(NFR) Bush administration changes to NW Forest Plan/Aquatic C...

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by ChrisC, Mar 24, 2004.

  1. ChrisC Member

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    Administration eases logging restrictions on old-growth forests

    GENE JOHNSON, Associated Press Writer
    Tuesday, March 23, 2004

    (03-23) 23:51 PST SEATTLE (AP) --

    The Bush administration has eased restrictions on logging old-growth forest in the Pacific Northwest, finalizing a previously announced rules change that says forest managers don't necessarily have to look for rare plants and animals before logging.

    Instead, the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management will use information provided by the state heritage programs of Washington, Oregon and California in determining whether to allow logging, prescribed burns, and trail- or campground-building, Forest Service spokesman Rex Holloway said Tuesday.

    Environmentalists decried the change, saying it would double logging on federal land in the region and have disastrous consequences for rare species. But Holloway said most old-growth forest in the region -- 86 percent -- remains protected.

    The change applies to 5.5 million acres of old-growth and other forests designated for logging under the 1994 Northwest Forest Plan, a compromise forest-management plan that covers 24 million acres in Washington, Oregon and northern California.

    "We feel fairly confident that remaining old growth will provide sufficient habitat for the remaining species," Holloway said. "And there are still riparian reserves, there are buffers along streams, and even when we're harvesting we still have to leave 15 or 16 green trees per acre, so there is some habitat for some of these species."

    The change was prompted by a timber industry lawsuit. The industry had complained for years that the so-called "survey and manage" rules -- which require study of the potential effects of logging on about 300 plant and animal species -- are overly intrusive and can take years to complete.

    Under the old rules, if forest managers found evidence of the rare species, protections such as buffer zones had to be put in place. The rules sometimes protected small blocks of old growth still standing within areas designated for logging.

    Now, the forest managers will review information provided by state heritage programs or other sources to determine whether the area of proposed projects contains rare species, and they will rely on buffer zones or other measures to protect them, said the Bureau of Land Management's Anne Boeder. But the new rule will protect fewer species -- 152 instead of 296.

    Several of the species dropped from protection were fungi, Boeder said.

    In addition, the administration announced a change Tuesday to another part of the Northwest Forest Plan, known as the Aquatic Conservation Strategy. That part outlines goals for watershed protection; the change clarifies that the Forest Service and BLM will no longer evaluate individual projects on whether they help achieve those goals, but only on whether the agencies meet those goals on a broader, watershed-wide basis.

    "Two of the ecological pillars of the Northwest Forest Plan have taken a severe blow," said Jim Young, the region's Sierra Club representative. "The Northwest Forest Plan was brokered through a compromise a decade ago. It was a scientifically justified agreement, approved by the courts, and this is going to the heart of that agreement and ripping it out."

    Young and Regna Merritt, executive director of Oregon Natural Resources Council Action in Portland, Ore., pointed to the more than $1 million President Bush and the Republican Party received from timber companies in 2000.

    "The root of our problems is that we have an anti-environment president who sits in the White House," Merritt said. "They are changing the rules and ignoring the science in a way that is simply illegal. They're going to eliminate protections for threatened salmon and leave 47 species at high risk of extinction. The idea of looking before you log was that way we could prevent hundreds of species from going extinct."

    Among the species at risk of becoming endangered are the Siskiyou Mountains salamander, the groundhog-like red tree vole and the great gray owl, Young said.

    Joyce Casey, who reviewed the Aquatic Conservation Strategy for the agencies, denied that the change would put salmon or other aquatic species in danger. She said the language needed to be clarified so that not every project would be judged on the basis of whether it damaged the environment.

    For example, she said, if a road near a stream needs to be repaired, workers fixing it might do short-term damage to the stream. But in the long run, she said, the stream might be better off because there would be less erosion from the road.

    "Of course, over the long term we don't want to do any harm, but in the short term sometimes you have to," Casey said. "For us, the bottom line is that all of the fundamental protections remain in place."
    On the Net:

    Northwest Forest Plan: www.or.blm.gov/nwfp.htm
  2. Rob Blomquist Formerly Tight Loops

    Posts: 1,343
    Mountlake Terrace, WA, USA.
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    Bush administration changes to NW Forest Plan/Aquatic C...

    Boot him from office now! The man is nothing but scum for the average american. He is all about commercial interests at the expense of the environment and the people of this country.

  3. Old Man Just an Old Man

    Posts: 21,542
    Dillon, Mt
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    Bush administration changes to NW Forest Plan/Aquatic C...

    I have just seen this thing about leaving a few trees in an area that is cut. It looks like hell. You have these very tall trees thar will topple in any big wind storm and we get them all the time here in the PNW. The road that goes to Canyon Creek was just logged off. Where you used to have a nice drive thru the woods is now a big nasty gap in the woods And to me that looks like hell.

