Last August we discussed and debated this piece of investigative journalism from Oregon Public Broadcasting titled “What Happened When a Public Institute Became a De Facto Lobbying Arm of the Timber Industry.”
Today, Oregon Public Broadcasting published another piece of investigative journalism titled “A timber lobbyist called our investigation ‘completely bogus.’ We have the receipts to show it’s not.”
48 thoughts on “A timber lobbyist called OPB’s investigation ‘completely bogus.’ OPB has the receipts to show it’s not”
I posted about this on r/forestry subreddit to get the delusional pro timber industry perspective. And one guy tried to argue that because the state, the tribes and some municipalities sell logs that spending public tax revenue on lobbying to maximize timber profits is a much needed public service. A bit of a stretch…
In general there’s an effort in the responses to normalize this type of wrong-headed ethos…
But what they get wrong about it is they aren’t merely advocating for their position, which is sadly common with status quo harmful activities that often end up being subsidized by the taxpayer, but what’s really wrong about it is they use that $4 million to help discredit legitimate science and attack in depth investigation like the sequestration study that was featured.
And as another commenter in the discussion pointed out, the person who’s carbon sequestration paper that they sought to destroy was simply saying longer rotations of 80 years is better than 40 years for carbon absorption. But when every decade your industry lowers it’s acceptable rotation age not based on science but based on unsustainable over-harvesting and a lack of mature inventory, is it any reason you treat a modest proposal to extend rotation age as a major threat to your dying unsustainable industry?
Even worse is their inability to respond in depth and with the latest science rather than knee jerk reactions. But then again, some things never change because industrial forestry has always been and will always be anti-science, unless it’s the miss guided science from the 1970’s that they still feature in most forestry colleges and universities of today.
As a journalist and a forester, I see the Oregonian/OPB/Probublica series as shoddy journalism. Or activism masquerading as journalism. The authors fail to fully explain why timber property tax was reduced in the early 1990s, how much timberland owners do pay today in taxes (yes, even Weyco pays taxes), and what effects reverting to the old system might have, especially when timber prices fall back to “normal” or lower (and they will fall). They also attack OFRI (unjustifiably, in my view) without explaining that most of its budget is spent on educating the public about Oregon’s Forest Practices Act.
FWIW, I was a volunteer member of OFRI’s Speakers Bureau for several until the program was ended. I spoke to community and service organizations about forests and forest management in Oregon. The materials I presented were in no way biased in favor of any particular sector. See the ORFI web site and judge for yourself…. oregonforests.org.
I accepted your invitation and viewed a 1:40 overview of herbicide spraying. This “happy talk” video mentioned NOTHING about risks or controversy, options to chemicals in control of leafy veg, making it seem that chemicals are essential to effective forest management. In brief, TOTALLY biased in favor of industry’s continued use of chemicals. C’mon Man…
And I’m sure that Colorado’s Outdoor Recreation Office doesn’t mention the negative impacts of recreation on ecosystems when it writes stuff, and the Craft Beer Office doesn’t talk about the evils of alcoholism and environmental impacts of production, and so on… so my point is… how exactly should any state-funded promotional office promote whatever is produced in the state?
So three of the most incomparable reporting organizations with a proven track record of fact-finding rather than industry bias spends a year working on an investigation and a you as a forester who’s a member of the industry biased OFRI’s speakers bureau is too scared to use his real name, while also claiming to be a journalist, and then claims the journalistic effort was shoddy? Qualifying your expertise in journalism anonymously? Is that how you think you build enough credibility to call real journalists shoddy?
Did you read up on the story’s methodology and evaluative process? Or is it simply that you don’t like the truth coming out?
As for the bias of OFRI it’s crystal clear that conservation and watershed and climate protection is not what they’re pushing. Look at the very first thing they say in K-12 education section of their pro logging lobbying website:
“In Oregon, nearly 50 percent of our state’s 61 million acres is forestland. Our forests supply renewable resources for lumber, paper and heating, along with jobs that support families and communities.”
