When I was a UM sophomore in '72 I was raped at gunpoint. Again the horrific details and the lack of police concern were parallel to this current exposure. I am trying to add to this 'teachable moment' and see how can step away from our egoic concern of tainting our city & be the change we want to see.
I need to see proof and research showing that ''selling public land'' will be the outcome of land transfers from Fed to state. I know that is what everyone says will happen, yet Democrats in Montana fought a bill that would stop that from ever happening. Do you know why they fought this? They fought this because it would kill the only argument used to fight the land transfer. Shameful.
Ask for proof before accepting other's ''truths''.
zero waste missoula is a thin paint over a city that thrives Because of waste making policies...more groceries get thrown away here even though.legally.the highway taxes only
pay for hauling sellable food.then it should be a new tax for wasting products to increase profits...many common law precedents......
It's been said a million times, and I'll say it again : Coal is an 18th century fuel, utilized by 18th and 19th century technology. All ex-governor Schweizer's and other coal boosters' and apologists' claims and wet dreams aside, there's no such thing as "clean coal".
That said, I have a question and a comment :
Question : Doesn't China have plenty of it's own coal ?
Comment : It must be getting pretty close to the point of no return in terms of energy output versus energy input to mine coal in eastern Montana, load it on trains, ship it ~1000 miles, off load it at a probably several hundred million dollar facility, reload it onto ships, sail them 8,000 miles to China, then reverse the process to a coal fired generating plant. Seems insane to me, but I guess someone must have penciled it out. But maybe not.
What is the time frame for this scheme? If it gets the go ahead, when would it start, and how long before it would be completed, as currently proposed ?
I don't live in or near Missoula now and haven't for close to 40 years, and only get to Missoula 2 or 3 times a year, so I don't remember much in detail about the Rattlesnake NRA and adjoining areas. I have no doubt that 100 years of aggressive fire suppression and Plum Creek's (and others' ?) depredations have left the area in a state of serious environmental chaos.
Not being intimately familiar with the situation, I wonder if the concerns about logging traffic and "improving" the road and bridge in the Rattlesnake couldn't be addressed by breaking the project into several small contracts spread out over several years, and restricting any timber sales to horse logging operations, only.
But small sales and horse logging aren't sexy, and probably won't get you an M.A. in forestry, in this age of industrial scale everything.
Sad, but no doubt true, Greg.
Why can't that milk and other "expired" food be fed to livestock : chickens and other fowl ? Hogs ?
Surprised ? Don't be ! Dan focuses on coal leasing in this column, but it's the same story with all the extractive uses of OUR federal lands, and state lands too, probably.
Thanks to the long obsolete, but still on the books 1872 Mining Act, what "hard rock" minerals aren't literally given away for all practical purposes might just as well be, by dint of absurdly low royalty payments, the schedules of which probably haven't been updated literally in decades. The same can be said for payments for oil, other fossil fuels, and other minerals not covered by the 1872 Act.
Then of course, there's the ongoing, never ending scandals of below-cost timber sales and federal grazing leases. Fees for federal land grazing are set by a congressionally mandated formula, currently at something on the order of $1.35 per AUM; an AUM being a cow-calf pair, or 5 ewes with their lambs, per month).
By the way, for the record, grazing on state land isn't quite so egregious. The states actually, believe it or not, put grazing up for bid, and typically get somewhere in the $6- $8/month range. But the public is still getting ripped off : In SE Idaho, near Salmon where I live, last I checked, probably 3 or 4 years ago, private-land grazing was going for over $20/AUM.
So...how can you make people care about this issue, because I've got news for you, right now no one does. And guess what, no one will care next year either.
What's your plan to change that?
This agency needs to stop wasting so much time and money with make-work. Give us back our money if you're just going to waste it.
Thanks for the coverage Missoula Indy. The origins of this project – based on my recollections and involvement, anyway – go back even further than Andy Kulla's suggestion of 2008.
I'll paste some of that early history below, which I believe goes back to 2004 or 2005, and which was also shared on the Missoula Indy's website back in 2010.
Also, word on the street is that U.S. Forest Service silviculturist Sherly Gunn is getting her master's degree at the University of Montana and that her thesis is on the Rattlesnake National Recreation Act logging project. If true, that seems like a pretty big conflict of interest. Also, if true, that means that the U.S. Forest Service's 'expert' on the Rattlesnake NRA logging project only currently has a B.S. How ironic.
According to my recollection, the origins of this project took hold in 2004 or 2005 when Maggie Pittman was still the Missoula District Ranger. Ranger Pittman and organization's such as the WildWest Institute, Sierra Club, Wildlands CPR, Wildland Conservation Services and others got together and started talking about a good restoration project for the Lolo National Forest that was very much near to Missoula.
The real impetuous for this project was the fact that some very heavily roaded and cut over Plum Creek Timber Company lands in the Woods Gulch/Marshal area were going to be transferred over to US Forest Service ownership and management.
We originally talked with Ranger Pittman and the FS about the need for some restoration in the Woods/Marshall area on those newly acquired parcels of Plum Creek land (mainly dealing with roads and weeds and some fuel reduction).
