Possible Salvage Strategy for Dixie and Caldor Fires

Since a battle for salvage projects is brewing, I think the Forest Service and the timber industry should consider my idea to get the work done, as soon as possible, under the rules, laws and policies, currently in force. It would be a good thing to ‘preempt’ the expected litigation before it goes to Appeals Court.


The Forest Service should quickly get their plans together, making sure that the project will survive the lower court battles. It is likely that such plans that were upheld by lower courts, in the past, would survive the inevitable lower court battles. Once the lower court allows the project(s), the timber industry should get all the fallers they can find, and get every snag designated for harvest on the ground. Don’t worry too much about skidding until the felling gets done. That way, when the case is appealed, most of Chad Hanson’s issues would now be rendered ‘moot’. It sure seems like the Hanson folks’ entire case is dependent on having standing snags. If this idea is successful, I’m sure that Hanson will try to block the skidding and transport of logs to the mill. The Appeals Court would have to decide if skidding operations and log hauling are harmful to spotted owls and black-backed woodpeckers.


It seems worth a try, to thin out snags over HUGE areas, while minimizing the legal wranglings.

12 thoughts on “Possible Salvage Strategy for Dixie and Caldor Fires”

  1. Classic ideology of a planet destroying industry that will break any and all laws to destroy as much as possible as quickly as possible so when environmental laws are finally enforced in court it doesn’t matter anymore because the landscape has already been destroyed. Most of our lawsuits go down this way. It’s proof as to why we think ya’ll are such evil scoundrels. I’ve seen this BS firsthand for 30 years and read about its history going back to the genocide that first made it possible starting 500 years ago.

    And there’s a long history of federal agencies and congress working together to do anything it takes to ensure the rule of law never has any authority over these criminal planet destroying operations, also known as lawless logging. There’s also a long history of judges who are disgusted by congressional adjudication / sufficiency language and have made it very clear in their rulings many times that its a direct violation of the three separate but equal branches of government.

    And it’s shameful that SmokekyWire is so lacking in basic conscience and moral decency that they actually thinks this level of illegal stupidity is considered worthy content to publish.

    If you want to look at one post on this website that best reflects the criminal degenerates and anti-social objectives of people who hate everything except cutting down as many trees as possible no matter the consequences, this one post is ideal. Unless you’re a criminal there’s is simply no moral or ethical basis for this agenda in a society of laws.

    • If the lower court approves the project(s), then no laws are being broken. THAT is how the legal system works, Deane. Snag thinning does not “destroy” landscapes that have already burned. It is not against the law to proceed, when a court tells you it is OK to proceed. Hey, even Appeals Courts have been siding with the Forest Service, in the last 10 years.

      There is nothing legally wrong with my proposed strategy. The strategy does not involve anything morally wrong, either. It is just a way of using the law to get essential work done. (Of course, no one is proposing to clearcut a million burned acres in California National Forests.)

      Apparently, all you have is innuendo, conspiracy theories and fearmongering. For the record… I published the article. No one else was needed to approve it, although Sharon is free to manage her own blog.

      • The healthy decay and deterioration of undisturbed snag forests provides long term soil recruitment and slow steady showers of life sustaining, soil protecting debris as mulch with every significant gust of wind. This creates a seed bed for natural forest and plant regeneration that doesn’t cost any money and the small amount of shade that standing dead trees provides helps to limit the severity of plant and tree mortality during the regeneration process.

        The more you clearcut these natural processes, the more you cause regeneration failure and the more you have to pay for replanting and thinning these areas in the future. It’s a basic long term costs versus benefits analysis Larry. It’s not an ideological battle you win by cutting all the trees down as fast as you can without considering the long term losses.

        You’d have a point if we were still living in the 1970 when there was plenty of funding to turn the whole landscape into mono-crop tree farms that were well funded to be properly maintained. But that era is over.

        But the funding for planting and maintaining tree farms on federal land no longer exists in the way it used to and USFS post fire recovery plans are all unanimously recognizing that fact and taking a far more limited approach on areas designated for long term management versus areas that are no longer funded to be managed and are allowed to naturally regenerate on their own.

        What’s more, the ecological value of old growth trees is immense and we have very little of these habitat types left. However the next best closest habitat in that type of ecological value is undisturbed snag forest.