Right from the very first paragraph they want children to be taught the utilitarian use of our forests is the primary purpose of them and when it comes to keeping forest land as forestland OFRI doesn’t care if the trees fail to regenerate because they’re protecting the forest from “development” rather than from deforestation, habitat loss, water pollution and massive amounts of industrial carbon emissions .
Any airplane ride over western Oregon makes the lack of forest protection in the state’s best forest growing sites crystal clear. In fact if trees and forests were considered to be a disease, OFRI’s website considers itself the cure.
Gone is any mention of meaningful ecological protection, when it comes to protecting salmon-bearing watersheds; gone is any mention that when it comes to the one landscape on the planet capable of absorbing and storing more carbon per acre than anywhere else in the world. And why is that? Because clearcutting at a younger and younger rotation age is still king and other values beyond logging are not as important. So much so that they lost federal salmon restoration funding on the coast because it was a lost cause due to overharvesting because enforcement of what little protection exists on the books doesn’t exist.
And then you say that you and your deforestation friends pay their taxes when counties all over the state are falling apart due to lack of revenue? Why is that? Is it because it’s so easy to scapegoat the environmentalists? How is that a public service that ORFI provides?
As for “educating the public about the Oregon Forest Practice Act” I’ve read all 3 sets of our western states’ forest practice rules and while all of them have endless loopholes big enough to drive lots of logging trucks through, Oregon’s rules in particular are an obscene joke when it comes to a lack of enforcement, a lack of regularly updated rulemaking and a lack of basics substance. As in the shortest stack of paper compared to the other two states. And what does this all add up to?
I remember back in the early 90’s I drove all over the state and sawmills and pulp mills were everywhere. And because of us evil environmentalists who OFRI and others hate so much they all had big signs talking about how sustainable they were and how wrong us enviros were. But now 30 years later you drive those same roads and almost every last one of those sawmills and pulp mills is gone because they were never a sustainable business in the first place.
So when it comes to posting your comment anonymously, I get it. I’d do the same thing if I lived a life as dishonest as yours. And if I did know your real name you could bet I’d be pulling your papers and then pulling up satellite images of all the forests you managed that are no longer forests/regeneration failure..
Point being OFRI doesn’t support protecting forest from logging, it supports advocating for more logging than it advocates for anything else. And while that may of been acceptable in the 1970’s, the amount of forest landscapes stripped down to nothing right now makes it clear that the Oregon Board of Forestry and OFRI have failed us and it’s time the gravy train ends and public funds are finally stripped from them. We need a new era that taxes deforestation at the highest rate and long term forest protection with no logging is taxed at the lowest rate.
I don’t know any state organization designed to promote an industry that couldn’t be considered to be “captured” by it. My point being “when is advocacy considered to be OK and when is it not?” Does it depend on the industry in question? See the below from the Colorado Recreation Industry Office, note the word “advocacy.” Here we sit with the environment being overrun with recreators… who use energy to get to places disturb wildlife and so on. (not that I am arguing for fewer recreators or that the state shouldn’t fund an office, just that it doesn’t seem fair to say it’s OK for some and not other industries). And who decides what level/type/documents of advocacy are OK or not? Is it a public process? Based on what set of common criteria?
“Colorado Outdoor Recreation Industry Office
The Colorado Outdoor Recreation Industry Office (OREC) provides a central point of contact, advocacy, and resources at the state level for the diverse constituents, businesses, and communities that rely on the continued health of the outdoor recreation economy.
OREC’s mission is to champion industry, communities, and people to come to life through Colorado’s great outdoors.
Colorado’s outdoor recreation industry accounts for $37 billion in consumer spending annually and contributes 511,000 direct jobs. According to the 2019 SCORP report, 92% of Colorado residents participate in outdoor recreation each year. Colorado’s outdoor economy contributes to a higher quality of life, making people and communities happier and healthier.
