  Not everything is beltway politics... except perhaps in this forum?

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