Editorial: Fed Judge Blocks Logging on Prince of Wales - P.O.W. Report

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Editorial: Fed Judge Blocks Logging on Prince of Wales

From the Hill:

A federal judge on Monday temporarily halted the Trump administration’s plans to open up thousands of acres in the nation's largest national forest to logging.

The decision by the U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska placed a preliminary injunction on the logging of 42,500 acres of temperate rainforest in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest. It comes days before the administration was set to begin reviewing bids and offering contracts for the logging of old-growth timber in the forest.

Basically, the Southeast Conservation Council and others sued the Forest Service [Read the decision] on this sale because there wasn't enough talk and meetings regarding the 'impacts' of logging on the environment.

Interestingly, about two weeks ago I had a great discussion with two Forest Service employees about their jobs and some of the frustrations they have with outside groups who don't understand "Forest Management." The details are long and complex however, the argument really comes down to this,

"If people actually cared about the environment they would allow logging because it's healthy for the eco-system".

The problem is that inevitably there are two extremes:



The first problem creates a myriad of issues, the first being that old growth eventually starts dying and emits more CO2 than the oxygen that it creates, the second that old growth allows predators to flourish from a growth in wolves to an explosion of the beetles that eat and kill entire forests because the trees aren't allowed to be managed.

The other extreme of clear cutting is that it looks ugly and the forests take twice as long to grow back (growth isn't as big of an issue in SE Alaska, however in other more temperate climates, this does become a problem.)

The court additionally banned the opening of any bids or awarding of any contracts related to loggin in Tongass. The USFS was scheduled to take and review bids on an initial sale of 1,156 acres of trees on Sept. 24.

“Based on the foregoing, Plaintiffs have established that they will suffer irreparable harm if the harvest — particularly of old growth trees — authorized by the Twin Mountain Timber Sale occurs,” the court wrote of its decision to grant the injunction.

This is politics. For how long have we been debating logging and environmental research? For 100 freaking years, there's already great science on how to have a balance between healthy forests and healthy booming economies.

Here's what this decision really did;


“Today’s preliminary ruling is a victory for wildlife and proper management of our nation’s irreplaceable forests. Moving forward with this initial sale would have ignited 15 years of clearcutting that would further destroy and fragment the remaining ancient forest habitat on Prince of Wales Island,” said Patrick Lavin, senior Alaska representative at the Defenders of Wildlife.

"15 years of clearcutting" is code word for CUTTING 15 years of jobs for this island that already suffers from high unemployment and low wages! It's easy for SECC to sit in their offices in Juneau and shoot emails back and forth to other 501C3 environmental groups that live off tax payer grift and donations. What's actually difficult is for families on Prince of Wales that are desperately trying to work hard to feed their families and can't because their jobs depend on political idiotology of extremists groups that continuously sue the US Government.

Nobody cares more about the Trees and the Deer and the Fish than the residents who live here and make a livelyhood on these resources. SECC makes it seem like the Fishermen want to kill all the fish and Loggers want to cut all the trees without a care in the world for the future.

This is simply not true!

We live here. We care about the future. And we care about our resources as much as we care about our children. These types of political decisions and lawsuits hurt people financially, they hurt the forests by mis-management and they make the voters resentful of politics.

As a final addendum, how can Prince of Wales and Southeast Alaska 'diversify our economy' when every time we try to do so, we are sued?

Share, like and subscribe to this site
Send a tip or a story or a classified or hatemail to powreport@gmail.com
Support this site and make a small donation (and you'll receive the POW Court Report in an email)
Ads just 10$ a month

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.