We are privileged to live in a state that has no rival when it comes to our iconic natural landscapes. From our 22 million acres of public land, 105,344 miles of rivers, 690 peaks over 13,000 feet, and expansive vistas of prairies, mountain valleys, and desert canyons, these spaces are central to Colorado’s lifestyle, heritage, identity, and world-class recreation economy.”
Excellent points Sharon… Especially when you run the numbers for the billions of dollars people will spend on recreation and tourism over time as the forests are finally allowed to regrow and watersheds are finally allowed to be ecosystem’s rather than bare ground silt making monster used for braindead tree farmers.
IN the long run Industrial forestry will ALWAYS generate less revenue than recreation. That’s been proven again and again! A successful financial future for rural Oregon depends on the demise of the timber industry and the way the industry operates, their demise has already been proven to be inevitable. We’re at the final stages of that process.
Deane, I don’t understand the relationship between removing private timberlands and more recreation. Oregon has plenty (too much?) outdoor recreation going on on federal lands. Are you thinking private timberlands will pass into public ownership somehow and become recreation areas? It sounds like no matter what industries’ practices are, you are for their removal, say even if there were no herbicides, 80 year rotations, big SMZ’s and so on.
Sharon, saying you don’t understand the relationship between removing private timberlands and the need for more recreation implies that you’re part of the kleptocracy that has no awareness of what restoring impaired watersheds actually means.
Section 303(D) of the Clean Water Act makes it clear that impaired watersheds (more than 90% of all watersheds) must be restored via a budgeting process known as Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL) that limits the amount of water pollution. In this case it’s heat and silt that is pushing Salmon and the hundreds of salmon dependent/related species to extinction.
Furthermore, in the same sentence you suggest that there’s plenty of outdoor recreation on federal lands while also pointing out that there’s too much? Meanwhile, the timber industry you seem to advocate for loves to blame recreation rather than deforestation for species extinction. As in anyone but the people causing rapid deforestation is to blame.
But truth is there’s 4.2 million people in Oregon and federal and state land is no longer large enough to carry those impacts when all the very best forest growing land is primarily in private hands and not being managed for long term health but being destroyed for short term profit.
But back to watershed planning, which the Northwest Forest Plan’s Aquatic Conservation Strategy (AQS) addressed with a process of analysing sub-watersheds with questions designed to be iterative / feedback loops that guide land use, including TMDL, to save aquatic species from extinction.
Catch is OFRI/Timber lobbyists/Steve Wilent/SAF will do anything and say anything no matter how dishonest to make sure all privately owned land in sub-watersheds is a blank spot on the map where zero analysis related to watershed health will be allowed in the name of “property rights” despite the fact this it’s illegal under the Clean Water Act.
Furthermore, an incredibly talented women who is a hydrologist in Northern California created a peer reviewed scientifically valid method for calculating point source water pollution on the sub watershed-scale down to a resolution that allowed for the number of trees removed to correlate to the volume of silt pollution in streams. There’s also another hydrologist in Montana that could calculate instream silt based on the amount of vehicle trip on logging roads. But again, his credible science was smeared by OFRI/Timber lobbyists/Steve Wilent/SAF and their careers were destroyed despite them having strong backing via peer-reviewed scientists.
We have the science that can help us enforce the Clean Water Act to restore impaired streams and save salmon, which could ultimately feeds billions of dollars annually in recreation and tourism money to a rural oregon that’s going broke due to deforestation/timber industry corruption.
So if you want to talk about OFRI/Timber lobbyists/Steve Wilent/SAF engaging in dishonest smear campaigns in defense of private timberland owners every time someone tries to limit the amount of trees they can log no matter how many laws they break; then yes, lets talk about eminent domain seizure of all LLC timberlands who are not small woodlot owners that live on their land. They’re the entire reason the forests have been stripped down to nothing because a small amount of logging revenue from immature trees makes way more money as cash on wall street than they’ll make re-growing on a hillside to hold the watershed and climate together in a way the drives a flourishing new rural Oregon recreation and tourism economy. As in the timber industry is not worth negotiating with and as each decade goes by they become weaker and more insolvent, making a massive land seizure event inevitable.
