Kenneth C. Baldwin failed to mention in his political rhetoric a key component to our current fire conditions in our national forests. Let’s go back to 1990 and the listing of the northern spotted owl as threatened under Endangered Species Act. In 1991, vegetation management in national forests containing the northern spotted owl was stopped by court order. Litigation by many environmental groups against the U.S. Forest Service  ever since has effectively hamstrung them. The cost to Trinity County roads and schools over the past 30 years has been millions! I can only imagine the impact the cost of all this litigation has on the USFS budget. The biggest loser being the taxpayer as we fund the USFS and under the Equal Access to Justice Act we pay attorney’s fees to a prevailing party in an action against the United States.

I researched litigation against USFS and this is one of many articles that popped up. “Twenty Years of Forest Service Land Management Litigation” from the Journal of Forestry, January 2014. Very interesting info. From 1989 to 2008 more than 40 percent of all challenged management activities were vegatative and salvage management cases. Courts within the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decided 65.8 percent of all USFS cases during these 20 years. Even though the USFS won 64 percent and settled 23 percent, many decisions were appealed. At any rate, that’s a lot of time in court with nothing happening on the ground. Meanwhile the forests grow, spotted owl numbers continue to decline, and then they all burn up. To hell with NEPA, NFMA, ESA etc.; don’t need them to fight a fire.

Trump has a very good point and trying to blame this mess on him is ridiculous, it predates him by 26 years. He has been working very hard to drain a swamp very much in need of draining though.

One more point, where has been the outrage from our local environmentalists over the environmental damage to thousands of acres in Trinity County by cannabis farms? Seems to be a double standard here.

(1) comment

mikew

I too saw fiirsthand what bad forest management looks like during and after the reign of Bruce Babbitt. He was Secretary of the Interior under Bill Clinton from 1993-2001. His main focus was to return the forest lands back to the "wild". This idea that we should not manage our forests has been ingrained in the Forest Service for many years. We have seen the consequences of their inaction right before our eyes!

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