        • Once again, the Forest Service doesn’t clearcut in Sierra Nevada National Forests. Until you recognize that, your ‘opinions’ are just that. I defy you to produce one sale area map, from the last 28 years, that includes a designated clearcut. Any other accusations are just conspiracy theories, with no proof. Yes, there are some places where dead trees threaten roads, power lines, canals, etc. “Clearcuts’ cut every single tree, green or not. Salvage sales don’t cut live, healthy trees, using established mortality guidelines. You can oppose those guidelines, but I doubt you would win in court.

          Modern salvage projects DO consider the long term impacts and benefits of such projects. If these projects were so horrible, why has Hanson been losing his battles, lately? You always assume that the Forest Service prefers clearcuts, here in California. Well, just where ARE those 28 years worth of clearcuts, via Google Maps? There should be hundreds of clearcut units spread out all over California National Forests. We all know that you are making this stuff up.

          I’m only putting out this idea so that maybe, somehow, Forest Service officials see the wisdom of litigation avoidance. If the lower court(s) approve, it would be best to go full-steam ahead. There is nothing that says the Forest Service should wait for possible Appeals Court decisions. As long as the USFS stays within its approved plans, they should be allowed to proceed in the most effective way.

          • While there is a 30 inch limit and canopy cover retention requirements in the Sierra, there are exceptions for forest health. The Eldorado and the Tahoe have been putting out red fir units for a few years now that include overstory removal to address dwarf mistletoe, despite any data suggesting that this native pathogen is somehow outside of the natural range of variation. Although not technically a clear cut, the result is essentially synonymous.

            • I would be interested in seeing those locations. It seems to me that eco-groups would have sued over such projects, if they were proposed. I do know that the health problems from mistletoe can be variable, but in the past, we haven’t placed much emphasis on mistletoe in red fir, even in salvage projects.

  2. This assumes anyone will buy the sales. Mill space is tight due to the large number of industry acres that burned this year and last. It is my understanding the Plumas was already having a lot of trouble selling wood from the 2020 North Complex Fire, which burned >300,000 acres. Come to think of it, did they put up any sales from the North Complex? If the buyer can afford to get the wood to Standard or get a subsidy, that might allow for a Caldor sale or two.

    • Good point. The same thing happened in the southern Sierra Nevada, with their bark beetle problems. Sierra Forest Products, the only mill in SoCal, was plugged with logs from private lands. The Forest Service didn’t get to sell very much of theirs. The Caldor Fire can send logs to both Standard/Chinese Camp and Lincoln. The Dixie Fire should have more mills to sell to, hopefully. I’ll bet SPI would truck cull old growth for hundreds of miles, though (that’s a subsidy, right there). I did see it happen in the LA Basin.

  3. Hiroo Onoda was an Imperial Japanese Army intelligence officer who did not surrender despite Japan’s defeat in August of 1945. He hid out in the Phillipine jungles and continued to conduct guerilla activities before finally surrendering in 1974. He refused to believe the war was over.

    Since Deanne likes to make interesting logical leaps, I’m going to say that he’s the Smokey Wire’s Hiroo Onoda. He still thinks it’s the Redwood Summer of 1990. Despite the fact that the Timber Wars have been over for a couple of decades, he still insists on being battle ready for flame wars on the Smokey Wire. He’s probably in his bunker right now.

    • Brilliant. I’m still waiting for Deanne to follow up on the post where she called Bob Sproul a murderer based on some 110 year old frontier newspaper she found Google searching his name. Public foresters, I feel for you, having to listen to wignuts like that.
      (And yes Deanne, I am an earthmurdering shill bough and paid for by the timber industry. In fact, they pay me by the letter to write these posts sbfjsksndsjdjnnkf)

  4. I don’t think this is a particularly novel idea, Larry. I think something like this has probably been SOP for some forest supervisors to “get their cut out.” Of course, the courts deal with this when plaintiffs ask for an injunction. Without that, projects can even go ahead during district court proceedings. Courts have to determine the “likelihood of success on the merits” when they are asked to enjoin a project prior to a full briefing on the merits (in both district and appellate courts). However, while it is unlikely that courts will be wrong about this likelihood, it has happened where courts have changed their mind about the merits and essentially allowed an illegal project to occur.

    • In my mind, USFS salvage projects in California have been upheld in the courts. Could it be that the loopholes that the ‘usual suspects’ have enjoyed have now been closed? If the Forest Service uses a similar ‘template’, then courts might find it difficult to issue a TRO, on the likelihood of the plaintiffs winning in court. One possible sticking point is that the USFS might have to do an EIS. It wouldn’t be surprising if this was necessary for both fires.


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