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This is my first Diary at DKos in years (I'm always a lurker more than participant), but I'm kinda proud of what I wrote on my own blog, and since it isn't as off topic to DKos as my past Diaries have been, I decided to share it here, too.

Senator Wyden has released a new plan for management of Oregon & California Railroad trust lands, a plan that I think is intended to replace, update, or supersede the Northwest Forest Plan that Bill Clinton signed into law in 1994 for O&C lands. I'm glad new science is being brought to bear on an old problem, but I think the approach is wrong. I disagree with it's broader objectives, and thus with some of the specific things it tries to do.

Wyden's plan relies on the recent work of two well-regarded scientists, Norm Johnson and Jerry Franklin, men who helped craft the 1994 Northwest Forest Plan in the first place. The broad objective is to create a plan whereby these lands can be sustainably logged forever without dramatically sacrificing ecological protections. This is not an unworthy goal. I think we should approach all our resources this way, starting with the question "if we have to use this, how do we make sure we're not using it faster than it replenishes on its own?" But a consistent problem with that idea is that people with a profit-driven interest take an optimistic view of what's sustainable. Fisheries get overharvested because a certain fishery will have a few good years because of factors nobody has any control over, so everyone upwardly revises their idea of what's sustainable, and then our ability to monitor the decline in population lags a few years, so the population crashes in response to the increased harvest and it takes many, many years to recover. The same can happen with forests if managers assume that what's sustainable now will continue to be so five years down the line.

I'll freely admit, I'm not sure there's anything to doubt in the science of sustainable forestry they're relying on for this plan. The plan has the support of the Pacific Rivers Council and the Wild Salmon Center, solid natural resources protection groups, and it relies on good science, with adaptive management and rigorous scientific review built in. Johnson and Franklin are likely smarter than me, and are certainly more experienced ecologists than myself, and I've only had the opportunity to read a couple of Johnson's academic papers, which I admired for their well-balanced emphasis on both the social and environmental issues raised by forest management, and none of Franklin's. But I think the focus of Wyden's approach to the social matters is misplaced.

I'm always leery of any reduction in natural resource protections. The Sierra Club, Environment Oregon, and Oregon Wild (which I must disclose I  have the pleasure of volunteering for) all disagree with the O&C plan. Narrowing the stream buffers that protect the riparian habitats salmon and so many other species depend on, even if only in specially designated areas, is a worrisome idea. Limiting the ability of activist groups to file lawsuits against logging actions is even more worrisome. Allowing clear-cuts, even in selective "variable retention harvesting" patches intended to mimic the natural variability of a fire-prone habitat mosaic, is not necessarily a great idea when global climate change has thrown natural variability out the window.

Wildfires now regularly reach intensities never seen before. As annual snow pack decreases due to changes in global climate, there's less spring melt to feed streams and wet forests, so forests that haven't been logged in some time get more dry and more prone to fire. That's basic fact right now, and I could do a whole blog post just about that. But selective thinning for fuel load reduction is different than trying to create a perpetual, sustainable harvest regime based on what we know of past conditions, in an era when past conditions don't mean anything. We don't know what the wildfire regime is going to look like in five years, we don't know just how habitats and species will change and migrate over the next decade independent of all our best efforts to manage and control. There's an argument to be made that we should use logging to try to artificially force forests to match past natural conditions, but the  system is not stable, so stable harvest is not really going to be possible. Fires have been getting bigger and more out of control every year, and we need to protect what we've got, not continue to harvest based on what the fire regime was like in the past.

It's the wrong kind of sustainability for our present situation. Right now, given climate change, I think conservation is a higher priority than smarter resource extraction for (mostly) private profit. Adaptive management of lands conserved for their own sake is the way to go, and harvest should be allowed to happen as part of that management, not as the main goal of that management. We have to consider whether our public natural resources should even be allowed to be extracted for private profit. Apparently the answer everyone comes to these days is yes, but should it be?

The lean towards increased logging comes from the idea that logging creates jobs, but that idea is outdated and no longer accurate. In Lincoln County, timber harvest more than doubled from 2009 to 2012, but employment went down. In Lane County, there was a 75% increase in harvest over the same period, but a 14% decrease in wood products manufacturing jobs. Why the disconnect? Because logging in Oregon is a truly extractive industry, and fully a third of the trees harvested from our forests get exported as logs or as chips for use elsewhere. The logs get extracted from our public lands and shipped to Asian markets, the processing and manufacturing jobs get extracted by increased mechanization and shipping of raw materials overseas to support manufacturing jobs in places where labor is cheaper and tax breaks are higher, and the profits get extracted by owners. Logging just doesn't create jobs like it used to, doesn't benefit Oregon's economy like it used to, and we waste obscene amounts of money subsidizing the practice.

In fact, there's reason to believe the reduction in forest harvesting was not such a bad thing. Want to know what happened from 1988 to 1996, when harvests in the Pacific Northwest fell most precipitously? ECONorthwest reported, in a document titled "The Sky Did NOT Fall: The Pacific Northwest's Response to Logging Reductions," that while harvests fell 86% on federal lands and 47% overall in that time, yes, jobs in the lumber-and-wood-products industry fell 22%. But total employment, reflecting a much larger population than just the lumber-and-wood-products subset, increased 27%.

ECONorthwest proposed two main causes for this, with many contributing factors. Cause one: Logging's importance to the economy had already diminished by a good deal. This is because of the timber industry cutting jobs and wages in union-busting tactics in the 1980's, before the Northwest Forest Plan was even in place. By 1990, the timber industry was only 3.1% of the jobs in the region, and decades of overharvesting had the resulted in predictions that there would be a crash in timber production in the 1990's anyway. It wasn't all about the spotted owl, people.

Cause two:  Un-logged forests became more important to the economy, and this here's the not-so-obvious part. Do you really think Intel or Nike would want to be in Oregon if their headquarters were surrounded by clearcut wastelands and brown rivers that couldn't support any form of recreation, much less salmon? If their employees didn't want to be here, they wouldn't be here. Logging is a messy business that leaves a lot of cleanup and restoration work for others to take care of, it damages the land and the water and the species that rely on a healthy wild ecology, and the fact is, people want to live near beautiful forests. Other jobs came and more than replaced those lost.

