The conservation community must now also contend with an emerging existential threat to the nation’s public lands posed by fringe groups of left-wing crazies who seek to tribalize public lands.Read More
The EPA administrator has declared that biomass energy carbon neutral, which will pump more carbon per kilowatt-hour into the air than coal-fired electricity.Read More
The authors of Ecological Forest Managementhave thrown down the gauntlet. The battle between traditional production forestry (PF) and ecological forest management (EFM) for the hearts and minds of forestry students everywhere, for the profession of forestry itself, and for the acceptance of the public has been joined. EFM offers a constructive alternative to landowners, foresters, forestry students, and the public suffering disillusionment with the agronomic simplification and reductionism of PF.
Ecological Forest Managementdeconstructs—nay, pantses—PF by both critique and example. It exposes the limits—ecological, social, and (somewhat) economic—of PF. “We decided to adopt ecological concepts as the foundation of our forest management text, upon which we would build economic and social considerations,” say the authors. Of course, this is very rational, but it’s also quite radical in the profession of forestry.
The book reflects the radical evolution happening in forestry, a profession that is part science, part art, and part craft. Production forestry (PF) has held sway since forestry’s beginnings in America before the turn of the twentieth century. PF is about maximum sustainable production of wood. Foresters trained in PF were taught that they alone knew best how to manage forests. But over the decades, scientific understanding, public disdain of clearcutting and appreciation of forests, and federal judges have undermined that cherished tenet.
About the Authors
In the world of Pacific Northwest forests, “Norm and Jerry” has a couple of different meanings. First, it refers to the people, Jerry F. Franklin and K. Norman Johnson, who had quite distinguished careers in forestry (with the emphasis on forest science) before they became legends of forest policy and forest politics after the northern spotted owl hit the fan in the late 1980s. As politicians sought to address and/or survive the Pacific Northwest timber wars, they often turned to Norm and Jerry for policy advice, which was always sincerely and thoughtfully given, though not always similarly utilized.
“Norm and Jerry,” as in “to Norm and Jerry the stand,” also refers to variable retention harvest (Figure 1), a silvicultural prescription the two pioneered as an alternative to the total clear-cutting prescribed by PF. When the stand is a native natural forest, the term’s application is derogatory, but less so if the stand is already a plantation.
The (mostly very good) mark left by Norm and Jerry on Pacific Northwest forests can also be found on other forests in the United States and the world. I could go on and intend to later in a “preremembrance” of Norm and Jerry. My problem is that my previous preremembrances feature people still living, but with their great contributions to conservation behind them. Norm told me that he and Jerry are retired, yet in the same email string he mentioned two additional book projects. Ecological Forest Management is neither the last word on ecological forest management, nor the last word from Norm and Jerry. EFM may be Norm and Jerry’s magnum opus, but it is not their last opus.
The other Johnson, Debora, is a highly competent forester and GIS jockey extraordinaire with long experience in inventory, planning, and analysis. Debbie and Norm are married.
About the Book
The book is a weighty read, not only in the hands at four pounds but also in the mind. Though Norm and Jerry kindly sent me an autographed copy, that version will rest prominently and proudly, but unread, on my bookshelf. My Kindle® version is well marked up in yellow and is also digitally searchable. (Paper is so twentieth century and electrons weigh almost nothing.) I confess to not having read every word, for some of the book is quite esoteric and not central to my interests. However, the book is well organized and categorized, with an eight-page table of contents detailing five parts containing twenty-one chapters; 127 subchapters are further broken out into 279 topic areas. One can dip in and out to satisfy one’s interests and curiosities and one’s need to refer to chapter and verse.
There are also lots of pictures, alas more in black and white than in color, and not all are pretty. To be honest, if not kind, EFM is often not pretty—though not as butt-ugly as a clear-cut. A particularly positive aesthetic highlight are the line drawings of twenty-one species of old-growth trees by Robert Van Pelt.
