Wyden looks to thin Forests

Oregon Senator Ron Wyden wants to expedite logging for one of his home state’s chief industries – timber.  Ore. Senator’s Bill Would Thin Forests :

Wyden said he was particularly interested in developing collaborative processes to identify objections early on, so they can be addressed without ending up in court.

This while the timber industry laid out its terms :

“If you put diameter limits on this process, it’s not going to work.”

So in order to protect old growth, they’re going to need to harvest old growth.  I see …






  1. Cowboy the Cat Avatar

    The first paragraph of that article lets you know which way the author leans in this subject.

    “MEDFORD, Ore. — Sen. Ron Wyden is working on legislation to overcome the gridlock in national forest logging projects designed to reduce the growing threat of wildfire.”

    Anybody with a brain knows that the “healthy forests initiative” was not designed to “reduce the growing threat of wildfeire.”

    It was designed to reduce the growing threat of trees in the ground instead of in the mill.

    What did the article give that conservation group, 1 sentance? And as far as not ending up in court, I have harped on this before, but if the laws were balanced to represent all the owners of our public lands rather than industry, court would not be the last option of concerned citizens. You really want to make the process easier, Senator Wyden? Push to make the decisions about public lands PUBLIC, with more than just token attention paid to the feedback.

  2. Brian Ertz Avatar

    this seems to be a huge problem. i just came out of a meeting with a top official complaining about too many FOIA requests from conservationists. it seems to me like if they want to avoid the FOIAs they could very easily make the information publicly available upon request ~ instead, the bureaucracies are so tightened under this administration that the public is forced to contest every single step JUST TO MAKE SURE THAT THE AGENCIES ARE DOING THEIR JOBS …

    it’s key to keep in mind ~ when a decision about public lands is brought to court, it’s to adjudicate about what the agency must do – what is lawful. every time a judge comes down in favor of conservation (very frequently) it’s an enunciation that the agency isn’t doing it’s job – it’s breaking the law. the agencies could decide to do their job and make decisions in accord with the public environmental interest the first time – and prevent the litigation that these politicians disdain. instead, they choose to break the law and the public is forced to enforce it.

    it is amazing to me how even this Democrat is engaging in this rhetorically unwise and administratively irresponsible dance condemning the judicial gridlock. when an administration uses these agencies as vehicles of unlawful kickbacks to industry ~ judicial gridlock is an appropriate enforcement of law. Wyden would be better served to use the gridlock to illustrate the unlawful conduct of the executive rather than using it to enable this outlaw regime’s irresponsible privatization of public resources.

  3. Cowboy the Cat Avatar

    Well said, and hear hear!!

  4. JB Avatar

    BE says:

    “when a decision about public lands is brought to court, it’s to adjudicate about what the agency must do – what is lawful….the agencies could decide to do their job and make decisions in accord with the public environmental interest the first time.”

    No question. Conservation organizations have been taking this administration to the courts because they are failing to uphold the law. But lets be clear about why this is happening. Bush administration appointees sit atop of the Departments of Interior and Agriculture, and they are directing the show–not the men and women on the ground with the agencies. This administration has not only put foxes in the hen house, its put them in charge of the hen house. How many days left? 352?

  5. Brian Ertz Avatar

    yes, i’ve got a sister who walked away from FS recently when her job went from finding rare and wonderful moss, lichen, and other gems in the forest ~ to tagging trees for weyerhaeuser …

    this administration needs to go … that’s for sure … but what will replace this administration ? that’s still up in the air

  6. Monty Avatar

    As far as I know Weherhaeuser exports timber & stopped purchasing federal timber more than a decade ago. Exporters can not purchase federal timber.

    In westside Oregon, on federal lands, there are millions of board feet of 2nd growth timber that are not being thinned in a timely manner because of lack of funding. So there is no reason to start harvesting “native” mature & Old-growth. For example on the 1.7 million acre Willamette National Forest the net anual growth on 1.1 million acres is estimated to be about 500 million board feet (the other 600 thousand acres are wilderness areas, riparian zones, etc). In the previous 15 years the annual harvest rate has been about 50 million board feet or 10 percent of the net annual growth. So don’t jump to conclusion because a lot of this discussion is about increasing the thinning of human regerated 2nd growth forests.

  7. Brian Ertz Avatar

    turned a phrase ~
    but now that i think of it i did get busted by weherhaeuser last year gathering slash for the winter … private of course.

    “thinned in a timely manner” ? i don’t get that. “because of lack of funding” – that makes even less sense.

    we don’t need logging. the amount of board feet is irrelevant. it’s just not needed, however good it feels to feel like MANicuring the forest is needed, let alone tax dollars doing it. this fire-speak is getting out of hand – which actually brings me back to the meeting earlier this week… the coffee table in front of the Idaho BLM state director’s office sports a hardback copy of George Wuerthner’s Wildfire. they should read it.

    the willamette does not need more logging.

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