I get that rural counties used to relying on the tax income from the logging industry, and, later, on compensatory payments from the federal government to offset the economic damage of forced reductions in logging, are hurting. Services are being cut, county governments are unable to govern, and people in the government are losing their jobs. Law enforcement has been devastated by the lack of funds, and people are suffering. But another point to note in all this is that many of these counties have dramatically lower property taxes than the rest of the state, rates they were able to maintain because they got funds through logging, and the populations of these counties keep voting against raising the property tax. As one article notes:

Voters in Lane and other timber-dependent counties have been resistant to raising property taxes in part because they're accustomed to the feds picking up most of the cost of county services and giving them low tax rates. Josephine County residents pay 58 cents per $1,000 of assessed value for county operations, the lowest rate in the state. Curry County follows just behind at 60 cents and Lane County's rate is $1.28, the seventh lowest. In comparison, Multnomah County's rate is $4.34.
There are better ways to stimulate local economies than logging, even if that's been their traditional driver. A recent study found that National Wildlife Refuges are economic engines all their own, and pumped $2.4 billion into the economy, supported more than 35,000 jobs and produced $792.7 million in job income for the people who engage in, facilitate, and manufacture products that allow outdoor recreational activities. For every $1 appropriated to the refuge system in Fiscal Year 2011, the refuges contributed $4.87 in total economic output. Not too shabby an investment.

I'm not suggesting that converting all these lands to wildlife refuges would solve all the county problems, but I am suggesting that it's time to stop blaming the owl, the murrelet, and the salmon. It's time to stop pointing the finger at laws designed to benefit us all, which protect the natural resources that make our state a beautiful place full of wonders that people travel from around the world to see. If this is about jobs, put up a jobs bill. If this is about county funding, find another way: create incentives for companies to move there, earmark a few federal projects to take place in those counties and stimulate things that way, maybe even make the landowners of those counties pay more in taxes for the services they need.

There's a lot to like in Wyden's bill (summarized here). It takes a reasonable approach that balances a perceived human socioeconomic need with environmental protections. If there was enough data to support the idea that increasing timber harvests would solve the problem, I'd be all for it. But there isn't, and I didn't see anything in my reading on the matter to suggest anyone was seriously proposing we keep some proportion of the logs in Oregon until they're processed into finished products or anything that would really create jobs. What we need right now is more conservation, and logging-industry lobbyists shouldn't be able to convince anyone that the problem will be solved if only a few profiteers at the top can get a compromise on natural resources protections and use low-wage jobs to ship raw materials overseas and then sell a finished product back to the Americans they just deprived of real employment opportunities. That tactic is a different kind of short-sighted, however many times the word "sustainable"appears in the plan.

{Cross-posted at Oregon Wild's blog and my own Naturalist Notations blog}

Originally posted to Tuffy on Tue Dec 10, 2013 at 10:19 AM PST.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I am no expert on any of this (5+ / 0-)

    All I know is if you drive up the coast of No CA and Oregon, and Route 1 in Maine, you see the same thing, hollowed out towns that relied on logging as their core industry and are now destitute.

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Tue Dec 10, 2013 at 10:26:55 AM PST

    •  You don't see many trees on the hills around (14+ / 0-)

      these dying towns either. In the part of Southern Oregon I live in the timber companies over logged their private holdings and all the pressure for wood fiber to feed the mills landed on public lands. The demands on these forests simply wasn't  sustainable.

      Companies like Medco in Oregon and Pacific Redwood Lumber Co. in Calif. that were in the business for the long haul were bought up in leveraged buyouts and the new owners paid off their purchasing debts buy mowing down every tree they could put a saw to. The new owners of Medco were going to cut down the trees in Butte Falls village park, which they owned. This intense badly done logging swept away the timber stands 20 years ahead of schedule.

      Everybody lost their jobs. And when other companies started cutting small diameter logs the Wall St boys left behind, they did it with machines not loggers.

      Tress gone, streams ruined, fish gone, jobs gone, towns dead.

      During the big fight over the trees on public land in the
       northwest, I would always ask the question, "If private timber companies are such good managers of trees, why don't they have any?


      •  It always was insane (3+ / 0-)

        to think you could protect jobs by cutting down the forests as fast as possible.

        The companies that were in it for the long haul, who were trying to make the forest sustainable, got taken over in leveraged buyouts.  The new owners make a killing -- some people on Wall Street got a little richer -- and the forests were devastated and the towns died.  

        THis is so much the story of the current American economy.  Lay anything waste for short term profit, and never mind how big a mess you leave behind..  Take what you can and get out.

        Vulture capitalism really is the contemporary norm.

        --------------------- “These are troubling times. Corporation are treated like people. People are treated like things. …And if we ever needed to vote, we sure do need to vote now.” -- Rev. Dr. William J. Barber

        by Fiona West on Wed Dec 11, 2013 at 04:48:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I live in north coast California (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Calamity Jean, Tonedevil, native

      An issue for these towns is that they are not very accessible ... which is both a feature and a drawback.

      I think these communities are happy not being easily accessed by road, but it would be a huge benefit to have excellent broadband in this area. Ironically, the main data pipes between the mainland and Hawaii go under Point Arena, CA... but Point Arena does not have access to that broadband.

      Slowly, some progress is being made. But, the programs available for rural broadband are actively fought by AT&T and others who hope to have those markets lay fallow until they can get to them in a decade or so. They don't want upstart local providers honing in on their action.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Wed Dec 11, 2013 at 09:08:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I know it's expensive, (0+ / 0-)

        and isn't a universal solution, but how does satellite internet, radio and TV work?

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Wed Dec 11, 2013 at 10:28:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  satellite is what many people have but (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Tonedevil, VClib

          1. The bandwidth is not broadband, especially not uplink.
          2. The reliability is less than wired.
          3. It is not an option if you're on or at the base of a north-facing slope, or in an east-west valley/canyon.
          4. It is affected by trees, which we have in abundance.
          5. For internet, it is expensive and heavily throttled. For TV it works pretty well.

          For example, you can't run a normal sized school or anything larger than a microbusiness from a satellite connection. It's barely enough for moderate household use (ie no streaming content).

          Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

          by elfling on Wed Dec 11, 2013 at 12:19:04 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  they use "jobs" as an excuse (8+ / 0-)

    they opposed plant closure laws, so they could shutter mills without any prior notice, as soon as old growth areas had been completely cut. they don't care about jobs, they care about their profits.

    clinton's northwest forest plan is the primary reason i didn't vote for him, for re-election.