The Evolution of Forest Textbooks and Forestry
Before dropping out of Oregon State University in 1976, I hung around the College of Forestry. Most of the “FM” (forest management) students were destined to careers in production forestry: liquidate by clear-cut, plant, spray, thin, clear-cut; repeat (Figure 2). All had their little red book—not Mao’s, but the introductory textbook in McGraw-Hill’s American Forestry Series. The first edition of Forest Management: Regulation and Valuation, authored by Kenneth P. Davis, came out in 1951 with a distinctive dark red cover. The subtitle is code for production forestry.
The second edition of the book, published in 1966, was authored by Lawrence S. Davis (son of Kenneth P.). For the third edition, published in 1987, the subtitle was dropped and K. Norman Johnson added as a co-author. (Norm is the first Johnson in Franklin, Johnson, and Johnson.) The fourth edition, published in 2001, had two additional co-authors, Pete Bettinger and Theodore E. Howard, and a new subtitle: Forest Management: To Sustain Ecological, Economic, and Social Values. The fourth edition started with McGraw-Hill’s red cover, but when the book was acquired by Waveland Press it gained a cover picture of a managed (but at least not clear-cut) forest. The new subtitle is an acknowledgment that forests are more than just standing logs. The evolution of subtitles parallels the evolution of forestry in America.
Norm and Jerry, along with Larry Davis, were slotted to produce the fifth edition of Forest Management but the found the effort “too limiting.” In addition, Davis was unable to continue. The result is Ecological Forest Management, part memoir and all textbook. EFM is an existential challenge to PF. Continuing to bear the flag of PF (albeit a bit less intense than previously), Pete Bettinger (once a grad student of Norm’s) and three other authors have published Forest Management and Planning, an updated and shortened successor to the fourth edition of Forest Management.(As for the cover, it’s about one-half pretty forest canopy with the remainder a pastoral setting and large bodies of water; do not judge a book by its cover.)
Seeing the Forest Beyond/Below the Trees
PF generally sees a natural stand as needing to be regulated by clear-cutting and then planting it with one species of conifer, thus truncating the forest cycle either as soon as financially possible (maximum economic value [aka net present value]) or when the annual rate of board-feet gain starts to diminish (maximum timber volume). The practice of EFM starts with the premise of both understanding and appreciating the natural functions of the forest, conserving them if possible or at least mimicking them as wood is extracted from the stand.
Chapters 2 and 3 of Ecological Forest Management describe and explain natural forests as ecosystems and detail their developmental stages. These two chapters are worth the price of the book alone. The authors contribute to our understanding of forests by describing six developmental stages:
1. disturbance and legacy creation event (DLC)
2. preforest stage (PFS)
3. forest canopy closure event (FCC)
4. young forest stage (YFS)
5. mature forest stage (MFS)
6. old forest stage (OFS)
The book presents three archetypical forests, distinguished by disturbance regimes and the dominant tree species:
1. conifer-dominated forests initiated by infrequent (episodic) severe wildlife
2. hardwood-dominated forests initiated by infrequent (episodic) severe windstorms
3. conifer-dominated forests characterized by frequent (chronic) wildfire
Earlier, the authors were bifurcating conifer forests into either moist or dry conifer forests but have dropped those descriptors in this book. While the three archetypes aid understanding, numerous variations exist within and between this trifurcated categorization. For example, hardwood forests sometimes burn, moist conifer forests sometimes blow down, and dry conifer forests tend to have all developmental stages simultaneously.
On the Ecological Forest Management Bus
There is much good to be said about the practice of EFM.
Every view has a reference point. Not just aesthetically but also ecologically and hydrologically, EFM is a vast improvement over PF with its clear-cuts and short rotations with their straight rows of same-spaced, same-age, same-size, same species of trees.
A subpart of EFM is scientifically sound ecological restoration thinning—judicious logging that can put moist-forest plantations on a track to achieve older forest character and also can restore grazed-off, fire-excluded, high-graded dry forest stands so they can again become structurally and functionally diverse older forests.