“IN the long run Industrial forestry will ALWAYS generate less revenue than recreation.” I don’t think that’s true. The average logger makes 50k a year and has benefits. Work your way up to hook tender and that goes up closer to 80k a year. What recreation jobs are 1.) not seasonal and 2.) pay a living wage with benefits? There are definitely arguments to be made for how we can do a better job of balancing resource extraction with recreation oportunities but generating better paying jobs isn’t one of them. It is hard to feed a family of four on a barista’s salary.
Patrick F- there are other complications as well. Some recreation areas such as ski areas depend on summer students from foreign countries (which isn’t bad, but also not jobs for our workers because they are seasonal and pay too little). The other thing is that not every community is equally likely to become a recreation job center because they’re not pretty, far from hospitals, etc. I think Ray Rasker of Headwaters Economics looked at that.
Deann, I think the statement
“In Oregon, nearly 50 percent of our state’s 61 million acres is forestland. Our forests supply renewable resources for lumber, paper and heating, along with jobs that support families and communities.” That is a true statement isn’t it? What would you have said instead?
Here’s a rewrite:
“In Oregon, nearly 50 percent of our state’s 61 million acres is forestland that’s threatened by a timber industry that’s creating permanent deforestation, species extinction, loss of clean water, clean air and is directly preventing the recovery of the most fertile carbon absorbing landscape on the planet. And most importantly the loss of tourism and recreational opportunities to an increasingly smaller and smaller number of timber industry jobs every year is destroying rural Oregon economies. If we finally stop the destruction, our forests left standing will supply life giving resources that create truly sustainable jobs that support families and communities in perpetuity.”
@Sharon re: ‘What would you have said instead?’
How about also mentioning some of the intrinsic/ecosystem service values forests provide, i.e., “…habitat for a wide variety of wildlife, filtration and regulation of ground and surface water flows, essential nutrients for freshwater and anadramous fish, a wide variety of recreation opportunities for tens of millions of annual visitors, etc.”
Those are also forest resources, after all. They just are not the ones OFRI is focused on.
OFRI has a number of publications on wildlife, fish water, carbon, etc. For example:
Here’s the OFRI Mission statement:
It’s the Oregon Forest Resources Institute. If we had say, the Oregon Agricultural Resources Institute, would we expect them to highlight other uses of agricultural land? Certainly if the Williamette Valley were to revert to native grasslands and into public ownership/access there would also be more recreational opportunities…and less use of pesticides, better water quality, and so on…unless it got sold to developers..
Deane, my name is Steve Wilent. What I posted is my personal opinion, based on decades of experience. I have degrees in forestry and journalism. I’m editor of The Forestry Source, the monthly newspaper of the Society of American Foresters. I’ve taught forestry/wildlife management classes part-time at Mt. Hood Community College since 1996. I edited and contributed to a 2018 book, 193 Million Acres: Toward a Healthier and More Resilient US Forest Service.
BTW, according to OFRI, about 1/3 of Oregon forest are wilderness, parks, or other reserves. About 1/3 are multiple-use forests, and the remaining 1/3 is managed primarily for timber.
I am fine with the Forest Service not using “industrial forestry” around here, since the 80’s. We just need to triple the amount of commercial thinning (which most environmentalists actually want), to be completed annually.
It’s very easy to target the ‘low-hanging fruit’ in a ‘jihad’ against forestry. Right-wingers like to lie about environmentalists, saying that all logging was stopped by lawsuits since the 80’s. Of course, that is completely wrong but, those people love to parrot these QAnon-like accusations, which have no basis in fact.
