What is Beyond the “Fog of War”?

There are scary and uncertain times ahead for our forests. There is just too much “Fog of War” going on for the public to sort out and fact-check for themselves. Even the ‘fact-checkers’ should be suspect, until proven reliable and bias-free. The rise of ‘fake news’ has blurred multiple lines, and many people, even in …

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Politicians vs science

Ideology was on display at a grandstanding event on the Lolo Peak Fire. Secretary Sonny Perdue, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, Congressman Greg Gianforte and Senator Steve Daines got a briefing from the fire management team, and then held a short press conference. Senator Daines repeated a refrain that Montana Republicans have been saying for years: …

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Giant Sequoia National Monument

With the general public becoming enraged about Giant Sequoia logging scenarios, here is a picture of some Bigtrees in what used to be the Sequoia National Forest. Chances are, the review will recommend keeping all groves within the Monument, adding some buffer zones and connectivity, then returning a large portion, including logging roads, skid trails, …

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Personnel, politics and public access to public lands

  Yes, it looks like Forest Service employees should be concerned about how Trump might affect their careers.  Here’s an example about offending private landowners who block access to national forests.  (And, without any facts beyond earlier stories, I’ll suggest that you not think of these as long-term rural residents, but more likely some recent, …

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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 …

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“Political” personnel moves afoot at BLM?

“Sources” say three BLM state directors are being moved: “Alaska, Colorado and New Mexico have all been involved in controversial energy development and natural resource issues in the past few years, and sources say Interior brass do not view the three state directors at issue as being compatible with the Trump administration’s stated push to …

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Sign of the Times?

Funny seeing an “8 in 1 Survival Kit” advertisement on a ‘climate warrior’ gloom and doom website. The advertiser specializes in “Outdoor and Urban Survival”. A list of what is in there makes me laugh. 1) LED flashlight (No mention of batteries) In a climate emergency, batteries will always be available, eh? 2) Heavy Duty …

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The beginning of state management of national forests

A group of Western senators, including Sens. Jim Risch and Mike Crapo, both R-Idaho, have introduced a bill to allow states to implement their own conservation plans to protect sage grouse and their habitats, in lieu of federal management. Congress would be allowing states to override the decisions by the Forest Service and BLM to …

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Interior nominee Zinke talks about federal lands

He had a lot of interesting things to say that generally put him within the normal range of political appointees to this position (a nice surprise, given some of Trump’s other nominees), including retaining federal ownership and understanding of climate issues, and this: An admirer of President Theodore Roosevelt, Zinke said management of federal lands …

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Post-Election Thoughts About Our Forests?

With a new Republican President and a Republican-controlled Congress, how will this affect the Forest Service and the BLM? Regarding the picture: I did some processing with a High Dynamic Range (HDR) program to get this artsy view. It is interesting that it enhanced the flames better than in the original scan, from a Kodachrome …

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