How the Outdoor Industry Could Really Help the Forest Service and BLM- Disruptive Innovation

I had an op-ed published in my local paper, the Colorado Springs Gazette, Saturday. My point is that we’ve been fighting about fees for recreation and federal budgets for (at least?) 30 years.. maybe it’s time to try something different? Below is an excerpt. Check out the whole thing here.

As veteran of federal public lands policy and politics over the last 40 years, I can tell you that the greatest threat to our federal public lands is not the Republicans or the Democrats. The “enemy” is us – the millions of people who hike, bike, ride, drive, hunt, fish, climb, camp, and everything else in the National Forests and BLM. The greatest problems have resisted solution by R administrations and D administration, R Congresses and D Congresses and all combinations thereof. Maybe it’s time to try something different.

The outdoor industry instead could choose, as Amazon, Buffett and JP Morgan are doing with health care, to just “do it,” as the shoe people say, instead.

What would disruptive innovation look like? Here in Colorado Springs, we can talk to a few people, and walk a few trails, and get a sense of the problem.

We all like to recreate on the Pike Forest. Some of us feel, like one colleague, “I don’t think it’s right for some taxpayer in New Jersey to pay to maintain trails where I walk my dog every day.” Others feel “Congress needs to provide what is needed, we shouldn’t have to pay to use our federal lands (except for National Parks).”

For decades there have been skirmishes between these different views, and the division is not at all along partisan lines. For decades, conditions have only become worse as more people flood the forests and the funding has not kept up. Agency employees do the best they can, but they are not getting the help they need. It seems to me that we the people need to step up and help them, and the outdoor industry could and should take a leading role. They have incredible assets and are in the right place at the right time. They have a network of local businesses, technological know-how, marketing and media skills, and unfettered creativity compared to agency employees (that’s in terms of fetters, not creativity).

So what if the outdoor industry put its financial, human and technical resources behind building nonprofit capacity to support Forest Service and BLM programs? They would be choosing a leadership role of uniting, not dividing, something our country greatly needs. What would this look like? Here’s one possibility. The outdoor industry could set aside some percentage of their profits to give back to public lands. The first step would be to support the development of nonprofit, nonpolitical (how countercultural is that?) Friends groups for each forest or unit of the BLM.


54 thoughts on “How the Outdoor Industry Could Really Help the Forest Service and BLM- Disruptive Innovation”

  1. Sharon, Seems to be a reasonable and doable solution to a perennial and increasing problem. Rather than hiring lobbyist and PR people, why not spend the money actually doing something on the ground.

    And to go another step — Should the timber , grazing, and wildlife folks do the same?.

    • That’s a good question. I think timber, grazing, permitted ski areas, and so on already pay the FS for what they get. And much wildlife work in a state is funded by hunters and fishers.

      Here’s an example of what ski areas pay (it goes to the Treasury, rather than the Forest).

  2. Coincidentally, here is something somewhat related – “impact investing” applied to a national forest.

    The general definition is “investments made into companies, organizations and funds with the intention of generating social and environmental impact alongside a financial return (Global Impact Investing Network).” (And I assume that means beneficial impact.) It’s a way of bringing outside investments to something that wouldn’t ordinarily be expected to pay off.

    The National Forest Foundation has evidently sponsored a competition to test this, and selected a mountain bike trail proposal on the Wayne National Forest: “Quantified Ventures is currently conducting a feasibility assessment to determine if the impact-investing method can be applied to Baileys Mountain Bike Trail System.” “It’s easy for them to find investors (for projects),” Kotses said. “The biggest thing is trying to find the people to pay it off.”

    I assume that means someone who does reap financial gain in some way must be willing to pay for it. This article doesn’t directly point at anyone (there will be a study), but it continues:

    Kotses said the trail would be “both economically and physically” beneficial to the community. He mentioned the health benefits that trails like these could have for regional residents, as well as the economic benefits of attracting people to the area. “People want to live where they have access to these kinds of things,” he said. The planned 88 miles of trail could be “the largest piece of continuous property” east of the Mississippi River, Kotses said, and such a landmark would make Athens a competitive “recreation destination, tourist economy,” with businesses “set up to support tourism.” Additionally, the new trails could make Athens a desirable spot for larger businesses.

    (Of course on the Wayne, they could coordinate this with the new fracking infrastructure and get the energy companies to pay for it. Heh.)

