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The effects of logging are vastly underrated by most of the general public. They still do not connect the increasing contamination of their water with the logging of watershed.   Anybody who needs water to live should be concerned.  
The Walden Logging Bill, HR 4200, is scheduled for a vote on the House floor this week. The vote is expected on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday. American Lands Alliance is scheduling a national call in day on Tuesday, May 16th.  You can read about it here.

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Jump this muddy ditch with me, for a closer look.

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They are shouting FIRE! in a crowded theater. It is the same tactic used again and again. And they offer us a dream of temporary safety, a myth, if we will just give up what few protections for the environment that are left.

HR 4200 is a direct assault on the National Environmental Policy Act, NEPA, which I wrote about in my first dKos diary.

The cost of this bill will be tremendous, both financially for taxpayers, and ecologically for the state of sustainability of our homeland. Check out the taxpayer costs of the Biscuit Fire "Recovery" project as an example. Salvage logging, one of the most ecologically dangerous practices in modern forestry, employs an overriding short-term economic rational as an excuse to summarily ignore all current ecological knowledge about the long- term biological sustainability of forests. The sole objective of salvage logging is to convert trees into money, thus replacing the art of forestry with the technology and economics of cutting trees.

Jeffery St. Claire's excellent article on Chainsaw George explains some of the history of fire, and the beginnings of Corporate theft of our forest resources.

Forest fires became stigmatized only when forests began to be viewed as a commercial resource rather than an obstacle to settlement. Fire suppression became an obsession only after the big timber giants laid claim to the vast forests of the Pacific Northwest. Companies like Weyerhaeuser and Georgia-Pacific were loath to see their holdings go up in flames, so they arm-twisted Congress into pour millions of dollars into Forest Service fire-fighting programs. The Forest Service was only too happy to oblige because fire suppression was a sure way to pad their budget: along with the lobbying might of the timber companies they could literally scare Congress into handing over a blank check. [For an excellent history of the political economy of forest fires I highly recommend Stephen Pyne's Fire in America.]

Ah, fear again.

Well, I fear HR 4200 a lot more than I do fire, and I have been up close and personal with one at my home. Anyone who has tried to walk through where the forest used to be after a timbering operation can tell you that the fuel load is increased, not lessened. And the firefighters agree with me! Or perhaps better put, I agree with them.

Wildland firefighters' group seeks defeat of salvage logging bill

[Washington, DC] A group representing wildland firefighters Tuesday called on Congress to defeat a bill aimed at speeding up logging dead timber and planting new trees after storms and wildfires. The bipartisan bill demands that areas hit by disasters greater than 1,000 acres be restored quickly, before the commercial value of fire-killed timber diminishes, and insects and rot set in. But Oregon-based Firefighters United for Safety, Ethics and Ecology said the bill could increase fire risks and undermine efforts to reduce hazardous fire conditions near communities. "Post-fire logging and planting does not 'recover' a burned forest, but rather, sets it up for future high-severity burning," said Timothy Ingalsbee, the group's executive director and a former firefighter for the U.S. Forest Service. Young, densely stocked timber plantations are prone to sudden "blowups" of extreme fire, and can start crown fires in nearby old-growth stands, said Ingalsbee, whose group includes about 80 professional firefighters from Alaska to Virginia. The bill awaiting action in the House "not only will create more hazardous fire conditions, but it will divert financial resources away from one of the most urgent needs of society: community wildfire protection,"

The best available science shows that logging in forests after natural disturbances can be extremely damaging and can actually increase fire risk by leaving piles of limbs and branches on the ground. Letting trees regenerate naturally works better than logging and replanting. Bulldozers destroy naturally regenerating fragile seedlings. Logs left in place following fires or other disturbances are crucial building blocks, providing nutrients for the reemerging forest. In a recent letter, 169 scientists including some of the most prominent forest ecologists in the nation wrote to warn Congress that HR 4200 " misguided because it distorts or ignores recent scientific advances."  American Lands Alliance has a fine bunch of economists working on sustainability issues.

Paul Hawken

A spider can spin silk as strong as kevlar, without using high temperatures or sulphuric acid. Trees use sunlight and water to make cellulose, a sugar with greater bending strength than steel. In his acclaimed book Natural Capitalism,  Paul Hawken (with co-authors Amory and Hunter Lovins) proposes an industrial system where natural resources are treated as capital, and "smart designers apprentice themselves to nature" to learn the secrets of efficient production.

HR 4200, same old same old. Profit for Corporations at cost to taxpayers.

The Walden Logging Bill sacrifices accountability and transparency in federal decision making by casting aside the most important law the public has to provide meaningful and informed input on federal projects - the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). All projects authorized under the bill would be exempt from NEPA, which requires that federal projects undergo a "look before they leap" review that takes into account sound science, a reasonable range of alternatives, and lets the public know about a project and its environmental impacts before moving forward.  

Please make the call. Click on your rep to find phone number.

Hopeless? Act.

Originally posted to emmasnacker on Mon May 15, 2006 at 07:41 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Hello? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    peeder, sele, Eddie Haskell, DanC

    Helloooooooooo the house! Anybody home?

  •  MO 9th (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sele, emmasnacker

    R - Kenny Hulshoff.  Called.  They were noncommital, but polite at least.

