University of Montana researcher Diana Six and others fault logging as a misguided substitute for the natural forest thinning being conducted by beetles.
In the journal Forests, Six and fellow researchers find the U of M, the Forest Service and others have failed to report failures of logging to maintain resilient trees while beetles have an innate ability to retain the most adaptive trees as they conduct nature's thinning.
They caution that misguided attempts to "do something" may simply over-log forests and point to research finding unlogged stands of both spruce and ponderosa pine have retained more live trees after beetle attacks than mechanically thinned stands.
They conclude "The manner in which policy makers have accepted beetle timber harvest treatments as a panacea for responding to bark beetle outbreaks in North American forests raises a number of red flags. . . It is perhaps no accident that the beetle treatments that have been most aggressively pushed for in the political landscape allow for logging activities that might provide revenue and jobs for the commercial timber industry. . . management should be led by science and informed by monitoring."
Facts are getting in the way of attempts to blame fires on a lack of logging and to blame a lack of logging on environmental lawsuits!
Greenwire reports Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell told a U.S. House Subcommittee hearing on the matter Thursday that only 5% of Forest Service timber sales were taken to court this year, while 16% of the timber sales failed because the timber industry simply refused to buy them!
And an abundance of research shows the importance of not trying to replace or follow fire with logging: "There is substantially less high-intensity fire now than there was historically, prior to fire suppression policies, and this post-fire habitat deficit is worsened by extensive post-fire clearcutting on national forests and private lands, and by landscape-level mechanical 'thinning' designed to further suppress fire, making snag forest habitat the most endangered forest habitat type in the U.S."
However, these facts hardly sway Congress as it works alongside the Forest Service and industry to perpetuate the lie that public forests are sick and need a logging "cure!" Congress and the Forest Service are, in fact, paying collaborators that help perpetuate these lies! (See our recent newsletter and our letter to editors in this regard. Click here for more details and supporting documents showing how the Forest Service is paying collaborators.)
We need your help stopping the perverse waste of your tax dollars trying to replace ecologically beneficial backcountry forest fires with subsidized, ecologically destructive logging!
(AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
The Washington Post has found Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) lied not once, but twice recently, greatly exaggerating how much federal logging in Montana is being held up by environmentalist lawsuits!
This well-researched disclosure is important! It shatters the underlying myth and scapegoating upon which efforts by Congress, some State Legislatures, some "conservation" groups, and industry are trying to increase logging on federal public lands, even if it means turning control or title of those lands over to the States!
Conservation groups enforcing America's bedrock environmental protection laws in court is not the problem industry allies say it is! Senator Tester and others are simply going to have to find a new myth and a new scapegoat in order to do the timber industry's bidding!
Tester last week told Montana Public Radio "Unfortunately, every logging sale in Montana right now is under litigation. Every one of them." The Washington Post finds "there are 97 timber sales under contract in Montana's national forests. Of that number, just 14 have active litigation, so about 14 percent. But only four of the sales are enjoined by a court from any logging."
When Tester was again questioned by MTPR, he suddenly became "unavailable" for the week and his staff shifted to talking timber volume, claiming "Nearly half of the awarded timber volume in Fiscal Year 2014 is currently under litigation." The Washington Post finds this to also be a lie, finding only about 10% of the timber volume under contract is halted by litigation.
The Washington Post has awarded Tester "Four Pinocchios," its worst rating for telling a "whopper" - in this case two whoppers.
Click "Read Full Article" below to read more about how such lies are the false premise upon which even some "conservation" groups are basing their collaboration with industry to increase logging on federal public lands.
Grassroots environmental groups from across the country have issued a letter to the U.S. Senate demanding the removal of damaging public land give-away “riders” attached to the must-pass Defense Authorization Bill!
The “rider” package has far too many give-aways of public lands and resources to merit support for its very meager designations of Wilderness.
Yes, the North Fork Flathead River and Rocky Mountain Front deserve protection from oil, gas and minerals mining - but not at the expense of removing protection from Wilderness Study Areas in eastern Montana near Otter Creek and the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge to benefit the coal, oil and gas industries!
Nor should these bills be packaged in the dead of night with provisions to give 70,000 acres of the Tongass National Forest to Sealaska Corporation for logging, nor granting National Forest land in Arizona to a foreign-owned mining company, among other horrible provisions!
Please take a quick minute TODAY to phone Senator Harry Reid (202-224-3542) and the Senators from your state (find phone numbers here).