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Tue Dec 10, 2013 at 10:37:15 AM PST

  •  i am in favor of setting aside much (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nulwee, blue in NC

    of those lands as wildlife refuges or even as a national forest. yes the areas protected arent as wiide as wed like them to be, but compromise to get most of what we want is a good thing. i'm not sure this plan will get through the current House anyway given how anti-environment, the Republicans have become. so all this may be a moot point.

    •  Wilderness and Fires (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      radical simplicity

      Nothing will be a wilderness unless we allow it to. The argument that something is currently degraded is illogical--essentially all of Earth is degraded, and only the ecosystems that we move to protect are 'wilding.'

      A hands-off approach to extraction is not going to improve fires, because of the way fires are managed currently.  Fire suppression (nasty chemicals and 'cutting line') are some rather artificial and unplesant, imo, ways of preventing somebody's forest abode from going up in flames.  I would let natural fires burn as much as possible, but that's the management essentially no where.

      Governments care only as much as their citizens force them to care. Nothing changes unless we change -- George Monbiot.

      by Nulwee on Tue Dec 10, 2013 at 01:18:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  indeed, we tried to supress fires for decades, and (3+ / 0-)

        all that has resulted is a buildup of fuel for these fires , which consume more area, and burn hotter and longer as a result.  letting the natural cycle reassert itself is good manage,ent, also not developing in areas near the mountains that are hard to reach is a good idea. just like you shouldn't develop on floodplains or  below sea level, you shouldn't develop in remote areas either. but people don't listen until it affects them personally.

  •  Easy to talk about unless you're a victim. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SuetheRedWA, ban nock

    If I had a family and a farm that was going to be destroyed because a spotted owl was found by my kid on our property, my first inclination would be to hire a hunter.

    Suggestion for Facebook: 50 free "starter friends" automatically as soon as you sign up.

    by dov12348 on Tue Dec 10, 2013 at 11:41:10 AM PST

    •  No. (23+ / 0-)

      Spotted owls live in old growth forests. Nobody lost their family farm because of an owl. The owls were blamed for the loss of timber jobs, but that was not what really happened. The mills closed during the 1980's due to high interest rates and the Reagan recession. When the mills reopened they were automated. Now, as the diary points out, they are exporting raw logs. That creates almost no jobs and has nothing to do with owls.

      Here's your horoscope for today: The universe doesn't even know that you exist.--Jbou

      by greycat on Tue Dec 10, 2013 at 12:10:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ok. Was it the coho salmon then? (0+ / 0-)


        Suggestion for Facebook: 50 free "starter friends" automatically as soon as you sign up.

        by dov12348 on Tue Dec 10, 2013 at 12:36:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Logs have been exported for (7+ / 0-)

        at least forty years, as we watched related mill jobs disappear. The logs were taken aboard ships that processed them at sea, for Asian markets.

      •  Log exports (8+ / 0-)

        Begin rant\
        Log exports began decades ago.  It's nothing new out here in the PNW with the ports of Aberdeen, WA and Coos Bay, OR leading the way at least as far back as the late 70's.  

        The mills closed not so much because of the Reagan recession but because of the lack of suitable and reliable raw materials.  In the 80's every single NFS timber sale was protested and litigated to death leading to reduced board footage available for the mills.  Federal timber had to be processed here - logs from privately owned land could be exported - and were.  Yes, that resulted in fewer jobs at the mills, but there were even MORE jobs that supported getting the logs out of the woods - surveyors, road building crews (loggers and heavy equipment operators), the actual logging crews that cut, bucked, yarded and hauled the logs to town - AND all the businesses that supplied the equipment, maintenance and support for the companies that did all that work.  You need to look beyond just the mills to see just how much was taken from the towns when the woods virtually shut down here.

        Were the big wood products companies outrageously greedy?  Oh, yes.  Very definitely.  They cut their way out of business here in Oregon and Washington, then went off to greener pastures in the southeast log plantations.  Weyerhauser, once the biggest of them all, no longer operates any mill of note out here that I know of.

        In the end, though, the towns that grew and thrived because of the timber industry died and the family wage jobs the industry once provided vanished.  I know from bitter experience as my husband was a faller for years and ended up jumping to truck driving because he was ill suited for any of the replacement jobs that arrived - and have left just as quickly.  We had a Sony disc manufacturing plant come to Springfield in the mid-90's, along with a box factory that made the packaging for the CD's they produced.  Ten years later they were both closed.  Then we had Hynix come to Eugene to make DRAM chips and they closed in 2008 with the loss of 1400 jobs.  Then came the recession in 2009 and the loss of more good jobs in the RV manufacturing businesses headquartered here as well as a sharp reduction of all the wonderful, low-paying jobs supporting the tourists that came to play in our forests who could no longer afford their RV camping trips, not that there were so many of them to begin with.

        We all use many kinds of wood products every single day.  It burns me that there was NEVER a concomitant campaign to reduce consumption of those products along with all the calls to save the "ancient forests."  After production was so sharply curtailed here, those wood products came from someone else's backyard - the worst sort of NIMBYism I know of.  Oh, except for the call to stop using paper sacks/bags at the stores to reduce the amount of paper used - and now we have bans on plastic bags and charge $0.05 each for paper bags if you forget to bring the cheap polyester, made in China, carry bags you've bought from every store you patronize.  I'm still using the heavy duty canvas ones I bought from Winco in 1988 because I tried to reduce the amount of wood products I used and still do.  But was there a call to reduce the size of houses so that less wood was used?  Oh, no.  That would never do - we needed our McMansions.

        There's much more I could say about the timber industry and its demise here but I'll just leave this little anecdote as an ending to this rant.  

        When I was going to the UofO in the late 80's, I once had a woman ask me what my husband did for a living.  When I told her he was a timber faller, she gasped and said "How awful for you!  What a cross you bear even if you don't know it."  Since I was cranky because it was finals week, I asked her if she used toilet paper to wipe her ass or lived in a wood framed house/apartment complex because my husband got up at 3 AM during hoot owl conditions in the summers, drove over an hour to get to the job where he then RISKED HIS LIFE falling trees so she could have soft toilet paper instead of corn cobs and a roof over her head to keep herself dry.  A few days later there was a rally on campus for saving the Ancient Forest - complete with a cartoon painting of a thuggish logger with his chainsaw captioned "Rapist of the Forest" on a sheet of PLYWOOD and all the protesters had signs made out of white CARDBOARD stapled to WOOD LATH, which were mostly left laying on the sidewalk and street to be picked up later and thrown away once the protest was over.

