Forester (and former Forest Service spokesperson) Frank Carroll says Environmentalists are “arsonists” and “bomb-throwers;” Mike Garrity is a “henchman;” and there’s a whole “enviro-terrorist industry.”

You can read the entire opinion piece from Frank Carroll, co-owner of “Professional” Forest Management out of South Dakota right here.

I find it shocking that the Rapid City Journal would published such a piece. Also, somewhat shocking is the fact that Frank Carroll was the official public affairs officer for the Black Hills National Forest and worked for the U.S. Forest Service for 31 years.

Here’s a snip featuring Frank Carroll’s own words:

“Most of the wood we will use to rebuild after the hurricanes will come from outside of the United States. Why? Because the Alliance Wild Rockies’ Gary MacFarlane and henchman Michael Garrity think the Earth will somehow plummet into the abyss if a few loggers cut a few trees to feed a few sawmills so people can use the dead wood before it rots. And they’re not alone. A whole enviro-terrorist industry is backing them, bringing reasonable use of dead timber to a complete halt in the most devastated areas.

Native Ecosystems Council’s Sara Jane Johnson; Friends of the Swan’s Arlene Montgomery; Swan View Coalition’s Keith Hammer; Wild Earth Guardians’ John Horning; Rocky Mountain Wild’s Tehri Parker; Defenders of Wildlife’s Jamie Rappaport Clark and a host of other bomb-throwers have joined these suits. If you know these people, call them. If not, call anyway. Tell them to just stop it.”


  1. Yeah, the author sounds like a real “professional.” As a forester (BS & MS degrees) I’m embarrassed that he can put out stuff like this; bad name for the rest of us.
    BTW – I think he’s completely inaccurate about the legal costs. I have a friend who’s the attorney for an environmental group. Their board of directors has to make a decision re: whether or not to litigate because it means they have to pay the attorney’s fees.

    30,000 acre Categorical Exclusion?? He’s gotta be nuts! Anyone who claims to be at all educated about complex forest ecosystems (the only type we have here in PNW) should know that you can’t do a project at that scale without impacts that merit more than a CE.

    • Equal Access to Justice Act. U.S. Code › Title 5 › Part I › Chapter 5 › Subchapter I › § 504 (1) states: “An agency that conducts an adversary adjudication shall award, to a prevailing party other than the United States, fees and other expenses incurred by that party in connection with that proceeding…” The phrase “other than the United States” in this quote encourages litigation by providing would-be litigants with an incentive to sue but imposes no penalty for failing to prevail. An amendment to the Act, deleting the phrase, would level the playing field by removing this incentive, thus facilitating salvage sales and other needed management.

      This legislation was designed originally to assist impoverished veterans in their lawsuits against the VA. There is a cap on the net worth of the litigant but the cap does not apply to “non-profits” Playing with this stacked deck, professional environmental groups with millions dollars of assets and a cadre of lawyers take full advantage of their “non-profit” status to finance their lawsuits.

    • I don’t think that acreage should really matter, as long as the full acreage of the project follows some very reasonable, but properly restrictive guidelines. I would be in favor of CE’s on thinning, salvage and roadside hazard tree projects. Setting robust guidelines would be a good exercise in ( Ologists ) working together, to “do the right thing”. I would support ‘groundtruthing’ and full transparency in getting the needed work done, without delays.

      Of course, funding, manpower and a lack of expertise are different problems to be solved.

      • Call it a “wildfire” and you can have all the funding you want. 10,000 acres, 200,000 acres, who cares?
        Free range to burn up as much forests as you want, good time to close roads too, no problem with funding.
        Expertise might be a little harder to come by.

  2. Matthew

    How about a link to all of his comments so we can judge the whole rather than the juicy pieces that you picked out?

    From what I’ve seen there is some truth to what he says but, he obviously doesn’t realize that telling these people to “stop it” only infuriates them to an even more rabid state of chicken little ism’s.

  3. I think this is a continuation of the pendulum going back the other direction. As evidenced by this article making it into print.
    After another summer of cities choking on smoke for months, more homes being lost and more private property being burned, public sentiment is building in the opposite direction that has allowed environmental groups to have the success in the emotional campaign for the last 3 decades. Unfortunately, as the pendulum swings back, true non-political science will be left in the back seat and as the pendulum swings back past the middle, common sense will join the science.
    The only way to prevent this from happening is to get back to common sense management, address the change in suppression tactics by federal agencies that is the true reason for the significant increase in acres, costs and impacts to citizens and private property. OR We can continue the tired arguments of “let it burn”, its natural, because of climate change, and the whole slew of arguments that have run out of steam. As more people take note of the stats between State/Private protected lands vs. Federally protected lands and the number of fires originating on federal then impacting private, it will be a tougher argument still to keep from going completely back the other direction.

    • Forester 353

      Well said.

      Do you have a link to support your statement “the stats between State/Private protected lands vs. Federally protected lands and the number of fires originating on federal then impacting private”? – I believe that this is true but, to date, I have found no evidence to support it.

      • The short answer is no, which probably means it can’t be true. If I get the time I’ll try to put together links to the various sites.

        The long answer is I was keeping track on the Sit Report for the Summer and then would go to inciweb for current situation to see ownership on the maps.
        My guess is that there is or soon will be a report for the 2017 season. The biggest problem with federal reports they often show large fires on state/private lands but not total starts. What I’ve done in the past is go to the States own report and compare to the federal stats for the same area. This year in Region 6 and 1 it isnt even a close call and they have got totals tallied up yet.

