Post-Election Thoughts About Our Forests?

With a new Republican President and a Republican-controlled Congress, how will this affect the Forest Service and the BLM?

crown-fire-panorama-web

Regarding the picture: I did some processing with a High Dynamic Range (HDR) program to get this artsy view. It is interesting that it enhanced the flames better than in the original scan, from a Kodachrome slide. I shot this while filling in on an engine, on the Lassen NF, back in 1988.

15 Comments

  1. I was just telling my husband today that I want to reach out to President Elect Trump to remind him that (from what I read on his position on transfer of lands from fed to states
    ) that he was not jumping on the bandwagon and felt public lands should remain in fed management. I hope he will stick with that agenda. I am registered Republican, but if Clinton won Presidency, I was ditching Republican party. Now that Trump is confirmed, Im very pleased to stick with my party affiliation. But will hope Trump doesnt allow Republican congress and senate to sway him on that position to preserve public lands under Federal lands.

  2. Probably see a lot less of the “listening sessions” that go nowhere and accomplish nothing.
    The malfunction in the federal agencies is so extensive now, I think it’s a good deal to keep the idea of transfer on the table. We have all these REITs looking to liquidate their marginal ground at a crazy-stupid high price, too. There is a window here to being forestry back to the forefront, forestry that supports itself fiscally and gives us all those social benefits, including attractive forest landscapes.

  3. There is no question that our public forested lands have suffered the past 25 to 30 years from inadequate management but, transferring management responsibility to the States would be devastating. Many of our states are in deep financial trouble and some near bankruptcy. We have already lost over half of our planets forest cover, and deforesting the equivalent of 20 football fields every minute. At this rate our remaining worldwide forest cover will be gone in 700 years. No trees means the lose of almost 80% of life on our planet.
    The Republican Platform contains a statement supporting the transfer of federal management of our remaining public lands to the states, who will more than likely auction off these valuable lands to private companies and individuals to offset financial shortfalls the states are experiencing. Sorry, but I think that anyone that supports this transfer idea is NOT thinking rationally!!

    • Trump has publicly stated that he is against transferring Federal lands to the States. We’ll have to hold him to his word on this. One thing that could happen is a privatization of some Forest Service field work. Both political sides want a smaller and cheaper Forest Service but, for different reasons. I simply do not think we are past the collaboration phase of the three ‘C-words’. It is pretty clear to me that people (including Congress) aren’t educated enough about forests and forestry.

    • Brian,
      I think there are very good arguments on both sides of this issue. Fiscal resources for management is one you have identified. But fear of privatization of vast areas isn’t one of the better ones. At least insofar as Utah’s proposal goes, transfer would probably allow for more privatization than the current paradigm but certainly less than what is happening in Nevada today under federal control.

      Lots of info and details on the specific management policy/system Utah is proposing here: http://publiclands.utah.gov/current-projects/transfer-of-public-lands-act/

      Question for those opposing transfer: Are you willing to discuss the concerns outlined in Utah’s materials and address with serious policy changes other than transfer?

  4. Utah starts with the demonstrably false premise that we (the American public) owe them these lands.

    “It was very much a part of the various enabling acts that authorized new states to join the Union. Additionally, the United States’ disposal of public lands to the State of Utah was a significant benefit of the bargain Utah made with the federal government at the time of statehood.”

    The legal consensus on this being wrong is about like the scientific consensus on the existence of climate change, and Utah is a denier. (Conservatives that are fiscally conservative shouldn’t be willing to discuss giving away federal property.)

  5. Oregon has the beautiful and productive Elliot State Forest that they decided they couldn’t afford to manage after environmental lawsuits by Cascadian Wildlands. So now they are selling it.
    So maybe State ownership might not be such a good idea.
    I am a strong believer in public land, just not the way we currently manage it.

  6. I happened to run across a quote from a 2015 Fox interview that sums up Trump’s views on the environment: “We’ll be fine with the environment. We can leave a little bit, but you can’t destroy businesses.”

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