Journalist Request for Stories and Contacts on National Forest Conflicts

Here’s a chance to help out a journalist:

From Larry Parnass: A hearty hello to ‘The Smokey Wire’ community. I am an investigative reporter examining conflicts regarding management of our national forests. I am eager to expand the range of my reporting through contact with people immersed in these issues. I’ve been struck by the variety and depth of views shared on The Smokey Wire and believe I can learn a lot from participants. Anyone willing to be in touch can email me at “larry.parnass@marquette.edu”.

11 thoughts on “Journalist Request for Stories and Contacts on National Forest Conflicts”

  1. I had a nice chat with Larry over phone in Mid-September, and also spoke at length with another member of the Marquette University’s O’Brien Fellowship in Public Service Journalism a few weeks ago. Larry has a solid grasp of the issues and asked many good questions.

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  2. Perhaps I will live to see the day a journalist requests stories on National Forest management successes, as opposed to conflicts.

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    • Brian, I’m pretty sure that if you contact Larry and share with him any stories you have about National Forest management successes he’d be all ears and welcome your information.

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    • Brian, that is kind of the point that I was making to him as well, that if all people hear about is conflicts, that they might not get a well-rounded idea of what is actually going on. So if there are great stories about people getting along, you can also send those to him.

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  3. Thinking about Matthew’s suggestion, I now want to apologize for the somewhat snarky tone of my original thought.

    I might suggest the forest collaboratives in Idaho or maybe even the NW WA Forest Coalition as successes. But other stakeholders view these efforts as awful failures. Ditto with a couple of travel plans I view as successes.

    Maybe I need to accept conflict is inherent in USFS management.

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    • It seems clear that conflict over land, and land management, has been around as long as humans have been around. It may just be a human condition that we have to accept and try and learn to live with.

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  4. Yes. I downloaded the study and managed to slog through it. I started to prepare a response but gave up. I kept swerving into discussing the study’s use of the terms ‘unmanaged recreation’ and ‘wicked problem(s)’, so was never able to really get to your specific question. I have three draft paragraphs of why the study’s author’s definition of unmanaged recreation was way, way off. Not really the point of your post, right?

    I am proud to admit to a pro-motorized bias but I don’t remember very many OHV/Snowmobile plans that escaped litigation. If I were to proffer an answer to your question — it would the quality of the NEPA analysis. Not the level. But the quality. Another reason I would give is the presence of stakeholders who have the means to challenge.

    Also, I struggled to relate the reference to the recent and past Pike San-Isabel trail(s) to your query. I guess because there is a actual listed species present. That’s not that common and litigation should be expected in such cases. (Colorado’s OHV groups were/are the key motorized stakeholders on that issue. I was only tangentially involved.)

    Frankly, I think a more interesting question would be why some non-motorized recreation plans are controversial and others fly through without opposition.

    Indeed, I am just now heading out to ride a quick loop near the 18 road mountain bike trail system near Fruita, CO. Twenty or so years ago I watched in stunned amazement as they were blazed in and marketed. How in the world most of those trails got officially designated without challenge would be a worthwhile study, IMO.

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    • I agree, that’s an equally interesting question. Just to clarify, there is a trail issue (re: the endangered fish) but I was talking about the broader PSI travel management litigation.

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  5. Thanks to all who have gotten in touch, and to you, Sharon, for your generosity in helping me get my request before your readers. Brian, thanks for your observation about use of the word “conflict” (and later, your email). Point taken, and forgive my shorthand. My team is committed to taking a wide and deep look at today’s forest issues, including solutions and successes.

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