When people (on both sides) stoop to lying about easily-verified facts, that means they are desperate and pathetic.
I think OFRI is akin to NRA — the original idea and mission were credible, but the OFRI”non-profit” got captured by industry and ideology and simply became a tool, not for the public interest but corporate privilege.
Judging by the the Oregonian/OPB/Probublica series, “captured by industry and ideology” is the view of OFRI many readers now unfortunately have. The authors cherry-pick statements that they say shows that OFRI is “a de facto lobbying arm of the timber industry” — but they fail to look at what OFRI actually does and produces. According to its 2019/2020 annual report, 56% of OFRI’s budget was spent on public education, followed by K-12 education programs (21%), landowner education (13%), and admin costs (10%). A look at the wealth of public, K-12, and landowner education materials on its website will show an unbiased approach to forest management and values.
But isn’t every state office that supports any industry (via grants, marketing whatever) then part of corporate privilege? Example, in Colorado the State gives money to marijuana start-ups. I’d say that’s not necessarily good for public health. Is that “corporate privilege” and “not in the public interest”? Perhaps the state government of Colorado is “captured by industry and ideology”?
Colorado has collected $1.63 billion in tax revenue associated with marijuana sales. I’ll bet that’s a sufficient motive for Colorado state government to promote the pot industry.
Andy, coincidentally I ran across this today. It has a map where you can put in your county..gotta love GIS! https://phys.org/news/2021-03-insatiable-demand-cannabis-giant-carbon.html
The first I heard about the use of big electric loads was in our small rural electric coop newsletter that talked about having to install more capacity. I then tried to get journalists interested in exploring further but couldn’t get them interested. I’m glad engineers at CSU have taken this on.
I would be thrilled if OFRI modeled itself after CFRI (https://cfri.colostate.edu/about-cfri/) instead of acting like a state-sponsored AFRC.
But that’s not its mission, based on what appears to be the enabling legislation.
Sharon, I think the distinction is whether OFRI is advocating for the “industry” or Oregon’s forests… their mission again: “advancing public understanding of forests, forest management and forest products, and encouraging sustainable forestry” … There’s nothing EXPLICIT here about advocating for industry or industry goals. I suspect there has been mission “drift” since the legislation creating OFRI, largely owing to a board skewed heavily toward industry. Combine that with a steady spigot of $millions a year and, voila – – the problems outlined by OPB.
Excellent points Jim… When OFRI was first established there was a timber war going on and big timber was circling the wagons with their powerful allies at the state and federal level to win a war against enviros. And there’s been significant industry drift since then.
Compared to today there was still a meaningful inventory of merchantable sawlogs on private lands back then because the liquidation of old growth forests on public lands was roaring, but due to so much timber industry corruption it was about to be shut down via court injunction. And with all the investigations into massive timber theft, as well as sufficiently language from congress to suspend court injunctions, there was a growing sense of big timber’s crime syndicate losing control of their racket and enviros were starting to be more formidable. That’s what OFRI was created to fight back against. It never was about educating people about the truth of forest science, it was about the state of Oregon taking the timber industry’s side in the timber wars. Anyone who suggests otherwise is just a trained liar for the industry.
But now 30 years later the remaining inventory of truly merchantable sawlogs on private lands is gone, federal lands logging has been reduced to a trickle and Oregon counties are going broke because timber industry profits and 20 year rotations ages on the best growing sites is still more important than county revenue.
Meanwhile the GOP walkouts in state legislature and logging truck protests have done nothing to recover an unsustainable industry’s power and influence at the state level, let alone the federal level. So the inevitable demise of OFRI as it exists today is a product of the same demise that fell the timber industry. You can only lie about and dismiss other competing interests for so long before you alienate yourself to the point that people recognize your dishonest over-harvesting is the problem, not the solution.
