15 Jan 2008, 10:46pm
Federal forest policy
by admin

The Largest Land Grab since the Louisiana Purchase

The US Forest Service has announced their Open Space Conservation Strategy. The Strategy involves the promotion of “wilderness values” on 400 million acres of private land.

“If people have an incentive to hold on to wildlands (rather than develop them), we as a society benefit from that,” she [Gail Kimbell] said in an interview. “We all benefit from keeping wildlands wild.”

That statement is absurd. The real motive underlying the USFS Open Space Strategy is to apply their newest and most favored wildland management tool, wildland fire, to private lands. The Strategy originated with the Nature Conservancy, the biggest international “non-governmental organization” in the world. The Strategy is in line TNC’s strategy of purchasing private land and converting it to public land at a hefty profit (in 2006 TNC’s non-taxable income was over a $1 billion). Burned out private properties can be had more cheaply.

And quite a few private lands, at that. Total USFS land is 192 million acres nationwide, including Alaska. The addition of 400 million more acres of private land more than triples their burning zones. Consider that Oregon is approximately 50 million acres total. The new Strategy will encompass an area 8 times the size of Oregon. It should be noted, however, that the Feds already own more than half of Oregon, and hold similar proportions of all western states. An additional 400 million acres encompasses almost all the land west of the Continental Divide.

The new Strategy is the largest land grab since the Louisiana Purchase.

Our vision for the 21st century is an interconnected network of open space across the landscape that supports healthy ecosystems…

That statement, taken from the USFS Open Space Conservation website [here] is in accord with the radical Wildlands Project originated by Earth First! [here].

Open space is… well, even the USFS can’t define it. Here is one of their attempts:

Open space means many different things to different people.  For the purposes of the Open Space Conservation Strategy, the Forest Service defines open space as land that is valued for natural processes and wildlife, agricultural and forest production, aesthetic beauty, active and passive recreation, and other public benefits. Such lands include working and natural forests, rangelands and grasslands, farms, ranches, parks, stream and river corridors, and other natural lands within rural, suburban, and urban areas. Open space may be protected or unprotected, public or private.

Talk about vague; that could be any parcel of land anywhere. They also offer this shorty definition:

Open space — public land, private forests, tribal forests, ranches, farms, and other undeveloped lands.

“Undeveloped” is a key word in that. Land becomes “developed” by being “converted” to:

Conversion is the replacement of forests with houses, buildings, lawns, and pavement.

Houses, lawns, and pavement are attributes of human residency. In the eyes of the USFS, any property with a home on it is “developed.” Home occupancy (aka land tenancy or residency) is precisely what the USFS Open Space Conservation Strategy wishes to eliminate from 400 million acres of private land.

Elsewhere in the world this is known as “ethnic cleansing.” It has not been practiced in U.S. on such a large scale since the ethnic cleansing of Native Americans in the 18th and 19th centuries. It might be more accurate to term it “pan-ethnic cleansing” since all races and creeds are to be eliminated from the landscape this time.

The USFS made a bold start on the program by burning down 254 homes in South Lake Tahoe last summer, and then informing the victims that it was their own fault their homes burned down. Americans live too close to USFS land, and so must suffer chronic megafires that usher from there.

The USFS has also given ample indication of their forest management philosophy by incinerating millions of acres public forests every year. They claim that forest fires “benefit resources.” Indeed, they now call forest fires Wildland Fires Used For Resource Benefit.

Evidently they wish to spread those “benefits” to the western half of the U.S.A.

This week the USFS released the following in National Woodlands, the magazine of the National Woodland Owners Assoc. [here].

Open Space Conservation Strategy Unveiled

Forest Service Chief Abigail Kimbell recently announced the release of the Forest Service’s Open Space Conservation Strategy.

“Our vision for the 21st Century is an interconnected network of open space across the landscape-one that supports healthy ecosystems, renewable resources, and a high quality of life for Americans,” she said. “We plan to achieve this through collaboration and partnerships-by working with willing landowners, conservation groups, and state and local governments to promote voluntary land conservation.”

Open space-public land, private forests, tribal forests, ranches, farms, and other undeveloped lands-provide a multitude of public benefits, ecosystem services, and products we all need and enjoy such as water, economic prosperity, wildlife, recreation, and wildfire protection.

The Forest Service is concerned about the loss of open space, especially within private forests and around the National Forests and Grasslands. Development of open space affects the agency’s ability to manage the National Forests and Grasslands, as well as its ability to help private landowners and communities manage their land for public and ecosystem benefits.

The Open Space Conservation Strategy is the product of extensive public comment and collaboration, with over 22,000 comments received-nearly all supportive. The public also expressed strong support for open space conservation during USDA’s Farm Bill listening sessions.

The Strategy charts a path forward for the Forest Service to conserve forests, grasslands, farms, ranches, and urban greenspaces that provide vital ecosystem services and benefits forsociety. Open space benefitsAmerican citizens by providing clean air, abundant water, outdoor recreation, connected fish and wildlife habitat, scenic beauty, improved human health, renewable resource products, and quality of life.

