Idaho Forest Restoration Partnership Report

Article from the Idaho Statesman on the report recently released by the Idaho Forest Restoration Partnership:

www.idahostatesman.com/2013/12/04/2907947/report-finds-zone-of-agreement.html

<em>The report, compiled by the Idaho Forest Restoration Partnership, made up of foresters and conservationists from industry and environmental groups, says projects that fall within a “zone of agreement” can be done with little opposition. But it urges the federal government put up more funds and approve projects quicker so that logging and other fuel treatments can be done faster.</em>

Idaho Forest Restoration Partnership Report – Executive Summary: http://wp.me/a3AxwY-4dU

Idaho Forest Restoration Partnership Report 2013: http://wp.me/a3AxwY-4dV

Idaho Forest Restoration Partnership Report – Appendix: http://wp.me/a3AxwY-4dW

9 Comments

  1. thanks for posting this Steve. One quote I’m curious about, maybe it’s not accurate, but it says that “Tholen said the Society of American Foresters is advocating even more changes in federal environmental laws like the National Environmental Policy Act to reform forest management…” Do you (or others) know, is there an actual SAF policy position that advocates changes to NEPA, and what sort of changes are being advocated? Seems like that would be an interesting discussion item, if it’s true (I’m a SAF member but have never heard of this before) thanks, -Guy

        • So, are you saying that Rick Tholen with the Society of American Foresters didn’t have any clue what he was talking about when he said this?

          Will Whelan of the Nature Conservancy and Rick Tholen of the American Society of Foresters [sic] were scheduled to testify Wednesday before the Idaho Legislature’s Interim Committee on Public Lands. But Whelan stressed the partnership doesn’t want to see collaboratives held up as an alternative to proposals to transfer federal lands to the state or the establishment of forest trusts to manage federal forests.

          “We’re not trying to set these collaboratives up as a shield,” Whelan said.

          Tholen said the Society of American Foresters is advocating even more changes in federal environmental laws like the National Environmental Policy Act to reform forest management than partners like the Nature Conservancy or the Wilderness Society support.

          • Matthew “not having a clue” is not an expression I would use about a colleague. First of all, I don’t know that he was quoted 100% accurately.

            But if he said that, I would simply say that nationally that is not the case.. SAF has a formal process for approval of position statements.. You can see all the policy statements on the web here http://www.safnet.org/fp/policy.cfm. We are very transparent with our positions.

              • At the risk of explaining how the system works in excruciatingly boring detail, we are thinking of exploring “how NEPA works and how it could be improved”. This is, in part, the same discussion that the FS discussed previously as Process Predicament, so it isn’t entirely NEPA.. it’s the whole project planning process.

                There is one point of view that “doing bigger NEPA is the solution” (this is 4FRI and Black Hills Bug Project territory) and no changes are necessary. Others have different opinions. I think it’s possible that a paper could be developed by a team which might talk about pros and cons (in the view of the team) of different alternatives. The team would involve people with law backgrounds, NEPA practitioners, and people from the communities involved in dealing with FS NEPA. It might involve “collaborating” with different groups to explore ideas.

                However, for the society to adopt a position that “we support solution x” is a different situation and requires the approval of the governing board which represents a very diverse membership in terms of philosophies.

                For every solution, we have will members who like it and those who don’t like it. Unless there is a solution that is so clear and wonderful that everyone thinks it’s great. So far many people have thought about the problem, though, and no one has come up with one. So I am thinking at the end of the day, SAF will not be advocating a solution simply because we don’t agree on one.

                Our role would be more to shine a light, based on our experiences, on the pros and cons of current ideas, maybe think up some new ideas and look at them. If you think “examining” and not “advocating” you will be on track.

  2. Guy, one of my hats, as many know is the Chair of the Forest Policy Committee at SAF.. SAF does not have such a position. We are thinking of having a group get together and talk about whether there are changes or tweaks that might be useful and make sense. Like this blog, the point would be to see if there are any ideas that many people of different views might agree on, giving everyone a chance to departisanize the debate, and incorporate the experience of NEPA practitioners.

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