    The most un-American thing you can say is, "You can't say that." -G. Keillo

    by Eddie Haskell on Mon May 15, 2006 at 08:46:53 AM PDT

  •  Whelp, now that I've fixed the bill (0+ / 0-)

    number, might as well comment some more. Here's the top google for co sponsors walden logging bill.

    Environmental issues... (1+ / 0-)

    Recommended by:

    ...have a way of slipping in and out of the media's attention, and there's a natural tendency to think that, absent open controversy, crucial issues have somehow been resolved. Of course, that's a delusion: these days, 'out of sight' generally seems to mean 'out of control'. Think America's old-growth forests are out of danger? Think again.

       But the health and stability of the climate is intimately tied to the health and stability of forests. Destruction of forests and other wild land is one of the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions, contributing somewhere between 20 and 30 percent of the total.

          For this reason alone, the newest assault on America's forests, House Resolution 4200, should be big news. HR 4200 passed out of the House Resources Committee last week (with the votes of 6 Democrats - showing that the timber industry spreads its influence around liberally). It goes to the Agriculture Committee for mark-up this week and then to a vote.

          Also known as the "Walden logging bill," after its sponsor, Oregon congressman Greg Walden, HR 4200, the "Forest Emergency Recovery and Research Act" would mandate logging after natural disturbances like fires, droughts and windstorms. This bill would exempt salvage logging from every relevant environmental law, including the Endangered Species Act. The bill includes no protections for old-growth reserves, roadless forests, salmon streams or other sensitive areas. Making matters worse, it is an assault on public safety that would steal taxpayer dollars from fire prevention work in order to subsidize commercial logging.

          Proponents of the Walden logging bill claim they need to slash environmental protections for burned forests because otherwise environmentalists will use the protections to appeal logging plans. Often, they say, appeals can drag out long enough that the burned timber rots and becomes worthless and if the timber can't be sold then there won't be enough money for replanting. Thus the politicians, who know best, must override the misguided environmentalists in order to "save" the forests.

    More here on trees, the continued politicization of science, and the folly of 'emergency logging' (nice metaphor).

    Slap it. Shoot it. Kaboot it.

    by adios on Wed Apr 05, 2006 at 09:39:23 AM PDT


    Dems with no clue..... (0 / 0)

         Co Sponsers of the bill..
         Rep. Bennie Thompson [D-MS]
         Rep. Bart Stupak [D-MI]
         Rep. Mike Ross [D-AR]
         Rep. Collin Peterson [D-MN]
         Rep. James Oberstar [D-MN]
         Rep. Charles Melancon [D-LA]
         Rep. Jim Matheson [D-UT]
         Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee [D-TX]
         Rep. Stephanie Herseth [D-SD]
         Rep. Dennis Cardoza [D-CA]
         Rep. F. Allen Boyd [D-FL]
         Rep. Dan Boren [D-OK]
         Rep. Sanford Bishop [D-GA]
         Rep. Robert Berry [D-AR]
         Rep. Brian Baird [D-WA]
         Gleaned from GovTrack, who states "Cosponsorship information sometimes is out of date."

             TAKE ACTION: Please call your Congressional Representative today at 202-224-3121 and urge them to oppose the Walden-Baird logging scheme (deceptively called the "Forest Emergency and Recovery Act").
    by emmasnacker


    Yeah, (0 / 0)

               sorry to see Stephanie Herseth in there, she knows better. Jackson-Lee doesn't. This is great:

                   There hasn't been a single peer-reviewed scientific study that has showed that effects of logging are benefiting these ecosystems to recovery. There's no scientific justification or support for the need to go into these areas and log them to get them to come back, when in fact the logging is impairing the recovery that is happening quite nicely on its own.

               Here's Walden's LCV scorecard - all 11% of it (up from 2001's 5%, however).

               Slap it. Shoot it. Kaboot it.
    by adios

    oh, hell, I can't find it...

                     What was that case in the NorthWest, oregon or wa., on the Biscuit fire recovery, where they attempted to discredit a student's scientific paper on fire and recovery. Of course, it proved, in the field, that the best thing to do with most fire sites is, for the most  part, to leave them alone!?
    by emmasnacker

    Hmm... (1+ / 0-)


    Slap it. Shoot it. Kaboot it.
    by adios

                                  Yup, that would be it. Thx. n/t (0 / 0)

  •  Thank you! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Very well stated.

    8/29 changed everything Your political compass Economic Left/Right: -6.13 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -8.10

    by wsexson on Mon May 15, 2006 at 10:20:34 PM PDT

  •  That's disgusting that so many Dems (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    sponsored this sorry piece of legislation.

    Are these the same idiots who backed Pombo's Extinction bill?

    We need to root these people out, folks. These are not Democrats! Environmental protection is a core value of the Democratic Party. You're either on board or a Republican.

    If your congressional rep is on this list, give them a buzz and let them know how you feel about them sleeping with the enemy.

    Throw Richard Pombo out of the House! Support Jerry McNerney

    by Naturegal on Tue May 16, 2006 at 04:40:18 AM PDT

  •  Pickaxe (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I highly recommend this movie about the Cascadia Free State's successful resistance to salvage logging.
    Available on DVD here alongside 218 minutes of other quality films.

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