USDA’s Farm Bill proposals would strengthen and enhance the agency’s ability to achieve the goals of the
Strategy. The USDA proposals would provide increased financial and technical assistance to willing landowners to conserve open space, advance ecosystem management, service private markets to compensate private landowners, enable states to work across boundaries to identify priority forest landscapes for conservation, and help communities protect working forests.

The loss of open space threatens the sustainability of the nation’s forests and grasslands. We lose approximately 6,000 acres of open space each day across the United States-a rate of four acres per minute. Land development is outpacing population growth, especially in rural areas where the trend is low density, dispersed growth. The new Forest Service report “National Forests on the Edge” projects that over 21 million acres of rural private lands near national forests and 44 million acres of private forest land will undergo increases in housing density by 2030.
Growth and development in wildlands increases the risk of wildfire for people and property, affects the Forest Service’s ability to manage the public lands for healthy forests and public enjoyment, and reduces the capacity of privately owned land to provide water, recreation, habitat, and other public benefits.

Following are four priorities of the Strategy that will guide future Forest Service actions to conserve open space are to:

1) Convene partners to identify and protect priority open space;

2) Promote national policies and markets to help private landowners conserve open space;

3) Provide resources and toolsto help communities expand and connect open spaces; and

4) Participate in community growth planning to reduce ecological impacts and wildfire risks.

The Strategy can be found at http://www.fs.fed. us/openspace. The site also shares research findings, success stories, and resources for open space conservation.

8 Feb 2008, 1:13pm
by Jack J.


The USFS has lost their mission.Their mission under public lands laws, including the Multiple-Use Sustained Yield Act of 1960, is to “manage the national forest for outdoor recreation, range, timber, watershed, and fish and wildlife purposes.”

Multiple-use of public land has always been the best process in place. Problem is, USFS personnel do not read the public land laws have their own agenda contrary to public land law. The personnel are very unqualified with little professional background and experience.The old Civil Service Commission had a rating system based on background,education and experience. You were rated with a graded number and then hired off a roster. That was a good system. Carter dumped it! If that system was in operation today, 1/3 or more of the current USFS employees wouldn’t be there.

18 Jul 2010, 6:43pm
by Scott A.


Great article as always.

Most suburban people would think the article above is out of touch or over the top. Most rural communities would say the article is too light handed.

It almost brought tears to my eyes to read it, because any rural community, individual, tribe or person who doesn’t conform to the USFS image of “forest purity” is subject to criminal actions committed by the USFS.

Copied from above: “Elsewhere in the world this is known as ‘ethnic cleansing.’ It has not been practiced in U.S. on such a large scale since the ethnic cleansing of Native Americans in the 18th and 19th centuries. It might be more accurate to term it ‘pan-ethnic cleansing’ since all races and creeds are to be eliminated from the landscape this time.”

I had a very emotional talk about this with a Nez Perce tribal member just last week.

We were discussing our heritages. I am 1/8 or more Cherokee Indian. My great great grandmother was moved from her homelands and forced to walk the Trail of Tears to Oklahoma, then later to Texas.

The USFS has recently shown up at my doorstep ordering the only access to my property closed. Friends of mine have recently been locked behind closed gates and abandoned. Prisoners, as they were of an extreme radical agenda, perpetrated by an omnipotent, unstoppable government entity.

A while back the entire community of Yellow Pine suffered this same fate, myself included.

In the conversation we agreed our common enemy was the US government. We joked even of making a bumper sticker which would read “US GOVERNMENT - STEALING LANDS, BURNING HOMES AND DISPLACING VILLAGERS SINCE 1776.”

Remembering stories my great grandmother told me as a child, then living through unlawful imprisonment by the USFS as a preteen, and now having the USFS attempting to steal my land and close my driveway feels like it’s 1803. The only difference is, now the “cavalry” is the USFS, and the “Indians” are anyone who does not chose to live in town.

I cannot imagine any greater form of emotional distress than living in a forested community and dealing with the USFS. Those who make the policies by which you will be forced to live by all reside in Washington D.C. Those who deal directly with you, i.e. the rangers, are mostly proud members of environmental terrorist organizations.

The USFS today seems to be little more than a government sanctioned terrorist organization, who’s weapons are wildfire, red tape, detached, emotionally abusive rangers, and “regulations.”

A very prominent business owner who has lived near Yellow Pine for many years, was recently quoted as saying, “The only way to fix the forest is to disband the USFS and start all over again.”

19 Sep 2010, 9:47pm
by Scott A.


Sounds like a little bit of HR 5101 and UN Agenda 21 coming into play here. That is, take away private property owner’s rights for “the good of the environment.”

22 Nov 2010, 12:17pm
by Eric S.


This is the smoking gun. This land will be used to process blue/green algae into ethanol and JP-8 fuel. The advantages of nitrogen pollution and readily available government “green” for carbon dioxide from coastal refineries is a ready made ocean of dead that will be a black hole of blue/green algae producing oil at 18 dollars a barrel. Talk about having your cake and government subsidies too.

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