    • Thanks, Jon. Maybe that’s not so funny as where oil and gas development (aka fracking) is more common, there can be some trade-offs made either before or during litigation. Along the lines of “if you keep off of these places, and give us $ for this, we won’t sue you, or we’ll settle.”

  3. Gifford Pinchot wrote The Use of the National Forests in the early 1900s. My copy is dated 1907. Pinchot stated: “There are many great interests on the National Forests which sometimes conflict a little.” I suspect that if he were writing today, Pinchot would have deleted the last two words. In 1900 there were 76 MM people in the United States, and mostly they didn’t visit places that would later be designated as public lands.

    Today we have about 323 MM people in the US, about five times as many, many of whom are indeed loving their public lands to death; at least I think so. So on this at least Sharon and I agree. And these people have cars for the most part, so those who use the public lands have all the access they need—not to be confused with all the access they want.

    If we take a close look at the various “uses” today we have interests that take radically different perspectives as to “wise” and proper use of the public lands. Just in the so-called recreation arena, hikers and backpackers don’t like mountain bicyclists very much, let alone motorized trail users. Purist backcountry skiers don’t like helicopter skiers. Fly fishing enthusiasts don’t like spin fishing enthusiasts, and neither group like bait fishing enthusiasts much. Bird watchers don’t like bird hunters. Grizzly bear and wolf watchers don’t like those who hunt either. And so on. Getting these various interests to agree on just about anything is a trick. Getting them to agree on everything is a much tougher prospect. Herding cats comes to mind. And this little expose just skims the surface in the recreation arena. Add in timbering, oil and gas exploration and development, grazing, and other commercial uses, and the problems get even stickier. Add in those who advocate for preservation rather than use, and the problem gets stickier still.

    Maybe Sharon and Jon’s (impact investing) ideas will help a little, but don’t expect miracles. My guess is that adding money to this problem will not work any better than when we added money to the timber management program, trading cheap timber for roads to access wonderful backcountry beginning in the 1950s or 1960s as I recall. That didn’t go well. At least I don’t think so. Would this notion do better. I dunno. Count me skeptical

    On another front we desperately need to get over the impasse of partisan politics. And that won’t be easy, particularly since many, myself included, believe that the republicans declared war on the environment—not just “on environmentalists”—beginning roughly forty years ago. See, e.g.

    Suggesting that we can do an end-run on this problem seems unhelpful. Instead I believe that the public lands and environmental regulation agencies, working together, need to begin deep conversations with the American people about their public and private lands, the environment, and the health an well-being now and into the far future for ourselves, and for other species in communities of life. This is what Aldo Leopold advocated. Good luck in this endeavor when the Trump Administration has expanded the earlier war on the environment—warring ever more aggressively against government agencies and warring against science itself.

    • Dave, you and I have different ideas about the “Republicans declaring war on the environment”. I was working on the Hill in 1995, and was a staff supporting the Democratic Environmental Caucus for my boss, Congresswoman Carrie Meek of the 18th Florida District.

      As a naive wonky FS employee, I innocently asked if we might work in a bipartisan way to fix parts of the ESA. The head staff person of the Caucus said “no we would rather use it as a tool to beat Republicans than to engage with them.” Later, my boss voted against a bill that was protective of coastlands (I think it had to do with building in hurricane areas) and this same DEC staff person was disappointed, since she had done “the right thing” about an Idaho bill.

      To me “the environment” has a great many different components, and some have successfully parsed out some for attention at the expense of others. Things that D’s want are not examined closely for environmental consequences, because it doesn’t fit into the “R’s are bad for the environment” narrative. And as long as folks in the US use natural resources, I don’t see that you can argue that it’s better “environmentally” to get them from elsewhere. Elsewhere potentially has fewer regulations (not you, Canadians 🙂 ) and higher environmental costs from transport. Plus if you hire people here, we have more tax dollars to support public lands.

      • Yes Sharon, we seem to have different ideas about the “Republicans declaring war on the environment.” My ideas square quite well with those in the article I linked. (Linked again just below) Did you read it? You pointed out your experience with a Democrat operative who sought to use the ESA as a club to beat up on Republican operatives. Too bad. An example of demagogic behavior. To which I noted, earlier, that “we desperately need to get over the impasse of partisan politics.”

