Thursday, August 25, 2005

Cause and Effect

This news article concerning mistaken or disregarded boundaries on areas to be logged, and the subsequent logging of trees in a protected area, exposes a serious problem (bolds mine).
GRANTS PASS, Ore. -- The Forest Service admitted Wednesday to making a "serious" mistake that allowed the logging of 17 acres inside a rare tree reserve as part of the salvage harvest of timber burned by a fire in 2002.

The logging inside the 350-acre Babyfoot Lake Botanical Area, created in 1966 to protect Brewer spruce and other rare plant species in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, was discovered last week by environmentalists after the timber was harvested and a forest closure intended to bar protesters was lifted.

It appears that once the forest service made the decision to allow logging of the burned timber areas, defined the area allowed, and issued the necessary permits, that they then failed to monitor the process. The loggers, by design or error (I don't claim to know one way or the other here), crossed over the boundary. Sometime AFTER the logging had ended, environmentalists surveyed the area, and discovered the ( pick one: error/criminal activity). These same environmentalists are criticizing the Forest Service for not allowing process monitoring.

Barbara Ullian, conservation director of the Siskiyou Project group that discovered the damage, said the mistake demonstrated the importance of allowing the public to monitor logging operations in national forests.

What prompted the Forest Service to close the area to the public during the logging? This explains:


The Forest Service closed the area to the public in March after protesters attempted to block logging roads and sit in trees.


The protesters were attempting to block not just logging in the Reserve, where it was not supposed to happen anyway, but ANY logging (Examples here and here). In their efforts to stop all logging, they effectively removed any chance that they had to exercise any control. Sounds like the Siskiyou Project needs to rethink their strategy.

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