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Re: Presidential Council on Environmental Quality approves fast tracking for Rim Fire recovery

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avatar Presidential Council on Environmental Quality approves fast tracking for Rim Fire recovery
January 09, 2014 02:56PM
Sonora, CA (Dec. 12, 2013)…The Stanislaus National Forest (STF) continued to fast-track Rim Fire Recovery efforts, by recently requesting special authority from the President’s Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) in order to streamline National Environmental Policy Act procedures. This is the first exemption of its kind in the past five years.

“We want to thank the President’s Council of Environmental Quality for their support of the Rim Fire Recovery efforts,” said Randy Moore, Pacific Southwest Regional Forester.

Because of the scope and scale of recovery on the Rim Fire, the STF will be conducting an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Additionally, the National Environmental Policy Act requires an extensive period for public comment.

“It is unusual for the Forest Service to seek this expedited process,” said STF Forest Supervisor Susan Skalski. “Our work is urgent because the burned timber will rapidly deteriorate and lose its commercial value. The authority to move more quickly will allow us to take advantage of the fall 2014 harvest season so that we can get on with the rest of the recovery process on the Stanislaus National Forest.”

The alternative arrangements allow the STF to shorten the comment period for the draft EIS from 45 to 30 days and to publish the Record of Decision (ROD) concurrently with the Final EIS. These measures will reduce the time required to commence recovery activity by 45 days or more.

The STF will take measures to enhance public and stakeholder engagement to compensate for this shortened timeframe. The Final EIS and proposed ROD will be posted on the STF website 5-10 business days prior to publishing the Notice of Availability in the Federal Register, making the documents available more quickly online.

For additional information regarding this project, contact Maria Benech at the Stanislaus National Forest; 19777 Greenley Road; Sonora, CA 95370; or, call (209) 532-3671.
avatar Re: Presidential Council on Environmental Quality approves fast tracking for Rim Fire recovery
January 09, 2014 05:02PM
Here's the key phrase: "burned timber will rapidly deteriorate and lose its commercial value..."

They could not care less about the environment, just the money they can make off of it.
avatar Re: Presidential Council on Environmental Quality approves fast tracking for Rim Fire recovery
January 09, 2014 06:06PM
Please accept this as the naïve question that it is but if there is a bunch of burned trees in the woods that can be used for firewood why shouldn't it be used instead of just wasted? Is the thought that the process of gathering will hurt the area further? Does the gathering of this wood offset wood that might be taken in undamaged areas?
A lot of it has to do with cutting new roads to access burned areas. Once they are cut, they'll get used continually. I guess we'll have to see how this turns out.
avatar Re: Presidential Council on Environmental Quality approves fast tracking for Rim Fire recovery
January 10, 2014 06:38AM
Quote
chicagocwright
Please accept this as the naïve question that it is but if there is a bunch of burned trees in the woods that can be used for firewood why shouldn't it be used instead of just wasted? Is the thought that the process of gathering will hurt the area further? Does the gathering of this wood offset wood that might be taken in undamaged areas?

We need firewood? Why is a tree which has died "wasted" if it is left to stand and further nurture the forest?
Nature has a way of using things that are "waste". It's what it does. Death begets Life. A dead tree provides
food for insects, a home for an owl, food for a woodpecker. It falls... and succombs to the earth... a bear
tears it apart and gets some grubs.
Why not cut the live trees down? Is that not a waste too?

All that said... the labyrinth of roads in the National Forest are there not for recreation... but to get at the trees.
That's what the national forest is. A TREE FARM. That is why I am so for Wilderness Designation.
It eliminates the roads or makes then no longer usable.

Of course we need to still harvest trees. But the question is... where? and why?

Tree harvesting is UBER intrusive. It is anything but environmentally friendly. If you go thru an area that has
been lopped within prob. 5 years it's just blatantly obvious. Take a hike along the trail to Fish Camp from
The Mariposa Grove and ... once you exit the park... bam! bye bye "environment".

Dunno this sheds any light on what you asked... but that's my take on this. They want to use taxpayer money
to make a buck and replant the forest and help the environment. I'm not buying it. It's bull.
Mother nature will replant the way she see fit. Why can't we ever do that?

When I went to Deep Canyon I talked to the ranger at the HH kiosk. She was talking about how the fire
just stopped when it hit the national forest and how great that was. I tried to explain that it really doesn't
matter... that no matter how many trees got burned... it'll come back.. and it'll be back before you know it.
Just leave it alone. It knows what it's doing. We don't need to mettle in everything.
It may not look so nice to your eyeballs for a few years... so what? Maybe look at it differently.

Anyway. That's my take on things. Have a nice day.



Chick-on is looking at you!
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chick-on

that no matter how many trees got burned... it'll come back.. and it'll be back before you know it.
Just leave it alone. It knows what it's doing. We don't need to mettle in everything.
It may not look so nice to your eyeballs for a few years... so what?


For a few years? How do you define a few years?

