Mechanical treatment, that which will be congressionally mandated, is not necessarily exclusively commericial thinning. Mechanical treatment can be broadly defined, thick understory removal of juniper bushes, for example, which is not logging in the traditional sense, but forest management that will return areas that have undergone fire suppression to their historical disturbance trajectories. Additionally, the implementation of stewardship committees drastically alters how these mechanical treatments will be carried out. The mills do not get to start wielding chainsaws like mad, high-gradeing everthing if the bill happens to get through.
The parity of this article is nonexistent, framing Koehler and Powers as experts rather than ideologues, and offering them a bullhorn to espouse their convuluted notions of how the bill might affect change. No one else's opinion is worth including? It is worth noting furthermore, that these two individual hardly represent the ordinary Montanan's sensibilities.
So to conclude you utterly failed to investigate the intricacies of the bill yourself (real reporting) and instead relied on the same soundbite material that has been lobbed around from the beginning. For example, do you suppose, Matthew Frank, that the Forest Service undersecretary perhaps has a stake in opposing this bill other the supposed unsustainability of the mandate? Could it be that the Forest Service has a very long history of trying to maintain administrative discretion and continue centralized control of our National Forests? I expect more, much more, from the Independent which is supposed eschew, as its names suggests, gross, agenda-driven simplifications.
Make it-take it, ones and twos, first to seven, win by two? Whadda you say granddad?
Now that's the more animated response I was searching for, Matthew. I wish you would have included that information in your first response instead of the template. Unfortunately I don't have an abudance of time to debate the many points of this post, although I will say a few things.
Truth be told I wasn't certain that you hadn't been invited when I first posted, although I followed up and found that you had, and on more than one occasion. I'm not going to get into a he said/she said game of nonsense with you. I've heard from reliable folks that you were invited, and from what I see you tend to misrepresent things. My point initially is that you inevitably create division, which I think even you can admit.
It's true that the Wildwest Institute accomplishes some admirable things, although yourself and the institute are not the same thing. I've actually been to a Lolo Restoration Meeting or two, greatly admire their work, but would note that when I attended, your WWI representative was just being voted into the working group, and already seemed to have unrealistic and purist objectives which contrasted with the more moderate position of most members. Although I'm not condemning that, I find it indicative of the Institute's stance generally on issues that could use a dose of compromise.
Projections are thorny business, although you can be sure I'll follow up on the information provided. And I think that it's important to distinguish between national and local trends.
Bill Worf and Stewart Brandborg, based on your account, seem like respectable individuals, although it is truly sad to see you trot out that American hero cliche tagline which betrays your intent behind marshalling these accomplished men onto the page. It's again because you along with your reputation cannot stand on your own, and need to coopt others to construct a guise of legitamacy. As for my letter and the phrase "humility and perspective" you try to take out of context, I never said it was not altogether present. Maybe these men are among the uncommon instances where these qualities can be found. Of course they are participants from the public lands management arena of the past, and it is possible that their sensibilities are dated like yours. In the sense that they cling to the old way of doing business, I would say that yes they lack perspective and the humility to admit that we need to try a new direction. That doesn't speak to their personal qualities as human beings so I don't need to apologize for anything.
Finally, I'm not going to pretend that I'm more well-informed on the matter than you Matthew. Although I'm also not so arrogant as not to read the information provided, admit when I'm wrong, or modify my position based on compelling data. However, nothing that I read in your post refers at all to source of the issue which is values. As much as you may try to make it seem so, things are not black and white. You also seem to try to belittle me for being a student (just before you ask for an apology) as though that somehow draws into question my ability to speak about these matters. In response I guess I would say that I hope when I'm middle-aged I don't have the time to waste engaging in internet forum debate with someone not yet graduated from college. For my part, I really do no longer have the time to argue, that weird homework thing you know.
Actually, Matthew Koehler, I systematically addressed the concerns which you listed. It is a more likely scenario that my accusations ring true even to your own ears, which is why you're suddenly on the defensive.
Fact #1: You were asked to participate in the collaboration. You can continue to mischaracterize this legislation as conducted behind closed doors, but you and I both know that even in the preliminary stages of the Beaverhead-Deerlodge Partnership you were offered a place at the table. I say you specifically, because you are the one who continues to offer this as a strange bit of reasoning as to why one should not support the bill. However, as you say, it gives the situation a good storyline. If I saw others commenting after these articles, writing things in a similar vein, I would say the same thing to them as well. What you cited in your first response as evidence of this accusation amounts to hearsay, and nothing more.
