Firefighters and Cops Win In FY’19 Budget

You know the authoritarians are in charge when firefighters and cops get more money and everyone else gets less. That’s the bottom-line in Trump’s FY 2019 Forest Service budget. Many dismiss the administration’s annual budget exercise because Congress makes the final appropriations decision. But, the budget reflects the administration’s philosophy and priorities. It guides how …

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Three Strikes

Consensual sex between co-workers, regardless of their relative power positions, is not harassment nor employee misconduct under federal law and workplace rules. Perhaps the Forest Service should regulate its employees’ consensual sexual relations, but no rules do so now. The status quo is that only harassing, i.e., unwelcome, actions of a sexual nature are barred; …

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The Ends Don’t Justify the Means

Sex in the workplace is a risky proposition at best. Between employees with different status positions, sexual relations are even less wise. When unwelcome or coerced, workplace sex is also illegal. While there’s room to debate whether Tooke acted illegally or broke workplace rules (I don’t think he did) by having consensual sex with a …

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Sonny, There’s More Than One OneUSDA

Yesterday, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue abolished, in name only, the U.S. Forest Service. Also APHIS, FSA, NRCS, and every other agency under his purview: “From today forward, you will hear all of USDA leadership, from the Office of the Secretary on down, begin to refer to us as OneUSDA. Not as APHIS or as the …

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Should Wilderness Be Safe?

Pacific Crest Trail thru-hikers had better be ready for a lot of detours in Oregon this summer. In November and December, after fire season-ending rain and snow storms, the Forest Service issued orders closing three of Oregon’s most popular PCT segments (e.g., Three Sisters & Mt. Jefferson), along with their associated wilderness areas and connecting …

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What If Ignitions Are Not Suppressed?

What happens if forest fire ignitions are not suppressed? It’s a tough experiment to perform, but some old Forest Service data may help answer. In 1923, the Forest Service published an analysis of fires in 12 California national forests (excepting southern California) that ignited between 1911 and 1920. The data include suppression costs, which are …

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There Is No There There

Hispanic Heritage Month began on September 15 and ended yesterday. Or so says the U.S. Forest Service’s homepage. However, unlike the other four banner ads, which click through to provide information on Fall Colors, wildfires, and the like, the Hispanic Heritage Month banner ad links to nothing. The Wayback Machine says that the Forest Service’s …

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California Fires Ravage Private, Industrially Managed Landscape

Add together the structures lost to every national forest wildland fire this year and their sum would be a rounding error compared to the more than 1,500 2,000 3,500 5,700 7,000 8,400 homes and businesses lost in the on-going Napa Valley fires. Radical environmentalists are being blamed for the devastation: “White wine-swilling San Francisco liberal …

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