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11689. Trillium - 1/29/2016 6:03:23 PM

[Aside and apart from this discussion, I'd be interested in anything you have to write about forestry practices that you see in Alaska and elsewhere]

The Great Smokies National Park was created about a century ago, and it takes about 80 years for the most valuable trees to reach full maturity, from what I understand. So it's probably about time to log the Smokies, if it can be done responsibly; but I don't know enough about it to know what to ask and vote for.

The hemlocks in the Smokies have been devastated by adelgid infestations, and there are huge patches of dead trees where there used to be beautiful dark hemlock stands. Also dogwoods which used to be everywhere have died off. These aren't Alaskan trees but I wonder how forests are managed in Alaska, and if there are similar problems of tree disease

11690. Ms. No - 1/29/2016 6:24:23 PM

I would imagine that one of the biggest differences between Alaska and the Smokies is that, comparatively, nobody lives in Alaska's forests. Most of the entire state of Alaska is an uninhabited wilderness area, whereas the Smokies are relatively full of people and towns and industry. There are certainly patches of true wilderness, but they're only large when you compare them to Central Park. By Alaskan standards, they may as well be a median strip.

11691. iiibbb - 1/29/2016 8:07:36 PM

Can't log the Smokey's it's a National Park not a National Forest. The NPS has a exceedingly strong no harvesting, let nature take it's course approach to management. In such a fragmented landscape as the eastern US, such a decision has consequences given the pressures of acid rain, climate change, invasive species, and introduced pests.

In National Forests, forest management can take place, but they have 2 problems ... 1 years of fire prevention have built up fuel loads so high that virtually their entire budget is spent protecting inhabited areas from forest fires. Second, Environmental groups fight even reasonable scientific management of forests to the point it's very difficult to execute proven silvicultural practices. Now, no clear-cutting is a viable management decision, one that the public supports, but you have to understand that such decisions will not result in forests that we are familiar with.

The consequences of removing tools such as clear cutting from land managers will have consequences on insect outbreaks. Maine, after a decades ban, is preparing itself for what will probably be a huge budworm outbreak... but the well is so poisoned by anti-science politicized and emotional environmental legislation and activism, I really have no solution for you. People want black/white policies that apply to every landscape and they don't exist.

Made becoming a forester and environmental scientist not the best career choice I suppose. What's ironic is that the people who really know the art of silviculture are all retiring and new and mid-career land managers will have a lot of catching up to do because they don't/can't practice the art.

11692. iiibbb - 1/29/2016 9:03:45 PM

Entitled welfare queens

11693. iiibbb - 1/29/2016 9:04:15 PM

Welfare ranchers

11694. iiibbb - 1/29/2016 9:09:00 PM

Does WAY more good than harm even if petulant ranchers don't agree.

There's a lot about government I don't like... but protecting the environment is a key role of federal government in my mind because they are the ones who can develop a cohesive science-base policy. Otherwise, these lands would be abused to the point of ruin... watch what's happening in China environmentally to truly understand what a country that puts extraction and growth ahead of management.

But I am not a preservationist. I believe these lands can and should be used. But it should be based on the best available science.

11695. Trillium - 1/30/2016 3:25:25 AM

Thanks for the Maine budworm article. The pictures look similar to what happens in the Smokies when afflicted hemlocks die out. I've lost about 8 dogwoods in my little yard that were attractive when I bought my house.

I won't be able to burn off the disease on my little lot, but I'm curious about what the remedies might be for the Park. Prescribed burns sound a lot better to me than spraying with pesticides, although other people more familiar with prescribed burns would know more about it.
Purdue University news: "Fire may be key to reviving dogwood trees in Eastern forests""Jenkins said prescribed burning on an approximately 10-year rotation might offer a way to maintain dogwood populations in infected forests..."

11696. Trillium - 1/30/2016 3:30:16 AM

Ms. No, about relative population sizes in different states, and federal land ownership, Alaska compared to Tennessee/North Carolina:

this link offers an interesting graphic
Federal land as a percentage of total state land area

11697. Trillium - 1/30/2016 3:37:30 AM

Re: Petulance and ranchers -- One of the links above suggests that petulance is strong in the BLM because Mrs. Hammond researched and provided evidence that private ranchers were doing a better job of environmental protection than the BLM.