        Then I noted: And that won’t be easy, particularly since many, myself included, believe that the republicans declared war on the environment—not just “on environmentalists”—beginning roughly forty years ago. See, e.g.

        Maybe our differences relate to semantics. Would you agree to a Republican war on environmental activists? and/or: A Republican war on governmental agencies chartered to protect the environment?

        Or maybe the difference stems, at least in part, with my choice to use the word “war.” If the latter, maybe I should have been a bit gentler and suggested that Republican leaders seem to have become reluctant to propose, for whatever reasons, to actively support governmental agendas for cleaner air and water, for protection of plant and animal species, for curbing global warming, and so on.

        Any of this make sense?

        Sharon concludes: To me “the environment” has a great many different components, and some have successfully parsed out some for attention at the expense of others. Things that D’s want are not examined closely for environmental consequences, because it doesn’t fit into the “R’s are bad for the environment” narrative.

        And as long as folks in the US use natural resources, I don’t see that you can argue that it’s better “environmentally” to get them from elsewhere. Elsewhere potentially has fewer regulations (not you, Canadians ) and higher environmental costs from transport. Plus if you hire people here, we have more tax dollars to support public lands.

        I respond: Are you saying that what I have labeled as a Republican war on the environment is instead a Democrat assault on Republicans for allegedly being “bad for the environment”? If so, we really do live in separate realities.

        As for: “Things that D’s want are not examined closely for environmental consequences.” Where is your evidence to support?

        In your second paragraph, I hope you are using a generic form of “you” because I don’t recall having ever argued that it is better to allow others to pollute their environments and devastate their resource bases to get products or “resources” from elsewhere. Neither do I argue against jobs here v. job elsewhere. If you were using a generic “you” then we are left with the vexing problem of trying to protect our environment and our jobs without destroying environments and jobs elsewhere. That is a subject for a different blog post.

        • Speaking of a different blog post (just above in my last response), I woke up today thinking that I need to write one up soon working off your term Sharon, narrative, and my terms framing, and blaming:

          And also Brooke Gladstone’s use of separate realities from her new book The Trouble with Reality. I will need to interrelate all with Patricia Roberts-Miller’s Demagoguery and Democracy. I need to blend in differing partisan perspectives that have evolved in the parties of R and D in the USA.

          BTW: as Roberts-Miller notes “Demagoguery is fun.” I dabble in it, as do others here and elsewhere. But also, “Demagoguery is bad, if it is always.”

          • That sound great, Dave! You always read interesting books and I appreciate your summarizing the ideas from them. The problem with demagoguery to me is that as you can see in this wikipedia definition, there is so much history about the term, it’s hard to tell what it would mean to anyone.

            • Patricia Roberts-Miller’s book Demagoguery and Democracy, 2017, argues for a different definition for demagoguery. Since Roberts-Miller has a blog, I’ll grab a definition of what demagoguery is and what it is not from there:

              I’ve argued elsewhere that we’re in a culture of demagoguery, by which I mean that there are certain widely-shared premises about politics and public discourse:

              Every policy/political issue has a single right answer, and all other answers are wrong;
              That correct answer to any political question is obvious to people of good will and good judgment (that is, to good people);
              The in-group (us) is good;
              Therefore, anyone who disagrees with the in-group or tries to get a different policy passed isn’t just mistaken or coming from a different perspective or pointing out things it might be helpful for the in-group to know, but bad, and
              Deliberation and debate are unnecessary, and compromise is simply making a good policy less good.
              So, in a perfect world, all policy decisions would be made by the in-group or the person who best represents the in-group’s needs,
              And, therefore, the ideal political candidates are fanatically loyal to the in-group and will shut or shout down anyone who disagrees.

              [By in-group, social psychologists don’t mean the group in power, but the social group of which one is a member. So, for some people, being a dog lover is an in-group, even (or especially) in the midst of a culture in which that identity is marginalized.

              This is not the conventional way of thinking about demagoguery—if you look at a dictionary, it will probably define demagoguery as speech by demagogues (in other words, it reduces the issue to one of identity—a demagogic move).

              In common usage, demagoguery is often assumed to be obviously false speech that is completely emotional, untrue, and evidence-free on the part of bad people with bad motives.