Simply tell them you oppose the inclusion of public land provisions in the Defense Bill and want them removed!
Take action today before the Senate acts tomorrow!
Swan View Coalition is among the 47 organizations that signed the letter to the Senate, which you can read here.
Click here to read Montana Environmental Information Center’s assessment of the rider’s impact to eastern Montana.
Click here to read the Missoulian article about the late-night horse-trading by which Montana Senators Tester and Walsh, along with Representative Daines, made even more 11th-hour compromises to the already heavily compromised Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act - with no pubic hearings whatsoever.
Click here to read more details about the “Cost of Compromise” in the Missoula Independent!
Click here to read the 449-page Defense Bill public lands rider!
Make no mistake, these types of public land give-aways will become the norm by which big Wilderness groups get a little bit of Wilderness without telling you the true and unacceptable costs - unless you put a stop to it!
UPDATE: In a related matter, click here for a PDF summary of Keith Hammer’s 9/12/14 presentation to the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center’s Wilderness 50 Conference.
Today we mark the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act, but mark your calendars for September 20 and join us in a big celebration of it at the Flathead County Fairgrounds!
Come meet and be encouraged by Stewart Brandborg (above), who worked for eight years alongside Howard Zahniser to pass the Wilderness Act on September 3, 1964!
This foresighted Act initially designated 9.1 million acres of public lands as Wilderness, including the Bob Marshall Wilderness, and in the hands of hard working citizens has since brought the total to nearly 110 million acres.
But many of America’s wildest public lands remain at risk of development and the “expanding settlement and growing mechanization” foreseen by the Wilderness Act.
We look forward to Brandborg’s words urging all of us to keep up the good fight!
Click here for our short biography of Stewart Brandborg.
Click here for the Missoulian’s more detailed accounting of Brandborg’s efforts to pass the Wilderness Act.
Click here or see below for the Flathead’s Wilderness 50 Celebration agenda!
Your email to the Flathead National Forest will help stop more of these logging road landslides from trashing fish and wildlife habitat!
The Flathead already has 2,000 miles of roads like this one in Sullivan Creek demoted to Maintenance Level 1 Basic Custodial Care, where they don’t receive the care needed to keep their ditches and culverts from plugging and then washing the roads into your trout streams!
(Another 1,400 miles are open to public motor vehicle use and have their own costly maintenance issues).
The Flathead is accepting public comments on its draft Travel Analysis Report, which would simply abandon even more old logging roads rather than carefully decommission them to remove culverts and sediment source problems.
Click here to visit the Flathead’s Travel Analysis Report web page.
Click here to read our comments on the Travel Analysis Report.
Click here to read our additional comments on the Travel Analysis Report, made in light of our discovery of slumps in the Sullivan and Quintonkin Creek roads.
Click here to read the Hungry Horse News Article about our discovery of the recent Sullivan Creek landslide.
Click here to read our press release about the Sullivan Creek landslide.
Click here for our letter to state and federal agencies urging that all old logging roads in Sullivan Creek be decommissioned.
Click here to read the Flathead’s “Assessment of the Sullivan Creek Mass Failure,” which claims it was nature’s fault.
Click here to read our response to the Flathead’s “Assessment of the Sullivan Creek Mass Failure.”
Click here to read the Flathead Beacon’s article about the Flathead National Forest still insisting it is an innocent bystander and intends to ignore this road as it continues to collapse, rather than promptly fixing more potential problems further up the road!
Click here to see our video of the Sullivan Creek landslide.
Swan View Coalition and its president, Keith Hammer, were recently featured in the Flathead Beacon!
Did you know Keith Hammer is a former logger and Forest Service employee (as are other members of the board of directors)?
The Hungry Horse News has reported on our contention that areas to be logged on the Flathead National Forest should not be nearly doubled in trade for a bit of recommended wilderness!
F.H. Stoltze Lumber Company, a Whitefish Range partner, sued the Flathead in 1976 when it tried to decrease its suitable timber base to better protect water quality and because “taxpayers couldn’t afford road building costs necessary to cut old growth” that extensively! And now it has partners Montana Wilderness Association and Headwaters Montana saying “all parts of the [Whitefish Range Partnership] Agreement must move forward together,” which is otherwise known as horse trading!
Fish, wildlife and people cannot afford to have the Flathead’s suitable timber base inflated once again and they need more than a handful of roadless lands protected as wilderness!