18 Comments

  1. Mr. Hanson answered the softball questions very well. I wonder if he wrote them.

    Does anyone have stats on how many acres were salvaged vs. acres burned by all fires on USFS ground in any given year? My guess is that the area salvaged would be one or two percent, if that. For the sake of discussion, let’s say it’s 5 percent, and a good chunk of that is probably roadside removals or other hazard mitigation. That leaves 95 percent untouched, with all of the ecological values/benefits of fire that Mr. Hanson describes. The salvage on the 5 percent provides social and economic values/benefits.

    A reporter worth his or her salt would have asked Hanson about this….

    “Wouldn’t you say that, if 95 percent of the snap forest remains untouched, the Forest Service is doing an excellent job of providing habitat for the black-backed woodpecker?”

    • And I would add that there are also ecological values/benefits on the area salvaged — social and economic. Some of the large woody material may be gone, but a salvaged area (or a clearcut of live timber) does provide habitat for a wide range of critters.

    • Are you f#cking kidding me Steve? That’s all you got? Just to be clear, you’re actually alleging that Dr. Chad Hanson wrote his own ‘softball’ questions for the reporter? Also, are you representing the Society of American Forester’s when making such allegations?

      • Matthew, did you read my entire post? How would you answer this question?

        “Wouldn’t you say that, if 95 percent of the snag forest remains untouched, the Forest Service is doing an excellent job of providing habitat for the black-backed woodpecker?”

        Or how about this:

        “Does cutting some of the burned trees from 5% of the burned area have important social and economic benefits, such as maintaining roads and trails, reducing hazards, and providing employment in local mills?”

        • I read your smear Steve. How would you answer these questions?

          Just to be clear, you’re actually alleging that Dr. Chad Hanson wrote his own ‘softball’ questions for the reporter? Do you have any proof?

          Also, are you representing the Society of American Forester’s when making such allegations?

          • Matthew…. sigh. If saying that Hanson has a very narrow view of fire and forest management is a smear in your view, well, you’re entitled to your opinion. My rhetorical questions were designed to illustrate that narrow view, but I’d really like to hear his answers — and yours. Why not give us your answers and we’ll have a courteous discussion of them.

            FWIW, the questions to Hanson sounded to me like they may have been provided to the interviewer (I, too, am entitled to my opinion). Maybe they weren’t, but they were all softballs — leading questions that seemed designed to allow Hanson to give the answers he wanted to give. Hanson is very smart and no doubt is well able to answer questions that challenge his views or that dig deeper into the issues, but he didn’t get those kinds of questions. That’s all I’m saying.

        • Gil,

          When Steve accuses Dr. Chad Hanson of writing his own ‘softball’ questions for the reporter it seems to me that a response of “are you f#cking kidding me Steve?” is entirely appropriate. Also, I fail to see how that is anywhere near “using sexual or waste related body functions.”

          But whatever dude. I literally could care less what you think. And I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in that view.

          • Matthew

            Wow! You must live a very sheltered life if you don’t understand the basic reproductive/sexual act necessary to propagate. Your use of the “#” sign isn’t a large enough fig leaf to cover your nakedness.

            • Gil, Matthew, please get back to substantive discussions of the issues. Personal attacks aren’t appropriate here. Disagreeing respectfully with each other’s positions is welcome and encouraged.

              • Steve, That’s absolutely rich advice coming from the person who started off the comments section here with this entirely disrespectful personal attack on Dr. Chad Hanson.

                “Mr. Hanson answered the softball questions very well. I wonder if he wrote them.” – Steve Wilent

                My response to you disrespectful, personal attack on Dr. Hanson, Steve, seemed entirely appropriate.

                P.S. For the record, for a few years now Gil has regularly referred to one of the regular commenters here on this blog as an “outlaw.” Here’s what that word means: “a person who has broken the law, especially one who remains at large or is a fugitive.” Never once heard you have a problem with that Steve.

  2. Part of the solution(s), from a forester’s point of view, is the marginalization of extreme opinions not supported by both science and human realities. Preservationism has been shown to be very ineffective against the forest problems we see today. When was the last time Hanson prevailed in court?!?!? The court of public opinion rejects Hanson’s extreme cherry-picking.

  3. Hanson is very good at telling his story and accessing the media. I guess my question is why other scientists are not as good at telling their stories nor accessing the media. I know that getting involved in this and simplifying the scientific story to the point of inaccuracy might not be appreciated by agencies nor universities. Still, I have to wonder if other people like us could do more to get alternative stories and points of view out there.

    • And just what, pray tell, is the “story” that “other people like us could do more to get out there?”

      Sure seems to me that the timber industry and politicians and “their” scientists do a pretty good job getting their version of the story out there.

  4. Matthew, I don’t see this as an “us and them” thing about “timber interests” and “enviros”. From the discussion we had over the summer about fuel treatments and observing communities in my area, it seems like there are general feelings by many people that fuel treatments are a good thing to do to protect homes, towns and infrastructure, by changing fire behavior and providing areas that help with suppression tactics. Now timber industry doesn’t exists for all practical purposes in this area, so there is no “us and them”.

    I think that the Strategic Fireshed Assessment process had the backing of many people on all sides and dealt with the specifics of fire history and other scientific disciplines plus suppression and fuels practitioners. There’s a “side” in the middle, where most people are, but we folks aren’t good at making our case interesting, and lack of conflict does not provide clicks.

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