  4. flydreamin New Member

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    Lake Stevens, Washington, U.S.A.
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    Bush administration changes to NW Forest Plan/Aquat...

    I usually like to stay out of the political arena but I must say wasn't the first bush bad enough for us to learn or lesson the first time, I guess not. Then we had to take a country that had started making some economical headway, some great steps toward putting our enviroment first and not to mention Iraq(I do soppurt our troops). I say lets move on to the future of a better tommorrow and get this religiously right winged egotist out of office and bring back the democrats for another try at making things better.

    He spoke from above and said to us "What you catch you shall release!".:thumb
  5. ChrisC Member

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    Bush administration changes to NW Forest Plan/Aquatic C...

    I was wondering about the 15-16 trees left per acre--I guess now I know what that really means.
  6. Steve Buckner Mother Nature's Son

    Bush administration changes to NW Forest Plan/Aquatic C...

    Thank you for posting this. It is important for all of us who love the outdoors to realize what the Bush Administration's continued stance on the environment is. We need to get this guy out of office!

    Steve Buckner
  7. Luke Filmer Member

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    Bush administration changes to NW Forest Plan/Aquat...

    Being a Republican myself... I thought I would pose a couple questions without implying bitterness, or anger in any way.
    I agree wholeheartedly with the concensus here on logging, however until we can find other means of either controlling the burgeoning population growth in this country, or create other materials to build our homes, and find other sources for by products made from wood.
    We will continue to log. That is a fact regardless of who is in office.
    The so-called "old growth forests" for which are not nearly the size of what was growing here when our ancestral europeans landed, and began to start cutting, should in my opinion be protected.
    Trees are a renewable resource if managed properly. There are privately owned corporations like Weyerhauser, and Boise cascade, that harvest, then re-plant. It is likely that these may be some of the roadside devastation landscapes we see during our trips.This is legally owned private lands.
    Once laws are in place to govern the control of the timber industry we may see a difference.However...At what cost? Should the government be able to decide what a person can do with their own property?
    The one thing I have always believed is that wether it be a Republican, or Democrat administration the bottom line is POLITICS, and GREED.
    Each issue is a part of a much larger picture" Your right to freedoms"
    You are about to see in the next 8 months a bitter battle between two candidates (neither of which I am particularly impressed with.
    There will be lying on both sides.
    The bottom line is which would be the better evil?
    Understanding the underlying platform of each political party will give way to the larger picture.
    Bottom line............Big Government,
    Or........Small government.
    We all make the decision by utilizing our right to vote.
    If we all made a concerted effort to truly research, and understand the issues, then actually VOTE. I think that we may end up with candidates that truly speak for our opinions.
    Once again... I am not implyng that any of the preceeding statements on this issue are inacurate, or wrong in my opinion.I am just offering another thought.
  8. andrew Active Member

    Posts: 1,110
    Bellingham, WA.
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    Bush administration changes to NW Forest Plan/Aquatic C...

    Politics outright suck...and I try to stay in the "outfield" when discussed, however, lately I have become annoyed. Give me a president of either party that was never involved in "bad politics" at one time or the other.

    In defense of our president...he was dealt some 'serious cards' and I support most of his decisions.

    When it comes to conservation it does not begin with the 'Government in DC'...that government decides legislation based on the publics needs of the entire US of A. There is a reason for forestation...the reason is a society that believes in the paper plate...the 2x4...junk mail/faxes...etc! We are to blame for the destruction or forestation...we are the 'demand'.
  9. planktonguy New Member

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    Bush administration changes to NW Forest Plan/Aquat...

    Hmm, I tried my hardest not to post, as this topic could easily lead to bitter divisiveness, but I am too weak to stop myself. I won't bash the current Pres. as I would like to, for it won't do any good. However, it seems we DO have alternate means for paper production in Hemp products. What keeps us as a country from commercially developing this resource? Is it we are too conservative as a nation, or is the timber industry too large of a lobby? I don't know the answer. I am not a "radical environmentalist," but I do wish we would explore the possibility of finding alternate resources, for the sake of our environment, that allows us to live with the amenities we now take for granted.
  10. ChrisC Member

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    More thoughts

    There's no question that we all need and use forest products. The question we all have to wrestle with is can it be done in a responsible enough manner. Whether the land is publicly or privately owned, a clearcut or virtual clearcut might benefit those who are doing the harvesting but cause irreparable harm to those who are also reliant on the land or watershed. "Downstream" economic harm, in terms of the damage caused to commercial and sport fisheries, should also be taken strongly into consideration in allowing timber harvest, which I'm not sure that this change in policy takes fully into account. Good economic and environmental policy should go hand in hand--this administration and future administrations shouldn't slant policy so that timber interests don't benefit disproportionately or at the expense of other interests. What I think we need to do if these changes do take into effect is be vigilant in insuring that the timber companies harvest in a responsible manner and bear the true cost of their actions.
  11. BOBLAWLESS New Member

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    Port Ludlow, WA, USA.
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    Bush administration changes to NW Forest Plan/Aquatic C...