"Still the Hammonds refused to sell, and along with a few other holdouts they began to develop a strategy of resistance. Susan Hammond, the matriarch of the family, began to research how the refuge managed its considerable resources. What she discovered was that the ostensible purpose of the refuge...was ill-served by refuge personnel. She dug out a 1975 study conducted by the FWS itself...which showed that the policies pursued by the refuge and allied federal bureaucracies were driving the birds away. It turned out that private lands bordering the refuge provided a haven for four times as many geese and ducks as the federally held lands. Migrating birds ...were 13 times more likely to alight and breed on ranchersí land.

"One of the reasons for this is that federal overseers have allowed carp to take over the waters of Malheur Lake and the streams that feed into it..."
And, carp are a moneymaker for someone in the refuge administration who sells rights to carp access.

11698. robertjayb - 2/1/2016 4:46:45 AM

Query: Name the most useless non-news of the moment:

I suggest the never-ending coverage of football player Johnny Manziel and his off-field activity. Hey, he's a 20-something oil-rich kid who parked his Mercedes among the pickup trucks at Texas A&M while winning the Heisman trophy. And he is loose in the big world. Cut him some slack. Wealthy star quarterback gets friends and GIRLS.
Ohmygod!

No. 2: Hillary's emails. Along with Senator Sanders I'm tired of hearing about them. But it does seem that the crowd that regretted not being able to strangle Bill Clinton in the cradle is energized. Remembering the Rose Law Firm papers, Whitewater, Mena, Arkansas drug deals, poisonous allegations on Vince Foster's suicide, the clutch of not-quite debutants who claimed to be unwilling victims of Bill's randiness "put some ice on that"...It is no surprise that Hillary wants privacy.

On the emails, listen past the teasers and read past the first paragraph and you will find Hillary's claim (which I believe) that she did not transmit classified info. Now ex post facto I believe is the term, some say she did a crime. I say BS...Now, quickly, I must say that using private servers was not smart. She should know, must know, by now the bastards will never quit. They have gone for her daughter and the grandchildren will be next.

Small personal bit re Hillary. Early in the Bill Clinton campaign I picked up a news magazine at the neighborhood convenience store. Hillary was on the cover. The clerk, a 20-something white male, tapped on the cover and said "I hate her."
What? I was stunned. I still wonder about that comment and what might have prompted it.


11699. Trillium - 2/1/2016 1:28:07 PM

iiibbb, the kooky guy in the "defendyourbase" youtubes that concerned you is reportedly a man by the name of Anderson who has drug charges pending in Wisconsin according to Oregonlive:

Crisis actor? bad actor working under duress?

11700. Trillium - 2/1/2016 1:30:53 PM

Anderson's unhinged rantings are polar opposite to the message of LaVoy Finicum, who was apparently organizing civil disobedience to BLM with success. You can find YouTubes of Finicum while he was still alive, talking about his project to persuade ranchers not to pay grazing fees to BLM. but only to pay fees to county authorities.

The Finicum killing reminds me so much of Barney Graham, the 1930s Fentress county union organizer that Pete Seeger sang about. Graham was killed by thugs imported from Chicago, then discredited by a planted a gun on him that wasn't Graham's

Peter Seeger "Ballad of Barney Graham"

11701. judithathome - 2/2/2016 10:28:31 PM

Okay, we can all relax now...a state that is 87%+ white and has no say in the whole scheme of things whatsoever has spoken...in the most archaic way of voting via "caucus"....coin tosses...are you KIDDING me?

Keep in mind they have picked more losers in the past...at least on the Republican side which is their ballliwick...who have rarely gone on to be the candidate much less the ultimate winner nationally...

11702. Trillium - 2/3/2016 7:32:03 PM

In Ames Iowa, there is video to witness that the Democratic caucus was held up for 45 minutes while there were attempts to kick out new Sanders supporters, reportedly 85% of those present.

Both professional polls and informal polls show many citizens are highly annoyed with corrupt management of both parties; reports of many new caucusgoers, questionable, disorganized, unreliable counting practices
Ames Iowa Democrat caucus

11703. judithathome - 2/9/2016 9:52:48 PM

Yes, much better to do as Cruz did...lie about fellow candidates leaving the race and asking for the votes of those supporters.

Really...the moral high ground is fairly low in politics, period. I think there's enough tar in the bucket to use on BOTH sides of the fence.

11704. Trillium - 2/13/2016 5:49:54 AM

Back to the Oregon rancher situation, couple of links that are interesting if you have been following this controversy:

"I'm an Oregon rancher, here's what you don't understand about the Bundy standoff"

"Itís not that I donít care what the environmental community wants. In every part of my business, I try to find a balance between economics, mother nature and our culture. I know that if we donít treat our land properly, we will go out of business by our own hands. It is of utmost importance for us to be true conservationists if we want to continue producing the most nutritious and safest protein in the world.