In human terms, after a major burn a forest might not reappear within a human's lifetime. It could take hundreds of years to recover (barring major climate change). Of course if you're just talking in earth history terms, this is just an infinitesimal speck of time. But in actual years, we're often will be talking in hundreds, not tens. Don't expect the conifer forest that once existed between Big Meadow and the Devil's Dance Floor to come back "in a few years," And because of the changes in our climate, it may never come back.

And you're 100% right about National Forests, for all intent and purposes the government views them as tree farms. Hence, they're managed by the Department of Agriculture and not the Dept. of the Interior. Hence the beauty and recreational opportunities contained within them, unless protected with a wilderness designation, is just incidental to their main reason for existence in the federal government's point of view.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/10/2014 09:28AM by plawrence.
avatar Re: Presidential Council on Environmental Quality approves fast tracking for Rim Fire recovery
January 10, 2014 09:36AM
Again with a human centered view. Why do all things have to be measured according to human lives, human wants? Why does a forest have to regrow within a human generation or it is mowed down? Just because recreation in our national forests is considered "incidental" doesn't mean we cannot disagree and work to have that changed.
avatar Re: Presidential Council on Environmental Quality approves fast tracking for Rim Fire recovery
January 10, 2014 10:20AM
Take a look at Yellowstone. It's a good example.

Huge swaths of Yosemite have been clear cut. I would argue most have no idea of that.

Give it 10-20 years. Then call me an idiot.



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Presidential Council on Environmental Quality approves fast tracking for Rim Fire recovery
January 10, 2014 10:47AM
Truth is I have to just quit trying to convince anyone. It's bad for my health.

Have a good one.

I will go away now to my happy place.

Chick-on is looking at you!



Chick-on is looking at you!
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chick-on

Give it 10-20 years.


It really depends on many factors on how long a forest takes to recover (if ever) from a major forest fire.

It's been over 20 years now since the 1990 A-Rock Fire, and many areas that were not burned again by the 2009 Big Meadow Fire still aren't close to being restored to their pre-A-rock fire state. Some areas that were scorched most likely have been permanently changed from what once was conifer forest to the current chaparral. On the other hand, there are areas around Foresta and elsewhere that the A-rock fire burned through that are RECOVERING nicely from that major fire. So as I stated, there are many factors to consider to determine if a forest will recover on its own (or not) from a major fire.

In regards to major fires inside National Parks, I prefer for nature to work its course, and the same goes for wilderness designated areas within National Forests.

Maybe I'm just a realist, but I'm not surprised that the federal government would try to harvest/salvage timber that was burned in tracks of land within a National Forest where logging is permitted (or has been penciled in to be permitted in the future).

But it would be nice (though very unlikely) to require removal of every road built to harvest the burned timber after the timber has been removed and the forest replanted. Maybe legislation can be proposed and passed that would require that.

(And I don't think anyone thinks you're an idiot for stating your personal opinions on this board. I sure don't.)

Have a nice day!

.
avatar Re: Presidential Council on Environmental Quality approves fast tracking for Rim Fire recovery
January 10, 2014 08:11AM
Quote
chicagocwright
Please accept this as the naïve question that it is but if there is a bunch of burned trees in the woods that can be used for firewood why shouldn't it be used instead of just wasted? Is the thought that the process of gathering will hurt the area further? Does the gathering of this wood offset wood that might be taken in undamaged areas?
Why do you assume that wood not used by humans is wasted?
Quote
Dave
Quote
chicagocwright
Please accept this as the naïve question that it is but if there is a bunch of burned trees in the woods that can be used for firewood why shouldn't it be used instead of just wasted? Is the thought that the process of gathering will hurt the area further? Does the gathering of this wood offset wood that might be taken in undamaged areas?
Why do you assume that wood not used by humans is wasted? in

Again with a human centered view. Why do all things have to be measured according to human lives, human wants?

Well because humans own the earth in my worldview. We have dominion over it and with that ownership comes great responsibility to properly take care of it. We don't always do a good job of that. My idea that the wood is "wasted" is that because of past fire suppression efforts fires are worse than they otherwise would be if they were natural. This makes it harder for the forests to recover naturally. In any event, will the wood taken here cause a tree somewhere else to be spared?

I don't want to be "convinced" I just want to understand or at least listen to the other views. And ultimately I respect and honor those who don't share my worldview.
avatar Re: Presidential Council on Environmental Quality approves fast tracking for Rim Fire recovery
January 10, 2014 07:16PM
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chicagocwright
Well because humans own the earth in my worldview.
No, we do not. We have to share it with other species.

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We have dominion over it and with that ownership comes great responsibility to properly take care of it. We don't always do a good job of that.
Raping the forests is not doing a good job. Polluting the atmosphere to the point of changing the climate is not doing a good job. Unsustainable timber cuts is not doing a good job.

