Assiduous readers will recall the Bighorn National Forest’s Crater Ridge timber sale. Located high in Wyoming’s Rockies, Crater Ridge is a 400-year-old Engelmann spruce/subalpine forest that the Forest Service poked some holes into 25 years ago. Those holes remain today, complete with untreated slash piles and bare ground (click “satellite” in upper-right corner for pretty view).
When the Forest Service proposed last year to reprise its Crater Ridge silvicultural misadventures, FSEEE appealed and the Forest Service withdrew the sale.
The Forest Service, however, is not so easily dissuaded. It has re-proposed “similar” Crater Ridge logging. The only difference between the 2013 and 2014 versions are the addition of “reforestation actions such as fill-in planting.”
You can read FSEEE’s thoughts on this latest iteration. In a nutshell, the Bighorn forest plan doesn’t allow for “in-fill planting,” except to meet non-timber objectives. Worth noting also that the Bighorn promised it would plant the 1985 Crater Ridge units if nature failed to do so. Nature failed and so did the FS — it never planted a single seedling.
So what’s the Bighorn up to? Did it not get the memo that we don’t do things this way anymore?