              That’s a useless definition for various reasons (including that it doesn’t even apply to many of the most notorious demagogues); it’s also actively harmful in that it impedes our ability to identify in-group demagoguery—that is, demagoguery on the part of people we like. And it does so because we can tell ourselves this isn’t demagoguery if:

              we think we are calm while reading the text, and the text (or rhetor) has a calm tone
              we believe the claims in the text are true
              the claims can be supported with evidence
              we believe the people making the argument are good people
              we believe they have good motives

              One of the things I want to suggest in this talk is that teachers of writing are often unintentionally engaged in reaffirming the premises on which demagoguery operates, and we can do so in two general ways: first, by teaching criteria of “bad argumentation” (or demagoguery or propaganda or whatever devil term is in question) that don’t productively identity the problems of certain kinds of public discourse, thereby giving people a false sense of security—as in the above criteria. We can feel comfortable that we aren’t consuming or producing demagoguery when we are. Second, a lot of writing and especially argumentation textbook appeal to the rational/irrational split, assume a binary in epistemologies (so that one is either a naïve realist or relativist), require that students engage in motivism, and rely on a modernist formalism about what constitutes “good” writing.

              For instance, if you look at the criteria for determining demagoguery, you can see the standards often advocated for a “good” argument.

              If, as I’ll argue, that isn’t a helpful way to think about demagoguery, then the consequent way of teaching argumentation not only ends up reinforcing demagogic premises about public deliberation, but puts teachers in a really difficult place for talking productively about issues like bias and fairness.

              • Interesting that WordPress didn’t accept the list format (above) from Roberts-millers blog here in comments. I think you, Sharon can get the message in any case. When I get my promised blog post finished I will make sure that the lists show up correctly.

                • It didn’t accept the bullets from the Utah Watershed Initiative either. I had to put a dash in each line manually. I wish I understood this stuff!

  4. Interesting. I’m of two minds on this Sharon.
    First, I’ve been considering for some time now starting a PAC to fund politicians supporting public lands. I’m good friends with Land Tawney (creator of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers) and have been in discussion partnering with BHA to create PACs in every state BHA operates in. Part of the PACs purpose would be exactly what you’re proposing Sharon, ie. sharing resources with local public land agencies in the form of recreation/education grants. The PAC would target the money. Outdoor rec businesses are where the money is. Naturally, these businesses would be playing a similar role to your proposal.

    Second, I’m a Democratic Socialist. Partnering the public trust with corporations seems anathema to the public trust. It kinda stinks of neoliberalism. It’s seems similar to reliance on GoFundMe by people who have slipped through the cracks due to the steady erosion of our social safety nets. I mean, whose to say only the outdoor industry corporations will step forward? Why not Nestle? Pretty soon the corps have a foot in the public lands door that will never be closed again. More erosion of the public trust. Screw that. I like the PAC idea better. Get rid of the politicians that are making this an issue in the first place. Screw them.

    • An aside. What makes anyone think businesses are willing to get involved in such a high profile manner. Businesses hate politics b/c they never know where a customer will fall politically. Fall on the wrong side and you’ve lost customers forever. This is political. Do you see Patagonia and Cabella’s working toward the same goals? Troublesome.

      • “We have to think as an industry, in districts where it’s likely a Republican is going to be elected, what’s the opportunity in a primary there?” Roberts said. “We know that voters who are identifying as Republicans also care about conservation issues.”

        She added that recreational business owners and consumers need to become “more sophisticated and start to really dig in and ask as people are running in primaries, and not wait for the general to say, ‘Where do they stand on these issues?'”

        During the panel, Roberts noted that OIA, which also operates a political action committee, will also be involved in competitive Senate and gubernatorial races across the West, although she did not offer specifics.” Sounds pretty high profile to me…

    • Eric, I am being pragmatic here. Wen it comes down to budget discussions, trade-offs and so on, if you want more recreation funds for X forest, you can elect your representative, but when that person goes to DC, how much impact can they have in reality? They can get to Interior Appropriations committee and have more power than the average Jane Congresswoman but in the mish mosh of budget horse trading, how likely are they to make an impact? And at the expense of what other desirable federal program? And then suppose the WO decides to give the extra bucks to some other deserving region, and/or the Region to some other deserving Forest?

      I do agree with you about corporate partnerships, though.The Park Service has a great many of these that seem questionable. Perhaps a firewall would work.. we will fund and support your efforts but not direct them? Like the Carnegie Libraries? Carnegie didn’t decide what books to buy, but supported local libraries financially.

