3 Comments

  1. The first lesson to be learned is the public discussion starts before the preparation of the plan not after it has been completed. The discussion needs to focus on the goals and objective, ie defining a desired future condition. There are opportunities to find common ground at this point.The next important reality is that neither the preservationists nor the conservationists (wise use advocates) have required solutions for future management of our remaining forested lands! We have destroyed slightly over 1/2 of the forest cover that once covered our planets land area and in 2011 the world population exceeded 7 billion people. Population is expanding at about 78 million people per year. We have got to recognize how dependent and connected we are to our remaining forested lands. In 2007, The Report On Abuse, determined the economic value of a single tree over a 50 year life cycle, in terms of it’s contribution to the human environment. That contribution equaled $162,000.00 in 2007. Those who desire massive wilderness acres and those who focus on the removal of resources from the forests will both find their desires unable to provide the future conditions required by our species. Obviously, as the world population increases the demands will only grow. Nature requires help in the form of management but, with a completely different focus. Our efforts must focus on keeping our remaining forest communities healthy and productive, and above all we must work to increase diversity. Diversity comes when we are able to recognize the unique individual forest communities that make up the forest mosaic and manage to improve that diversity. Diversity is the best condition to reduce the risk of catastrophic events within our remaining forests and improves when we observe and understand the detail of nature and the multitude of relationships that exist within each unique community. If we focus on the health, vigor and diversity of the forest communities, the by-products will be the valuable resources that result from proper management. Without the wisdom to see and understand the complexity of our surroundings, “balance” will never become a reality! We can work together to create a future that will provide for our human requirements!

  2. Measuring “balance” by acres alone is a poor measurement for such a value-laden topic as “land management planning.” The problem of using acres as a metric to discuss “balance” is the inability to answer the question, “so what?” What I mean here is few people, if any, take the time to translate what an acre metric actually means to their values. Why? Because a plan only guides future decision-making. I acknowledge that management intent is on display within a plan through its desired conditions, but a plan can be changed to match changing conditions and values. To say that the Kootenai NF plan intends for a less preserved or more developed landscape ignores the trend of outcomes over the past couple decades.

    I’ve come to believe that no one is able to credibly measure “balance” in a management plan, but people sure like to wield that term as something meaningful to their cause.

  3. Balance? Greatest good for the greatest number over the long run works for me.

    I can only imagine the basis for some of the claims Peck made about access. 91 percent motorized? Or whatever? Bet that’s restricted to open roads and there’s a lot of ground in between.

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