AMERICA’S NATIONAL FORESTS – stewardship Trumps radical environmentalism

May-1941 Fire Line construction training..Historical pictures courtesy of Forest Service USDA


U.S. National Forest policy has created an environmental crisis that could be easily avoided with basic stewardship and just a kernel of common sense. Decades of anti-logging policies and lawsuits filed by Environmental Attorneys posturing to stop every timber sale on National Forest lands have severely impacted the logging industry and are harming the natural and human environment.

As a consequence of these policies, we have created a physical landscape ideal for catastrophic wildfires, rapidly deteriorating forest health, impaired wildlife habitat, reduced water quality, and uncontrolled invasive species. Were it not for private inholdings and corporate tree farms there would no longer be a forestry industry in the United States.

It is time to change the insane policies that have created this environmental nightmare and return to a system of wise use of natural resources and stewardship based on conservation, not radical environmentalism. A return to pre-Columbian wilderness is not a realistic option, and wise use and stewardship can utilize an infinitely renewable resource to provides jobs and useful products while at the same time protecting and enhancing the natural environment.

In the debate over public/private land stewardship, many miss the importance of resource utilization as a guarantor of good land stewardship. Bureaucrats and government managers seldom care for property as well as owners and history is replete with examples of command/control economies that are incredibly bad at natural resource stewardship. The successes of private land stewardship should be considered in any land use policies for public lands, as utilization produces the income necessary to fund conservation programs.

America’s public lands and national forests are a valuable resource that should be used productively and wisely so that future generations can enjoy them too. Hands off sequestration of National Forestland is bad policy and will be counterproductive to a healthy environment.

Join us for a pragmatic look at the future of American forestry and the importance of resource utilization on National Forest and other public lands.


 Jim CarlsonJim Carlson’s 27 year portfolio includes programs that affect federal administrative agencies; formation and execution of legislative strategies; technical, statutory, and historical research; environmental compliance; large-scale infrastructure project management; and, ground-up creation and management of 4 statewide associations. His ability to merge reconnaissance, technical analysis, political strategy and strategic directives into tactical, natural-resource policy initiatives that influence government decision-making is recognized by industry, legislative and political circles.

Mr. Carlson’s career began in the electric utility industry where he gained a track record in project management, regulatory negotiations, water research, environmental policy, and participation in leadership circles, including the Steering Committee of the Utilities Solid Waste Activities Group (USWAG), and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). Mr. Carlson has been a central figure in the start-up of four statewide associations, two consulting firms, and he presently is working on what he hopes will be a framework for a national association of local governments that will engage federal agencies on natural-resource and administrative policy issues.

Peter F. Kolb is the Montana State University Extension Forestry Specialist and an Associate Professor of Forest Ecology & Management, based at the University of Montana in the Department of Forest Management. He was selected to be a Fulbright Scholar to the Bavarian Institute of Applied Forestry in 2008 where he lectured on forest ecosystem processes and studied the long term effects of intensive forest management in the northern Alps. For the past 33 years he has studied forest ecosystem function and dynamics with specific interest in the role of disturbance processes across Idaho and Montana. . Specific research emphasis have included the effects of heat, water stress and grass competition on conifer seedling establishment, the role of soil characteristics, forest pests, pathogens and wildfire on forest species and succession dynamics, the impacts of forest thinning on root diseases, woody debris treatments and their effects on forest and range restoration, cultural practices to enhance woody debris decomposition, and plant community recovery following wildfires and salvage logging.

During the past 20+ years he has worked extensively with private forest landowners and managers on forest assessment and management plan development, silvicultural alternatives, wildfire hazard reduction, and post-wildfire rehabilitation through the MSU/UM Forest Stewardship Program which he helped establish and currently acts as Program Director . He also directs the Montana natural Resources Youth Camp and works with farmers and ranchers across central and eastern Montana on planning, establishing and maintaining windbreaks and shelterbelts. His past work experience includes time as an inventory forester for the Wisconsin DNR, an assistant tree nursery manager for Champion International, a fire lookout/fire fighter for the USDA Forest Service and an applied forester for Boise Cascade. In his spare time Peter is either building furniture, working on his small Tree Farm, with his horses, or hiking, hunting and camping with his family.

“My major professional goal is to help quantify how physical and biological processes work across western forest landscapes, and to develop applied management practices that conserve and work within those processes for human benefit. I have a strong respect and love for wildlife and wild places. As a woodworker I consider wood a marvelous and ultimate renewable resource. As human populations and their resource needs increase there is a critical responsibility to learn how to sustainably manage our natural resources for everybody’s benefit while also protecting the inherent natural components that make landscapes and their wild inhabitants special.”

Education

1996 PhD University of Idaho in Forest and Range Ecophysiology

1987 M.S. University of Idaho in Silviculture and Forest Protection

1984 B.S. Michigan State University in Forestry

1980-81 Exchange Student to The University of Freiburg, Germany.


Join Host Dan Happel on Connecting the Dots

Tuesday’s 9:00am Mtn/11:00am Est.

Listen Live on The Micro Effect Radio Network

https://www.facebook.com/danhappelmontana