1 thought on “Tester Makes Changes to Bill”

  1. Here is a tidbit from the article:

    In all, Tester proposed 21 changes to S. 1470. Many involve assurances that 10,000 acres a year of timber would be cut, with proper scientific monitoring and protection from excessive litigation.

    Last month, U.S. Forest Service officials complained that the acreage might be an unsustainable amount of logging. Tester responded that the agency needs to change the way it manages timber.

    “What we’re talking about doing is changing the landscape so the Forest Service can manage that forest better. It’s changed in the last 30 years. We’re giving them some tools so they can change with that. Ultimately I still feel, in a multimillion-acre forest with tens of thousands of acres in the wildland-urban interface, they can easily find the acres that need to be cut.”

    To further earn Forest Service support, Tester proposed making his bill a pilot project that wouldn’t automatically apply to other national forests outside Montana.

    Perfect! Why not just go whole-hog and set up long-term timber sale contracts. This stuff smacks of innappropriate devolution to me. Who owns the public lands? I think it is “We the people.” Why are local interests given higher priority than no-so-local interests?

    Yes, we do need to change the way we manage the national forest system. I propose that we first look at the way we manage the Forest Service. If we can break the bureaucratic rigidity of that system then maybe we can talk seriously about the national forest system and how to better manage it.

    As I mentioned in an earlier comment on this site: Although piecemeal resolution via site-specific collaboration efforts with the stamp of approval by law may seem OK to some, I am not one of them. The US Congress has more important work. Maybe the Congress ought to look into holding oversight hearings on the effectiveness and viability of RPA/NFMA, for example.

    P.S. After looking up “devolution” I’m not sure the term really applies. As to the rest of the argument I still think Tester’s idea stinks.


Leave a Comment