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WILDFIRE

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Biden Wildfire Scorecard No. 3

Jim Petersen -

The Agriculture Secretary oversees a $146 billion annual budget. Most of it – 65 percent - is allocated to food and nutrition programs that target the needy. Five percent goes to “forestry,” mainly the U.S. Forest Service and mostly – about 55 percent – to battle forest fires.

The Story of Evergreen

Jim Petersen -

Your conference seeks to encourage you to become better leaders. That's a good thing because leadership is sorely lacking in the forestry and forest products manufacturing worlds today. Everyone seems to be going their own way. There are no leaders and there is no script. We are all freelancers doing our own thing in a world in which most now get their news through their favorite social media algorithms.

These are the Days!

Jim Petersen -

When Mike Albrecht asked me if I'd be willing to spend some time with you this afternoon, he said he was looking for someone who could provide you with a vision for the future that is both optimistic and realistic. Then he added that he wasn’t sure that the words “optimistic” and “realistic” could exist in the same sentence.

Rearranging the Deck Chairs on Our Titanic

Jim Petersen -

Toward Shared Stewardship across Landscapes: An Outcome-based Investment Strategy is the new U.S, Forest Service/Department of Agriculture attempt to put the brakes on the wildfire crisis that has engulfed the West's federal forest estate. Click on the underlined text above to read it in full.

GET OUT OF JAIL FREE?

Jim Petersen -

Most all of us have rolled the dice in Monopoly a time or two. Buying up properties on the Boardwalk can be tons of fun until you land in Jail. That's when its lovely to have a “Get-out-of-jail-free” card in your hand. It sure beats having to sell properties to bail yourself out of the clink.

Another Giant Gone

Jim Petersen -

Mr. McBride was a tree farmer, horse lover, gun collector, hunter safety instructor, military historian, World War II veteran and 1952 graduate of the University of Maine School of Forestry.  His long-time friend, Bruce Vincent, an Evergreen Foundation board member, delivered the eulogy.

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...

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.

Lessons From Eagle Creek

Jim Petersen -

We can learn much from our nation's forest priorities, policies and practices, which have always tracked with our country’s ever-shifting felt necessities. But the blame game is a useless and unhelpful exercise. What would be helpful is a more constructive rural-urban dialogue about the losses we are all suffering, and what we can do collectively [politically] to mitigate them.

Crafting a New Forest Service: Unwinding the Forest Health Crisis in the Western United States

Jim Petersen -

The U.S. Forest Service estimates that 90 million acres of the nation's federal forest estate are in Condition Class 3 or 2 – a fire ecologists’ rating system that attempts to account for the ecological damage a wildfire might do to a forest. Class 3 forests are said to be “ready to burn,” while Class 2 forests soon will be.

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.

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.”

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.

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.