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[pct-l] Clearcuts - Truce already.

Craig Writes >> Rush Limbaugh is a moron.  He has used this quote many
times.  <<

Well I have to say this is a first for me. I would have never suspected I
was a "Ditto Head". Especially considering how much I hate Rush. No, I never
hear the quote from him. He may have said it, but I'm equally sure that it
was totally out of context. 

Look guys my point is not to defend everything that the Forest Service or
big timber companies do. The point is that in and of themselves clear cuts
are a sound management tool. One that is backed up by many silvicultural
studies. They will in all likely hood continue to be used long after we are
no longer around. 

Does that mean the practice of clear cutting can't be abused? Not in the
least. Like any other forest management tool, it can be misused or over
used. The pressure to do so comes from many places, national and local
governments, timber companies, local employers, the recreational community
and the list goes on. 

It used to be that 25% of the sale of timber on National Forest lands went
directly into the coffers of local governments. I don't know if the
percentage is still true. That money was directed to schools, roads, and all
sorts of activities. It's also provided a powerful incentive for local
communities to want to keep logging activities high. That's no different
from our growing addiction on gambling revenues to pay for what we won't
directly support. Some of that money replaces the loss in revenues from
timber sales.

A percentage of the timber sales go directly back into the forest for the
development and maintenance of campgrounds, trails and other recreational
facilities. Much of that money has dried up over the years and with it goes
the trail crews. Logging revenues have traditionally paid for the signs on
trail heads. Some of that revenue stream will probably be an increase in
user fees.

I'm also fully aware that timber companies will frequently say one thing and
do another. In that respect, they are no different from any corporation.
They are quick to site the need for continued cutting to maintain the
employee work force then shift the work elsewhere it the price is cheaper.
But then so do all of the large hi-tech firms that have moved in like Intel.

Timber companies often manage their own timber holdings better than Forest
Service. Simply because we've run out of timber land that can be purchased
cheaply and they are force to manage their own resources for the long haul. 

The bottom line is that if you want to argue that the Forest Service often
does a miserable job managing our National Resources, you won't get an
argument from me. But if you go up against these guys with statements like
"Clear cuts = bad management", then frankly your going summarily dismissed
as crack pots and nothing will be accomplished. 

If there is no respect and understanding on either side of the opponents
position then the only resolution will be in the courts. As the case as been
for the last 20 years. The results are more bad feelings and mistrust.

The End!!

Ron "Fallingwater" Moak
Fallingwater Journals - www.fallingwater.com
Pacific Crest Trail Assoc. - www.pcta.org
American Long Distance Hikers Association - West -

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