        /end rant

        •  Ex logger here (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Josephine Co. early to mid 70's. I hear what you're saying. I'm just glad I got out when I did.

        •  damn good rant! (0+ / 0-)

          I still think the demise of logging was inevitable, and caused by a lot factors besides environmental ones.  And I think the roads were horribly destructive and paid for by taxpayers, not the companies harvesting the timber.  And I still get sick to my stomach driving over hwy 26 to the coast and seeing all the ancient, still-barren clear cuts out near Saddle Mountain.

          I'm still mad about Nixon.

          by J Orygun on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 12:19:47 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Morrigan, you said it all. There was a whole (0+ / 0-)

          bunch of rotten decisions practices and ill informed actions by people on all sides of the disaster that blew up our local economies in Oregon. And you are right about how quickly the "new forestry" jobs went away. I worked for an outfit trying to create those jobs after I left the USFS. Most our attempts to get secondary wood products jobs and small diameter logging sales established failed.  

          As part of my program I would try to connect out of work fallers and equipment operators to any logging sales on public land I learned of. I sent a buddy who was a faller to a job outside of Butte Falls. I think the company was Simpson, they were all over Medco's leavings after the Wall St boys killed the company. He told me he drove up to the site and didn't even bother to find a foreman. Everything was being done by a machine. Cutting the tree, limbing it and loading it, one guy in the rig and a spotter. I also attended a logging industry fair in Portland about the same time. There were machines as big as train engines for processing logs right at the logging site. And the other machines were just as big. And they needed lots of logs to be profitable to an outfit who bought one. I knew then that we would never be able save rural jobs in Southern Oregon related to logging. Couple this trend with the hollowing out of FS jobs. Jobs created in the 60s by the Kennedy administration to fight poverty in the  mountain west and the small towns in our area started bleeding people. Generations of families who either worked in the woods or in Medco's Medford mill had to move and find new work.

          I am sorry for all that you and family have been thru. And I hope in our lifetimes, those of us who fought to save our families and communities, will be able to look back on our former lives in the woods without anger even if we always feel regret.

    •  Are you a paid blogger for the the right wing? (4+ / 0-)
      •  Yes. (0+ / 0-)

        Suggestion for Facebook: 50 free "starter friends" automatically as soon as you sign up.

        by dov12348 on Tue Dec 10, 2013 at 01:53:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  LOL (6+ / 0-)

          But you do sound like you are deliberately misunderstanding the point. Shooting the last owl will no more bring back the timber jobs than cutting the last tree will. It's sad that all the corporations have to do is say "look over there, those people took your job" and we fall for it over and over.

          Here's your horoscope for today: The universe doesn't even know that you exist.--Jbou

          by greycat on Tue Dec 10, 2013 at 02:03:35 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, I took an offshoot of the subject (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SuetheRedWA, ban nock

            Maybe a little OT.  What do you do if you and your family are being destroyed by an environmental law?

            Suggestion for Facebook: 50 free "starter friends" automatically as soon as you sign up.

            by dov12348 on Tue Dec 10, 2013 at 02:11:40 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm not sure what you mean. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              blue in NC, bewild

              You may mean something completely different, but most of the cases I can think of where someone claims an environmental law is harming them involve zoning changes. For example if I bought some land thinking I could use it for one thing, say a subdivision or a rock quarry, and the zoning changed? I think I'd find another use, or sell it even if I take a loss. I don't see how it destroys my family.

              Here's your horoscope for today: The universe doesn't even know that you exist.--Jbou

              by greycat on Tue Dec 10, 2013 at 02:29:10 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  I wonder (4+ / 0-)

              Are you also fighting for mountain top removal and other coal extraction methods to save jobs?

              Sometimes we learn that our habits are literally killing the environment, and we must change our ways.

              Many have lost jobs due to changes in technology, NAFTA and other trade laws etc.

              This is truly sad, but we all need to find ways to adjust.

              Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace. - Dalai Lama

              by kimoconnor on Wed Dec 11, 2013 at 06:27:14 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  what if it turned out that donation driven (0+ / 0-)

                activist litigation groups were killing the environment? Would you change your ways? We've destroyed many species due to litigious groups, sometimes we learn that our habits are literally killing the environment and we must change our ways..  This is truly sad, but we all need to find ways to adjust.

                “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

                by ban nock on Wed Dec 11, 2013 at 06:42:34 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  Sure, but that's not the way to make public policy (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greycat, Mindful Nature, Nowhere Man

      There are any number of situations in which I can see myself reacting emotionally against the common good or against the rights of my fellow citizens. Bu that's the very reason we have government, and police forces, and regulatory bodies, and the justice system, and anti-lynching laws. To take the decision-making out of individual hands.

    •  Spotted owls don't live on farms, they live in (4+ / 0-)

      forests. Old growth stands are a favorite hangout for these birds. They are an indicator species for forest critters that are more difficult to monitor, not farm animals.

      If your kid finds a spotted owl in your gmo wheat field the little bastard is probably lying about it. Or the spotted owl has been gmo'd.

      •  they are one of many species that were outcompeted (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        by a superior more adaptable species, in this case the barred owl.

        “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

        by ban nock on Wed Dec 11, 2013 at 06:43:55 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  All spotted owls were outcompeted by the barred (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          greycat, madame damnable

          owl? The reason the spotted owl was monitored was because it was easier to monitor than other critters in old growth environment. Fishers, for example, are smart and stealthy and difficult and expensive to try to count. But if you have x number of spotted owls in an old growth stand you can get a good estimate of other animals in the same eco system.

          The spotted owl study was never just about the spotted owl. And the barred owl didn't out compete martins, bobcats, goshawks and mountain lions.

          •  and all of those species are plentiful (0+ / 0-)

            spotted owl is a means to an end.

            Urban environmentalists hate farmers, ranchers, hunters, loggers and rural people in general. They want them gone, only servants to remain.

            “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

            by ban nock on Wed Dec 11, 2013 at 11:58:29 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Careful with that broad brush (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              If you put three "urban environmentalists" in a room I'm sure two of them would find something to fight about.

              I don't like CAFOs, but I have a farm in my family.  How do I feel about farmers?

              Those who support banning cocaine are no better than those who support banning cheeseburgers

              by EthrDemon on Wed Dec 11, 2013 at 02:51:47 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Bullshit. And if you think western forests are not (3+ / 0-)

              stressed to red zone disaster alert you don't know anymore about forests than you do about spotted and barred owls.The barred owl is moving west into new habitat because logging, other extraction, and development in western forests are changing the forest environment to its favor. Saying the barred owl is beating the spotted owl (which mate together) in a nose to nose evolutionary fair fight, is the same as saying the hereford met the plains buffalo and drove them to extinction without factoring in human intention technology and animal husbandry.

              And I ain't an urban environmentalist, I've worked in the woods and on forestry related issues for 25 years. Backccountry ranger & trail crew, lead horse packer, fire fighting, fire rehab, slash & controlled burns, logging, tree planting, biological botanical & hydrological monitoring projects, stand exams,  watershed stream & logging road restoration and erosion mitigation.

              I lived in wilderness from snow melt to snow fly for 13 years of my life, and I did winter camping, elk season horse pack patrols & ski patrols in the winter. And I love and have lived in cities. Our son teaches in Brooklyn, our daughter is a writer in LA and they don't hate anybody. We also just got back from Rome.. .so go chase yourself.

              •  a prime example (0+ / 0-)

                “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

                by ban nock on Wed Dec 11, 2013 at 05:51:01 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Prime example of what ban nock? Not being you? (0+ / 0-)
                  •  your a prime example of an urban elitist thinking (0+ / 0-)

                    that an extended vacation playing in the woods is reason to dictate the way others will live. If you can't tell the difference between a domesticated cow and a wild bird there's not much to be said for your brief time outside. I could care where you or your kids live.

                    “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

                    by ban nock on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 04:26:43 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Urban Elitist? Seriously? (2+ / 0-)

                      "Your" an idiot. Oops sorry, "You're" an idiot. Grabber sounds like somebody who knows what he's talking about. You, on the other hand, don't.

                      Try Organic food, or as your grandparents called it, food.

                      by madame damnable on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 10:23:44 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  If you think working in the forests of the (0+ / 0-)

                      Cascade Range and the Siskiyou Mts was an extended vacation you have never lived or worked in the woods, tin horn.

                      I grew up in Appalachian hill country and I have lived most of my life in Southern Oregon I am typing this out in our home in the Siskiyou Mts. real close to where they bash into the Cascade Range right below the Pacific Crest Trail, A designated U.N. world heritage habitat. And I'm not sorry I bothered to learn about the part of the world I live and worked in.

                      I have dropped a lot of trees, tin horn. With both a crosscut and chainsaw, and some of them were on fire when I did it. And I have been responsible for crews and strings of horses in dangerous conditions way out in the lonely.

                      I met a ton of guys like you in the woods. Gun toting shrimp dicks who try to ambush a deer or an elk for a coupla weeks every year and think they are Dan Boone, Davy Crocket and John Wayne all rolled into one. Armed to the teeth and a danger to themselves and every other living thing that has the misfortune to be nearby.

                      I don't hate farmers or loggers or city peeps.  And I know my ass from my elbow when it comes to forests and working in forests.

                      And just because you kill animals with guns doesn't mean you know dick about forests. Stick to what you know, nock, which your posts indicate is shooting bottles in abandoned gravel pits.

            •  Nonsense. (0+ / 0-)

              You have no right to ascribe an emotion like hate to another person.  I seriously resent what you said.

              I'm still mad about Nixon.

              by J Orygun on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 12:24:59 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  Nicely written explanation. (10+ / 0-)

    The federal payments were always meant to be a temporary stopgap, until the timber counties found another source of income. In the end, I suppose the state government will end up taking over the counties and imposing higher property taxes. Then the right wingers will get to make a big deal about government oppression. That might be what Wyden is trying to prevent. Your tone is so measured. The whole situation makes me fairly angry.

    Here's your horoscope for today: The universe doesn't even know that you exist.--Jbou

    by greycat on Tue Dec 10, 2013 at 12:21:30 PM PST

    •  Oh, I've got some anger. (9+ / 0-)

      My anger is on conservation and taxation issues. I just try to channel it constructively into analysis and presentation. Here's a little background on why taxation issues make me angry:

      In 2008, my brother-in-law shattered his spine saving the life of my daughter. In the nearly two years in which we took care of him afterward, we got to see exactly how low property taxes impact people's lives. See, California has this Proposition 13, which set all property taxes at no higher than 1%, no matter how many properties one owns, no matter whether it was commercial, industrial, or residential. The aftermath of the accident was the same time as California's budget crisis, and while the state legislature was literally evaluating whether they could return to Territory status to escape debt rather than raise property taxes, the agencies that had been providing services to my brother-in-law took back the wheelchair they'd given him for lack of funds, literally leaving him bedbound but for the generosity of a charity group we found weeks later. He lacked for emotional therapy, he lacked for occupational therapy, and he lacked for medical care and in-home support services. My kids, one a toddler with PTSD and a host of behavioral issues related to the accident and the other an infant with medical and developmental problems, also lacked for services.

      We got out of that hellhole and moved to Multnomah County, where my brother-in-law had access to the services he needed. I was able to attend 3 months of free weekly evening parenting classes to help me deal with the challenges unique to my kids with dinner and childcare provided, classes where the County provided childwatch and dinner. My kids got, and are still getting services.

      Native Oregonians get real touchy about out-of-staters telling them how to run the place, so since I'm a non-native, I have limited room to talk. I don't think I'm smarter than anyone else, I don't think I have any better answers, or am more enlightened. I know the typical native Oregonian feeling for Californians, but I don't think of myself as a Californian. I've only been here since early 2010, but I don't plan on ever leaving, and my kids know nothing of California. Oregon is my home, and will be for the rest of my life. I love paying my taxes, knowing that I pay more than twice in taxes what my in-laws pay on a property worth probably four times as much, and that my taxes go to people who need as I have needed.

      I really, really struggle with property tax decisions getting made to benefit owners of real estate at the expense of lower income people, and people who may be incapable of working to support themselves, to say nothing of the widespread law enforcement issues in those counties that disproportionately affect the poor.

      I do a little environmental science, a little writing, a little American Sign Language, some dancing, and some parenting.

      by Tuffy on Tue Dec 10, 2013 at 01:21:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm not sure about out west (10+ / 0-)

    But around here jobs in the wood products industry are not really that great.

    In fact they even bring in guest workers to do them because the salaries are so low welfare or drug dealing pays more.

    Used to be for instance Westvaco the big logging company around here had their own crews and they got decent pay and full benefits. They had foresters that did cruises and stuff. Even the sawmill labor had benefits.

    Nowdays around here almost all logging is done by contractors and often even the roads and stuff are all laid out by somebody that doesn't even have a forestry degree.

    Timber cruises are now done by contractors as well to avoid paying anybody a salary.

    Oh and people who have their woods cut? I've known quite a few who had their place logged and the amount of devastation was not worth the money they got. The money they got was not even enough to pay off their house or really do anything that would get them ahead economically.

    I buy SOME lumber at the store, if I have to, but as much as possible I buy from friends with small sawmills because at least 100% of the money I spend goes to THEM. Not some CEO, not some stockholder. THEM.

    Anyway around here wood products jobs are no longer the good jobs they used to be.

    Honestly I hate it when the gov't sells timber to logging companies around here because it basically depresses the prices private landholders can get.

    Oh and why can't I get any income from selling carbon credits on my 85 acres of big oak trees that I hope NEVER to cut???

  •  Thanks for the Thoughtful Diary. I appreciate (4+ / 0-)

    your varying perspectives on the issues, and am thankful you're raising awareness.

    "Slavery is the legal fiction that a person is property. Corporate personhood is the legal fiction that property is a person." David Korten, When Corporations Rule the World

    by Delta Overdue on Tue Dec 10, 2013 at 02:56:51 PM PST

  •  The issue is the law of unintended (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ban nock

    consequences.  If a land owner is not allowed to log their property, then they will break it up into smaller parcels and sell them for house sites.  We know folks that hurried up to do just that, because they were going to lose control of their land with new regulations. Then you have more impact on the land, because of wider roads, septic systems, and the like.  Some families are starting conservation easements.  They can log, but can't sub-divide.  Which would you rather have, a tract of forested land properly managed or lots of homes up on the hillsides?

    If mill purchases the timber can't log, because of a lawsuit at some point the mill goes under and folks lose jobs.  Arizona is shipping their logs from some of the severe fires to my part of Washington State for processing, because they don't have the ability to process them at home.

    We need a balanced discussion.  

  •  We need to stop cutting down of forests. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blue in NC, justintime

    Trees are the lungs of our planet and forest moderates our climate for hundreds of miles down wind. Just about everything we now make from timber (and petroleum) can be made better, stronger, greener, lighter weight, more durable and less expensive from cannabis hemp. An acre of hemp can produce a little more than four times the usable cellulose fiber than an acre of timber.

    There are solutions to our environmental problems if we really wanted to seek them out. Hemp is just one of those possible solutions that we should be already using.

    Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

    by RMForbes on Tue Dec 10, 2013 at 05:37:08 PM PST

    •  You're suggesting we build houses and furniture (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      auron renouille

      from hemp? And do what - cut down all the trees to make room for hemp farms?

      No matter how cynical you become, it's never enough to keep up - Lily Tomlin

      by badger on Wed Dec 11, 2013 at 10:15:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  In a way, Yes. (2+ / 0-)

        The long strong bast fibers in hemp can easily be formed into studs and plywood style sheets. Hemp has many advantages over timber products. It has a higher R rating, it is naturally mold and fungus resistant and insect pests like termites won't touch it.

        You don't need to cut down any forests to grow hemp at all. Hemp is an excellent rotation crop that leaves the fields more fertile after harvest than before planting. Why don't you want our farmers to have another cash crop?

        Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

        by RMForbes on Wed Dec 11, 2013 at 02:43:16 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Great diary! (5+ / 0-)

    I live in Jackson County in Southern Oregon. Our county libraries and sheriff's departments are funded through timber sales from state lands and as that has diminished, the impacts have been severe. Our local library was closed for months a couple of years ago because of a lack of funds. So I appreciate Senator Wyden's attempt to create an alternative to the Northwest Forest Plan, but I agree with you that we need to figure out new ways to look at our forests.


    Try Organic food, or as your grandparents called it, food.

    by madame damnable on Tue Dec 10, 2013 at 05:38:56 PM PST

  •  I work for one of the Big Timber companies (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greycat, jakedog42, justintime, elfling, badger

    One of the last of the Big Timber companies, actually.  And still getting bigger (we just bought out someone else.)

    Our "northern hardwoods" are on an 80 year growth cycle.  Eighty years, from time of planting to time of harvest.

    Comparatively, our southern pine plantations are on a 25 year, rotating, clear cut schedule.  Clear cutting sounds bad but the tracts are replanted again the next year, and at this point in the Southeastern US more trees are planted each year than are cut down.

    I know we have some land in Oregon and I can assure you that wood isn't being shipped overseas.  It's going to our saw mill... which is in Montana, and not Oregon, unfortunately.  Doesn't help you guys out.

    (I'm still new to this - I work in the IT department.)

    The Cake is a lie. In Pie there is Truth. ~ Fordmandalay

    by catwho on Tue Dec 10, 2013 at 06:08:30 PM PST

  •  I was a Forest Ranger in Sky Lakes Wilderness for (9+ / 0-)

    13 years and than worked for an outfit called the Rogue Institute for Ecology and Economy in Southern Oregon for 7 years. So I worked for the USFS during the spotted owl studies and I was a program manager for an organization that was involved in helping to implement the Northwest Forest Plan in logging and fishing communities.

    At the Institute we were trying to create jobs in the forest that needed to be done, but aren't done because the pay off is not a cash profit for fiber mining trees but healthy forests, watersheds, and streams. We also advocated every form of sustainable logging that had promise or had been proved.

    Bottom line, the most valuable thing extracted from our western forests is water, not timber or minerals. No trees no watersheds no water.

    Great diary Tuffy, you make me want to boot up again.

    •  Thanks! (0+ / 0-)

      I thought I'd share this with you, since I found it a while back and it still makes me happy:

      The year is a circle with no start and no end,
      Dodecahedron rolls nine and September we shall begin.
      Riparian plantings and oak woodlands stress out,
      Aggravated wasps and poison oak won’t make me lose count.

      Elderberries and associates surrounded by sheep fences,
      Sub-plot sampling beats a full census.
      Giant garter snake marshes are filled to the brim,
      Now migrating waterfowl have somewhere to swim.

      Marsh vegetation has grown and is ready to peak,
      Record Relevé cover to round out the week.
      The data for the year has all been collected,
      Now hours of Excel that’s been grossly neglected.

      Monitoring reports are close to be due,
      Still waiting on the bosses final review.
      Reports out the door without too much pain,
      December is here and we’re waiting for rain.