Practiced on lands where the landowner requires some return on investment—if only to at least to pay the taxes if not the kids’ college tuition or their health care expenses down the road—EFM makes much more sense than PF.
While EFM is also the most responsible way to manage corporate industrial timberlands, any serious application of EFM cuts into the net present value goal of profit maximization to the chagrin of investors. Government regulation is in order.
Off the Ecological Forest Management Bus
The practice of EFM has a lot going for it, but it’s not a fat-free hot-fudge sundae (something universally desired with no downsides that doesn’t exist). There is some (very important) bad to be said about EFM.
Every view has a reference point. Compared to the natural forest, EFM is degradation, not just aesthetic but also ecological and hydrological.
Franklin, Johnson, and Johnson tout EFM as an ecologically, economically, and socially acceptable way to manage forests of all ownerships. While they acknowledge and genuinely appreciate the importance of permanently conserved areas (where no roading and logging is allowed) as a vital part of the forest landscape, they generally believe that EFM can sustain forests across the landscape. Many scientists recommend that much more of our forests needs to be in permanent reserves.
Although EFM is very useful to inform the ecological restoration of degraded federal forests—be they moist-forest plantations or fire-excluded, cow-bombed, and high-graded dry conifer forests—it’s general practice, which still is somewhat timber volume-driven, is most appropriate on nonfederal lands.
For the Next Edition
The authors say that “we view this volume as a first approximation of ecological forest management and most certainly not the final word, which we do not expect ever to be written!” In anticipation of a second edition, here are a few major comments and suggestions, offered with respect and admiration, but also with insistence.
• Acknowledge the enormous and important difference between a natural complex preforest stage and an unnatural simplied preforest stage.
With regard to the preforest stage (PFS)—formerly called “early-successional ecosystems on forest sites”—that develops after a disturbance and legacy creation event (DLC; fire, wind, insects, or volcano), there is a huge difference in the biological legacies of a DLC’d old-growth stand and the DLCing of an already disturbed, degraded, and simplified plantation. The biological legacy (consisting of live and dead trees, both standing and fallen; coarse woody detritus; and/or undisturbed understory) of a complex natural PFS dwarfs that of an unnatural simplified PFS. For more, please see the peer-reviewed journal article of which Jerry is the second author.
• For natural stands on federal public lands, advise no logging.
The social license, to which the authors give great weight, has expired for logging of older (mature and old-growth) forests, save for limited and scientifically sound restoration of some hammered dry forest conifer stands. Even if the authors still do not consider it harmful to log perfectly natural stands, albeit more sensitively but still in pursuit of timber volume, the public isn’t going there. The highest and best use of natural forests is not a less harmful form of logging. Even on the Bureau of Land Management’s O&C lands in western Oregon, any timber-first! emphasis of the O&C Lands Act of 1937 has been superseded by the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, other federal statutes, and—most importantly—public opinion.
• Tell readers how much of the forest landscape should be in no-cut (with a limited exception for ecological restoration) reserves.
Legendary Harvard naturalist E. O. Wilson, in his book Half-Earth: Our Planet’s Fight for Life, recommended that to avoid massive species extinction (a fair criterion for minimum sustainability), at least half of our planet, meaning at least half of its forests of all ownerships, needs to be fully set aside for nature. This is backed up by the peer-reviewed science, including the journal editorial Bolder Thinking for Conservation by Reed Noss and eleven other distinguished ecologists, which opens by asking:
Should conservation targets, such as the proportion of a region to be placed in protected areas, be socially acceptable from the start? Or should they be based unapologetically on the best available science and expert opinion, then address issues of practicality later?
These researchers reviewed the science and answered that at least 50 percent of Earth should be in protected areas.
For Earth’s forests to remove enough excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to actually move the needle on climate change, half is not enough.
• For natural stands on federal public lands, advise no logging.
