Oregon: Another $51 million to thin federal forests for better or worse?

How do we really know if we hurt or harm a forest when we thin it? The lack of accountability in forestry in the past has been addressed a bit more on US federal lands in recent decades… But how can we be sure? As someone who loves to drive the back roads of National Forest lands, why do I so often see forests that were thinned so much that the soil dried up and most all of the remaining trees are dying off? Overall thinning forests does nothing more than mimic catastrophic events like wildfire, diease outbreaks, storm caused blowdown, erosion and landslides. The greater the extreme of mimicing, the less resilient the forest is to unavoidable future (naturally occurring) catrostrophic events. Keep all this in mind as you read the article below. –Editor, Forest Policy Research

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Oregon will get $51 million in federal cash to put people to work in the woods in coming months to reduce fire hazards and improve forest conditions. The state will share $9 million more with Washington state for work on the Blue Mountains, in the eastern portion of the two states. Oregon received the largest share of $240 million in projects for 26 states announced today by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. California netted $31 million, and Washington state got $3 million. This is the second round of forest-related projects flowing to Oregon from more than $1 billion appropriated to the U.S. Forest Service.


Still more Oregon projects are expected in funding rounds soon. Details about the Oregon projects were scarce. The Forest Service regional office in Portland was barred from discussing the projects, referring questions to Vilsack’s agency, which didn’t return calls. An abbreviated list distributed by the White House to Oregon’s congressional delegation did not say how many jobs the projects would create. The project list contained few specifics, listing $28 million going to “eight county hazardous fuels reduction” without identifying the counties. The list did show hazardous fuels projects of $1.5 million in Central Oregon, $1 million in Deschutes County and $1.3 million in Jackson and Josephine counties. — Les Zaitz, leszaitz@news.oregonian.com

Please value the writer & producer of these words by paying a visit to: http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2009/05/feds_announce_more_money_for_o.html


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