Author Topic: Know the Difference Between National Forest and National Park?  (Read 369 times)

Offline Akavit

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I'm sure everyone's seen this before.  Some environmental group or another cries foul over logging in the national forests and clamor for Federal protections on the land.  Guess what?  National forests were originally created to provide sustainable resources for the nation (such as lumber) and were never intended to be "preserved" in their current state at all costs.

Source: USDA.gov

Quote
Unlike national parks created primarily to preserve
natural beauty and outdoor recreation, our national
forests were working forests established to provide
timber and water for the nation’s benefit. Federal
laws and policies outline how national forests are 
used and managed.

In the mid-1800’s, many believed the wood supply
was unlimited. Large areas were logged for agriculture
or not replanted. As populations moved west, concerns
grew and Congress took action. After World War II,
national forests provided wood for our growing nation
and a place for expanding outdoor recreation.


Quote
Bitter conflicts and litigation over forest use in the
1980-90s involved a range of issues from spotted
owls, old growth, fire, and Wilderness. This gridlock
set the stage for President Clinton’s 1994
Northwest Forest Plan that re-designated forest use
and established a new ecosystem approach to
resource management on federal lands. Policies
from this time drastically reduced timber harvest,
resulting today in dense forests that are less resilient
to drought, disease, changes in climate and fire.

Today I encountered this interesting article.

Forests are Dying

Quote
Forest mortality exceeded net growth on America’s national forest timberlands in 2016, based on data publicly available from the U.S. Forest Service.

USFS said that forest growth was 48 percent of mortality, while timber harvests were just 11 percent of what is dying annually.  Forest mortality continues to trend upward, reports Healthy Forests Healthy Communities.

Last year the agency estimated there were 6.3 billion dead standing trees in 11 Western states. This means that far more trees are dying due to neglect such as catastrophic wildfire, insects, and disease, than are being harvested and utilized as wood products.

Our federal forests are not being actively managed, whether through logging, thinning and prescribed fire, said Healthy Forests Healthy Communities.  As a result, our forests are dying at a rapid rate. And today we have millions of acres with dense stands of trees that compete for light and water, making them more vulnerable to changing climate conditions, drought and insect infestations.

Quote
“The real problem is that the present National Forests have not been and still are not well managed (logging, thinning, prescribed burns, etc.) due to a lack of funding to do needed TSI (Timber Stand Improvement),” he said.

“In the last century, with the tight control of forest fires, with decreased harvesting in the past 40 years, and other forest poor practices, trees have grown closer and closer together, which means harmful insects and disease can spread much easier without natural forest breaks; the acreage of standing-dead, insect-killed trees has increased tremendously.”

And even more interesting...

Quote
And as forest mortality has increased, our forests have become net carbon emitters. In California, for example, research suggests that that greenhouse gases are billowing out of the state’s forests faster than they are being sucked back in.

I've seen claims by environmentalists that stated global warming was causing more forest fires and thus speeding up global warming.  But looking into the history of the national forests, it seems the primary reason for the increase of forest fires is nearly 70 years of fire-suppression followed by another 30 plus years of inadequate brush-clearing initiatives.  The national forests are dense and packed with dead wood and vegetation.  If they are not cleared by man, they'll be cleared by unstoppable natural fires.




Offline PerEvangelicaDicta

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Re: Know the Difference Between National Forest and National Park?
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2018, 11:16:03 AM »
The usual suspects and their unintentional consequences. 

It's very frustrating to get the the heart of truth now!  The Smith-Mundt Modernization Act of 2012 allowed the US government to broadcast propaganda specifically at Americans.  Gardener had a thread entitled "Sinclair News Script" that demonstrated how talking heads parrot the information provided to them.

In this case,for example, global warming/cooling/climate change is morphed for any side of an argument by all sorts of so-called experts, left and right, to fit their agenda.   

That said, coming from a natural science background and working around those familiar with this topic, I was enlightened that the forests were to be used for natural resource use, as you noted Akavit - that's how they were to be managed.   But all that's changed. 

So, to be crazy conspiracy minded  :P, there are those who say the goal in depopulation is to allow this overgrowth.  That is, keep encouraging people to move to city centers and not reproduce.  Ultimately nature will take over, like the Mayan ruins.  Fun reading!
Quick aside, perhaps anecdotal, I saw a program last week about a major north American city's real estate changes - the trend for those under 30 is to live in the city.  The panel was astounded that a large majority of this demographic is not interested in their parents lovely suburban homes, and when they inherit, they'll sell.  They want zero to few children and want to "enjoy the city".  Until then, they move out asap and live with many roommates to afford. 

Another conspiracy - that many of the forest fires in the US (and Chile) are purposefully set.  I've read both sides of those arguments too.  Very interesting.  Again, difficult to get to the unvarnished truth of the bigger picture.
They shall not be confounded in the evil time; and in the days of famine they shall be filled
Psalms 36:19
 

Offline Heinrich

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Re: Know the Difference Between National Forest and National Park?
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2018, 11:18:56 AM »
I live right close to Pike National Forest. I am actually planning a hike today up St. Mary's Falls.

Great memories in national forests. Heck, take a look at some home video of Gardener, some friends and me out and about:

Schaff Recht mir Gott und führe meine Sache gegen ein unheiliges Volk . . .   .                          
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"Die Welt sucht nach Ehre, Ansehen, Reichtum, Vergnügen; die Heiligen aber suchen Demütigung, Verachtung, Armut, Abtötung und Buße." --Ausschnitt von der Geschichte des Lebens St. Bennos.
 
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Offline LausTibiChriste

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Re: Know the Difference Between National Forest and National Park?
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2018, 03:27:59 PM »
I live right close to Pike National Forest. I am actually planning a hike today up St. Mary's Falls.

Great memories in national forests. Heck, take a look at some home video of Gardener, some friends and me out and about:


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Offline Heinrich

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Re: Know the Difference Between National Forest and National Park?
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2018, 06:44:16 PM »
You should know. You were there, James Francis Ryan.

Remember Gardener and his Thompson?
Schaff Recht mir Gott und führe meine Sache gegen ein unheiliges Volk . . .   .                          
Lex Orandi, lex credendi, lex vivendi.
"Die Welt sucht nach Ehre, Ansehen, Reichtum, Vergnügen; die Heiligen aber suchen Demütigung, Verachtung, Armut, Abtötung und Buße." --Ausschnitt von der Geschichte des Lebens St. Bennos.