The federal public lands in the American West should form the ecological and geographic basis for that half of the forests in the United States that need to be in permanent reserves. (As for the American East, the existing national forests need to be filled in by acquiring unoccupied private inholdings, and a whole lot of additional national forests need to be established.) Any logging on national forests should be a by-product of ecological restoration, not a product of ecological forest management. The science of species conservation, as well as the wishes of the public, demands it.
• Insist upon more fire.
A major reason that the authors recommend variable retention harvest in unlogged natural stands is to provide more preforest stage (PFS). The authors are quite right that this highly important stage of forest development and biological diversity is far more scarce than old-growth forests, due to routine salvage logging after natural events such as fire and windstorms. Of course, some commercial logs make their way to the mill, which raises suspicion in the minds of many as to motive. We’d have plenty of PFS—and complex PFS at that—if the federal agencies would fully eschew salvage logging, and even more if these federal agencies would embrace forest fire as both generally desirable and always inevitable. I believe that the authors are not uncomfortable with fires in forests, but they recognize the extreme discomfort (due to brainwashing) of the public (finish this six-word sentence: “Only. . . ”) and the hegemony of the fire-industrial complex (federal forest agencies, state fire agencies, Congress, private contractors, and more). This fire-fighting juggernaut is as hugely expensive as it is ineffective, and it arose from and is part and parcel of production forestry. Speaking truth to production forestry needs to include speaking truth to its ancillary fire-industrial complex.
On the Whole
The forests of the world will be better off for the publication and utlitization of Ecological Forest Management.
May ecological forest management deliver the death blow to production forestry. May EFM become the norm for nonfederal forestlands. May EFM not become the norm on federal forestlands, where instead the norm should be the full conservation of intact forests and the restoration of damaged forests.
In 1986, Congress enacted the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area Act to, among other things, “establish a national scenic area to protect and provide for the enhancement of the scenic, cultural, recreational, and natural resources of the Columbia River Gorge.” In 2017, Representative Greg Walden (R-2nd-OR) proposes to throw it out the window.Read More
Everyone—including many a card-carrying conservationist—just needs to take a deep breath. Yes, there was a relatively large forest fire mostly on the Oregon side of the Columbia River Gorge. However, the clearing of the smoke gave proof through the day that our gorge was still there. The Columbia River Gorge was not “destroyed,” “lost,” “gone up in smoke,” “consumed,” or “dead,” as suggested by generally hyperbolic media reports by generally hysterical reporters, often quoting generally hysterical gorge lovers.... Neither volcanic eruptions nor forest fires can be prevented—and that’s a beautiful thing.Read More
The existential crisis for public lands conservationists has passed, but the Elliott State Forest is not yet fully in the hands of conservation. It all depends on where the lands end up and the purposes for which they are bought out of the Common School Fund. Perhaps in a later blog post I will explore the strengths and weaknesses of each of the three approaches and offer up what I think is the best solution.Read More
Finally on March 30, 1891, Congress enacted the Forest Reserve Act, which allowed the president to proclaim national forests from lands in the federal public domain. President Benjamin Harrison (1889–1893), who signed the legislation, eventually proclaimed forest reserves totaling 13 million acres, including the nation’s first: Yellowstone Park Timber Land Reserve (today, mostly the Shoshone National Forest in Wyoming).
President Grover Cleveland (1893–1897) created more forest reserves totaling 25.8 million gross acres (not all within the reserve boundary was federal public domain). President William McKinley (1897–1901) followed by proclaiming 7 million acres. President Theodore Roosevelt (1901–1909) established an additional 150 million acres of what would become known as national forests....
Thanks, Benny, Grover, and, most especially, Teddy!
However, more forest lands should be included in the National Forest System. This includes 2.6-million acres of generally forested Bureau of Land Management holdings in western Oregon. It includes other generally-forested BLM lands in eastern Oregon, Montana, Alaska and elsewhere. It includes large amounts of private industrial and small private timberlands that could be acquired from willing sellers.
