Welcome Back, Federal Employees!

Welcome back dear friends and colleagues! To say we missed you would be a vast understatement. I’ve been saving many posts until you were back to discuss them, because we would have missed so much in the discussion without your contributions. Below, I’m going to review posts and discussions after 12/22/18.

I’m going to try to highlight some of the topics since you’ve been gone.

(1) Supporting You All. We posted Jim Caswell’s letter to retirees about what we can do to help employees during the shutdown here.

(2) The Smokey Wire Changes You will notice the site looks very different. The site went down (for the first time in nine years!) because the hosting service felt it had been infected with malware (at the same time I was asking for tech support for a problem). Also the site needed to be updated because our theme was not compatible with Word 5.0. I won’t trouble you with the details of the need for donations, but for now just explaining the current status and ask that if you have problems, please let me know.

(2) Poop in National Parks. Here, we looked at the coverage of Park closings compared to National Forests, and wondered what it means that certain public lands are generally open without problems, but people at others use the absence of people to enforce rules as an opportunity to do bad things. I suggested a social scientist SWAT team to investigate this further. As parks and Forests get more and more crowded, it seems to me that figuring out the motivations of people who break rules would be very helpful. But to be fair, there was also poop in one of our State Parks.

(3) More Agreement Than You Might Think, or the Three Types of Straw Projects. I posted two news stories (here and here) with suggestions that people might be in agreement about fuel treatments in general, with exceptions for the Straw Projects, but really, if there are no actual Straw Projects, then they are actually in agreement.. In the California story, perhaps folks were talking past each other because the California Forestry Association person was talking about what they were for on federal land, and the Sierra Club person was talking about what she was for on private land. Matthew found out that the Sierra Club still has the policy of being against any commercial logging on federal land. We had a great discussion, including thoughtful comments by Jon and Anonymous, and we’re not done with this one yet. The closeness of possible agreements is tantalizing, as well as trying to understand what people are thinking. In Colorado, in many places, we’d like it if people would haul away our thinned material for free, let along pay us!

(4) Mountain Bikes Good discussion among people with knowledge and different points of view. Original post was about not allowing a bike race a permit, but got into the Mountain Bikes in Wilderness debate.

(5) What Was Open and What Was Shut Down This started off as being about oil and gas operations, but went on to logging operations (that violated contract and legal requirements according to Susan Jane Brown’s comment here, but as Anonymous said, ski areas were not shut down either.  Susan also shared this E&E news story that tried to make sense of what was shut down or not.

I know that this summary is incomplete and is heavily biased towards the last few weeks. Others are free to add.

1 thought on “Welcome Back, Federal Employees!”

  1. Here’s some additions to the summary of recent posts:

    The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is funding a $1000 ‘bounty’ per trapped and killed wolf in Idaho
    This post has been shared over 3,000 times directly from http://www.forestpolicy.com – making it one of the most widely read posts in the entire history of this blog.

    Clearcutting and Fuel Treatment in California: Will the California Forestry Association Call out Sierra Pacific’s Clearcuts?
    The California Forestry Association says they are not talking about clearcutting in the wake of deadly California wildfires. Sierra Pacific Industries has clearcut huge areas of the Sierra Mountains. Will the CFA call them out?

    Trump’s executive order will cut more forest trees; CU Boulder professor says “we can’t log our way out of the fire problem
    In which we focus way too much on the qualifications of a CU-Boulder Professor who said a few things to a reporter.

    Trump to California: No FEMA Funding For You!
    This one could be subtitled:

    Kick ’em when they’re up
    Kick ’em when they’re down
    Kick ’em when they’re up
    Kick ’em all around

    Oregon logging history map
    Oregon Wild has compiled an interactive map of logged and thinned areas on public and private lands across the state of Oregon. “If nothing else, it’s hard to look at this and accuse anyone wanting to keep logging out of new parts of their public lands of being an ‘extremist,'” said Jon Haber, who wrote the post.


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