Yesterday, George Wuerthner posted another great article about how this misinformation racket is finally winding down:
“The Forest Service and Forestry Schools have been the handmaiden of the timber industry for so long they do not even recognize their own biases” http://www.thewildlifenews.com/2021/03/10/institutional-bias-of-forestry-school-research/
Well, Wuerthner is still living in the 80’s, so there’s that!
Jim is exactly right. There is nothing in OFRI’s enabling legislation that prevents it from acting more like CFRI. Here’s the “What We Do” statement from CFRI’s website:
“We lead collaborations between researchers, managers, and stakeholders to generate and apply locally-relevant, actionable knowledge to inform forest management strategies. Our work informs forest conditions assessments, management goals and objectives, monitoring plans, and adaptive management processes.”
What aspects of this approach do you think OFRI prohibited by law from emulating, Sharon?
Steve – in my earlier thread I noted the bias in OFRIs educational material. I’m certain your budget figures are correct — it’s the content of the material not the amount that reveals OFRIs mission focus. OFRI was “created by the Oregon Legislature in 1991 to advance public understanding of forests, forest management and forest products, and to encourage sustainable forestry through landowner education.” They could present far more balanced and complete picture of forest values. I stand by my contention that, like OPB said, they are simply industry lobbyists. Oregon taxpayers should demand better.
Jim, I respectfully and strongly disagree with “they are simply industry lobbyists.”
When they start evoking a more balanced message that includes the values of natural forests, ecosystem services, and some of the problems with industrial forestry I’ll be the first to rescind my statement. BTW I was approached by the OR Gov office a few years ago to serve on the Forestry Board (my bona fides being Siuslaw NF Supv and FS Deputy Chief); my name was mysteriously “withdrawn from consideration”. Do you think industry pols had anything to do with that?
Jim, I am very empathetic about not being selected for things because people disagree with you and may not like your style or what you say. I can only say 1. I was much less important than you in the FS and 2. I don’t think anyone approved of me.. from the timber industry to the ski industry to environmental groups. I think some folks in the state government of Colorado really didn’t like me (e.g. said it was OK for me to present to a state advisory committee, then had my boss call me in the middle of my presenting to get me to stop, but of course I don’t answer the phone when I’m presenting). In retrospect, the whole drama was incredibly silly. Frequent readers of TSW can easily imagine how I could alienate a wide variety of groups by applying what seems to me to be reasonable arguments against (some of) their positions, and my total lack of political instincts.
Which reminds me of what our Regional Forester at the time, Rick Cables, told me about a political person on the Roadless Task Force…”Sharon, you like this guy cause he’s a fantastic policy wonk, but he’s a politician and he’d just as soon turn on you and stab you in the back.”
The way I like to look at it is this.. there are those of us who are faithful to the way we are made and the way we think. Which reminds me of the old Zusya story.
“There is a tale of a hassidic rabbi named rabbi Zusya. Zusya was a timid man, a man who lived a humble life.
One day Rabbi Zusya stood before his congregation and he said, When I die and have to present myself before the celestial tribunal, they will not ask me, ‘Zusya why were you not Moses?’ because I would say ‘Moses was prophet and I am not.’
They will not say ‘Zusya, why were you not Jeremiah?’ for I would say ‘Jeremiah was a writer, and I am not.’
And they will not say ‘Why were you not Rabbi Akiba?’ for I would tell them, ‘Rabbi Akiba was a great teacher and scholar and I am not.’
But then they will say ‘Zusya why were you not Zusya?’ and to this I will have no answer.”
Apologies if this sounds preachy. But from what I can tell, you are doing a fine job of being you.
Appreciated. Yes, I’m pretty comfortable in my skin. My comment had less to do with me being “passed over” and more to do with BoF being afraid of “someone like me.” I believe if BoF was more balanced, OFRI would be also.
Seems to me this discussion shows the polarization of opinion. I think it started with the Northwest Forest Plan. Over 90% of our westside federal forests were put off limits to logging which left timber production up to the private timber lands. Seems all discussions concerning proper timber management across ownership ended and one side went one way the other side went the other.