There were even discussions about the potential of restoring these damaged Plum Creek lands once the FS took over ownership and then getting some of these newly restored lands put into the Rattlesnake National Recreation Area, which I think is still a really great idea and something that would have a lot of public support.
One important issue the public should be fully informed about is the fact that now the Forest Service is planning to conduct commercial logging operations up to 3 miles up the main corridor of the Rattlesnake National Recreation Area to the Poe Meadows area.
As this article points out, to accomplish this, and accommodate for logging trucks to drive 3 miles up the main corridor of the Rattlesnake NRA, a number of expensive upgrades would have to made to the main corridor, which is currently closed to motorized vehicles and only open to bikes, horses and foot-traffic. These upgrades would include replacing the bridge over Spring Creek (about 1/2 mile up the main corridor) so that log trucks could go over the bridge and make the sharp corner currently in that section of the bike/hiking trail. A commercial logging operation 3 miles up the main corridor of the Rattlesnake NRA would also require closure of this bike/hike/horse trail during the project.
Originally, the Forest Service was shying away from conducting commercial logging up the main corridor of the Rattlesnake due to 1) costs associated with improving the road for log truck traffic and replacing the Spring Creek bridge; 2) lack of a timber market and 3) social/public implications of running log trucks 3 miles up the main corridor.
In fact, as recently as an early August 2010 field trip to the project area, the Forest Service again expressed a reluctance to do the commercial logging and log hauling 3 miles up the main corridor.
However, a few weeks later, when the Forest Service released their proposed plan for the area, the idea for commercial logging, Spring Creek bridge work and log truck traffic 3 miles up the main corridor suddenly became a preferred part of their plan.
The Rattlesnake National Recreation Area is obviously a very special place for many people and families in the Missoula area. The number of people and families biking, walking and recreating up the main corridor is remarkable. At a minimum the Forest Service should be clearly letting the public know that the FS's current preferred plan calls for commercial logging and logging truck traffic going up to 3 miles up the main corridor. Part of this plan, would also involved spending tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars making the upgrades to the road and Spring Creek bridge to handle all of this logging truck traffic.
While I am personally 100% supportive of much of the proposed restoration work as part of this Marshall Woods restoration project, sending big logging trucks and logging equipment 3 miles up the main corridor (and ensuring that the current main corridor trail is upgraded for log truck traffic) seems like a misguided idea. I would suspect that the vast majority of Missoulian's who use, value and cherish the Rattlesnake National Recreation Area would agree. Thanks.
Ravalli county repuglikans got what they earned and deserved.
Unfortunately, the rest of the county's residents and taxpayers have to help foot the bill.
What kind of chimp testing is being done there? Infecting them with disease?
I don't really care if 2% of food stamp users are using drugs. How many rich Wall Street fat cats are getting more tax breaks than hardworking families? To me, the latter is an issue, the former is a waste of time. I don't want representatives who I'm paying to waste time on that. I want the representatives, whose wages I pay, to focus on issues that affect this country.
I like to model different scenes. I have many DD Deco kits I will be building into a small downtown city, I have a HOn3 section from Sierra West and a few others for a small backwoods area, another for a mine one day, but I don't connect them, or at least not yet, or run trains (despite the number I have) as it is the building I enjoy more than anything else. Everyone has their own little niche to get away from it all, I am just glad that there are a lot of people out there that are willing to put their time and efforts into producing kits for all of us to enjoy and build.
There are times when targeting the Forest Service (and other governmental agencies) that manage public lands may sometimes be a waste of energy and resources. This appears to be one of those situations.
Almost four decades ago (1976), Congress enacted the legislation that stipulated how Wilderness Study Areas should be managed. Because of a 2011 lawsuit regarding the way those areas were being managed in the Gallatin National Forest, a Federal Court recently issued a judgment that more clearly defined how Wilderness Study Areas should be managed.
Claims that the Bitterroot National Forest should not follow the judgement of the Court simply because that judgement restricts uses that likely should not have been allowed in the first place, is tantamount to asking the Bitterroot National Forest to break the law.
If people disagree with the law, displeasure should be directed at their elected representatives in the U.S. Senate and Congress. Complaining to an agency that is simply attempting to follow a ruling by the Court is likely to gain little more than publicity. If results are what are desired, it is better to apply pressure where it has a chance of achieving something.
The Wilderness act is pretty straight forward. The argument against the interpretation has made them lose all credibility on the rest of their argument.
If our Congress really wanted to do something useful, they'd make it a tad less difficult for the Forest Service to put up timber sales . . . eliminate the potential for all timber sales to be challenged in court and thin it down to where sales can only be challenged if there really is a good reason for concern. Turning our public lands over to the states might boost state coffers short term, but the end result would be that our lands would be "privatized" (sold to the highest bidder . . .). Better the Forest Service have the reins loosened a bit, so they can go back to allowing reasonable harvest of our abundant natural resources - the frustration level of local communities would drop considerably, and the whole issue of transferring land would die the natural death it deserves.
Bureacratic inertia at its finest! Montana's public land doesnt need to be managed like connecticut's. The Wilderness Study areas do not meet the governments own criteria for wilderness.
This is a great piece! The book is something that will be an eye opener that the entire nation needs. As a community, we have an opportunity to make this place even better. I wrote a piece on how.
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