Posts by: George Wuerthner

The recent announcement of the Townsend RY Lumber Mill closure in Townsend, Montana continues a trend seen throughout the country. Although RY Lumber suggests this is due to environmental regulations or lawsuits, a broader context demonstrates this is a flawed argument.

The timber industry has been going through a transition for decades. The bulk […]

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Senator Wyden and Senator Merkley have introduced the ‘‘Malheur Community Empowerment for the Owyhee Act’’ (MCEOA). The senators can be commended for taking on such a controversial issue and trying to find a solution to public lands protection.

While the bill would designate more than a million acres of new wilderness, and among other positive […]

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The recent Durango Herald article about the proposal for aggressive logging of Southwest Colorado Forests supported by the Rocky Mountain Restorative Initiative (RMRI) is a classic example of the Industrial Forestry worldview. https://durangoherald.com/articles/306885

The (RMRI) implies that trees killed by drought, beetles, or anything other than a chainsaw are somehow abnormal.  Not surprisingly, the membership […]

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Annual Bison Carnage

On December 6, 2019 By

State, federal and tribal representatives voted again to slaughter 600-900 Yellowstone Park bison this winter. The agencies and tribes use the less offensive sounding euphemism “cull”. But let’s be honest, what happens is nothing more than butchery done to appease the livestock industry.

It is shameful that these agencies and tribes legitimize the annual […]

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The recent commentary by Mark Nelson in the San Francisco Chronicle, who works for the Ag industry, suggesting that grazing by goats and other livestock can help reduce wildfire losses in California deserves qualification.  https://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/openforum/article/How-goats-can-help-prevent-California-wildfires-14871742.php

As a landscape response to large fires, grazing is no solution. In many ecosystems, particularly in the parts of the […]

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Fish and Wildlife Service

Deschutes River Habitat Conservation Plan comments

The following are comments on the Deschutes Basin Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) are submitted on behalf of Restore Our Deschutes (ROD). The main problem with the HCP is that its starting assumptions are backward. The plan is designed primarily to protect the economic interests of […]

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A forest stand on the Deschutes NF which has been ecologically damaged by logging. Note the absence of tree age diversity, lack of dead wood and snags, and any shrub layer. This is what the Forest Service and Deschutes Collaborative calls a “healthy” forest. Ecologically speaking this is a human-caused disaster. (Photo by George Wuerthner)

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The Fish and Wildlife Service will soon be reviewing a Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) for Oregon’s Deschutes River written by contractors working for the Central Oregon irrigators. The HCP will dictate the future of the river.

The goal of the irrigators is to obtain a “get out of jail free” […]

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Fire/Logging Myths

On October 23, 2019 By

MYTH: FUEL BUILD UP IS RESPONSIBLE FOR LARGE BLAZES?

A conventional narrative is that wildfires in the western U.S. are unprecedented and more extensive than in the past. This increase in fire acreage is attributed to “fuel build-up,” presumed to be the result of successful fire suppression. However, such assertions lack context. Compared to the […]

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Photos courtesy of Escalante Watershed Partnership

Among the more egregious recent decisions of the Utah Bureau of Land Management is to open 50,000 acres of the Escalante River within the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument to renewed livestock grazing. The Escalante was so remote that it was the last major river to […]

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Quote

‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey