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[cdt-l] Timber sale on the CDT

> I saw this story in the New York Times and was wondering how much it's going
> to affect my hiking experience next year.  Not that I'm a fan of walking
> through miles of scorched earth and deadfall, I'm sure I do not like the idea
> of skiddahs and chainsaws disturbing my wilderness experience.
> Anyone here know if the sale and salvage of timber is on or near the CDT,
> and/or if protection of the trail and safety of hikers in this area is being
> considered by the FS?  When would something like this take place?
> Thanks for any insight,
> Sly

	Let's see, in the order you ask -

	I don't believe any sections of the trail in the Bitterroot Forest
happened to burn, but I really can't say for sure. I haven't hiked
through the area since the fires, just drove through it. Maybe I'll get
a chance next month.

	I do not have any faith whatsoever in the BNF managers protecting
hikers. Even though recreation, specifically hiking, backpacking, trail
riding and such, are important activities in the Bitterroots, my
experiences with the Forest's managers suggest that they are old guard
resource extraction supporters. Their whole effort to deal with the
aftermath of the fires simply confirms this impression.

	The cutting may start immediately (they want to do a lot of it during
the winter, to (they hope) minimize the impact), but what the action by
the Under Secretary has done is simply pushed the whole matter into the
courts. By signing he has eliminated the ability for the public to
examine the proposal and request changes (the appeals process), which
means the courts are the only avenue available to challenge the plan.
Further, by sidestepping the appeals, the environmental groups have had
their positions strengthened - the Forest can not argue that the suits
are frivolous and deal with matters already addressed, since there's
been no opportunity to do so. I expect the cutting to be stopped by the
courts until this is settled, which means it'll be quite awhile.