"But all too often, Iím not given the autonomy to do so. Iím given rules, not a conversation about how ranchers and government officials and environmentalists might be able to work together. Thatís an approach that fails everyone."

11705. Trillium - 2/13/2016 5:56:24 AM

The Washington Post article linked above had some interesting comments, including one about the Columbia River Basin and land seizures there.

"on the Columbia River the DC bureaucrats decided to keep the Columbia river gorge scenic so they decided you could not build on either side of the River for 50 miles.. & within 5 miles of the river as the crow flies on either side.. trouble is this was not state or federal land.. it was mostly privet land & mountainous, you could not see beyond 1/4 mile on either side because you hit steep cliffs.. My family owned land involved in the restricted area so I know what happened.. At first the gorge commission allowed building a home if you had X amount of land but they got to tell you where on your land you could build but there was no set standard for why or where since it could not be seen from the river anyway..each year they changed the amount of land you needed.. 5 acres became 10, 10 became 20.. family owned land that had been handed down for generations could no longer be divided to pass on to the children & if it could be you still could not get a permit to build on it.. people were still taxed at full value & taxes kept going up, things became un-affordable people gave up their land to the Fed. Dep. of Fish & wildlife With no reimbursement acres and acres were turned over to include our land.. some people logged their land trying to pay off the taxes but eventually gave in as well.. the dep, of fish & wild life would go in immediately & post signs.Fed. property. no trespassing . They forced us into turning over our lands..."

So I went to check out information about the Columbia River Basin project.

Friends of the Columbia Gorge

I'm of two minds about this. I can recall looking at the Hudson River (below the part where the Rockefellers took over and protected the Palisades), imagining what the beautiful Hudson had looked like before being despoiled.

But... if you are a person being forced off your land and livelihood, the situation looks very different.

11706. iiibbb - 2/13/2016 6:26:52 PM

Pretty open and shut "takings" issue... I'm sure a good lawyer and class action case could at least bring tax relief.

Making sense of Malheur. I think about Dune and "plans within plans".

People fundamentally disagree about how the environment should be regulated... it can't be hands off because it only takes a few bad actors to ruin everything. Privatizing public land or getting government out of contentious environmental regulation is on the whole a mistake. There are bigger issues at play like climate change, water quality, habitat preservation, exotic invasives, that half these science-denying fools don't even believe in or have no clue about... despite the myriad of post industrial revolution ecological disasters we can point to illustrating why unfettered and unregulated land use is a bad idea.

Government interferes with all sorts of things beyond land use... it's not like it's a special case. It regulates how I carry guns. It regulates how I raise my kids... it regulates medications I may take... it regulates a myriad of things...

Get used to it.

What the government does for public benefit is far less offensive than what developers do for "public benefit".

That being said, whenever government restricts the type of uses permitted, that constitutes a taking, and they should compensate those landowners with tax relief or otherwise.

The Columbia River gorges is gob-smackingly beautiful... I can only imagine it lined with luxury homes.

The Missoula floods were the largest ever... that entire gorge was filled to the brim with flood water... incredible!

11707. Trillium - 2/16/2016 8:18:16 AM

A relative who has spent time in Portland concurs with iiibbb's description of the Columbia River Gorge as "gob-smackingly beautiful".

Another reason to have a 50-mile residence-free zone around the Columbia Gorge: pollution from Hanford 6 Things to Know about Hanford's Nuclear Waste

"This is the most contaminated piece of federal property,Ē said Wyden. "It adjoins the lifeblood of our region, the Columbia River, and weíve got to turn this around...Ē

11708. Trillium - 2/16/2016 8:22:06 AM

Thinking about the need for "science-based" solutions...
From the link above:

"RICHLAND, Wash. (KOIN) ó Itís something to think about the next time you visit the Columbia Gorge.

"The timeline for officials to clean up the biggest, most toxic nuclear waste site in the Western hemisphere is shrinking.

"The race to clean up 56 million gallons of radioactive liquid waste sitting at the Hanford site, 230 miles east of Portland, becomes more urgent each year.

"With an estimated price tag of $120 billion, and a theoretical deadline of 2047, cleanup efforts are continually stalled by obstacles including time, money, the danger of the task at hand, and the sheer vastness of the site."


Hanford's Nuclear Waste

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