Mixing Apples and Oranges

Today, Senate Energy Natural Resources Committee ranking member Maria Cantwell sent a letter to President Trump asking him to support more Forest Service wildfire spending. She says that the 10-year average spending amount of $2.4 billion Trump promises isn’t enough, which she illustrates with the following alarming statistic — “To date this year, wildfires have …

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Still Reading Those Tea Leaves

Senator Leahy (I-VT) released yesterday a sky-is-falling analysis of what would happen to federal agencies and programs if Congress adheres to Trump’s budget outline, which calls for cutting non-defense discretionary spending by $54 billion below sequestration levels. Here’s Leahy’s analysis of what the budget cuts could mean to the Forest Service: Forest Service Firefighting: If …

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Reading the Tea Leaves

With Trump agriculture secretary nominee Sonny Perdue still awaiting a confirmation hearing, which has not been scheduled because the dog appears to have eaten Perdue’s financial disclosure homework, the Forest Service has been trying to figure out what message will best protect its budget from the new boss’ meat cleaver. The first clue to the …

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U.S. Depends on Forest Products Trade

Several comments on this blog argue that the U.S. depends on forest products imports to satisfy its consumption. That’s half correct and misses the point. In 2014, the U.S. bought forest products from other countries to the tune of $42 billion. We buy wood products from Canada, China, and the EU. But, wait, there’s more! …

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Should the Public Have a Seat at the Firefighting Table?

Today the Seattle Times reports on a lawsuit FSEEE filed challenging the Forest Service’s failure to comply with NEPA before logging old-growth forests during the Wolverine Fire. Happy to answer questions readers may have. I recommend reading the complaint, especially Exhibit A, which is an affidavit by a recently-retired Forest Service employee who lives in …

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Firefighting Run Amok

Today’s Seattle Times reports on a 5 million board foot timber sale conceived and consummated as a part of fighting the Wolverine Fire near Lake Chelan in Washington State. The sale, which cut a 50-mile long, 300-foot wide “community protection line” through spotted owl critical habitat and over streams, was logged primarily after rain had …

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Does the U.S. Forest Service Have a Dog in the Forest Certification Fight?

Last week, Forest Service Chief Tidwell issued a press release lauding the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) “new opportunities to advance environmentally responsible forest management and help reduce the use of illegally-sourced wood through their Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building rating system.” Let’s spend a moment unpacking the Chief’s press release. …

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