    The bottom line is not BIG Government (classic excuse to commit most any sort of crime). It is Big Bucks. The contributions given to Bush simply buy the wealthy anything they want including the public's trees down the road for 10 cents on the dollar.
    This system we have is intolerable and how long we will endure it is anybody's guess. But to suggest it is really some sort of freedom from regulation by society which is the true justification for it all is just plain bunk. How long we will continue to buy into that is beyond me.
    Bob, the Yea, But as a Good Lie, It does Seem To Work.:reallymad
  12. troutski New Member

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    Bush administration changes to NW Forest Plan/Aquat...

    This topic has bigger consequences than just fish habitat & I think most readers really get that. I read recently the Great Barrier Reef in Australia has a limited life expectancy. Also recent, the Carbon Dioxide levels in atmosphere samples are much greater than the "science" types thought, and it's abundantly clear planetary warming and change are here. Mr. Pres. won't attend or send representatives to world conferences on this subject and I'm sure he doesn't want to bring this up, particularly in an election year. Remember Jim Watt, another Republican cabinet member who's buffoonish answer was , heck, we need to spend more money on space travel and habitation research so we can leave this place when we've trashed it. Crap, I even depressed myself with this post!
  13. Andy Workin in a sweet mullet

    Posts: 845
    Columbia River Gorge
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    Bush administration changes to NW Forest Plan/Aquat...

    Henry Ford once made an entire car out of hemp, he took the oils and molded them into hard, heat-resistant plastics, enigine and everything. And its was entirely powered by hemp oil.
    He was soon thereafter labeled a communist, because he was forced to produce the car in Russia, due to the ban on hemp in the 30s.


    Andy - the hemp is good guy
  14. Mike Etgen Not Quite A Luddite, But Can See One From Here

    Posts: 1,433
    Port Orchard, Washington, USA.
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    Bush administration changes to NW Forest Plan/Aquat...

    New River Mike

    While I consider myself independent in regards to party affiliation, and do agree that it's difficult to find any national politician whose hands aren't in the pockets of large corporations, lobbyists, and special interest groups, it's time we retired the argument that Republicans are the party of "small government."

    How that can be said with a straight face when the deficit has exploded to $500-plus billion annually and John Ashcroft continues to push his definition of morality and patriotism by government surveillance and intrusive laws is beyond me.

    Let's be honest; neither party is in favor of any reduction in government. They're all in the business of feeding the Machine, and living off the spoils.

    Oh, one other point was made that I think needs to be challenged - "burgeoning growth." Although the population in this country is growing, our rate of growth is actually fairly low, though still greater than many other industrialized countries. Where we are seeing growth is in terms of immigration, and I'll leave it to others to decide for themselves about that issue.

    What's really driving the consumption of natural resources in this country, though, isn't our burgeoning growth, but our burgeoning desires.

    We want bigger homes, more highways, more and larger automobiles, and a more convenient way of life. If you want to connect the need for timber to growth, put the connection where it really belongs - to our desire to live in bigger homes in large-scale developments and shop in larger malls that spring up farther and farther from our core communities, and intrude more and more on wilderness.
  15. BOBLAWLESS New Member

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    Port Ludlow, WA, USA.
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    Bush administration changes to NW Forest Plan/Aquat...


    It's not that big government is wrong if we need it to screw somebody.
    But when our own selfish, greedy little ox is being gored by it, then Big Government is the damnation of makind!
    Bob, the On My Soap Box Again Preaching To The Choir:rolleyes
  16. Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

    Posts: 5,635
    Somewhere on the Coast
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    Bush administration changes to NW Forest Plan/Aquat...

    No, I'm sure all that didn't happen until the 70's, and it was Cheech & Chong who engineered a van using hemp, and it was produced in Mexico. I've got a good grip on history, man...at least on my own version out of the eighteeen gazabazillion versions of history that are out there, so take my word for it and don't argue with me on this one!

    Almost forgot to ask. Do you know any good hemp fly patterns? Aside from a miniature net-on-a-hook?

    Jimbo "One person's "excessive government regulation" is another's "reigning in of mindless greed.""
  17. JRSly Oncorhynchus clarki clarki

    Posts: 260
    Bellingham, Washington, USA.
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    Bush administration changes to NW Forest Plan/Aquat...

