27 Dec 2007, 3:15pm
Saving Forests
by admin

Backcut at the Gristmill

Restoration forester, photographer, and SOSF stalwart Backcut laid it down at a site called Gristmill [here]. (Be sure to read all the comments).

Some excerpts:

I’ve said it before… and I’ll say it again. What is wrong with restoring western forests to their natural stocking levels?

Until we can agree on the where, how and why, our forests will burn and our chance to sequester carbon by making durable wood products will be lost for the rest of OUR lives. And our children’s lives, too.

I’m currently working on a fire salvage project of about 300 acres of recently-thinned forest. Using the latest fire mortality guidelines, we’re applying cutting edge science to this burned forest, 5 weeks after the fire was extinguished.

The eco-embracement of wildfires is still proceeding, where opponents to fire salvage projects call wildfires “natural and beneficial”, ignoring the high-intensity acres that eliminate full recovery in less than 200 years.

Even the Forest Service has thrown up the white flags on National Forests like the Bitterroot, where they have chosen to make those lands part of a huge “Let-Burn” program, without any NEPA or public involvement.

The future doesn’t look good for our forests, especially if we all continue to be polarized, stubborn and emotional. On the flip side, we can’t just be “giving away” our forests. Even with careful and gentle management, our forests are full of value in many different forms.

But, if we don’t make our forests drought, insect and fire resistant, there will be nothing left to save except for brushfields and plantations.

Forest management deniers??!?

I see that there’s another “Inconvenient Truth” that people here at Grist-world are trying to ignore. I see that most preservationists agree with the Bush Administration on letting massive parts of National Forest burn, too. Nothing like releasing centuries of sequestered carbon, along with other toxic gasses directly into our atmosphere, eh?

Amazingly, no one even blinked when these programs were implemented without NEPA work or public opinion on an issue that will have environmental effects lasting well into your great grandchildren’s lives.


Where did I say I wanted to cut all the big trees?!? The land can only support so many trees and many, many areas just have too many of them. Coincidentally, I’m currently working on the Plumas doing some projects under the Quincy Library Group.

Again I see we’re being punished for what foresters did back in the LAST millennium. Clearcutting here in California’s National Forests are a thing of the distant past now, having banned clearcutting since 1993 (voluntarily so).

I do agree with you that burning is essential to the health of our forest ecosystems, here in California. However, many areas will first need a thinning. Otherwise, it’s analogous to trying to burn tiny bits of a huge haystack without burning up the whole thing.

Some people will never see the big picture, thinking that more trees are always better for the environment. Well, the San Bernardino and Bitterroot National Forests are perfect examples of how to preserve a forest to death.

Think forestry jobs senators

This is what wins elections.  Getting jobs in the forest back after corpo-logging and GHG climate change has taken them away.

Employ people to harvest the waste wood that is the fuel in these forest fires.  They may just turn into fire storms that feed themselves with tordanic winds.  Then you are looking at months long GHG spewing disaster areas that leave economic devastation in their wake.  How much to rebuild afterwards?

Not sure if “tordanic” is a real word, but we like it.

A Victory!!

I will take the deafening silence as a major victory for forests and foresters to return the woods to more natural and resilient ecosystems using science instead of faith-based dogma drama. Is “Preservationism” dead in our National Forests?!? Are you going to lump Jerry Franklin in with Patrick Moore, now?!? Are the eco’s still saying that wild fires are “natural and beneficial”?? It’s “interesting” that no one in Grist wants to even talk about forests, and their decline. After all, it’s soooo much easier to go with the party line and say “Mother Nature” will make it all better, if we just leave her alone. None of that pesky science to get in the way.

It’s NOT too late to save parts of our forests from high-intensity fires AND unsustainable logging. However, political inertia and the eco-industry have too much power in reaping donations off the ignorant masses with guilty consciences.

Amazing that there STILL are big groups out there suing against scientific forest management, and winning. It’s even more amazing that Gristers ignore this evidence, preferring to argue about hybrids and coal-powered toasters.

28 Dec 2007, 4:23pm
by Bob Zybach

Backcut: Excellent points and observations. You are lucky to be in the Quincy area rather than Region 6 where “scientific” quackery reins supreme.

The “big groups” filing suits against logging are actually a handful of lawyers making big money tapping into such groups, or actually forming them themselves.

Look at the history of “BARK” as an example of lawyers getting paid to form groups that give parties for the “public,” gather signatures from party goers and try to convince them to do the same, and then say they represent the “public” when they file anti-logging suits. Then the lawyers get paid — kind of like double dipping. First, the big groups are hit up for “legal fees” to file suit, then the lawyers collect again directly from taxpayers when they “win” their arguments that have been formulated by their predecessor Enviro lawyers. What a scam, and at what a cost to rural citizens and our nation’s forests!

Is there an investigative journalist out there willing to dig through this muck? The names of the lawyers that file these suits are the beginning and ending points of such an investigation.

Tordanic is an excellent word! I had good fun with Wolf Read, a climatologist and storm expert, inventing new words for my dissertation on catastrophic wildfires. I think we came up with pyrocanes for the hurricane-force winds generated by wildfires.


2 Jan 2008, 8:54am
by Backcut

As you can see from my posting over there, on just that one thread. While Grist claims to be an “enlightened eco-community with a sense of humor”, they just don’t want to discuss anything about forests. Their editors hate being intellectually-impaired when they argue for preservationism.

My first experience with Grist was met with suspicion and scorn. Being a middle-of-the-roader on the environment, I was met by a hoard of preservationists led by a self-proclaimed eco-lawyer who called me a “tree murderer”. I methodically picked apart their arguments and succeeded in showing the general public that foresters do indeed love their forests and know how to balance the sciences. The eco-lawyer was chastised for personal attacks and decided to leave the forum in shame. Luckily, Grist has all that saved under my comments…heh heh!

We need to continue to educate people about what our forests need. We need to claim the moral high ground, as well. We need to stop being punished for the things that were done in the LAST millennium.

Thanks for bump, Mike.

24 Feb 2008, 4:34pm
by Backcut

Grist has a new article that I’ve commented on and generated quite a bit of buzz. I reposted both stories regarding JFranklin/KNJohnson and Dr. Helms but, it’s not clear that many people are actually reading them. However, the Grist article’s author did and is impressed. Here’s the link:


Generally, when I’ve struck a chord over there, people clam up. Of course, I can usually get someone to stand up and blather, and this time I was able to “play him” like a Stradivarius. Debunkery (is that a word?) can be perfect to smash the urban myths that preservationists use on trusting, but ignorant, people who’s hearts are in the right place.

With Nader’s hat being thrown in the ring today, the article will surely be buried but, I was happy to sneak in there under the radar this morning.

24 Feb 2008, 6:32pm
by Mike

Debunkery is a fine word, whether it’s in the dictionary or not.

You might remind the Gristers that every single law pertaining to out National Forests REQUIRES the sale of timber and other products, from the 1897 Organic Act on. Nowhere is the idea that our forests should not serve resource users found in any law that I know of.

And you might point out that the Sierra Club just won a 9th Circuit judgment to shut down the fire hazard thinnings that they purport to support. Actions speak louder than words, etc.

And you might point out that the radical Eugene Left is demanding a nationwide ban on fire retardant. Just in case any Gristers live in the Western U.S. and value their homes and lives.



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