Our forests, both private and federal, have paid dearly for this.
Polarization? Forests put off limits? Clearly you’re part of the kleptocracy rather than reality? Federal forests were nearly entirely wiped out, especially now that global wind speeds have gone through the roof due to climate change and we saw an unprecedented 5 hectare per second rate of spread of wildfires in all three western states last Summer.
And you’re acting like the environmentalists put something off limits and were influential enough for there to be actual polarization rather than across the board wholesale destruction? It must be exhausting to keep your dishonest beliefs going on in your head… Then again the sociopathic way you and the greater industry go about gaslighting the victims for your abusive ways, maybe you feel nothing at all?
Deane, here’s a bunch of words you have been using that you don’t need to. Kleptocracy dishonest sociopathic gaslighting abusive. It’s a TSW value not to call people names. Please stop doing this.
I would argue that federal forests were not “nearly entirely wiped out.” would you give us some evidence for that claim? I remember those days and wouldn’t say that.
I was characterizing collective behaviors, not calling an individual on here names. Of course if you want to engage in bullying me with false accusations, go right ahead.
Bullying behavior on TSW is quite popular and easily overlooked as long it’s pro-logging people doing it to anti-logging people it’s fine. I’ve made a list of those times if there’s a moderator on here who’d like to see it?
I experience bullying all the time when I engage with timber industry advocates and quite frankly it’s unprofessional and unsophisticated but when you want to discuss forest protection with people who built a career doing the exact opposite it’s about as mature as it gets because they can’t reference harvest volumes going up, they can’t reference harvest volumes being sustained over the decades; they can’t point to salmon or spotted owl populations on the rebound, so they lean into bullying instead.
I totally agree that calling people names in discussions is inappropriate. But if you’re trying to characterize social-economic mores like a kleptocracy, such as the massive timber theft scandal that was exposed and went almost entirely unpunished on federal lands in the 80’s and 90’s thanks to the stove piping of law enforcement. Or how about phantom forests, whic was a ponzi scheme to inflate plantation re-growth rates and lie about road density/compacted soil, as well as regeneration failure for the sole purpose of boosting allowable cut numbers / ACQ. So yea, if the word kleptocracy fits then I can fairly use it even if you want to deny it without references.
And when it comes to gaslighting, that’s when the bully blames the victim and slowly drives them insane with hurtful dishonest claims. In this case claiming the environmentalists locked up the forests, which ruined the timber industry when in truth the industry has been consistently ruining itself with unsustainable harvesting since day one and the scraps environmentalist have saved is barely a drop in the bucket compared to all the prime forest growing land that became private property before the US created reserves of the more marginal higher elevation remote forests as timber reserves.
It drives us enviros crazy and we feel like we’re being gaslighted/bullied when you deny that USFS service land was decimated even though the truth is the damage has been so severe that it long ago required the listing of Salmon and Spotted Owl under the Endangered Species Act and after all this time the populations of these indicator species of the greater ecosystem have not recovered because forest protection is still to week to allow it but in your eyes nothing was decimated.
I get it. You may not be aware of what you’re doing, but some of us on here see it clearly and continue to participate no matter how hurtful or bullying your responses are to us.
Why not blame today’s Doctors for all the bad treatments and superstition of the past? That is basically what you are saying about the Forest Service. This idea of ‘You’re either with ME, or you are against US’ is not doing any good for our forests. Pretending that the USFS is still using 80’s management techniques is disingenuous.
Your reasoning is classic timber industry subterfuge that I’ve been hearing since I worked on my first legal brief to save residual old growth tree in 1993. Foresters always say, “ok, we’ll admit the way the logging was done in the past was wrong, but we don’t do that anymore and we need to go in and “fix” all the damage.”
