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Old 04-26-2012, 04:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Review of the Forest Service Response to Bark Beetle Outbreak

This is a VERY interesting report on waht led up to the worst outbreak in our Forest's history.


http://www.fs.fed.us/rmrs/docs/home/bark-beetle.pdf

Some excerpts. Italics are mine.

During the last part of the 20th century, widespread treatments in lodgepole pine stands that would have created age class diversity, enhanced the vigor of remaining trees, and improved stand resiliency to drought or insect attack—such as timber harvest and thinning—lacked public acceptance. Proposals for such practices were routinely appealed and litigated, constraining the ability of the Forest Service to manage what had become large expanses of even-aged stands susceptible to a bark beetle outbreak.

How are those old growth forests working out for ya now?

Limited accessibility of terrain (only 25% of the outbreak area was accessible due to steep slopes, lack of existing roads, and land use designations such as Wilderness that precluded treatments needed to reduce susceptibility to insects and disease).

And you now want more Wilderness areas that cannot be mechanically harvested? You want to close even more roads restricting access even further? How are those crackerjack box ecology "degrees" working out for ya now?

Decline in public acceptance of large-scale timber management practices in the last part of the 20th century. This lack of public acceptance, compounded by national and international market forces and the relatively low commercial value of lodgepole pine, contributed to a corresponding decline in the timber industry. (The timber industry in the Rocky Mountain Region has declined by 63 percent since 1986).

Lack of public acceptance of large scale timber practices? Wonder if this had anything to do with certain groups crying that these practices were just to "feed the timber industry".

Bark beetle outbreaks result in significant changes to forest stand structure, and thus to fire risk and fire behavior.1 Fire risk and behavior in these stands are complicated by differences in the degree (percentage) of tree mortality, rate of tree mortality, and time since mortality. The specifics of how beetle outbreaks affect the likelihood that a fire will start are a topic of current research.

Study on effects of beetle outbreak on fire behavior? Hell, that is easy. Ever see a dried up Christmas tree light up?

There's alot more there. And appeals and litigation is brought up repeatable. Now we are gaining an understanding of why they have backed off the USFS. Looks like the storm started a little earlier than expected. Here's the stake for the heart of the eco's. It looks like the hammerblows are going to start soon.
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Old 04-26-2012, 08:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Mad Machinist View Post
This is a VERY interesting report on waht led up to the worst outbreak in our Forest's history.


http://www.fs.fed.us/rmrs/docs/home/bark-beetle.pdf


Limited accessibility of terrain (only 25% of the outbreak area was accessible due to steep slopes, lack of existing roads, and land use designations such as Wilderness that precluded treatments needed to reduce susceptibility to insects and disease).
Slopes over 25% cannot be harvested? Well, here you go.

http://www.kollergmbh.com/downloads/Koller_english.pdf

Scroll down to page 5. Small, towable, trailer mounted cable harvester with a crane.
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Old 04-26-2012, 09:21 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Check who requested the report-

One of the most interesting aspects is WHO requested the study. Particularly upsetting to folks from Colorado who are fighting HIS (Udall's) wilderness proposals. Seemingly, he and his staff are completely ignoring the major conclusions this report holds.
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Old 04-27-2012, 01:04 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Colorado, much like Arizona, used to have a THRIVING timber industry. It is a real shame that it has been effectively destroyed by a group of people who relied on hype and outright lies to get what they wanted. Hell, there's more trees here in Arizona than therre was a 100 years ago despite heavy logging.

Here's some more.


Public Acceptance of Treatments
Forest conditions susceptible to mountain pine beetle infestation in pine forests were recognized by Forest Service personnel as early as the mid-1990s. These conditions were noted as the rationale for vegetation treatments in Purpose and Need statements for disclosure documents required under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).The USFS was actually doing their job here.

In the 1990’s, vegetation treatments in lodgepole pine stands that would have increased resiliency to drought or insect attack (timber sales and stand improvement projects such as thinning) lacked public acceptance.Wonder why?