      • Sharon,
        You didn’t address the full scope of my 1st point. Which is, the PAC, or non-profit arm of the PAC, or a partner(s) with the PAC such as BCA. This is how you get the money, but still retain control. And they’ll give the money b/c it’s in their interests to protect public lands. They can choose themselves whether they want to advertise their contributions. My suspicion is that most would not.

        • Eric, I’m not sure I’m understanding you. Is a PAC a political action committee? I’m a little NGO impaired, can’t even read 990’s very well.

          My original idea was not about big money, it was about a lot of little contributions from regular people not corporations. Time, talent and treasure. Maybe lots of little things and working together could add up without the conflict of interest challenges that big money brings..

      • Also, just wanted to thank you for the post. This is important and I think we would do well to try and nail down several outside the box options before moving on from this thread. I’m not rejecting your approach, just adding to the mix so we can explore more options and the hypothetical efficacy of those options.

    • For whatever it’s worth…Land Tawney is a user and abuser of Dark Money people and PAC like that need to be exposed and opposed at every turn if we want to protect (what’s left of) democracy in America.


      In Montana, Dark Money Helped Democrats Hold a Key Senate Seat:

      “And in October, weeks after forming, the dark money side of Montana Hunters and Anglers, Montana Hunters and Anglers Action!, launched its first TV ad, starring Land Tawney, the group’s gap-toothed and camouflage-sporting president, who also served on the Sportsmen’s Advisory Panel for Tester. At the time, the super PAC side of the group was basically dormant.”


      A Montana hunting-and-angling group with Democratic ties has made a large TV ad buy rapping Republican U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg for his support of a bill that gives the U.S. Border Patrol access to all federal lands for border-security purposes….

      The ads, airing on network and cable TV stations, began Monday and will continue for three weeks, said Land Tawney of Missoula, president of the newly formed group.

      Tawney, a senior manager for the National Wildlife Federation, wouldn’t reveal the cost of the buy, but sources told the Gazette State Bureau that it’s between $200,000 and $250,000.

      In addition to Tawney, its officers include Democratic state Sen. Kendall Van Dyk of Billings; Barrett Kaiser, a Billings communications consultant and former aide to U.S. Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont.; and George Cooper, a senior vice president for a Washington, D.C., lobbying firm and former news producer for CNN.

      As a 501(c) (4) educational group, Montana Hunters and Anglers Action is not required to reveal its financial donors. Tawney said the donors have asked not to be identified, but that they include individuals and organizations.aid the group is spending $350,000 on the TV ad campaign, a substantial buy in Montana.

      • My conversations with him occurred a while back. To tell the truth, I hadn’t given it a lot of thought until this post jogged my memory. Building my law practice and having a kid has kept me jumping and sidetracked me from my pet projects. It would appear Land ran with my idea.

        That said, I’m of two minds about your comment Matt. In general, I agree that dark money is not the way to “do democracy.” However, we have the system we have and until we change that system, I fell like not utilizing it cutting our nose off to spite our face. Fight fire with fire. That’s what the right-wing has been doing for decades. Would you disagree with their success.

        Yeah, yeah … ends/means and all that. To which I reply — Realpolitik.

        That said, thanks for the update on what’s going on over there. I’m a couple steps removed from Missoula doings these days.

  5. I can see those efforts being spent keeping campgrounds open and other improvements. Also clearing trails to keep them open. Of course getting permission from the government agencies to do this could be a bit of a problem.
    These same agencies could also use the timber workers for restoration work and other improvements.
    It would take some creative thinking on everyone’s part.

    • I could really see the USFS outsourcing much of their prep fieldwork to private companies. However, they would still have to have inspectors for all those contracts. Additionally, those private timber crews cost a lot of money. The Forest Service can no longer rely on experienced temporary employees to do more and more work, within that 6 month annual window. ‘Fully’ funding timber programs will still fall far short of the lofty goals put forth by Planners.

    • Bob, volunteers in many parts of the country do keep campgrounds open and clear trails. They are doing and have been doing a terrific job. Maybe the Outdoor Recreation Industry could help make their activities more visible, and provide links to funding them. Like a map app that says, “If you’re enjoying a trail HERE, you might want to donate THERE.”

