1 Feb 2008, 10:22pm
Federal forest policy
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Three Graphs

The last 50 fire seasons in graphical form:

The entire set of three graphs, plus the data, may be downloaded [here] (103KB)

1 Feb 2008, 3:37pm
Federal forest policy
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The Thom-Seider Project

The Klamath National Forest is proposing the Thom-Seider Vegetation Management and Fuel Reduction Project. Notification was made today in the Federal Register of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement [here].

SUMMARY: Land managers propose the Thom-Seider Vegetation Management and Fuel Reduction Project to reduce fuel hazard and restore forest health on Klamath National Forest System lands. The project area is situated on both sides of the Klamath River between Hamburg and Happy Camp, California. Thinning and understory burning (underburning) is proposed for approximately 30,000 acres of strategic areas selected for their location, topography, stand structure, density, age and condition. The project is intended to reduce the potential for high-severity wildland fires to harm people, private and public land, and older forest habitats.

DATES: Comments postmarked or received by March 7, 2023 are assured of being considered in the environmental analysis. The Draft Environmental Impact Statement is expected to be published Summer 2008 and the Final Environmental Impact Statement is scheduled for Winter 2009.

ADDRESSES: Address Comments to: Happy Camp and Oak Knoll Districts Ranger, Attn: Thom-Seider Project, Klamath National Forest, 63822 Highway 96, PO Box 377, Happy Camp, California 96039. You may also send electronic comments to the project e-mail box: comments-pacificsouthwest-klamath-happy-camp@fs.fed.us.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Please contact District Ranger Donald M Hall or Interdisciplinary Team Leader Rochelle Desser if you have questions, concerns or suggestions relating to this proposal. You may contact Don at Happy Camp Ranger District Office at 530-493-1723 or at donaldhall@fs.fed.us. Rochelle is available by phone at 531-596-2453 or at rdesser@fs.fed.us.

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1 Feb 2008, 2:33am
Federal forest policy
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Threatening Legal Action Over Timber Funds

This interesting and well-written essay regarding O&C lands and the latest legal twist in that convoluted issue is by the Rogue Pundit [here]:

Back in late 2005, I blogged about local efforts to raise the money necessary to sue the federal government for the return of the O&C lands. The thought was that since the feds have stopped living up to the terms of the O&C Act of 1937, they should give us back the O&C lands. The idea isn’t without logic.

To make a long story short, in 1866 the federal government granted a large swath of land to what eventually became the Oregon & California Railroad Company. The railroad was to build a line from Portland to California, selling land on either side of the route to fund the construction. O&C finally completed the project, but tried to keep a bunch of the remaining land. The feds revested that land (current O&C acreage by county here) and promised to compensate the local governments for the loss of property taxes. Here’s how the law clearly puts it.

Section 1181(a) of the 1937 O&C act reads that O&C lands “Shall be managed… for permanent forest production, and the timber thereon shall be sold, cut, and removed in conformity with the principal of sustained yield for the purpose of providing a permanent source of timber supply, protecting watersheds, regulating streamflow, and contributing to the economic stability of the local Communities and industries, and providing recreational facilities.”

But as we know, little harvesting of the O&C lands-sustainable or otherwise-has occurred for years. Most of the land has essentially become a nature preserve (with an increasing fire risk). Thus, the federal government started compensating the O&C counties directly. That funding was lumped in with the money derived from the logging of national forests. It looks like the resulting timber payments from the creatively-titled Secure Rural Schools Act have now come to an end. The feds have reneged on their end of the bargain… [more]

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