In other words they claim they know how to do it better now and so they want to go in and solve the problem by doing near the exact same thing that caused the problems in the first place because they’ve convinced themselves that they do a couple practices in the logging operation better than they used to so now everything is ok.
It’s dishonest and doesn’t help the land to recover, it sets it back even further. And whenever truly restorative efforts don’t generate the revenue that logging does it’s “not feasible” because some things never change: we have to destroy the forest to save it.
But don’t worry we have new and improved ways to destroy the forest so it’s actually a good thing rather than a bad thing now? It’s irrational nonsense!
Frank Zappa — “A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it is not open.”
Deane, here’s what you just said to Bob.
“Clearly you’re part of the kleptocracy rather than reality?..It must be exhausting to keep your dishonest beliefs going on in your head… Then again the sociopathic way you and the greater industry go about gaslighting the victims for your abusive ways, ”
Then there’s your comments to Anonymous: “I’d do the same thing if I lived a life as dishonest as yours.” Maybe I’m not good at reading comprehension but that wasn’t “characterizing collective behaviors” those were negative comments about real human beings whom you disagree with.
I hope you understand that, to me, complaining about the Enviros or the Timber Industry or Welfare Ranchers or whatever are one thing and tolerated (though someone will usually say “that’s a stereotype.” But it’s fundamentally different from saying someone here is dishonest. I hope you understand the difference. And if you ever see that someone has said something mean about someone, anyone, you can ask us to disapprove it or ask the commenter not to do it.
So if I say “please don’t say mean things to people on this blog”.. that’s gaslighting and bullying? I don’t think so.
Excellent work… You just interpreted “name calling” so broadly that you’ve effectively censored my ability to communicate what’s wrong with the perspective of people you support on here.
Have you always been this good at bullying people who don’t support what the the USFS and the industry has done to our public lands? Or is this something trolls on the internet taught you in your retirement years?
If your goal is to convince someone of the merits of your arguments you might want to reconsider your delivery. (And this last little twist sounds a little like gaslighting, a skill perfected by internet trolls.)
We all know that USFS employees are unconvincable when it comes to the many scientifically valid merits of why forests and biodiversity needs to be protected rather then exploited for sawlogs. That’s why we never stop filing lawsuits!
When it comes to the merits of the basic arguments for forest protection, I’ve 30 years of experience of the timber industry and USFS saying every last one of those merits is false and the courts and the science often say that you’re not being honest and rule in favor of the plaintiff.
Of course in this instance I’m just socializing with y’all rather than building an administrative record for a lawsuit. It’s actually kind of interesting to see how committed to a dishonest pro-logging belief system so many on here are.
And I’m grateful that people of conscience like Furnish and Koehler have made some inroads into the discussions on here.
But the rest of you acting like the creation of OFRI at the peak of the Spotted Owl wars was somehow magically an unbiased operation that wasn’t taking sides? And then to argue that one of the most credible year-long investigations into the lie that Oregonian/OPB/Probublica is somehow innacurate and unfair?
It must take alot of energy to hold up that heavy of a dishonest load of BS to sustain your career in cut and run logging practices that will never be sustainable. But the lawsuits that wind their way through the courts everyday aren’t going away and there will be more and more of them until this ‘get the cut out’ culture is finally over and we’re finally managing for biodiversity rather than salvage logging & clearcutting.
Well, thank you for your opinion then, unfounded and divisive as it is. Good for you. ( I do think your assumptions are a bit off, though.)
“Time to go and exploit a forest for sawlogs again! It’s what we do and I just love doing it!”
-Average Forest Service employee?
The conversation has nothing to do with what you do as an employee and everything to do with who’s leading long-term planning for public and private forests land in every country in the world.
You indicate what side your on when you’d rather dismiss and say someone is a “bit off” than actually come to grips for having to resort to lawsuits to get people to face up to what the world’s original forests were capable of and how far away dismissive humans have taken us from that. We need to get back to that!
What I said was that your assumptions were “a bit off”. Not you.