Here’s the link and here’s an excerpt.
In the days when the Forest Service did try to emphasize making money from logging, it lost support across the West because it was clear-cutting.
No matter how many times the timber industry tried to put a good face on that accepted forest practice, the public just didn’t like looking at clear-cuts. Much of the federal forest timber program was shut down by litigation and lack of money for roads, along with water-quality problems and endangered species issues.
Otter noted that timber harvests on federal lands in Idaho are the lowest they have been since 1952. They are actually beginning to rise, however, in part due to the collaborative efforts of timber executives, environmentalists and others to identify timber that can be sold.
Private forests and state forests are, by definition, high-value forests. If they weren’t, the owners would have disposed of or traded them in years ago.
But the Forest Service doesn’t manage forests for a profit. You don’t hear the conservation groups that are supporting new mills and increased timber harvests and jobs complaining about timber sales that lose money.
That’s because they know the restoration value for wildlife and fish habitat that comes with timber sales are a part of the cost of managing forests for multiple uses.
Private and state forests are managed for maximum timber harvest. The recreation, habitat and other values that come from those lands are secondary. That’s why you can go to some state forests in Idaho and clearly see the difference between them and the federal forests next door.
It’s the state forests that are still being clear-cut.
Sharon’s take: It’s still not clear to me (so to speak) why clearcutting still comes up as an issue when the FS hasn’t done it in a while. Anyone who can help with this, especially from Idaho, please comment.