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FOREST HEALTH

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MICHAEL RAINS: “HOW COULD I HAVE MISSED THIS?”

Jim Petersen -

This is the first segment of a five-part interview with Michael T. Rains, who was Director of the Northern Research Station at Newtown Square, Pennsylvania for 15 years and, concurrently, Director of the Forest Products Laboratory at Newtown Square for three years. He retired from the U.S. Forest Service in 2016.

The Newspaper Ad I Want to See

Jim Petersen -

Federal Court has ordered the United States Congress, the U.S. Forest Service, the federal Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fishers Service to make this statement about the health effects of secondhand wildfire smoke...

The Public Interest

Jim Petersen -

Although it will seem counter-intuitive, our advocacy for science-based forestry has led us to the conclusion that a publicly-granted license to practice forestry is the best defense against criticism that a forest landowner – public or private – can ever hope to attain...

Rodney Smoldon Interview

Jim Petersen -

Rodney Smoldon is the Forest Supervisor on the 1.1 million-acre Colville National Forest in northeast Washington. From his office in Colville, he commands a staff of approximately 135 permanent employees and an additional 100 summer employees. His annual budget is about $12 million.

Who "owns" wildfire?

Jim Petersen -

We who own this damned wildfire mess need to start asking Congress some tough questions. I can think of no better place to start than the Forest Service's draft plan for picking up the pieces at Rice Ridge. Of 160,000 acres burned, the agency proposes to salvage some standing dead timber from 5,947 acres.

10 minutes, 15 at the most

Jim Petersen -

The six living former Chiefs of the U.S. Forest Service have jointly signed a letter to the U.S. House and Senate majority and minority leaders urging them to fix the fire borrowing mess that annually sabotages the agency's ability to treat diseased and dying National Forests before catastrophic wildfires destroy them.

MITCH FRIEDMAN: RESTORING RESILIENCY

Jim Petersen -

Mitch Friedman is the Founder and Executive Director of Conservation Northwest, a Seattle-based conservation group...In this interview, Friedman discusses Conservation Northwest's collaborative successes, still bothersome regrets from his Earth First years and his belief that collaboration offers the best hope for resolving still contentious issues concerning the management of the West’s National Forests.

PAUL HESSBURG: WASHINGTON'S FORESTS - EAST OF THE CASCADES...FIGHTING FIRE WITH FIRE

Jim Petersen -

If we choose wisely, relying on the mechanical thinning, prescribed fire and managed fire, we can still protect most of our remaining forest assets, including the soil and water. But over much of the Intermountain West, the forests in our future are not going to look much like the forests we've been enjoying for the last 60 or 70 years.

GOVERNOR BUTCH OTTER: IDAHO'S FORESTS...LEADING THE WAY FOR CHANGE

Jim Petersen -

Change. In this exclusive and quite timely Evergreen interview, Governor Otter offers his thoughts on the significance of President-elect Trump's improbable victory and the millions of acres of federal forest and rangeland that is in environmental crisis. Somewhere between 80 and 90 million acres of federal forest land in the West are on the brink of ecological collapse. These lands are vital to our entire nation’s social, economic and environmental health. We have a lot of work to do and not much time left in which to get it done.

JIM DORAN REVISITED: WASHINGTON'S NATIONAL FORESTS - EAST OF THE CASCADES...BRING A SOLUTION

Jim Petersen -

There is something unethical about allowing a person or a group that refused to participate in the collaborative planning of the project to file an appeal on the project.  The essence of collaboration means that you work through the issues within a project and help solve the problems.  Bring a solution, not litigation.

Lloyd McGee: Washington's National Forests - East of the Cascades...A Pathway Forward

Jim Petersen -

McGee discusses collaborative success. "As a direct result of all their hard work we have a pathway forward. We also have the science, tools, technologies and skill sets needed to move forward with the restoration work necessary to protect forests that are the cornerstones and building blocks of both our rural and urban lifestyles."

Ryan Haugo: Washington's National Forests - East of the Cascades...Good Fire, Bad Fire

Jim Petersen -

In forests that have traditionally supported timber economies, we can use ecological restoration strategies that rely on mechanical thinning and prescribed fire. Elsewhere, we advocate for managing wildfires at the right place and time – when conditions are right. Just as there is no simple answer to the good-fire bad-fire question, there is also no single approach to conserving the forested landscapes we all treasure.”

IDAHO'S FOREST FAMILIES: TERA KING

Jim Petersen -

"I would absolutely encourage anyone to pursue a career in forestry or any other natural resource-based career. The more we can introduce local kids to the career opportunities available in their backyard, the better. There's also a shortage of professional truck drivers.  We need young people to bring their families back to their hometowns to fill those jobs, especially in light of recent mill closures that will have serious social and economic impacts on communities."

DYLAN KRUSE: A COHESIVE VISION

Jim Petersen -

Strong partnerships are forming between federal and state resource management agencies, county governments, community leaders, conservationists, recreation interests and lumbermen, all in pursuit of a common and cohesive vision that, at the implementation level where we work, is already producing new and very exciting economic, environmental and social benefits.

TIM COLEMAN: MAINTAINING STAKEHOLDER INVESTMENT

Jim Petersen -

The National Environmental Policy Act is the legal foundation on which all successful collaborations rest. You cannot saw this branch off the legal tree and expect that diverse forest stakeholder collaboratives built on trust and mutual respect will continue to prosper as citizen, project-based tools for resolving disagreements over how our national forests should be managed.

CHRIS SAVAGE: FOREST RESTORATION - LOCAL, SUSTAINABLE

Jim Petersen -

The Forest Service shares Governor Bullock's concern and his goal. Minus the presence of local, competitive and sustainable larger timber manufacturing infrastructure, the kind of collaborative forest restoration work we all envision is not possible. We are basing this forest’s five-year planning revision on the Governor’s Priority Landscape project on this forest.

GOVERNOR STEVE BULLOCK - MONTANA FORESTS IN FOCUS...IT'S WORKING!

Jim Petersen -

We are at a crossroads with forest health, our mills and the future condition of our forests. The aftermath of a years-long mountain pine beetle epidemic, stalled projects on thousands of acres of national forests, and continued threats from wildfires provide a strong basis for increased focus on how we manage forests and how we ensure we have a vibrant wood products industry providing good-paying jobs for Montanans.

PETER KOLB: CLIMATE CHANGE, SHIFTING PARADIGMS

Jim Petersen -

f we use insect and disease attacks as indicators of genetic simplicity, and resilience to these pests as indicators of genetic robustness, we can use harvesting to assist natural selection to build a more resilient forest ecosystem with a greater ability to survive climate fluctuations and associated perturbations. This may mean changing certain silvicultural paradigms and not selecting for the fastest growing or tallest trees - but intermediate sized trees that use their energy reserves for defense and water conservation as well as growth.

TODD MORGAN: COLLATERAL DAMAGE

Jim Petersen -

When cases are litigated misusing the intention of the Equal Access to Justice Act, the losses add up - whether the agency wins, loses, or the case is settled. Collateral damage  includes lost local and regional business activity, decline in community health, lost timber sale revenue, foregone and delayed work, and analytical and administrative costs the Forest Service must pay from public funds.