These practices, which increase growth rates and vigor of individual trees by reducing competition, were routinely appealed and litigated. This hampered the ability of the Forest Service to address stand conditions susceptible to outbreak. The thing about this is that growing trees actually use up more CO2 than old growth. So by litigating and appealing these projects, the eco groups have contributed more to "global warming than anybody else.


Scale of Possible Treatments
Funding levels were not the only limiting factor in maintaining forest stands. The Forest Service was able to access less than 25 percent of the suitable timber base. Limited access is attributed to several factors:

• Forested slopes that exceed 35% to 40% are too steep for conventional forest management practices.
Bring in the cable yarders. Better do it fast as those people who still know how to run them are a dying breed.

• Many wildand urban interface (WUI) areas, particularly in Colorado, are adjacent to inventoried roadless areas. Since the Roadless Rule was promulgated in 2001, it has been repeatedly litigated, and judicial decisions have differed. Court decisions have changed the legal landscape for project planning. Fuel treatment projects in the WUI require additional analysis and in some cases have been controversial. In some areas fuel loadings are so great that effective fuel treatment cannot occur without removing some of the fuel using a temporary road. Commercial access on a large scale that would support a long-term supply of wood to industry and allow increased management of watersheds is difficult outside of the WUI and at-risk communities.
Sounds like one hell of a reason to get rid of the IRA's and the WSA's. I wonder how Spotted Owl tasted after it has been roasted, blackened, and smoked?

In general, mechanized treatments are prohibited in designated wilderness areas. The Arapaho, Roosevelt, White River, and Routt National Forests in Colorado have a combined total of over one million acres of wilderness; the Medicine Bow National Forest in Wyoming has more than 78 thousand acres. A large portion of these wilderness acres have been impacted by the current bark beetle outbreak.

Another good reason why we DO NOT need any more wilderness areas.

Last edited by Mad Machinist; 04-27-2012 at 01:05 PM.
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Old 04-27-2012, 02:09 PM   #5 (permalink)
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We have had a bad outbreak in my area for nearly a decade exacerbated by drought and tree overcrowding but we've controlled it on most of the private lands by downing the trees and using the various prescriptive measures on the those downed trees, scientifically accepted ways to halt the spread.

In other words, we had huge arse bonfires or striped the bark and burned it then covered the rounds with thick clear plastic sealed around the perimeter; this causes the beetle to bake in the coffin plus other treatments such as chipping etc.

Meanwhile the FS does nothing to the lands nearby that they hold responsibility for maintaining which have little or no restrictions to prevent access or treatment.
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Old 04-27-2012, 06:41 PM   #6 (permalink)
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King,

This is going to make you laugh until you puke. This also goes to show how much the USFS pays attention to past research. They themselves solved the problem of economically removing all these small trees many years ago and they forgot all about it.

And these can both be built by anyone with some skill.
Attached Images
  
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Old 04-27-2012, 07:12 PM   #7 (permalink)
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King,

This is going to make you laugh until you puke. This also goes to show how much the USFS pays attention to past research. They themselves solved the problem of economically removing all these small trees many years ago and they forgot all about it.

And these can both be built by anyone with some skill.
Downright disgusting isn’t it?

Heck, I just use my Jeep and its 8274 or my UTV with its 2 ton and snatch blocks to do all my crap. This property was last logged in the 1880s and they left stuff so I have old growth Sugar Pine, Oak, Cedar and others that three people couldn’t touch hands around plus small stuff.

Keeping the “ladder” and “crowning” factor in check is my main concern along with trees per acre and ground cover for moisture retention. In doing so I try to keep a nice mix of trees, brush providing habitat for Turkey, Quail etc, and yes . . . even Mountain Lion plus lesser predators.

When the Grey Wolf finally is established here (and it won’t be long) I’ll draw the line . . . SSS will become my policy!!!
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Old 04-28-2012, 10:15 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Yea it is REAL disgusting.

That Bitterrrot could be upgraded a little and used to pull a 1000lb turn on a regular basis. With a good crew, they could upgrade to a Koller 301 after about a year with it being bought and paid for.