At 61 and with acrophobia, I’m no use in climbing old trees to defend them from the chainsaw. But a younger generation of activists will sit, en masse, in those threatened old-growth trees, in front of bulldozers, and/or in appropriate offices. And if it comes to that, I’m happy to get arrested in offices of the Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Republican Party, the timber industry, or elected officials.
Bring it on, President Trump. Bring it on, Big Timber. Bring it on, Rep. Walden. Go ahead, make my day: reignite the Pacific Northwest timber wars.
Let the battle be joined, as nothing less is at stake than the lands and forests we leave to future generations.Read More
With President-elect Trump having won the Electoral College and the Republicans being in the majority of both houses of the coming 115th (2017-2018) Congress, the public lands conservation community is going to be on defense like never before.
It was either the Prussian general Carl von Clausewitz (1780–1831) or the Manassa Mauler, William Harrison "Jack" Dempsey (1895–1983) who famously said that the best defense is a good offense. The conservation community needs to be for good things while we are opposing bad things.
Though we’ve burned through one-sixth of the current century, Congress has yet to enact any sweeping and bold public lands conservation legislation in the new millennium. There’s still time though, and a crying need.
You may be questioning my grip on reality at this moment, given the recent election. While I am quite cognizant of the dark times that await us, I’m equally aware that it often takes several Congresses (two-year terms) to enact sweeping and bold legislation into law....
There is no time like the present to begin to change political reality.
The climate, the oceans, species, watersheds, ecosystems, landscapes, cultures, and economies that depend on federal public lands all depend upon the 45th president of the United States having a bold public lands conservation agenda.
While the Property Clause (Article 4, Section 3, Clause 2) of the United States Constitution vests the power over federal public lands with Congress, as the legislative branch Congress cannot be expected to oversee the day-to-day operation of the federal public lands. Therefore, Congress has broadly set policies and then directed specified entities in the executive branch to carry them out. For example, the vast number of congressional statutes pertaining to the National Forest System make reference to the secretary of agriculture (or in some cases the chief of the Forest Service) as the responsible official empowered and directed by Congress to carry out the statute. As most federal public lands are under the jurisdiction of the Department of the Interior, the secretary of the interior (and occasionally the director of the Bureau of Land Management, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Park Service, and so on) is similarly empowered or directed.
Though these cabinet officers or agency heads are appointed by the president, they must be confirmed by the Senate before they can assume the office. When it comes to federal public lands, these public land officials have two masters, the president who gave them their job and the Congress—in particular the committees of jurisdiction (the House of Representatives’ Committee on Natural Resources and the Senate’s Committee on Energy and Natural Resources)—who gave them their marching orders.
In some cases, Congress has granted the president certain powers over federal public lands, most notably to proclaim national monuments or to allow or disallow the development of offshore oil and gas. The president and her cabinet and agency heads should use these and other powers granted to them by Congress to advance the cause of conservation of the public lands for the benefit of this and future generations.
What follows is a public lands conservation agenda that the next president could implement without any additional Acts of Congress. It’s unfortunate to have to assume Congress missing in action when it comes to the conservation of federal public lands, but it is. (I hear Congress was more dysfunctional just before the Civil War, but I wasn’t there.)
1. Keep it in the ground.
Federal public lands account for about a quarter of all U.S. fossil fuel production and therefore one-quarter of the carbon dioxide pollution from those sources. To help avert the worst effects of climate change, an immediate ban on new federal fossil fuel leases should be imposed, nonproducing current leases should be allowed to expire, and existing producing leases should be bought back. Doing such will not only help mitigate climate change, it will also prevent harm to the nature that depends on federal public land. Several conservation organizations, including the Center for Biological Diversity, are leading the Keep It in the Ground campaign for federal public lands.
