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Sustainable Logging in U.S. National Forests
Transcript of Sustainable Logging in U.S. National Forests
-- John Crowell, Asst. Secretary at the Department of Agriculture
Responsible Logging in U.S. National Forests
Alexis Grant, Becky Johnson, Jesse Alston, & Weston Hawkins
Rocky Mountain Forests
17 National Forests
Variety of ecosystems: altitudes, rain shadows, etc.
Pacific Northwest Forests
18 national forests
Wet, coniferous forests
More frequent, less severe fires
Significant timber interests
17 National Forests, 12 million acres
Restored following heavy erosion by agriculture, mining, and logging
North Carolina Forests
contains old growth forest
oldest in NC
Recreation and extraction of natural resources
shift from clear-cutting to restoration
site of reforestation experiments
Roots of the U.S. Forest Service
"Caring for the Land and Serving People."
Our mission, as set forth by law, is to achieve quality land management under the sustainable multiple-use management concept to meet the diverse needs of people.
Responsibilities of the National Forest Service
History of Logging
Sustainable timber production is an important aspect of national forest management.
Logging can be used to:
mitigate the risk of large wildfires
increase the amount of early succession habitat
increase access to national forest land
Negative impacts can and should be minimized by careful forest managers.
Supported by conservative politicians
64% of Utahns support defederalization
Legislation in western states
Why are national forests better than state forests?
States favor more extraction
52x more logging in Idaho
States favor looser regulation
States have less enforcement capability
National Forest Funds
ensure money set aside for national forests
more than 1 budget cycle
don't acknowledge impact
Equal Access to Justice Act
Pays court expenses for any party that successfully sues the U.S.
USFS covers expenses in national forests
Legal expenses make up significant portion of the USFS budget.
When they win, they still lose.
Wildfires in the US
Wildfires in NC Forests
Legal Reform - EAJA
Hold private sector liable
U.S. Forest Service can monitor practices with appropriate funding & zoning
USFS shouldn't bear all responsibility
Cohesive Management Policy
Prescribed Burn Practices
Responding to Climate Change
Forests may be altered
Change in growing seasons
Increase success of invasive species
Threat to biodiversity
Increased fungal and insect activity
Increased drought or flood
Rapid nutrient depletion
Increased natural disasters
Olympic National Forest Response to Climate Change
Controlled burns = potential solution
NC forests are fire-adapted ecosystems
Developed areas in NC at particularly high risk
Divide national forests into “vocational” zones
Assign each area a purpose
Manage based on purpose
Large fires OK in remote areas
Small fires in populated areas
Don't log in remote areas
Early detection and rapid response
Re-generation failures after large disturbances
Develop gene-conservation plan for long-term storage
Maintain tree-seed inventory for as many tree species possible
Increase production of native plant materials for post flood planting
Increased thinning to reduce stress on forests
Altered eco-system structure
Prioritize actions that will help maintain ecosystem function
Focus on actions that will help minimize mass die-off and effects of major disturbances
Create structures and processes that are viable over the long term.
Reduce the risk of wildfires
National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Policy
thinning over clear-cutting
Slow spread of fungal and insect activity
Southern Pine Beetle
- George Perkins Marsh'
Man and Nature
- President Harrison authorizes forest reserves (13 million acres). Logging prohibited.
- Organic Act passed
- U.S. Forest Service created
- Secretary of Agriculture authorizes selling of national forests; paradigm shift for USFS
- USFS works to establish mills in the West
- Endangered Species Act passes
- Logging roads exceed 350,000 miles
- Less than 10% of old growth left
Climate Change Continued
Irresponsible logging potentially increases these problems
Success rate of invasive species
Threat to biodiversity
Soil nutrient depletion
Spread of fungal and insect activity
Increased flooding and drought
Exposure to natural disasters
USDA - U.S. Forest Service has jurisdiction over national forests.
40-70 million acres of national forest are dead or dying
109,000 sq mi
232x the size of Los Angeles
Coherent national policies with respect to:
Less for legal expense