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RE: [pct-l] Washington Forest and Parks


Many factors have combined over the years to get us where we are today.
Little of it has to do with who holds the White House during any given
period. For many years a percentage of revenues generated from timber sales
when into numerous buckets. These include local government, forest
management, forest recreation, and the Federal Treasury. I'm not sure what
the exact percentages were in each category, but they added up to some
significant money.

Many campgrounds, trails and recreation facilities (not to mention the
roads) were built and maintained by timber sales. I once remember driving 40
miles of dirt roads in a forest in Northern California only to come to a
campground in the middle of nowhere with paved roads in the campground. The
manager said they had some excess recreation funds that needed to be spent.
(This was before Regan was president.)

Over the years the number of timber sales has declined significantly. In
part due to excess cutting, or cutting to non sustainable yields, done years
ago. In other cases timber sales have been reduced by legal challenges,
environmental issues, etc. This last summer the Mt. Hood district abandoned
plans for a timber cut near the PCT because no logging outfit could deal
with the restrictions placed on them due to the nearby PCT and Salmon River.

Reduce the money, reduce the services. It's pretty simple. I'm not saying
that the reduction in cutting isn't justified. It is and it's expected. Our
forests are harvested on 60 to 80 or more year cycles. It takes time to
regenerate them. That is both natural and expected. 

In the meantime many jobs were lost, careers ruined and changes have been
made. It has come at a terrible cost to many. Far greater than the few bucks
you have to shell out for a campsite a few nights a year.

The answers aren't easy and the solutions are neither clear nor painless. I
did find it remarkable that President Clinton would attempt to spend some of
his political capitol early in his first term by bring the different
factions together in a conference. Did he solve any problems, probably not. 

But the first step to solving any problem is to stop shouting and listen.
Are you shouting or listening?

Ron "Fallingwater" Moak
PCT 2000 - http://www.fallingwater.com/pct2000

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