Fact #2: Helicopters in Wilderness areas does not establish precedent. The Bob Marshall Wilderness, one of the most iconic Wilderness areas in the nation, has an airstrip in the middle of it that can see up many touch and go landings in one day. Other Wilderness areas, specifically in Nevada and Colorado, also make allowances for motorized use by ranchers to check ranging cattle. Do I need to elaborate here more or can we finally dispense with this well-worn and totally inaccurate criticism?
Fact #3: Lumber demand will rebound. I have no argument against overconsumption Matthew. We can agree that it's a problem, and I agree that the current economic picture does not look so bright. However, it is the case that most estimates and analyses indicate a recovering national economy more generally, and resumed housing growth within Montana specifically. Colorado did nothing to prevent the loss of their timber mills, and now vast acreages have succumbed to Pine Beetle infestation. The state can now no longer manage the issue because the forestry practitioners are gone. Are we going to continue to pretend that the beetle kill within the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest is not also an issue? Does that fact factor into your reasoning at all? And are people's livelihoods and our own local ability to manage our forests worth sacrificing for misplaced idealism?
If you want me to concede, Matthew, that there are uncertainties about this bill then you have it. Although the Wilderness Act itself was loosely written, and it is hardly novel that a piece of legislation in general lacks a few details. Although ecological integrity and wilderness protection are values I hold dearly, they are not the only ones, which is the place at which, Matthew, we seem to differ.
In regards to Dr. Nie, what bothers me Matthew is that you cite him as wanting to contribute to the development of this legislation and don't bother saying so yourself. I think you should make it clear and distinguish between your and Dr. Nie's positions because as conceptually similar as they may be, his recommendations and your opposition are not functionally the same thing.
Senator Tester has addressed some of the complaints you are here forwarding. To begin with these assemblies are organized as open house venues, not town hall meetings, and are done so with people like you, Matthew Koehler, in mind. You want to grandstand and that isn't Tester's style of doing business. If you want to provide substantive feedback, you should speak with Tester personally, face to face. If the exchange is governed by tact rather than your ego and uncompromising principles, maybe you'll find the Senator receptive.
It is also why you were kept out of the original negotiations in the Beaverhead Deerlodge Partnership. Not because it was some elaborate conspiracy to hold out all diverse interests, but because, as you demonstrate daily, you cannot understand anyone's position but your own. You like to break the bill down as if you object to it on strictly logistical terms, but land management is a social, value-driven decision. There is no higher, purer rationality to which we must appeal, simply our own sensibilities as to what should be done with our land. Many people are willing to share or modify their initial expectations based off of what their neighbor might want to do. It's about checking your ideology at the door, not wearing it on the sleeve.
You are clearly not interested in this kind of exchange as your disingenuous citing of the esteemed Martin Nie illustrates. Nie's intention was never to derail the process, but to provide a useful critique as to how the legislation may be improved. You do not seek to work constructively and help shape the ultimate product; you dismiss it entirely. I am certain that Martin Nie does not appreciate your deployment of his work and words in this regard, taking him out of context to promote your own agenda. I hope that you can answer for that.
No dog and pony show is quite as tired and trite as the one you perpetuate after each article copying and pasting the same paragraphs, illicitly enlisting Nie and Senator Metcalf to bolster the inherent weakness of your position, sad scare tactics about helicopters in wilderness and other dogmatic rubbish. Anyone who knows anything about wilderness policy knows that exceptions like this are frequently written into wilderness bills, that this does not constitute some radical departure. Nearly all contain exceptions of some dimension that would seem to contradict the Wilderness Act, all or almost all include the release of other federal lands that can be harvested appropriately.
Truth be told, your feelings are wounded because you weren't involved and the biggest piece of wilderness legislation in Montana in the last twenty five years may pass without your contribution. This bill isn't sexy like chaining yourself to a tree in the name of environmental martyrdom. That divisive approach, for all your accomplishments, has shown its counterproductive nature. If you really care about Wilderness, it's high time you fessed up to your own problematic misconception of the current socio-political climate.
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