Ninth Court Upholds Restoration in Spotted Owl Forest

In a stunning and precedent-setting decision yesterday, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower court and upheld the Five Buttes Project on the Deschutes National Forest.

The Project [here, here] is planned for the Five Buttes area (near Odell and Davis Lakes) in the Crescent Ranger District approximately 50 miles south of Bend, Oregon. It includes 4,235 acres of commercial thinning, with an estimated volume of 14.4 million board feet; 4,235 acres of fuels treatments associated with commercial harvest units; 3,931 acres of fuels treatments in units (including 368 acres in Unit 435) that will not have commercial harvest at this time; and 5.9 miles of temporary road construction and rehabilitation of temporary roads when they no longer are needed.

The Five Lakes Project has been in the planning process since 2004, in part in response to the 2003 Davis Fire (21,000 acres). The League of Wilderness Defenders, Blue Mountains Biodiversity Project, Cascadia Wildlands Project, and the Sierra Club sued to halt the Five Lakes Project, winning an injunction [here] from Michael R. Hogan, U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon in 2008. The US Forest Service appealed, and Hogan’s decision was reversed [here] yesterday by Richard A. Paez, Richard C. Tallman, and Milan D. Smith, Jr. of the Ninth Circuit Court. Smith wrote the majority opinion, and Paez wrote a dissent.

Attorneys for Daniel Kruse, Cascadia Wildlands Project [here] and Christopher Winter and Ralph Bloemers, Crag Law Center [here] argued that another large fire in the Five Buttes Project area was highly unlikely. Interestingly, less than a week after the Hogan decision in 2008, the Royce Butte Fire [here] erupted in the Five Lakes Area, forcing evacuations of Crescent Junction.

While Judge Paez, in his dissent, argued that the risk of catastrophic fire in the Project area was “inconsistent,” the majority disagreed. Judge Paez cited John Muir, God, and Uncle Sam in his dissent:

Old-growth forest is the end result of an ancient and intricate process. Its ecosystem is rich and complex, and because we do not fully understand the inner workings of the relationships between the plants and species that inhabit them, human harm to old-growth forests remains irreversible. In the words of John Muir, a preservationist and the man largely credited for the creation of Yosemite National Park:

“It took more than three thousand years to make some of the trees in these Western woods,—trees that are still standing in perfect strength and beauty. … God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches, and a thousand straining, leveling tempests and floods, but he cannot save them from fools,—only Uncle Sam can do that.” John Muir, American Forests, Atlantic Monthly, Aug. 1897, at 145, 157.

But fortunately the other judges were not so full of it. Everything Paez (and Muir) states above is false. The interjection of religious myth into judicial decisions is a clear violation of the separation of Church and State as established in the U.S. Constitution. It is kind of amazing that Federal Judge, especially a Ninth Circuit liberal judge like Paez, would base his judgment on (clearly racist) religious claptrap nonsense. But it doesn’t matter. Paez was out-voted by the rest of the judicial panel.

The Pantiffs argued that “commercial” harvest for “profit” is a terrible thing and should never be allowed. While not saying so expressly, the goal of shutting down the economy by eliminating “profit” is part of Marxist doctrine. It is remarkable how many people bad mouth “profit” these days. They prefer losses, evidently, except in their own personal finances. But that is neither here nor there.

The fanciful idea that spotted owls cannot abide thinning is debunked by numerous situations where owls have thrived in thinned forests. It is good to see that myth dashed on the rocks of reality.

The idea that removing fuels has no effect on fire risk was also debunked in this ruling. Obviously it does.

The pro-holocaust, anti-forest, super-litigious “enviros” were thumped by this precedent-setting ruling. It’s nice to see the bad guys lose once in awhile.

16 Aug 2010, 10:46am
by Scott A.

Great article admin. It’s good to see common sense triumphing in court over idealogues, with “anti-American” goals in mind. And who often end up do more damage to wildlife, the forests through their lawsuits by preventing projects which would genuinely reduce bark beetles, wildfire devastation.

I have faith in the American people. They may not always be up on every issue, but when informed properly, they are a force which no radical group dare stand in the way.

The American people are starting to read through all the BS fed to them by sue-happy enviro-litigious groups with “less-than-honorable-intentions.” Thank you for being a shining beacon on the hill and getting the truth out there to those who need it! :)

16 Aug 2010, 7:40pm
by bear bait

Another favorable, common sense opinion by Judge Smith, a cousin to the Udalls, brother to Gordon.

18 Aug 2010, 1:34pm
by bear bait

Oops! Spoke too soon. Today’s 9th Circus decision is that the Oregon Board of Forestry now has to plan and prove that any and all logging roads meet the Clean Water Act requirements for point source pollution sources. Impossible, of course. So the 9th Circus gives, and the next day the 9th Circus takes away.

The US Government Business Plan is an oxymoron. The US Congress is a ship of fools, and sinking, and I am pissed that I am not there to throw lead life rings, all painted and constructed to some Federal standard.

Your life is probably shortened by the number of periods of elation and closely followed despair. Following the decisions of the US 9th Circuit Court will kill you.

It is best we, collectively, forget about logging public land and maybe even private land. Let the stuff burn. In time there will be nothing left to wring our hands over, and the constant fire-removed-brush-to-burn-to-brush-to-burn cycle will eventually wash all the soil to sea, producing perhaps a resurgence in the phytoplankton bloom and improving marine fish habitat. The loess from the chronically de-vegetated former forests will create some new farmland, and if we ever get to see the sun again, or more than a mile across open country, we might find a spot to grow a better grade of dope or opium poppy to make drugs to sell in the Mideast and Asia where the money will be.

My countrymen voted for “hope and change” and got it. Now they hope it will soon end and change back to something that will provide a job. Not a chance. The government employees, dependent upon government for money, have gained total control of this country’s governance, and you are either one of them and sort of secure, or you are not one of them and they are daily trying to find ways to get rid of you. Just the way it works.



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