I need to go finish installing an engine now as the levels of incompetance and stupidity in our government is starting to make me insane. Well at least more insane than I already am.
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Old 04-28-2012, 05:13 PM   #9 (permalink)
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To bad we can sue the eco's who pushed for the wilderness to begin with for damages that were occurred due to their resulting litigation.
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Old 04-29-2012, 08:39 AM   #10 (permalink)
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To bad we can sue the eco's who pushed for the wilderness
That would be Congress back in 1964 acting upon the will of "we the people" (as written by Howard Zahniser of The Wilderness Society) they are suppose to serve, signed by President Lyndon Johnson.

Last edited by LYIN' KING; 04-29-2012 at 08:43 AM. Reason: add source
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Old 04-29-2012, 09:16 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Wilderness Areas are not a bad thing. When the Wilderness Act was created in 1964, 11.2 million acres were designated that were relativley untouched by man.

HOWEVER, the way the act is currently twisted and perverted to meet a single agenda has resulted in what we have today. There is simply to much area to keep up with the manpwower and laws we now have.

Had people listened to the experts in the forestry fields instead of emotionally driven rants made by certain groups that the forests were going to be clearcut, this problem would have been taken care of years ago.

So in essence, the responsibility for this problem lays directly at the feet of the eco's and as far as I am concerned, they should be made to pay for the cleanup efforts since there litigation and appeal efforts have led to this.

Like I said before, the drug comapnies are being made to pay for the results of FDA approved drugs. And since many of these people are supposed to be degreed professionals, they are now in a different realm of responsibility for there actions. Look at Michael Jackson's doctor. He is going to lose everything because Jackson was addicted to sleeping medication and finally OD'ed.
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Old 04-30-2012, 09:42 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Like the Constitution, the Wilderness Act is living document, ever evolving, skewing balance and original intent with nearly every twist.

The National Wilderness Preservation System has grown over tenfold since inception adding “Wilderness” under differing names via various methods such as Presidential Executive and Secretarial orders bypassing the very entity that invoked the act and the only one who can legally designate “Wilderness”, our Congress.

“When the Wilderness Act was passed in 1964, 54 areas (9.1 million acres) in 13 states were designated as wilderness. This law established these areas as part of the National Wilderness Preservation System. Since 1964, the NWPS has grown almost every year and now includes 757 areas (109,512,959 acres) in 44 states and Puerto Rico.”
Source: http://www.wilderness.net/index.cfm?...&sec=fastfacts

Even DOI Park Science articles admit that after 47 year of existence the “National Wilderness Preservation System” was broken from its inception and still is.

“Despite a clear legal mandate and agency policies, in the 47 years since passage of the 1964 Wilderness Act, there has been no legal definition of wilderness character (Scott 2002) and no National Park Service guidelines or direction to assess how management affects wilderness character or to measure its loss or preservation. Compounding this lack of definition and management guidelines, the complexity of wilderness and the values and meanings associated with it have at times led to a lack of understanding about wilderness and its stewardship, miscommunication among agency staff, and miscommunication between agencies and the public.”

As far as the DOI is concerned, according to this document, if a two million acre designated wilderness area (for example) began to burn due to a nature caused source of ignition it’s all good!

Let her burn baby burn . . . even though the forest system in the area may be so mismanaged with over growth that doing so would result in the loss of species, habitat, perhaps the entire forest and create an area that would never again mirror that which was originally preserved for character no longer held.

“For example, allowing a natural fire ignition to burn preserves both the natural and untrammeled qualities of a wilderness. In contrast, suppressing a natural ignition degrades the
untrammeled quality, the use of helicopters or other motorized firefighting equipment degrades the undeveloped and solitude qualities, and the long-term effect of suppression may degrade the natural quality. Sometimes a decision to protect one quality of wilderness character may directly degrade another quality.”

Source: http://www.fs.fed.us/rm/pubs_other/r...ndres_p001.pdf

We all continue to pay for this broken system in many ways, much like all the other broken systems we pay to have mismanaged for us by our Government.
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Old 04-30-2012, 06:28 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Good Point. Thanks for the reminder.

And after decades of trying to save the "old growth forests", those very forests are now being killed off by Mother Nature. It would seem that she is not without a sense of irony.

Last edited by Mad Machinist; 04-30-2012 at 07:51 PM.
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