Three Interesting Webinars! One Tomorrow

Three interesting webinars:

Environmental and social values in restoration: beyond commercial logging

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Many conservation and environmental groups initially became involved in forest collaboratives because they saw an opportunity to advance ecological restoration (including wildlife habitat restoration and resilience) with tools like small-diameter thinning or Stewardship Contracting. As time has passed, some conservation and environmental groups are considering or have opted out of forest collaboratives because they feel projects have focused on “pace and scale” or economic gain above other restoration priorities.

How do we define success for conservation and measure it – beyond just acres treated for fuels and volume produced? How can these concerns from the conservation community be better addressed, both in the collaborative process and beyond?


Michael Krochta, Bark

Tiana Luke, Conservation Northwest

Laura Navarette, USFWS

Chandra LeGue, Oregon Wild

Lessons Learned: comparing survey results from 3 pilot restoration projects in Eastern Washington

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This session will share the lessons learned, challenges, barriers, and successes of 3 large-scale restoration pilot projects in E. Washington. The session will begin with a presentation of the results of a web survey including comparisons of tools, concepts, and processes utilized to achieve project goals of increased pace, scale, and efficiencies, and recommendations for improving successes on future restoration projects. After the presentation, there will be time for Q&A and larger group discussion.

Lessons learned have been identified through a web survey responded to by 65 key personnel and stakeholders engaged in at least one of the three pilot projects. Each project was represented by a different collaborative. The following projects and collaboratives were included in this effort:

  • Project 1: Mill Creek A to Z, Colville National Forest

  • Collaborative: Northeast Washington Forest Coalition

  • Project 2: Manastash-Taneum, Okanogan-Wenatchee NF (south end)

  • Collaborative: Tapash Sustainable Forest Collaborative

  • Project 3: Upper Wenatchee, Okanogan-Wenatchee NF (north end) Collaborative: North Central WA Forest Health Collaborative



Summer is just beginning, but wildfires are already raging in the West. Large and destructive wildfires are becoming more common, with new records set almost every year. Although several factors contribute to this trend, a significant one is the declining health of our nation’s forests. The U.S. Forest Service, which manages 193 million acres of land, reports a backlog of 80 million acres in need of restoration and 63 million acres facing high or very high risk of uncharacteristic wildfire.

While improving forest health and mitigating wildfire risk will require long-term policy changes, forest restoration projects offer a way to address these issues in the short term. By promoting landscapes with healthy forests and diverse forest types, restoration projects can reduce the risk of megafires and provide other conservation benefits.

Join us as we explore how reducing regulatory barriers, encouraging private partnerships, and opening markets for wood products can help restore our nation’s forests.

The Fix America’s Forests panel discussion will be held virtually on Tuesday, June 22 at 10:00 am MST with experts from PERC, Pacific Legal Foundation, Blue Forest Conservation, and the U.S. Forest Service.

Register Here

I’m interested in this one because of Chris French and learning more about Forest Resilience Bonds.


3 thoughts on “Three Interesting Webinars! One Tomorrow”

  1. PERC is a far right-wing private property rights group that is “fueled” by donations from Exxon-Mobile and the Koch Brothers. To my knowledge, PERC has also never supported strong zoning regulations, which could not only help protect communities from wildfire but also help ensure the safety of firefighters and emergency personal. As such, the fact that all the PERC people are literally surrounded by flames in their promotion meme is actually quite ironic.

    • Matthew, with all due respect, if we rejected any information produced by organizations funded by rich people…of whatever persuasion.. or funded by NGO’s founded with donors who had produced/own stock in fossil fuels, and who donate to political candidates, I think there would be few organizations who passed the purity test.

      Or we would get all our information from volunteers and retirees.

      And I disagree with the characterization of them as “far-right.” I certainly don’t agree with all their ideas, but it is worth taking their ideas into consideration as with any other serious group interested in our issues, IMHO.

      • While Sharon is right about the general difficulties such a purity test might impose, and I disagree with Matthew as often as not, I think he still has a point here. I think that point isn’t about outright rejecting but instead seeing what they do through the lens of what they’re funded to be and by whom. In fairness to the webinar, there’s other folks from other orgs on there, but it is legitimately always concerning to see PERC’s free-market ideologues showing up as “serious research” considering the record of almost absurd ideas and claims PERC has on the record and how often they’ve been, well pretty much flat wrong. The whole pitch for that webinar is a string of right-libertarian buzzwords (private partnership, reduce regulatory barriers…)
        PERC isn’t far-right, if you consider them against groups like who outright state that they don’t want there to be public lands, or something like that. But the fact is, PERC is very far to the right of most groups involved in public land management, and that is ultimately a reflection of the fact that they are funded to be such, often by those who don’t want there to be public lands or at least far less public land, and all the way taking pains to come across as “neutral”. Heck, I seldom agree with the Sierra Club but at least they make plain where they’re coming from – PERC is, from the name down, using “property rights” and “research” as a smokescreen for right-libertarian views.

        The Kochs have never exactly made a secret of their long-game approach to influencing (dominating?) american politics, and the amount of support they have given PERC is substantial to say the least. Fossil fuel industry has probably been more circumspect at times, but they have funded PERC substantially as well. And PERC is on-record substantially pushing views that these groups or individuals have held, though claiming these as the results of research. This includes selling off public land, getting rid of substantial portions of the existing body of environmental law, and more.

        So to say they’re serious is a somewhat difficult business. They certainly take pains to appear as such, but money can buy lots of things. I think a serious group concerned with issues of public lands management that is ultimately funded by interests that want to serious undermine or possibly disband public lands as they currently exist in the US should only be taken as serious with the utmost qualification.

        There’s a few other quibbles in here that could be had, like the influence of economic thinking on their “environmental research” (economics isn’t a science so much as competing sets of philosophical presuppositions with more equations, which is fine, but calling it science is a way to mask the presuppositions that you smuggle into how you do it, at least Thomas Piketty or the MMT theorists have the temerity to say that unlike most, especially those of the Milton Friedman school)

        A final quibble would be the pitch for the webinar doing the classic thing of capitalizing on that fact that Arizona is on fire to say we need to cut more timber nationwide, which then feeds into a “pace and scale” talkingpoint nationwide. Realistically I’m being a bit facetious and extrapolating / speculating here but the “oh no the west is on fire we need to reduce regulatory burdens” thing can’t possibly be taken in good faith at this point, can it? Major fires in Cali chaparral or the Tonto’s red brome – infested deserts can’t really be attributed to regulatory burden by anyone in good faith (I imagine PERC would defend grazing despite it being much more culpable for fire regime changes and large fires than ESA or NEPA regs) . How much distortion of the science should we engage in to pretend like exploitative use isn’t at the root of much of our fire problems currently? Ultimately, I don’t think someone can look at PERC, it’s funders, and it’s goals, and think that they have a serious contribution here that isn’t ultimately undermined by ideological distortion.


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