Some Blog Introspection and A Change

Two things.. First, Martin and I have been thinking about what happens after the third national roundtable next week…information about the rule process will fade as the rule writing team goes to work. Still, the folks contributing to this blog seem to have plenty to talk about…so perhaps we should be more conscious about expanding what people are interested in with regard to Forest Service policies and activities. Based on the past few weeks discussion, we are interested in place-based legislation, the land law review, the use of science in natural resource management, Forest Service management improvement and a variety of related topics.

Second, is that I’ve decided to take the FS logo and my official address off the blog. I think we need to be very clear on what is part of our public process and what is not – especially since our collaborative efforts are so extensive- the official blog, regional and national roundtables, and so on. People could be legitimately confused about what is official and what is not, as so many approaches are out there. When Martin and I started this blog, we didn’t even know that there would be an official blog, so the terrain was very different than today. I think the public involvement effort we (the FS) are doing is just an incredible piece of work, and I applaud all those folks who are working on it.  Even if there were only a slight risk of distracting anyone from that effort, it would be too big a risk for me.

Of course, this will not change my commitment to the blog nor  to enjoying and being enlightened by our discussions.

One more item.. we get into discussions on this blog in which we leave something interesting- like I am reviewing the testimony Martin suggested on the Tester Bill-  but  then we get pulled off by our other work and life commitments. I would like to call out consciously that the rhythms of this blog may have a short-term and a long-term component, and that is part of who we are.

6 thoughts on “Some Blog Introspection and A Change”

  1. Well, I actually PREFER this blog to the weak Planning Rule blog. Trying to pare down posts to a mere 1000 characters is extremely frustrating. It seems silly to be trying to explain extremely complex things using only 1000 characters. Here, I can write my thoughts down and illustrate them with pictures, if I choose. We also get responses from several directions, and from people who are enlightened, or at least, “informed”. I wouldn’t spend much time on Tester’s Bill, though. It’s not going to pass, sacrificed for political reasons instead of being judged on merits and drawbacks. I’d also like to see more discussion of how to break the legal gridlock, as that needs to be “fixed” first.

  2. Thanks, Foto. I know the folks involved are trying to have a 21st century blog.. but are stymied by bureaucratic obstacles. Like all bureaucracies, I’m sure it’s well intentioned by someone, somewhere (computer security?) but the results can be demoralizing. In fact, I found Thursday that all WordPress blogs seemed to be blocked from my work computer.. but not Blogger blogs.. one is mystified at the ways of the complex systems we have.

    It would be helpful if you could share your view of 1) what is the problem, as you see it, with “legal gridlock”- with a couple of specific examples, and 2) any solutions you have imagined, and send to me at and I will post.

    • Sharon,

      I tested your idea that WordPress blogs being “blocked” on FS computers. At least in the Intermountain Region and in Alaska, they are NOT BLOCKED. So either you need to retest, else find out what is going on in The Rocky Mountain Region.

      A big question lingers: Why are we getting so little response to our blog? I wandered over to THE OIL DRUM this weekend to learn a bit about the Gulf Coast Oil Spill. That discussion is as lively as it was two years ago: hundreds of follow-up comments to some posts. Again: Do we really suck as bloggers?

      Isn’t there anyone who cares about the national forests? Or maybe it is just that no one cares about planning? Or, as I heard during my “test”, maybe it’s that people are so overburdened trying to do all that the FS is asking of them — since the FS has never simplified its operations/management — that they don’t have time to blog.

      Or maybe FS folks are just too busy sending and responding to internal emails, going to their own meetings, etc. to be bothered with the stuff of “futuring”, neither reflection, contemplation re: the Forest Service and the National Forests.

      • Dave, it was blocked earlier today, but now is OK. Life is good.

        I never checked with other people in our region, just some in our office so don’t know how widespread it was.

        Are your thoughts about people not blogging about FS folks or others, or both?

      • The hardcore eco’s consider foresters to be “trolls”, and they prefer not to “feed” us. I tend to think they are “deniers” of the reality that we have so many millions of acres of dead and dying forests. I also tend to think that they cannot defend their views on forest management with sound science, and that their hidden fears are, indeed, actually coming true. I’ve also seen on mainstream eco-websites that they just don’t want to talk about forests. Nope, don’t ask, don’t tell, don’t comment!!

  3. Tragedy: “after the third national roundtable next week…information about the rule process will fade as the rule writing team goes to work.”

    Remember that I challenged THEM (the WO and the Dept.) to get a
    “real blog” and WIKI for this effort so that “information” would not fade as the rule writing team went to work. Unfortunately, they chose (as I pretty much knew that they would) to ignore my plea. Too bad.. But as I’ve been trying to point out for decades, the problems with the FS go way deeper than planning. Their arrogance, or ignorance, or both in working the NFMA rule-writing process in the same old fashion — a bunch of silly meeting, then sequester a team to write a rule, then defend it to the death — is testament to the depth of the FS problem.

    PS.. If WordPress blogs are “blocked”, then maybe we ought to port all this stuff over to my Forest Policy – Practice blog and move along from there, assuming that typepad blogs are not blocked as well.


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