One of the things I like about the internet is the ability to trace information flows.. This is a link on a blog called “the Wrong Kind of Green” to a piece we discussed here on this blog.
Reposting it this week was interesting because of the changed conditions since March.
Just this week, The Wilderness Society (TWS) and the Montana Wilderness Association filed a brief in favor of a 2,038-acre Climate Camo logging plan on the Lolo National Forest. The Alliance for the Wild Rockies, the WildWest Institute and two other real grassroots conservation groups had filed a lawsuit against the Colt Summit Timber Sale alleging that the logging would do grave harm to lynx, grizzly bears and bull trout.
Because actually their allegations have been found to not be valid. So… where does that leave us? And why has this one project attracted so much attention? Clearly there are 600 acre fuel treatment projects developed collaboratively around the country that don’t arouse the same degree of anti-collaboration. Colt Summit and er.. 4FRI? I get 4FRI-it’s big..
It seems like there are folks who have the agenda “we need to tell people that big green groups are screwed up”. It could be that individual FS projects are only fodder to make this case, and whether the project actually has negative environmental impacts, or what the judge thinks about the allegations, may be irrelevant. Just a hypothesis.
I also read the stuff in this piece about energy, in which all choices appear to be bad (unless I read it wrong).
The Club then took $50 million from the personal vault of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg; ostensibly for their Beyond Coal Campaign, meaning that now the Club has shifted gears from pimping gas to pimping “clean, efficient solar, wind and geothermal” – which, of course, are neither clean nor efficient (one E-LAW panel addresses the many pitfalls of Big Wind). Some of those millions should immediately go to the local Appalachian grassroots anti-mountain-top-removal coal extraction (MTR) groups who have nationalized the issue on great heart and shoestring budgets.
It sounds like when someone asks environmental groups “we know what you don’t like, what will you support?” some feel like they can’t say “nothing.” So they figure out what they think is best, and tell people. In the world of public policy, people have to come up with ideas to meet resource needs like energy. I can’t critique any group for trying to come up with something that is doable and makes sense.
15 thoughts on “Pingback to “Wrong Kind of Green” blog”
Sharon, I’m not sure it’s accurate to state that the Colt Summit plaintiffs’ “allegations have been found to not be valid.”
I guess I was being kind of “literal minded”- the quote was”
filed a lawsuit against the Colt Summit Timber Sale alleging that the logging would do grave harm to lynx, grizzly bears and bull trout.”
The decision seemed to me to say that the FS was within the requirements of ESA.
Are you saying that the project could do “grave harm” but still be legally OK in terms of ESA?
Sharon, I seriously doubt the words “grave harm” appeared anywhere in the lawsuit filings. You have taken a passage from someone’s 6 month old article about a wide-range of issues (including a small mention of Colt Summit) and made it seem like that’s what the plaintiffs said. Besides, it’s just strange to me that some “pingback” to an old Counterpunch article by a “Wrong kind of Green” blog that I’ve never even heard of is even worthy of its very own post here. But certainly, let’s keep beating the dead horse that is Colt Summit….while we also ignore this aspect of the Judge’s ruling:
Summary judgment is granted in favor of the plaintiffs on their claim that the defendants violated NEPA by failing to adequately analyze the Colt Summit Project’s cumulative effects on lynx….
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that this matter is REMANDED to the Forest Service so that it may prepare a supplemental environmental assessment consistent with this order and the law.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the defendants are enjoined from implementing the Colt Summit Project while the proceedings required on remand are pending.
I’m not sure why its so difficult to grok the role of corporate foundations pushing Gang Green agendas as the wrong kind of green. Certainly, its no more difficult than grokking agency capture, or the role of corporate campaign contributions in the election of our public representatives.
But come to think of it, I don’t recall EVER reading a simple acknowledgment by Sharon or other agency employees (and other proponents of collaboration) commenting on NCFP of these salient, irrefutable predicaments in the management of public landscapes.
I think it is essential to further dialogue on NCFP to get this straight.
Sharon, by not acknowledging agency capture by corporations, Gang Green capture by corporations, media capture by corporations, and electoral capture by corporations, a significant dodge of essential facts of the issues discussed here is taking place. Again, my interest
is in actual problem solving, which cannot be successful without discriminating between cause and effect.
At a minimum, and in the interest of clarity of your point of view, and the stated goals of NCFP, it is past time to weigh-in on these salient facts:
Corporate domination of these major sectors of our society is central to the recurring problems in NFS planning and management.
