Forest “Christmas tree” bill out of House committee

No, not that Christmas tree (they are searching the Kootenai National Forest for that one).


This one.  This is the Westerman bill that the House hung all the hopes of active forest management on:  “the Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2017.”  Similar legislation in 2015 passed the House, but died in the Senate.

“To expedite under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 and improve forest management activities on National Forest System Lands, on public lands under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Land Management, and on tribal lands to return resilience to overgrown, fire-prone forest lands and other purposes.”

Just about everything that has been suggested before (and stopped by Obamacrats) is in there to make it easier and attractive to do things.  Categorical exclusions, expedited salvage, expedited project ESA consultation and reduced/eliminated forest plan consultation, litigation restrictions, county payments, less road decommissioning, elimination of eastern OR/WA old growth harvest restrictions, elimination of Northwest Forest Plan survey and manage requirements, O & C land management changes, wildfire disaster funding.








  1. The “eastside screens” are more than just eastern OR/WA old growth harvest restrictions. In many cases they prohibit the harvest of trees >21″ dbh, even if they are not in an “old growth” stand. The screens also include habitat connectivity requirements, and requirements for species such as the great gray owl. These screens were intended to be “temporary” in 1993 and were to be replaced when Forest Plans were revised (which was supposed to occur in the late 1990s), which still hasn’t happened. If the screens are eliminated by this bill, there will be nothing to replace them in the existing forest plans, and we’ll be back to square one – environmental concerns and the threat of lawsuits are what prompted the screens to be developed in the first place.

    • That’s a good point, but maybe (???) in 24 years of working with the screens, people learned more through science and monitoring? And weren’t people litigating anyway?

      My prediction is that “this dog won’t hunt” in terms of passing the Senate.

  2. Nor should it. Those who lick their chops at the prospects of free reign on public land, with great profits in their dreams, will motivate people like me to oppose them at every turn.

    • And if they are opposed at every turn how does anything get done?
      It’s not just about profits, it’s about using the available resources and trying to maintain our forests and communities.

  3. Yes, but we are also at a point in time where opponents of active management are more than happy to let the public think that the Forest Service will be doing all sorts of very bad things, including “harvesting the Giant Sequoias”. The Sierra Club (and other groups) is using the National Monuments review as a fund-raising tool, willing to lie to their potential donors. Clearly, we cannot trust these groups to tell the truth, these days. Their desire for money has grown too great.

    Personally, I trust in the Forest Service “Ologists”.

    • Actual text from the Sierra Club’s Facebook page:

      “Logging companies are lying in wait, chainsaws ready, for Trump to chop the protections of Giant Sequoia National Monument.

      Don’t let Trump give loggers free reign to fell majestic trees. Become a monthly donor to save this precious ecosystem:”

      And people are buying it…… actually lining up around the block to buy their snake oil. These quotes should be revisited in every court case involving the Sierra Club.

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