This post is not really about the multifaceted and fascinating roadless controversies; it’s about clarity of communication in the press-where citizens should become informed on public policy issues.
Suppose you read this piece, “Forest Service cuts back logging in Oregon roadless area on fire safety project”
Here’s a quote:
The project scaled back commercial logging from 621 acres within roadless areas to 78 acres. It is all along a road on the western side of Diamond Lake that serves 102 private cabins on federal land, Dils said. Without the logging there is nowhere for firefighters to make a stand against a fire moving out of the roadless area toward the cabins, Dils said.
“When they designed this plan it really looked like they wanted to test the limits of the Obama administration on roadless,” said Steve Pedery, conservation director for Oregon Wild. “And from our cursory look the new plan looks like it scaled that way, way back, but it seems they still can’t resist pushing the envelope a little bit.”
People who take the English language literally might wonder how cutting trees along a road would impact “roadless” values.
I italicized the sentence about the fuelbreak for firefighters because that is a very clear statement of the objectives of fuel treatment in a WUI area, whether the trees are dead or alive.
Here’s another quote:
The two-year-old project was widely seen as a test of President Barack Obama’s campaign promise to protect the 58 million acres of backcountry that has never been commercially logged on national forests across the country.
But how can an area next to a road be considered “backcountry”? I am mystified as to why this apparent paradox does not seem to be addressed in this article.