Whether you agree or not with this is important to the dialogue because it seems you are routinely attacking grassroots citizen activists organizations, rather than the far more powerful corporate collaborators, whether politicians, bureaucrats, or Gang Green.
I’ll take your bait though. First, grassroots greens have unprecedented street cred for independent, democratic, and principled activism. Corporate foundations know this, and punish those who resist their agenda.
They find nonprofit grassroots democracy a real threat to the corporate agenda. That’s why restricted grant funding is easy to find, but not general operating grant funding to meet day to day expenses. Makes one wonder about the true intent of philanthropy.
Seeing actual statements from some foundations that they are redefining philanthropy as “investments” helps to understand their actual motives — to increase the value of their investment portfolio — hence the term “win-win market based solutions”. In reality, more often than not, it is neither a solution, nor a win for the environment. It is a corporate win, (through collaboration and compromise), at the expense of the commonwealth and most cases definitely, NOT “sustainable”.
Sharon, you obscure this major factor of causation by failing to address this predicament of our democracy. Instead, we end up discussing the EFFECTS of corporate dominance of the public sphere on NCFP. Your contribution to resolution of these issues, is often a reductionist quip claiming “resource” issues need resolution but some greens lack definitive goals.
I disagree. I see a distinct unwillingness to acknowledge the true intent of those you disagree with.
Has it ever occurred to you those goals seeking ACTUAL sustainability, (rather than corporate-funded, green-washed claims), are at the center of these matters?
The simple fact is compromising on these issues of sustainability will not achieve sustainability.
I find it odd you avoid admitting the above facts as salient issues worthy of your acknowledgement in these discussions.
” First, grassroots greens have unprecedented street cred for independent, democratic, and principled activism.”
When there are multiple lawsuits from Chad Hanson against the cutting of hazard trees along roads, claiming it to be blackbacked woodpecker habitat, Just who do you think “captured” the Agency?
When dry gulches are off-limits to thinning projects, in favor of “more coarse woody debris analysis, just who has “captured” the Agency?
When timber projects here cut trees averaging 14-15″ dbh, just who has “captured” the Agency?
“When timber projects here cut trees averaging 14-15″ dbh, just who has “captured” the Agency?”
(There seems to be some confusion over this term here. The examples you are using are the outcome of cutting too much too fast, and logically cannot be attributed to the (improbable) control of the agency by the grassroots environmental movement. This capture has resulted in conditions contributing to the black-backed woodpecker predicament. That predicament triggers the provisions of the applicable environmental laws in your other mistaken examples of capture.)
Your examples are a — consequence — Larry, of agency capture. This includes the predictable boom/bust condition which drove the ASQ beyond sustainable harvest and regrowth rates to prop up a scale of the timber industry that could not be sustained. Those unsustainable levels of cutting, followed by the well-documented failure to adequately fund the agency to properly manage and maintain NFS lands (another consequence of capture) is at the center of this predicament.
What is presently touted as “stewardship”and “restoration”(finally?), of decades of agency mismanagement resulting from capture is what should have been occurring all along.
There are strings attached though. Restoration and stewardship is conditional to the next phase of agency capture, known as “collaboration”.
Well known corporate front groups such as The Nature Conservancy, and the National Forest Foundation are often at the center of and directing the collaboration game, while Trout Unlimited and The Wilderness Society and others are being funded to make the collaboration sales pitch to the public and cut the collaboration deals. These deals made by backroom collaborators sign-off on Quid pro Quo Wilderness bills which often privatize public lands, weaken environmental protections, outspurce agency functions to TNC and others. They do this in trade for wilderness designations, but this too, is wholly, and logically, unsustainable.
First, the captured status is not only maintained, but institutionalized, and legislated. Second, because the “development” (such as the timber cut mandated in FJRA, for instance) does not address the on the ground realities of aggressive timber harvest activities with massive carbon emissions, habitat impacts, and watershed impacts — as if there weren’t climate catastrophes, imperiled species and shrinking water supplies to address.
This is what a captured agency looks like in this New Century of Forest Planning, and why there are growing legions of critics of Gang Green, (of ALL persuasions) and of course,
their corporate collaboration snow job.
