9 Comments

  1. Once again, so much of the rhetoric we see on this blog doesn’t match up with the reality, as the Forest Service’s Northern Region in the past 12 months logged 280 MMBF of trees from 114,000 acres (178 square miles). It would take 56,000 log trucks lined up end-to-end for 480 miles to haul that much timber out of America’s National Forests cut in just Montana and northern Idaho in one year.

  2. “Krueger says the agency is paying close attention to previous court rulings and working hard to develop projects that get it right the first time.” This is as it should be. But there are some nuances that I wonder about.

    Are there fewer lawsuits because the additional analysis leads to better projects (fewer effects on listed species)?

    Are there fewer lawsuits because the better analysis convinces litigants that more projects are actually not bad for listed species?

    Are there fewer lawsuits because the better analysis convinces litigants’ attorneys that they can’t win?

    Is there the same number of lawsuits, but the Forest Service is winning more because of better analysis?

  3. Is there the same number of lawsuits, but the Forest Service is winning more because of better analysis?

    There the same number of lawsuits, but the Forest Service is winning more because of better analysis.

  4. I haven’t looked at the Kootenai for awhile, so the other night I cruised a few projects for rest and relaxation. It’s interesting to look at the various “amended and supplemental analysis” that accompanies some of the litigated sales. Stumbled onto the “Pilgrim Project.” The “amended ROD” states that the “court upheld Forest Service on all but one claim…the court found that certain statements in the ROD did not “clearly articulate our commitment to close, with a barrier, all newly constructed roads after harvest.” The “amended ROD” then went on to add the following to several paragraphs. “All new road segments will be made impassable…by installation of an earthen barrier.” LOL. Complete with a detail of an earthen berm. Talk about earth shattering victory for procedural tripe.
    I’m starting to think Judge Molloy is less of an enviro, and more of a guy who demands that all of his soup can labels face the same direction.

  5. What about the context? It is reported that “the Forest Service’s Northern Region in the past 12 months logged 280 MMBF of trees from 114,000 acres.” How does 280 MMBF compare to previous years? I checked a few of the annual harvest reports here:

    Forest Service Northern Region Cut and Sold Reports

    And found these numbers:

    2013: 227 MMBF
    2009: 186 MMBF
    2004: 231 MMBF
    1998: 363 MMBF
    1993: 617 MMBF
    1991: 800 MMBF
    1986: 1,024 MMBF

    • Volume numbers are often in the realm of cherrypickers. When the Forest Service wants to increase logging levels, the opponents will exaggerate the increases. On an old Ranger District, the 1988 level was 65 million board feet. Over the years, that level dropped dramatically, all the way down to just over 2 million board feet, per year. The cherrypickers will take that value, and when levels went back up, due to the amended Sierra Nevada Framework, opponents claim a “greater than 200% increase in logging levels” to reach a volume 1/13th of those 1988 logging levels, up from just 1/30th of those historic levels.

      I see this trend continuing, as more and more litigation loopholes are closed. When rhetoric and emotion is eco-used, instead of actual facts, the public sees the bigger picture, turning preservationists into conservationists. Yep, I would love to keep pointing out that the “whatever happens” policy continues to be fatally flawed.

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