    Hemp is a great resource for a lot of things, like paper. One acre of hemp is equal to 3 to 4 acres of trees when made into paper. Also it takes hemp a very short time to get large enough to harvest not even a full year, trees on the other hand take multiple years. Hemp used to be used for everything back in the day. It is true about the hemp car. Also hemp oil used to be used as a resource for multiple things, its main uses were in cars, lanterns, paint, paper, clothes, and multiple more. Our constitution was written on hemp paper. The first paper money was made on hemp paper. Not only can an acre of hemp produce more pulp than 3 acres on trees, but it also produces much more durable goods. Hemp paper is about 10 times as strong as normal paper. Right now the current standing on hemp in the USA is that one can grow and harvest hemp plants, but it is taxed so extremely that the harvesters make no profit, just loss. One argument for why it is taxed so much is because they claim that a person that is growing hemp plants, which are male plants, can hide a female marijuana plant in with the male plants and sell drugs. This argument is not very strong, most people can pick out the difference between a male and female cannabis plant very easily. Also another reason why this argument doesn’t stand is that if a female plant were to be in with the male plants they would pollinate, and the female plant would then be a heterogeneous cannabis plant that cannot produce any buds that can be smoked. Another argument that the government makes is that it would hurt the logging companies. This is true, but not all of them. Wood would still be needed for multiple things, like building with. Also the loggers could transfer into the hemp harvesting because this is currently not really being done, so there would be a huge opening in the market for it. Also people lose jobs all the time, but they find more work. The government seems to righteous to admit that it was wrong, and it wont go back on its huge tax. In other words, what I am saying is you are right they should use hemp. I have a lot more to say on this kind of thing, but I will stop here.

    In case you were wondering how I know all of this stuff, my brother had to do three papers on this topic for three different classes last year at college and he told me about it.

    I hope I didn't offend anyone.

  18. Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

    Posts: 5,635
    Somewhere on the Coast
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    Bush administration changes to NW Forest Plan/Aquat...

    Wow, man! I stand corrected on the hemp car!
    Yes, hemp was demonized in the '30's, and DuPont Chemical suddenly found a huge market for its then new synthetic fibers, especially in rope making. The timing was no coincidence, either. DuPont lobbied hard against hemp so they could take over most of the rope market. Alot of hemp came from overseas, and the argument was that in times of war, synthetic rope that could be manufactured at home was strategically better than rope made from imported hemp. And Dupont didn't want to see hemp being grown domestically and compete with their synthetic product.
    Yes, the arguments against hemp are pure hogwash.

    Hey! Anybody besides me get the feeling we're being lied to?

    "It can't happen here." - Mothers Of Invention

  19. Luke Filmer Member

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    More thoughts

    Clearly we have raised some important topics, and most assuredly beyond flingin'feathers.
    This nation is in desperate need of sound leadership and sooner or later it will have an impact on each of us.
    I dont seriously believe anyone is going to trade in their new pick-up for a "hempmobile".
    Wether the point be drilling in alaska, bombing Iraq, or harvesting our forests. these decisions are made by elected officials placed in power by a supposed majority (you & me). The nation is divided, and the outcome of this next election will certainly test the metal of our future.
    Staying in the outfield is no longer an option.
    I made a statement earlier about "burgeoning population"
    I stated this as a broad based observation, but case in point; I have lived in Washington since 1969. I am sure alot of you have been here even longer and can remember what is what like then, and have seen the population here in the state increase to beyond what the infrastructure was designed for.
    I-5 corridor is in dis-repair, Alaskan way viaduct is an issue. The Narrows bridge commute is un-believable.
    Is a toll bridge going to make a difference?
    Is mass transit going to get YOU out of your car?
    How many people do you see on the highway carpooling?
    The point I was trying to make is that unless we ALL start to really take a serious look at where we are going it may be too late.
    I dont mean to preach, and I know I dont have all the answers. I just get a little frustrated sometimes.
  20. headstrong1 youngish old guy

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    Bush administration changes to NW Forest Plan/Aquatic C...

    Boys, Bush is the worst president of the United States of America ever by a long shot. I didn't live through the Nixon years, but the world has changed since then, and at least he was halfway intelligent. I see little to be optimistic about in the future of our country. We are losing our civil liberties by the moment, the world hates our guts, our environmental laws are being destroyed, our economy is being degraded, our election system doesn't work , our country is run by big corporations and christian fanatics, etc. etc. etc.:reallymad Man oh man oh man. We're screwed. It will take a hundred years (maybe longer) to recover from the Bush era. He is an embarrassment and menace to the world. Hate me if you wish, but my generation has to deal with the aftermath of this jack@$$. And most of us aren't too happy about it.