      Showers come down at all different stages,
      The short straw spends Christmas checking staff gauges.
      Vernal pools fill up and cold temperatures will set,
      Time to dust off that invertebrate net.

      Bent over all day and soaked through your clothes,
      You don’t notice the smell cause you can’t feel your nose.
      Dancing in the net is a familiar little guy,

      Take a break from the pools to go out on the prowl,
      Look for a breeding pair of burrowing owl.
      The weather turns warm and water goes away,
      Leaving a beautiful floristic display.

      On hands and knees with your face to the ground,
      Making sure every last species is recorded and found.
      Exit hole surveys get you up on your feet,
      Finding an elderberry beetle is ever so sweet.

      The pools are drying up way too fast,
      We don’t know how much longer the vegetation will last.
      Vernal pools are all done we dust off our hands,
      What about the seasonal wetlands.

      Alas veg monitoring is wrapped up ever so soon,
      Spring where did you go it’s the first week of June.
      Swainson’s hawk and kit fox are up for round two,
      Giant garter snake traps need to be moved.

      Driving back and forth and all over town,
      Don’t forget those beaver dams that need torn down.
      The days get longer and hotter and hotter,
      It’s all we can do to keep up with the water.

      Waiting on Liberty for the perfect tide,
      Nothing says fun like a delta boat ride.
      Let’s go down the list and see what’s next to do,
      Riparian plantings and oak woodlands, this can’t be true.

      I looked at the calendar like a crystal ball,
      I couldn’t believe it; we’re on the door steps of fall.

      - By Jacob Robinson

      I do a little environmental science, a little writing, a little American Sign Language, some dancing, and some parenting.

      by Tuffy on Wed Dec 11, 2013 at 12:59:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This line caught my attention (6+ / 0-)
    Limiting the ability of activist groups to file lawsuits
    I think that's the main objection right there.

    “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

    by ban nock on Tue Dec 10, 2013 at 07:29:31 PM PST

  •  Great diary and presentation of a complex issue, (6+ / 0-)

    even though I disagree to some extent.

    I've only read your link to Wyden's site but this looks a lot like a draft bill Wyden developed several years ago with input from Johnson and Franklin that I thought was to apply to all OR forest lands. There was a similar proposal for some MT NF lands that went nowhere. I'm commenting based on the assumption that the details are the same as the proposal I read and that I remember them correctly.

    Rather than starting from local economies as a justification for increasing harvests, and observing that logging generally doesn't improve forests in necessary ways, consider that we, 5% of the earth's population, consume 25% of the earth's forest products, while at the same time US timber production has declined substantially. Environmental groups (which I believe includes all of those you named) who oppose domestic logging but have no plan or do no advocacy regarding consumption are operating hypocritically. IMO, their stance is related more to NIMBY-ism and fund-raising than environmentalism. We export deforestation because of it, rather than taking forest products under more environmentally sound conditions that exist in law here. Show me the alternative proposals on the Sierra Club website, or anywhere.

    The solution, IMO, is to reform logging practices, and this proposal goes a long way towards doing that in terms of what can be cut, where and how. I think there still needs to be a lot done in terms of harvest planning, process, and equipment to improve logging and reduce impact.  I can look out my window at the neighbor's and see the results of current logging practice - salvage logging after a windstorm -  or walk down the road and look at a property where it was done decently (but for no financial benefit to the property owner).

    Limiting the ability of activist groups to file lawsuits is also an essential component of any sensible forest plan, because most often groups who refused to participate in the planning process jump in with objections at the last moment simply to delay or ultimately obstruct management plans. In my personal experience, this happens with non-logging forest restoration (fuel load reduction or understory burn) plans as well. And the key word here is "limiting", not "eliminating". The courts will still exist for groups who want to participate in the entire process.

    There's always a possibility that management plans will go awry - that's why intelligent management allows for the use of feedback to assess and modify plans as needed. That may be something that's needed more in this proposal. But even without that, Johnson and Franklin are relying on the archaeological record and years of research on management practices. The alternative - leaving nature to itself I suppose - is also a management decision, but one whose consequences are much more poorly understood, as there hasn't been a period in history since the glaciers receded where forests weren't actively managed by humans.

    IMO, neither snowpacks nor climate change are especially relevant here. Snowpacks were probably, on average, deeper and lasted longer at the time of the Big Burn of 1910 (over 3 million acres - the largest US wildfire), the succession of Tillamook fires on the west side of the Cascades in the mid-20th century, or the more recent Biscuit Fire. Fewer acres burn annually now than in the past, even given the condition of forests after years of suppression.

    As far north as OR or WA, where I live, snowpacks are gone by June, and so is rainfall. Fire conditions occur, as they always have because  it's not uncommon on the east side of the Cascades to have no rain from June through September. And fire season - the really big fires - peaks there in August, after weeks of heat and no rain (we had to evacuate in mid-September last year). In fact, in the I've only read your link to Wyden's site 17 years I've lived here, snowpacks are average to as much as 1/3 above average most years, although they may melt out a little earlier most years.

    It's especially important from my perspective that the plan includes forest restoration and things like fuel load reduction to reduce fire danger to property owners. Fire suppression in the west has left forests in terrible condition and that is the major contributor to the size and extent of recent fires.

    Tourism always sounds like a nice alternative to logging. I live in a county that's 80% Federal lands, mostly National Forest and National Park. Tourism is a great way to promote income inequality - the average household income here isn't much above the poverty line and yet those people still pay regressive property taxes and sales taxes to support the increased law enforcement, road construction and public safety that tourism requires. But it provides a nice income for a few people who own resorts or upscale retail. Logging pretty much ended here when apples started shipping in plastic and cardboard instead of wooden crates.

    No matter how cynical you become, it's never enough to keep up - Lily Tomlin

    by badger on Wed Dec 11, 2013 at 11:51:45 AM PST

    •  Bless you (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      badger, jessical

      Thank you for this response.  I couldn't agree with more.  

    •  Thanks so much for the response (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I've really been excited to see all the discussion my diary prompted. Really, the diary was more my just sorta documenting my own process of digging up more information. I'm not trying to convince anyone of anything besides that logging more won't bring back jobs. As I said, I think the plan would be very sensible if it would work in that regard, but I don't think it will. I don't oppose domestic logging, and I don't think that any of the larger groups broadly do, either, we/they just want to make sure it's done sustainably, not rapaciously. Businesses in our culture aren't built to consider long-term problems generated by their short-term profit motivations.