2. Ban renewable energy development on federal public lands.
While less damaging to the climate, the supposed “green” electrons that come from renewable energy projects on federal public lands are better thought of as “light brown” electrons. Concentrated production of renewable energy from wind, solar, and geothermal is as damaging to nature as concentrated production of nonrenewable energy from coal, oil, and gas. Poxing the federal public lands with wind towers or covering them with photovoltaic panels renders that public land parcel worthless for conservation. Public lands have a higher and better use than industrial sites for any kind of energy development. For example, both the desert tortoise and photovoltaic panels find suitable habitat in the California desert. However, solar panels can live—better actually—on roofs in town, while the desert tortoise cannot.
3. Double the National Wildlife Refuge System.
Under existing congressional authorities, the secretary of the interior by secretarial order or the president by executive order can establish new or expand existing national wildlife refuges. These expansions can come from federal public lands currently administered by the Bureau of Land Management or encompass an area of nonfederal land so that the lands can later be acquired by donation or purchase from willing sellers.
4. Proclaim more national monuments.
In the Antiquities Act of 1906, Congress gave the president authority to proclaim national monuments. Hundreds of millions of acres of federal public lands in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone and many tens of millions of acres of onshore public lands are worthy of national monument designation. Most presidents have mostly proclaimed national monuments as they were leaving office; but given the general dysfunction of Congress, national monuments should be proposed and proclaimed early and often. For some onshore areas, it may be appropriate for the president to announce her intention to proclaim a national monument well in advance in order to spur Congress to act to conserve an area in ways that can be superior to a national monument proclamation. For example, President Obama’s interest in proclaiming a national monument in Idaho in 2015 prompted Congress to establish 275,000 acres of wilderness in central Idaho—a bill that had been languishing for nearly a decade.
5. Save Wyoming and Alaska federal public lands in other creative ways.
Part of the 1950 congressional deal to combine Grand Teton National Monument (est. 1929) and Jackson Hole National Monument (est. 1942) to create Grand Teton National Park excluded Wyoming from any future presidential proclamations of national monuments. In Alaska, since enactment of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act of 1980, the president’s authority to proclaim new national monuments is limited to ones less than 5,000 acres in size. Much of the 73 million acres of BLM holdings in Alaska and the 18 million in Wyoming are in need of elevated conservation. With the Antiquities Act rendered useless in these two states, the president could establish new national wildlife refuges or direct her secretary of the interior to do so. In addition, the president could issue executive orders directing the BLM to manage particular areas of public lands for conservation purposes and to prohibit harmful activities.
6. Keep it in the forest.
A very large fraction of the excess atmospheric carbon came not from the burning of fossil fuels but from the conversion of native forests to cities, farmlands, and clear-cuts. Forests on federal public lands need to be protected in order to remove excess carbon from the atmosphere and store it securely.
The United States owns tens of millions of acres of “moist” (not subject to frequent fire) forest types in southeastern Alaska, western Washington, western Oregon, northern California, northern Idaho, and northwestern Montana. These moist forests act as huge and secure stores of carbon, and they also sequester additional carbon back to the biosphere from the atmosphere. Most are within the National Forest System, but some significant areas are administered by the BLM. By executive order, the president could direct the secretaries of agriculture (Forest Service) and interior (BLM) to set aside “carbon reserves” that contain moist forests to conserve already-stored carbon and to maximally sequester additional carbon to help ameliorate the effects of climate change. Many of these moist forest stands consist of older (mature and old-growth) trees that are best suited to resist and adapt to climate change.
7.Keep it in the grass.
Temperate grasslands store more carbon on average than temperate forests, according to a report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The difference is that most of the carbon in a forest is aboveground, while most of the carbon in a grassland is belowground. Livestock grazing and other destructive agricultural practices have not only severely reduced aboveground carbon stores (otherwise known as plants) but also allowed the release of much belowground carbon. Carbon reserves such as those recommended for moist forest types could also be established to protect public land deserts and grasslands.
