Opinion: Tester logging bill proposes a calamitous precedent

Key player in passage of the ’64 Wilderness Act blast Tester’s Wilderness/logging bill-

This is an opinion in the Billings Gazette by Stewart Brandborg who was executive director of the Wilderness Society when the Wilderness Act became law.

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My take on Tester’s bill is that is very much the stuff ex-Idaho senator Larry Craig was always pushing — mandated levels of logging completely unrelated to the conditions of the market. One big difference in favor of Tester is he does designate some Wilderness.

Craig simply pushed artificial levels of logging. I used to call them Craig’s Soviet forestry because of their similarity to the way production goals were set in the former Communist Soviet Union.

Brandborg fills out the whole rooster of violations of past law and public oversight embodied in the Tester Bill.

Guest opinion: Tester logging bill proposes a calamitous precedent.  By Stewart M. Brandborg. Billings Gazette.|


More recent opinion on Tester bill.

USFS Retiree [Bill Worf] on Tester Bill: Gutting the USFS is not the Solution. Unfiltered in New West. By Matthew Koehler,



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  1. Mike Avatar

    Stewart’s comments make a lot of sense. We’re not just sacrificing some Montana forest land for 600,000 acres of wilderness, but potentially much more across the USFS.

  2. Pronghorn Avatar

    Tester has already proposed removing one Wilderness area (Highlands) rather than scrap the permitted “unique provision” he wrote into it–military helicopter landings. If he had been serious about the wilderness character of that land, maybe he’d have removed the provision, not the designation? And then there’s the little problem with the Snowcrest designation–motorized sheep herding via ATV. This precedent (“tailored for Montana’s unique needs” or some such rhetoric) will change and degrade wilderness and the National Wilderness Preservation System. Other references to permissible logging in wilderness have been ferreted out of the convoluted text–make no mistake, this bill is no friend to wilderness. And don’t forget about those WSAs going bye-bye with this bill. http://testerloggingbilltruths.wordpress.com/

  3. Pronghorn Avatar

    Howie Wolke on S.1470:
    Tester’s forest bill damages wild places, legitimizes secrecy


  4. mikarooni Avatar

    Tester’s bill is nothing but a Trojan Horse designed to open a wedge that, he and his backers hope, will undermine the roadless protections. There are six million acres that need to be preserved in Montana; his bill offers protection for a tenth of it. How many times have we seen a “gift” of a small amount of wilderness protection be used as the basis for an argument that “enough is enough” and that other protections are no longer needed? I fear that the sweet sounding “ecosystem management” may end up being the same; we’ll get “ecosystem management” and that will be the rationale for no longer needing to apply the ESA.


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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