        • Forester 353, The data on fire starts may not be available but here are some facts about the relative importance of primary disturbances found on unreserved timberlands in California. They show a dramatic difference between management intensity (cut volume as a percentage of growth)and mortality on national forest and on private land. It seems quite clear that private land management in CA (where 47.5.% of the growth is harvested) and N.F. land (where 5.7% of the growth is cut) is far more effective in reducing acreage burned and mortality that is F.S. management. On private land the resource is used meet society’s basic needs (jobs, shelter, community and family stability . National forests seem to be primarily concerned with the welfare of woodpeckers, owls, and providing a “wilderness experience”. The data argue for a change in US Forest Service policies and procedures and provide a basis for discussion of legislative and administrative action in these areas.

          Data Source: Miles, P.D. Thu Sep 14 19:12:15 UTC 2017. Forest Inventory EVALIDator web-application Version St. Paul, MN: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. [Available only on internet:, or as noted.
          Only the most significant mortality sources are listed.
          National Forests Private
          Acres of unreserved timberland 1.: 8.9 million 7.2 million
          Percent of annual growth harvested 2: 5.7% 47.5%,
          % of total acres damaged
          None: 3 65 82
          Insects, disease, climate 20 9
          Fire 12 4
          Mortality, cubic feet per ac.
          Insects ,disease, climate 56 31
          Fire 160 81
          1 March 2017, USFS FIA RPA update
          2 USFS cut and sold reports
          3 No disturbance on this percentage of the total.

          Sept. 2017

          • Here’s the table I just posted in a clearer format

            National Forests Private
            Acres of unreserved timberland1: N.F. 8.9 million Pvt. 7.2 million
            Percent of annual growth harvested2: NF 5.7% Pvt. 47.5%,
            % of total acres damaged
            None3 NF 65% Pvt. 82%
            Insects, disease, climate NF 20% Pvt. 9%
            Fire NF 12% Pvt. % 4
            Mortality, cubic feet per ac.
            Insects ,disease, climate NF 56 Pvt. 31
            Fire NF 160 Pvt. 81
            1 March 2017, USFS FIA RPA update
            2 USFS cut and sold reports
            3 No disturbance on this percentage of the total.

            • Thank you for the info Mac. I think this with the information on starts and acreage burned compared in the same manner, will be an eye opener to those without a preconceived agenda.

          • **On private land the resource is used meet society’s basic needs (jobs, shelter, community and family stability. National forests seem to be primarily concerned with the welfare of woodpeckers, owls, and providing a “wilderness experience”. **

            Yes national forests are primarily concerned with these things. Because the Endangered Species Act, Wilderness Act and Congressional wilderness designations establish a priority to manage for them. If not on national forests, where else?

            • The problem is that there are regulations and restrictions on private land that address some aspects of wildlife, clean water, endangered species act, etc. There is little to no consideration of the effects of federal management on private ownership or human life.
              We are seeing more and more that management or mismanagement of wilderness can have a significant impact in a negative way on private property, public health and safety, as well as T&E species. The same is true of non wilderness federal land.
              At one time it was argued that private management needed more regulation because it effected federal land, yet now as federal management is having critical effects on private property and human health, the recognition of the impacts seem irrelevant.

  4. Here are two reasons why the situation has to change.

    Wildlands Defense et al. v. Seesholtz et al. (North and South Pioneer Fire Salvage and Reforestation Project; regarding NEPA analysis and impacts on bull trout)

    Earth Island Institute et al. v. Elliott et al. (Bull Run Roadside Hazard Tree Mitigation Project; use of a CE)

    This is environmental extremism and foolish public/private policy at work. These cases are the work of a handful of malcontents who don’t understand the effect the cases have on Agency policy. Or, worse, they do understand and they are looking for the outcomes we now have.

    The Forest Service is no longer able to care for the National Forest System, from trails to trout, because its budget has been steered, not by climatic conditions, but by 40 years of litigation, to the default card of management by wildfire. Burn in the high summer and you don’t need an EIS. You Big Box fires to make ecological points like “restoring fire to the landscape” that are really your only option. If you can’t cut hazard trees with a CE, you certainly can when the place is on fire, without any oversight.

    If you can’t salvage fire killed timber in massive landscapes already boiled dry by fire, you get your lumber from other parts of the world where natural resources are used to support people and protect people, often at high cost to other elements of the Earth.

    You’re surprised my opinion editorial was published in the Rapid City Journal? Were the voices against your continuing egregious legal activities so silent that you began to believe your own narrative?

    • The truth hurts, and it shouldn’t be surprising that when it’s pointed out, environmentalist act like they aren’t the problem. On the bright side they have gotten their way for so long, it’s like the .com bubble, it’s going to burst regardless of how surprised they act.

      If they were truly concerned about environment/forest health they wouldn’t have spent 20 years shifting the demand to countries that have little or no environmental protections.

  5. Ironically, after several inches of rain stopped the Chetco Bar Fire, the agency waited for it to dry out so they could “burn out” to tighten up control lines. Tens of thousands of dollars spent and tens of hundreds of acres “treated” under the guise of wildfire with no NEPA required and no regard for more continued air degradation.
    Now with snow finally falling in the higher portions of the fire it may be done……. or will they wait for another dry spell to continue this “wild fire”?

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