8. Raise royalties on federal energy revenues.
While the best thing for the world’s climate is for the federal government to collect no royalties from fossil fuel production on federal public lands as it should no longer be allowed, until that time the taxpayers should receive a fair return on something private entities are allowed to sell. A report by the Center for Western Priorities notes that the royalty paid to the federal treasury for fossil fuel production from federal lands is 12.5 percent of revenues. Compare this to the 16.75 percent charged by Wyoming, Utah, Montana, and Colorado, or the 18.75 percent charged by New Mexico and North Dakota, or the 25 percent charged by Texas for fossil fuel production from state lands. The federal government receives 18.75 percent for offshore oil and gas.
Besides representing a fair percentage of revenues, the royalty should factor in the social cost of carbon (SC-CO2). SC-CO2 is measured in $/tonne and includes—but is not limited to—the cost of changes in net agricultural productivity, adverse impacts on human health, property damage from flooding, and changes in the energy system due to climate change. It is the cost to society of placing CO2 in the atmosphere. Burning a barrel of oil (42 U.S. gallons) emits 0.43 tonnes of CO2. West Texas Intermediate (WTI Crude Oil, a benchmark for oil prices) is trading for around $50/barrel. Ifthe SC-CO2 is $36/tonne CO2, adding the social cost of carbon to the price of a federal barrel of oil would increase its price by ~$16. It probably wouldn’t offset the special tax breaks afforded to fossil fuel producers that are permanently embedded in the U.S. tax code, but it would help level the playing field for sustainable and renewable forms of energy.
9. Withdraw all scenic- and recreation-classified wild and scenic rivers from mining.
In its wisdom (pronounced “compromise”), Congress specified in the 1968 Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (WSRA) that only the segments of wild and scenic rivers classified as “wild” would be withdrawn from the application of the federal mining laws. Those segments classified as “scenic” or “recreational” are not protected by WSRA from mining. The difference is that a “wild” segment generally has no roads in its corridor, whereas a “scenic” segment may have a road crossing its corridor and a “recreational” segment a road along its corridor. If a stream is worthy of inclusion in the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System (NWSRS), it’s worthy of not being mined. Some—but far from all—such stream segments have been withdrawn from mining by the secretary of the interior under the 1976 Federal Land Policy and Management Act withdrawal provision for the maximum allowed twenty years. All of the NWSRS should be so protected from mining.
10. Link mineral withdrawals to management plans.
The Forest Service and the BLM develop land and resource management plans under the authority of the National Forest Management Act and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA), respectively. In such plans the agencies designate lands for conservation and sometimes prohibit such things as logging, road building, grazing, off-road vehicles, fluid mineral leasing, and other activities that would harm the values for which the area is being managed. However, under the Mining Law of 1872, an area of federal land may only be protected from hardrock (gold, etc.) mining if the area has been “withdrawn” pursuant to the withdrawal provision of FLPMA. The president should direct the BLM and the Forest Service to promptly apply to the secretary of the interior for such mineral withdrawals, and she should direct the secretary to promptly withdraw them.
Republican legislator, lawyer, chief justice, granger, sportsman, conservationist, explorer, and scholar John B. Waldo read and quoted Thoreau, Shakespeare, Emerson, Aurelius, Goethe, and Wordsworth. He made twenty-seven summer sojourns in Oregon’s Cascades. From July through September and from Mount Hood to Mount Shasta, Waldo explored and was nourished and educated by Oregon’s mountain wildlands.Read More
Presidents matter for federal public lands. Let’s examine the policy positions, party platforms and statements of the two major party candidates....
Now more than ever, one has to rise above principle and do the right thing for the Earth and its human and non-human inhabitants by voting for Hillary Clinton.
Pulp has passed. Forests are more valuable for watershed, habitat and recreation than for wood or development. The Maine Woods are no longer mainly for wood.
A Maine Woods National Monument would be the embryo of a Maine Woods National Park that could grow in size and allow the trees to again grow as tall as they used to.Read More