Mathews Inc.
Federal land management
Contributors to this thread:
Huntosolo 06-Sep-17
Brun 06-Sep-17
huntsolo74 07-Sep-17
Surfbow 07-Sep-17
Longcruise 08-Sep-17
Seahorse 08-Sep-17
ZachinCO 08-Sep-17
AndyJ 10-Sep-17
COGunmoney 11-Sep-17
huntosolo 11-Sep-17
Huntosolo 13-Sep-17
Huntosolo 13-Sep-17
Huntosolo 13-Sep-17
From: Huntosolo
As I watch my home state of Montana burn my thoughts and prayers are with those affected. As it is, one begins to question current management practices and wonder what is the correct approach moving forward WRT our public lands.

I don't believe the state has the funding to ensure our lands are kept intact. However, clearly the current approach is failing.

So I guess my question is how do we keep it public but drastically change course with current practices? The "keep it public" movement will lose support if practical approaches cannot or will not be embraced by the Federal bureaucrats.

From: Brun
I agree that states don't have the funds or even the desire to keep lands intact. I'm curious what management practices you think are responsible for the fires. I was under the impression that Montana was suffering from an extremely dry summer, which obviously increases fire danger. We have been lucky in Colorado with a fairly wet summer in the mountains, but there is one pretty significant fire burning near Steamboat. It is in prime elk habitat, but it is on private land. I know this ranch personally and it is managed very carefully in my opinion. It is believed to have been started by lightning strike, so I am in the dark about how this can be prevented. I also feel really bad for those affected by this, but I don't know of any management practice that could be blamed for this. Not trying to start an argument, but would love to hear what practices you think are responsible for these fires.

From: huntsolo74

Like you I'm not interested in an argument only solutions to maintaining public lands but also seeking means to better manage our resources. I believe the "keep it public" movement (which I'm in total support) will lose legitimacy if we as conservationists don't highlight the backward approach to current land management policies. Such policies as I see it: 1. Persistent threat of environmental lawsuits 2. Federal land administrators discourage logging, thinning of trees/brush, and controlled burns 3. $2.5 billion/yr spent on fire suppression Groups like American Lands Council are a threat to the "keep it public" movement. However, they do rightly highlight these aforementioned backward practices. And if we don't begin to acknowledge the current approach to land management is severely lacking, we jeopardize losing folks in support of federal public lands.

Admittedly, I'm no more than a keyboard warrior that loves the outdoors. And in comparison to a Randy Newberg and all other public land advocates my voice doesn't amount to much. However, I do believe these are important issues which will ultimately determine if the "keep it public" movement is successful.

From: Surfbow
"1. Persistent threat of environmental lawsuits" In my opinion this is the biggest hurdle to any reasonable management of our natural resources, whether it be land, resources on/in the land, or wildlife. The leftist-led environmental groups (and their lawyers) have perfected the art of gaming the legal system using legal loopholes to financially support themselves, whether their campaign 'flavor-of-the-day' has merit or not. It's a shame.

From: Longcruise
The susceptibility to fire on our public lands has more to do with many years of fire suppression than current policy, IMO. It's going to happen and has always happened.

One thing is certain and that is that a sell off of public lands to private interests is not going to solve wildfire problems and it's not going to take the financial responsibility for fighting them away from the public (taxpayer) sector.

Still just my opinion, I don't pretend to be a deep thinker! :>)

From: Seahorse
I couldn't agree more with keeping it public, but what course changes with current management practices are you referring to? We saw what happens to ecosystems in Yellowstone, when you ignore reality and keep putting out fires. Sooner or later, you end up with fuel-loaded forests that burn catastrophically. With pine beetles and aging forests, we NEED them to burn. Lodgepole pines NEED fire to regrow healthy forests (google “Serotinous”). All wildlife NEEDS forest succession to flourish. Public agencies can't please all interests. If you want to build homes in a forest, there will be fire. If you want to build on the coast, or along a river, there will be flooding... The real problem today is, our Natural Resource managers have to manage self-centered people instead of our natural resources.

From: ZachinCO
There is a good thread over at Hunttalk on the subject of burns and letting them go their course.

From: AndyJ
Huntosolo-I'm not sure what you are referring to when you say,"clearly the current approach is failing". How, why and from what viewpoint? Because of forest fires? as has been already stated, forest fires are totally natural. If anything there are probably fewer now although they are more intense. Actually, forest managers are now trying to correct years of bad management practices (mainly fire suppression) that started roughly in the 1920's. If anything I would say forest fires remind the public that there is now way in hell states are capable of managing public lands. Comparing forest fires to bad forest management is like saying the southern and gulf coast is in bad shape because of hurricanes.

Poor management is in the eye of the user. You may be looking at management from a hunting perspective, but I would say forest managers are doing a pretty decent job considering the number of different user groups they have to appease and especially considering the wildly varying views of "good management". Forest managers have to deal with locals, the timber industry, hunters, fishermen, hikers, environmentalists...all wanting the same thing-their interests served first.

With regards to the environmentalists and their frivolous lawsuits. Be careful who you point your finger at. Say what you will but if there is one group hunters owe a huge debt of gratitude in the public lands debate, it is the environmental group. They mobilize quickly, get the job done and they fight HARD. Most of the time a forest manager's biggest hurdle is the NIMBY (not in my back yard) groups. This has nothing to do with political affiliation. Conservatives and liberals are equally to blame for this. Try getting a permit for a timber harvest, mine or controlled burn behind a high end mountain subdivision and get ready for an epic legal battle.

"The "keep it public" movement will lose support" Do you really believe that? The battle for federal land ownership has largely been won thanks to sportsman, conservationists and environmental groups. The real battle now is influence over management practices.

From: COGunmoney
Surfbow - "The leftist-led environmental groups (and their lawyers) have perfected the art of gaming the legal system using legal loopholes to financially support themselves"

how, exactly, are left-led environmental groups financially supporting themselves with these lawsuits? left, right, whatever - in my experience, most environmental groups are all for keeping lands public and not demolishing them for resource harvesting. that leads to pristine public lands that people like us, sportsmen and the like, can enjoy. you might not agree with every approach they take. but i find their approach far more palatable than the one Secretary Zinke is seemingly pursuing - development of land for the profit of companies, not people. See whats happening in Wyoming with the recent Sage Grouse debate. or go look into the issue surrounding the transfer of federal lands to states. or go look into him and Trump talking about downsizing national monuments so they can pursue mountain top removal coal mining and oil and gas exploration.

and before anyone jumps on me and starts assuming more about me than i let on in this post - i work in energy. im a natural gas analyst. my company covers everything from coal, to gas, to solar.

lastly, fires are a part of life. our winters are getting warmer, so the pine beetle is spreading. throw in the drought in montana, and youre living in a virtual tinder box. im not sure this is so much management practice as it is a natural following of what happens when a shit ton of trees die and no rain falls.

From: huntosolo
Federal bureaucracies often prevent common sense approaches. For example, Environmental Impact Statement can take from one to ten years to complete. Upon completion, there is an additional process for logging contracts or to thin trees on our National and State forest lands. Upon conclusion of that process, environmental groups file lawsuits to stop any logging. That seems unnecessarily burdensome.

I believe we can improve our current approach. We have the science, manpower, technology and markets needed to do this work safely and successfully in an environmentally sound way. Unfortunately, the small-scale forestry projects the Forest Service is currently conducting aren't making a dent.

From: Huntosolo

From: Huntosolo

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Common sense and long overdue.

From: Huntosolo

Huntosolo's Link
3rd x is a charm!

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