Look at the area, if it's still there, around Dimond O campground. That area was logged, not clear cut, but responsibly logged. Other areas have been done in the same manner. There's still a forest, they got their lumber, and nature got a healthier ecosystem. The cedar I buy to build things with comes from sustainable timber cutting practices. They go in every 10 years and cut 10% of the trees, the biggest ones. That creates an environment that helps the other trees grow faster and still maintains a healthy ecosystem for other species and for recreation.

Quote

My idea that the wood is "wasted" is that because of past fire suppression efforts fires are worse than they otherwise would be if they were natural. This makes it harder for the forests to recover naturally. In any event, will the wood taken here cause a tree somewhere else to be spared?
You are certainly entitled to that "worldview." However, I cannot go along with it, nor do I have to support it in any way. And, no, a tree removed from the burn area will not spare a tree elsewhere. The burn area will recovery naturally, if left alone. Since it has burned, past fire fighting tactics are irrelevant.

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I don't want to be "convinced" I just want to understand or at least listen to the other views. And ultimately I respect and honor those who don't share my worldview.
Those wanting these trees are in it for the profit. They care nothing about any stewardship.
Dave--I appreciate your thoughts. You are right, as I tried to point out, that all too often humans have done a terrible job of taking care of what has been entrusted to us. Despite that, my worldview would never accept the idea that we should ever put these things ahead of human lives. The trick is making sure we understand that sometimes "long term" needs may outweigh short-term perceived needs.
avatar Re: Presidential Council on Environmental Quality approves fast tracking for Rim Fire recovery
January 11, 2014 09:23AM
Quote
chicagocwright
Dave--I appreciate your thoughts. You are right, as I tried to point out, that all too often humans have done a terrible job of taking care of what has been entrusted to us. Despite that, my worldview would never accept the idea that we should ever put these things ahead of human lives. The trick is making sure we understand that sometimes "long term" needs may outweigh short-term perceived needs.

Human lives should not be the thing by which all things are measured. My weltanschauung will not permit it. John Muir put it rather poeticly; "When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe." Those forests are hitched to the environment in the same way that all other species are; we're all hitched to the same web of life. I'm looking at the bigger picture, not just a human centered one.
Quote
Dave
Quote
chicagocwright
Dave--I appreciate your thoughts. You are right, as I tried to point out, that all too often humans have done a terrible job of taking care of what has been entrusted to us. Despite that, my worldview would never accept the idea that we should ever put these things ahead of human lives. The trick is making sure we understand that sometimes "long term" needs may outweigh short-term perceived needs.

Human lives should not be the thing by which all things are measured. My weltanschauung will not permit it. John Muir put it rather poeticly; "When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe." Those forests are hitched to the environment in the same way that all other species are; we're all hitched to the same web of life. I'm looking at the bigger picture, not just a human centered one.

Sometimes the stark differences in our opinions make it difficult to relate to each other but at least we are talking.
This is exactly what you guys were saying the other day. Sad.
The forest will come back better and more diverse if we don't mess with it. There is a great diversity of seeds ready to sprout in these new open areas. 50 years from now this area will look better, be a better habitat for wildlife and more fire resistant IF WE DON"T MESS WITH IT.
Tree harvesting involves bulldozers and compacting of soils. Tree replanting involves one or two species of trees instead of natural diversity. It will be worth more in the long run if we let nature work it's magic.
If we leave nature alone it does GREAT. When we try to make it great it falters. Just leave nature alone whenever possible.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/10/2014 03:17PM by Hitech.
avatar Re: Presidential Council on Environmental Quality approves fast tracking for Rim Fire recovery
January 10, 2014 05:23PM
I wonder how the forests survived all those millions of years until we came along to manage them?
avatar Re: Presidential Council on Environmental Quality approves fast tracking for Rim Fire recovery
January 10, 2014 11:44PM
A quote regarding the 1992 Cleveland Fire :

Bob Smart of the Forest Service had a “nagging sense” that a fire similar to the Ice House fire of 1959 could occur due to the weather conditions and he was proven right. After the original fire, tree “plantations” had been planted to renew what was lost. In 1992, those trees were almost ready to be harvested. Instead, they became the Cleveland Fire.


They replanted the burned out areas so densely (a practice still too often deployed) that it created a massive tiderbox.



The body betrays and the weather conspires, hopefully, not on the same day.
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Dave

I wonder how the forests survived all those millions of years until we came along to manage them?

The forests of world flourished until man developed an insatiable appetite for timber. We're still learning how to make timber a sustainable and renewable resource. Unfortunately, mostly through a lot of trials and errors.

.
Unfortunately or fortunately, the way our forests are managed is the difference between conservation and environmentalism. There's been a long lasting debate over this issue--Pinchot vs Muir--that right now is sort of leaning towards the former rather than the latter. I can't get too hyped up on the Forest Service though since it's us who elect their ultimate boss's, Congress. As long as what they do is watched over by guys like my congressman, McClintock, I'll just be happy if the logging roads aren't made permanent and land sold off to resort developers.
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