It has been TWENTY YEARS since the Forest Service CHOSE that path on its own! Are you saying that during those twenty years, the Agency is STILL captured?!?!?! (Of course you are!) We do agree that those years of “overstory removal” and clearcutting were wrong, and I have always thought that. However, you continue to blame the past to block the future, blaming dead foresters, corporations, green groups, etc. You WILL be marginalized for such an extreme position, ignoring vast acreages of dead and dying forests, incineration of rare habitats, and all the other things that come with “un-stewardship”.
“These deals made by backroom collaborators sign-off on Quid pro Quo Wilderness bills which often privatize public lands, weaken environmental protections, outspurce agency functions to TNC and others. They do this in trade for wilderness designations, but this too, is wholly, and logically, unsustainable.”
David, can you provide the name of a designated wilderness and provide a link to the bill that has 1. privatized public lands; 2. weakened environmental protections. Since it happens often, I’d like to read about it some more so I don’t go astray and make the same mistakes in our collaborative efforts.
Also, can you tell me what agency functions have been outsourced to TNC?
JZ, will do:
An excellent primer on QPQ Wilderness bills has already been compiled and co-authored by Janine Blaeloch, Executive Director of the Western Lands Project (western lands.org). Once there, a quick search in their library will get you to a link to download the PDF on QPQ providing the examples you are asking for.
The current du jour of collaborationists, (QPQ) is actually not new. You will read there in the PDF on QPQ, that they fortunately, do not always pass muster even in a Republican-controlled Congress ( further hinting at the controversy they generate). There are several examples of prior attempts at QPQ bills (many failed, some successful) which document the aforementioned objectives I stated previously, and you asked about.
(Closer to home, the Tongass NF, a new QPQ threat is looming for which more examples can be given.)
From its inception, the Tongass Futures Roundtable (TFR), under the guise of collaboration, tried to construct an acceptable QPQ deal to all (self-selected)”stakeholders” with voting seats.(The environmental reps were of course receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars to attend, cheerlead, and get a cut of the stewardship and restoration action). A subcommittee including these green reps from Trout Unlimited, The Wilderness Society and others, was dedicated to the purpose of crafting a QPQ deal, trading wilderness designations and other lands protection in exchange for largescale privatization of public lands of the Tongass, thereby instituting wholesale deregulation of federal environmental laws, undermining existing conservation strategies, and setting up a program of outsourcing agency oversight of restoration and stewardship projects to TNC. (TNC recently had a request for bids in the public notices of the classified ads in the local paper for a stream restoration project, normally the function of the District Ranger. TNC is also directing and facilitating TFR. This includes enforcing a strict ban on ANY and all recording of the TFR plenary sessions.)
I mention this because the stage is now set on the Tongass to use a TU initiative called “Tongass 77”, modeled after the earlier tried and failed QPQ proposals of the TFR. So with Tongass 77 as the Quid and the disastrous Sealaska lands bill as the Quo, bundled into an already broached Omnibus Lands bill, we will see massive weakening of environmental laws, massive privatization of public lands, the defacto creation of another Tongass timber monopoly (Sealaska Inc. already the largest private land owner), a massive taxpayer rip-off, transferring hundreds of millions of taxayer dollar investments in logging roads and other infrastructure to Sealaska, and we are already seeing outsourcing of agency functions — minor at this point, but definitely subject to mission creep as Congress steadily defunds government in the spirit of neoliberal goals of “austerity”, and (ahem) a “balanced budget”.
Those neoliberal goals also include privatization, deregulation, corporate outsourcing of government functions, ….
That sounds awfully similiar to “collaboration”, and QPQ outcomes, to me and I don’t think it’s a coincidence.
And of course defunding “big gov’mint” in order to set the stage for privatizing all manner of public resources is also on the neoliberal agenda. This includes monetizing carbon in trees, soil and air, creating biodiversity credits in fish and wildlife, payment for ecosystem services, etc. Those will be used to create derivatives trading instruments.
If you need further evidence of how or who promotes that type of commodification of public resources, look no farther than the TNC website cheerleading such measures, which is precisely what TNC funders are pining for.
I don’t think so.
David, thanks for the diatribe….I’ll repeat my simple request:
Can you provide the name of a designated wilderness and provide a link to the bill that has 1. privatized public lands; and 2. weakened environmental protections. All I’m asking for is the name of the Wilderness. I’l do my own research. I prowled around the link you suggested but found nothing to answer my question. Might as well have read a bunch of Wuertherner’s stuff.