      I also have to disagree with you that "Limiting the ability of activist groups to file lawsuits is also an essential component of any sensible forest plan." To me, the lawsuits are an essential part of the process of making sure our shared natural resources are used wisely.

      Anyway, it was great reading your comment. Thanks again!

      I do a little environmental science, a little writing, a little American Sign Language, some dancing, and some parenting.

      by Tuffy on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 12:18:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I also really appreciate the diary and discussion (0+ / 0-)

        I do think environmental groups - except the Nature Conservancy and to some extent the Wilderness Society - are opposed to logging. It plays well with their membership base. When I wrote a diary about environmental groups and forest restoration years ago, I found one (minor) environmental group whose web site forest policy page was two words: "Stop logging!", and there are groups who oppose logging even on private lands.

        At any rate, none of the groups, except the two I mentioned, advocate improved logging practices, and the kinds of things they support, like roadless areas, don't really have much justification beyond preventing timber harvests.

        I don't object to groups filing lawsuits, or getting involved in the USFS appeals process, or any other kinds of efforts, as long as they're in the process from the beginning. In the Wyden and Tester plans I read in the original form, the limitation was the outsiders who didn't participate in the planning process couldn't jump in later and obstruct.

        From what I understand of the current Wyden plan, the goal is to establish a forest management plan with open participation and conformance with NEPA, ESA and similar regulations, and then once all parties have agreed, block further litigation. I think that's necessary to enable investment and secure markets or just to allow people to have a reliable employment situation for the life of the plan. It also makes possible good planning for reforestation or restoration - those plans, even for small acreages, take years for approvals and implementation, and get delayed when the playing field is constantly changing.  

        I guess in short I don't favor giving environmentalist the tools to act like Congressional Republicans. I don't think it's a good way to operate a democracy in either case.

        Maybe it needs to be restated that the original motivation for establishing National Forests was due to Gifford Pinchot and Teddy Roosevelt being concerned about "peak timber", in the same way we've been concerned about "peak oil". The goal was to create public forests to allow a sustainable harvest. And in fact in the western US, where most National Forest land is, there is about the same acreage in forest today as there was in 1492.

        I don't think the USFS and National Forests have always adhered well to the old "multiple use" concept, which is another thing I think needs restating. But if the pendulum had previously swung to the single use side of big timber interests (or corporate interests if you include mining), I think it's probably gone too far in the other direction in recent years.

        No matter how cynical you become, it's never enough to keep up - Lily Tomlin

        by badger on Fri Dec 13, 2013 at 12:09:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  interesting diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I am not sure that logging jobs remain an issue.  I grew up around Deming, WA, and the mill and GP closed a long, long time ago.  It was enough of a "thing" in cultural memory that Bush could still make hay from it, but really...the thriving communities of loggers and everything else changed about the time of the Forest Practices Act, and not just because of the act itself...

    While I am not qualified to comment in any depth, the Forest Practices Act was a really big deal, and changes to it are likely to have some heavy implications.  This diary raises more questions than answers, for me.  The emphasis on adaptive management was interesting.

    ...j'ai découvert que tout le malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos dans une chambre.

    by jessical on Wed Dec 11, 2013 at 01:12:42 PM PST

  •  This was really informative (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I've read some pros and cons on Wydens O&C plan, but this is the first time I've seen some facts about employment.  I've always been suspicious that the demise of the logging economy wasn't just because of environmental restrictions.  Seems like most of the processed lumber I see around here comes from Canada anyway.  

    I think it would be good for us to have a few mills around the state, and to carefully manage some forest lands to feed the mills, just to have some economic centers in the rural areas, like John Day and Roseburg.

    But the big harvests of the 50's are never coming back.

    I'm still mad about Nixon.

    by J Orygun on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 12:10:59 AM PST

  •  I'm new to the Northwest, but I agree that (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    logging jobs are definitely a thing of the past, at least in Northwest Oregon (I'm not too familiar with Southwest Oregon).  When I talk to folks, the timber industry is as much a bygone as steel in Pittsburgh and eastern Ohio (my family is from the latter), but its mark on the region is definitely still felt.  It was honorable work and had a time, but IMHO that time has passed.

    I'm reminded of a trip to Alaska to visit a friend.  She is very apolitical - I'm not sure if she even knows who the President is - but she is very astute on all things Alaska.  I was always stunned by Alaska's natural beauty, which you can see from seemingly anywhere in the state simply by looking out a window, even in the cities, and I pointed out to her that, regardless of whether or not this wildlife preserve or that bit of ocean is drilled, someday the oil jobs would be gone and all Alaska would have left to support themselves is that natural beauty and outdoors spirit.  (Me, I'm a city kid in a wheelchair who goes nuts every time I'm more than 4 blocks from the nearest coffee shop - I would have had to go to Siberia to get further out of my element than Alaska is!)  Despite all of the bad press that Alaska and its people get, particularly people from the Mat-Su Valley (better known in the Lower 48 as "Wasilla"), the folks that I met, although mostly stereotypically Republicans from Wasilla, Willow, and Palmer, seemed to recognize that oil and the Permanent Fund was not going to last forever.

    (Side note - for how conservative Alaska is, the Permanent Fund and its yearly dividend has to be one of the most "socialist" state policies that I'm aware of, short of Vermont's upcoming universal healthcare in 2016 (I think) - how many other states recognize that a state's natural resources belong to all residents of the state and that all residents are entitled to share in the bounty of those resources?)

    Other interesting side note - up until a few weeks ago I was a baby public defender in Arizona (kind of a crisis management role, I didn't carry my own cases), and one client that I met with who I desperately hope fares better than most of my clients was a young kid, 18 or 19, doing some kind of Job Corps program out at a federal camp in coastal Southern Oregon; I had the impression that it had something to do with timber, but I don't know if it was logging or restoration.  By then my move to Portland was beginning to take shape and I asked him how his flight was and if he had flown from Portland or Eugene.  Nope, this poor kid, upon learning that he had an open case for a low-dollar shoplift (picture $20 or less), took a Greyhound bus from the Oregon Coast to Phoenix, AZ.  The prosecutor was as impressed with him as I was and, as he had no prior history, his case went away.  A 2-day Greyhound trip was worse punishment (4 days, if you count his return to Oregon) than anything that our court would've done to him anyhow ;p.

    "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

    by auron renouille on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 12:30:36 AM PST

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