Back prior to the 1990s, we had a USFS that we could be proud of and I for one was: Our timber industry was going strong, the USFS was selling timber, we were logging USFS ground, sawmills were going strong, the local economy was great. And then came the new USFS: They quit selling timber unless it had an environmental impact statement (EIS) done and went through litigation; they will only do a few things without an EIS being done, which I would like to comment on.
They don’t do EIS on prescribed burns and obliterating roads, reason being they are smart enough (I think) to know that the local citizens will oppose this if given chance, and it creates USFS jobs, and it keeps people out of forest — which they want — and it creates undergrowth, which in time will create another prescribed burn and more USFS jobs.
Something that sticks in my mind is some years back they had a fire on the Middle Fork of the Salmon, then a rainstorm causing mud and tree slide, which blocked the river, trapping floaters on the upstream side. So the USFS within three days had it dynamited out so the floaters could continue on their way. Now they broke the law to do this as it’s against the law to put any explosive device in migratory or any other fish-bearing stream, yet the local forester was proud that they got this done bypassing USFS red tape.
Yet they won’t sell timber off the burns that happen every year, which would support timber industry jobs, and I know of no law against selling burnt timber and supporting the local economy. This must also be done in days or the timber loses its value.
YES, the USFS is our forest’s and the local economy’s worst enemy.
Leonard Wallace Sr.