Also, can you tell me what agency functions have been outsourced to TNC? (I could use some help, if they are in the business of making the NEPA process easier to navigate)
I’m not interested in what’s “looming”…efforts like you mentioned above as well as the FJRA bill have no chance, so I’m not sure what you are so vehemently opposed to, other than interested people trying to fix a broken planning model.
Please try to keep your reponse simple. I have a short attention span.
As an example I’d offer this as a template:
At the top of the page click on this:
See the portion of H.R. 146 specifically calling out the Owyhees
Don’t see any privatization or environmental deregulation in the legislation. But that’s only thru my lens.
I didn’t regard my answer to your question as “a bitter, abusive denunciation or criticism” , and I’m sorry that, a) you perceive it that way, (though I susect you are being funded and/or salaried to “collaborate” and thus, might have a different take on the matter), and b) that you missed the full discussion in the link I provided, and thus, the full context of the history of QPQ attempts passing in — omnibus bill packages — which trade wilderness designations in some places for concessions to industry elsewhere. Those concessions often include privatization of public lands which I described as unfolding on the Tongass, and several examples were provided in that link (as I recall), please read the full document for your answers.
I’m presently working (and typing on an iPhone with one finger) in a remote area with sketchy cell coverage and horrible download speeds and cannot easily provide the specifics for you to refute on narrow technicalities which dodge the full QPQ history and context.)
Btw, we’re talking about public lands on NCFP and –all– members of the public get to weigh-in on these discussions — equally –. I realize this is different from the standard “collaboration” forums composed of devolved groups of self-selected “stakeholders” ostensibly cutting deals in the best interests of all present and future generations of Americans — but I don’t think so — and a whole lotta others don’t think so as well. Devolution combined with corporate “collaboration” in matters of public land is simply not a good thing. One does not have to be “bitter or abusive” in order to express these uncomfortably lamentable facts.
OK, David, I concede…maybe the diatribe was mine. I’ve been growly lately. My apologies. .
I further digested the site you linked and scanned thru Janine’s book today. I will finish it. Not sure I agree, though, with painting every collaborative effort with the QPQ wilderness designations for privatization and environmental de-regulations tradeoff.
In my experiences there are no “backroom dealings” that seek to take public lands out of the public’s hands. Poor strategy in my estimation and doomed for defeat. There are no delusions of circumventing public processes (NEPA). Everyone that I deal with is extremely sensitive to and willing to learn from those legislative failures. And most are failures…glad ther are folks “watchdogging” those efforts.
As noted in Janine’s book, I don’t think that a stand-alone Wilderness designations/land protections will happen in the near future, so I’m not sure where that leaves us. The “big greens” (should) make up a small proportion of any collaborative effort as well as a good representation of local interests that merely want more certainty from public land management, whether it’s timber, access or protections. A legislative fix to all these needs is not feasible nor desired.
Omnibus legislation and ryders, what can be said?….as long as that is a tool that Congress is willing to use to push thru a bunch of different agendas, then I think it should serve as a wake-up call to folks who choose not to participate in the development of language that goes into the respective bills. I’d agree, the sum is not necessarily equal to or greater to the parts in most cases, but it’s working, for better or worse.
I’m not sure you understand the FS planning/target/budget cycles (who really does?)…The show is going to go on, why not try to influence what happens, unless nothing happening is what is desired?
Thanks for this dialogue JZ. I too, have regrets: my tendency to resort to generalizing without qualifying I know the vast majority of the ranks of us concerned players mean well and are inspired by wanting to make things better. My concern is that we’re being forced to conclude, “When in Rome, do as Romans do.” We need to recognize Rome is currently burning.
I think this takes us back to my first comment here (which I’m disappointed Sharon has declined or is too busy to respond).
Now more than ever, it is time to examine the links of causation to the problems (merely effects) we discuss here.
The reigning corporatism that has descended on all levels of society needs to be factored into our solution set.
This is no time to resort to the path of least resistance.
Omnibus Bills have been getting more scrutiny, these days. Such bills, and their numerous porkbarrel inclusions, need a 60% majority. When the Democrats couldn’t get that 60% majority, they simply attached the whole thing to another bill, as an amendment, which had already been passed. It used to be understood that, within the Omnibus Bill, “if you don’t mess with mine, I won’t mess with yours”, regarding the many porkbarrel projects, which couldn’t stand on their own, through Congress.