      • In my experience it’s pretty hit and miss, depending upon the rec director in any given district. If you’d like to have a discussion with a USFS rec director who is a genius at utilizing and integrating outside agency resources to get work done on the ground I would suggest talking to my old boss Patricia Hart on the North Zone of the IPNF. She uses Senior volunteers for all the campgrounds who are generally just paid a stipend. She’s run two kids crews that she pays through funding match grants that take care of a ton of the “close work” at trail heads, boating facilities and such. She partners with the Sierra Club, American Hiking Society, “Camp Thunderbird,” and other volunteer organizations for 5 day work trips into the backcountry. It’s a thing to behold and she’s been holding it together for over 25 years. She still swings a mean pulaski too.

        On the other end of the spectrum, just down south in the Central zone of the IPNF, the rec director doesn’t do squat to recruit and utilize outside resources … and it shows.

        • I’ll add this Sharon: Why not look at this from the opposite approach.

          As I said immediately above, there are USFS rec directors who do an incredible job with their districts using only minimal financial support from the agency. Why not explore in depth what Pat Hart has built over the years, how she has managed to year and and year out provide for solid rec crews, and how she has managed to leverage the money. I can tell you … it works. I was a part of it for seven-years. Come explore the rec facilities in the N. Zone of the IPNF. I guarantee you’ll be blown away.

          If one were able to distill that experience, the question then becomes, how do we ensure the rec directors across the country are implementing that experience.

          • Yes I agree with you Eric. I tried to do that kind of thing prior to writing an essay for the book Steve is editing. I tried to get interviews with the award winning volunteer and partner recreation district folks that I pulled off the National Awards.. they were interested in talking to me until they spoke with their Public Affairs folks. One Forest I emailed never answered my query.
            Maybe I’d have better luck with the IPNF, thanks for the tip!

  6. Quiz: What multi-million dollar 501(c)(3) non-profit accepts funding from REI, Patagonia, Land’s End, Walt Disney and Vail Resorts, among many other outdoor recreation companies, to finance national forest conservation projects?

    • Like I said above. I’m of two minds about this. I don’t think one can argue that the corporate infusions of money into groups like Nature Conservancy, Sierra Club, and the Wilderness Society have not had a moderating impact upon the policy positions of these 501(c)(3)s. Thus my reticence above. It stinks of a neoliberal corporate foot in the door that, coupled with the promise of continued money, cannot but co-opt the policy decisions of the agency they are partnering with. Slippery slope …

  7. That, or his head just exploded. I’m not recalling a good example of the influence of corp money on enviro NGO’s. I’m just proceeding from a basic premise. Corporations are the original artificial intelligence. That intelligence is directed toward one goal — maximizing shareholder profits at the expense of any other consideration. As soon as a profit incentive clashes with an NGO’s policy position, the corporation will seek to exert it’s financial influence to continue maximizing profit. This is why I keep throwing the neoliberal epithet around. We gave up on valuing anything that can’t be accounted for in a cost/benefit analysis with Ronald Reagan. It’s corporate gospel.

  8. There currently seems to be a wide split away from the reality of the middle.

    On one side are people who view those in power as ‘enemies of nature’ and that no form of nature’s destruction for money can be ruled out. They talk about “lost protections” as if extractive industries could just come in and take what they want, even from within ancient Indian artifacts and cultural sites.

    On the other side, there are people who want more clearcutting, no rules, and Federal lands returned to the States. They think that the Forest Service is full of eco-liberals who hate logging.

    Facebook is full of comments from these types of people, preferring to be told what to think, instead of doing their own unbiased research, via Google. Both sides seem to fully embrace the ‘fake news’ craze, milking it for all it is worth. The best example is the Sierra Club convincing thousands that Trump wants to clearcut the Giant Sequoias in National Parks and Monuments.

  9. Maybe you have provided documentation before, Larry, and I’ve not seen. Where is the evidence for fake news re: “… the best example is the Sierra Club convincing thousands that Trump wants to clearcut the Giant Sequoias in National Parks and Monuments.”


      A quick 1 minute search yielded some additional garbage from the Sierra Club, that just isn’t true.

      “Loggers have been trying for decades to get permission to log the redwood ecosystem, and the threat is more real than ever now that Trump has called for the monument to be reviewed. If we don’t act now, the monument could be reduced from 328,000 acres to just 90,000, putting a majority of the park’s beloved giant sequoia groves at risk.”

      They don’t even know the difference between giant sequoias and coastal redwoods….. or, do they?

          • “Don’t Let Trump Axe Giant Sequoia National Monument!”


            Logging companies are lying in wait, chainsaws ready, for President Trump to chop the boundaries and protections of Giant Sequoia National Monument and give them free reign to fell majestic trees.

            We cannot let this happen.

            Loggers have been trying for decades to get permission to log the redwood ecosystem, and the threat is more real than ever now that Trump has called for the monument to be reviewed. If we don’t act now, the monument could be reduced from 328,000 acres to just 90,000, putting a majority of the park’s beloved giant sequoia groves at risk.

            Giant Sequoia National Monument contains the world’s densest population of giant sequoias, as well as lush meadows and rare animals such as the California spotted owl and California condor.

            The local economic benefits to maintaining the National Monument are unmistakable: Since the designation of the Giant Sequoia National Monument, the number of jobs in the area has increased by 20 percent, per capita income by 24 percent, and population in the area by 21 percent.

            Giant Sequoia and our other national monuments were protected thanks to the work of activists like you. Now we need to stand up for our public lands once again.

            Take action: Don’t let Trump open up Giant Sequoia National Monument to logging! Protect our National Monuments and public lands for future generations.

            • So isn’t this basically a true statement by the Sierra Club (via Larry): “Trump wants to clearcut the Giant Sequoias in National Parks and Monuments.” They are currently in a monument, but Trump would redraw the boundaries to exclude them, putting them in an area where logging them would not be prohibited. We don’t know whether he actually wants to log them, but he wants the authority, and I think that is all most potential donors would need to hear.

              • If you re-read what I wrote, you’ll see that I was talking about their followers believing all sorts of amazing things that just aren’t true. I should ‘harvest’ some of their comments and present them here, in a new posting. *smirk*

                • And THEY (the enviro followers) are to be singled out as “believing all sorts of amazing things that just aren’t true.” I have book to recommend to you: Fantasyland: How America went haywire – A 500 year history. Kurt Andersen. 2018. Andersen leaves practically no one (no one group) out of your characterization. Andersen’s plea is that we begin to roll back the Fantasy, in part by calling people out on their specific fantastical thinking. The book is a wake-up all to the people of the United States. Unfortunately, “the people” will not hear the message in part because so few read, in part because it doesn’t make for good Reality-based TV.

              • Honestly, I doubt whether Trump knows or cares about logging anywhere, so no, that would not be a true statement. And whatever company might log there is not likely to have been a major contributor.. oh that’s right.. he didn’t really need contributors.

                • Do you doubt whether he knows or cares about regulations? I think the record is pretty clear on that one. Do you think he knows or cares enough to appoint industry shills to virtually every top post in every agency that has anything to do with the environment? I think the record is pretty clear on that too.

                  Inductive reasoning, Sharon. It’s a thing.

                  And while I’ve got ya …
                  The PAC thing would work like this: Put together a bundle of money from public lands users. Seek out pro-public land politicians. Offer to give them a bunch of money for their campaign, but only grant that money once the politician has openly published her/his stance on seeking to fund the agencies rec programs and infrastructure. Conversely, spend every dime you can opposing politicians that don’t support public lands through ad buys. Any successful campaign must be able to utilize all the resources possible in order to achieve its aims — preferably in a coordinated manner.

                  Finally, I talked with Pat for a long time the other day. She didn’t seem to think her methods would translate well across regions, and that, ultimately, it comes down to what I just said prior “Any successful campaign must be able to utilize all the resources possible to achieve its aims — preferably in a coordinated manner.”

  10. I contacted the Legislative Affairs person at the National Parks Conservation Association, saying that the Trump Administration was considering “logging in National Parks.” It turned out that it was a National Monument which, to me, is not the same thing. Plus, I think it at least should be considered in planning, given the history of the site – Katahdin Woods and Waters..and the fact that some citizens gave comments to that effect. If grazing can and does continue in some Monuments, why not logging in others? At least consider it, with reference to the history and culture of the area.

    Her email to me said she thought it was OK to say “logging in the National Parks” about a Monument that “because it’s a park site managed by NPS. ” Of course, by that logic, the Clinton Administration allowed “grazing in National Parks” when they developed the Grand Staircase Management Plan.


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