Wednesday, April 23, 2014

My turn: USFS has locked us out

From page A4 | May 15, 2013 | 14 Comments

A few years ago a locked U.S. Forest Service “green gate” was an unpleasant surprise, an unusual occurrence prompting a phone call to the local ranger station. But today it’s becoming ubiquitous throughout our national forests. Why? It’s because forest service management practices have gone unchallenged except by enviro groups who make money off us taxpayers by frequently and successfully suing our government agencies. It really has very little to do with protecting the environment anymore; it’s all about the money. Agency direction is steered via lawsuit and the judges that support them.

For generations rural residents have utilized these roads into and around our national forests and have enjoyed the freedoms that our public lands offered. Among the longtime rural residents, more and more urban people and their families are recognizing the improved quality of life in and near our national forests and adjacent rural lands and are moving in. They are coming for the jogging, for the views, exercise, serenity and seasonal cues, wildflowers, biking and a songbird’s clutch, photography, prospecting and mining as such, logging, hunting, fishing and firearms training, four-wheeling, snowmobiling, skiing and recreating.

It really is our heritage, part of our culture we call American. We are connected to these places physically or spiritually and memories don’t cut it. Today we are being sold: “The gates are closed for road repairs and/or forest studies.” We have gotten used to these green gates being locked to winter traffic, but having them locked during summer weather is not just inconvenient, it constitutes a taking of our freedom. To delay our freedoms is to deny them. We need these roads open; it is public land after all and we pay taxes to keep them available. The forest service was charged with managing our public land, not just being keeper of the keys. If we continue to be locked out then the forest service is not really managing forests anymore … they are managing us. Judge Karlton and the Board of Supervisors need a confrontation with the forest service, not coffee cake.

How is a “hydrologic connectivity” study being used to justify closing that many roads for an indefinite period? Has anyone challenged the “science” behind the pettifogging? Why can’t the forest service use “site sampling” techniques for studying connectivity at a few representative locations? There is no reasonable need to close the majority of roads to complete a study. Hydrologic connectivity is not “disconnected” at road surfaces crossing a creek or meadow. Connectivity is gravity and soil porosity dependent, mostly connecting below the surface and visible only during water runoff events. And by definition, yellow-legged frogs actually have legs. They can traverse an occasional dry spot.

These closures are really more about newly proposed U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s rule making, soon to declare an additional two million acres of the Sierra Nevada range closed for the recovery of the Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog, the mountain yellow-legged frog and the Yosemite toad. And this is just the first of over 700 “imperiled” species soon to be addressed. Still think Agenda 21 is just a wacko conspiracy?

Once the forest service makes it through this season with locked gates, what’s to keep it from extending the tyranny via the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service? It’s time to act El Dorado County BOS! Where are the maps? If we are going to remain locked out of our public lands, then they really aren’t public anymore are they? And if they’re no longer public what are they? Will it all become more unusable wilderness area soon? Why are we paying taxes to maintain them if it’s now just for the animals? We need to wake up America while we can still do something; we must if we value access to our public lands.

In response to the Center for Biological Diversity’s lawsuit to list over 700 species, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service posted this proposed rule making in the Federal Register on April 24. The comment period is open until June 24. You know what to do. The contact person is Jan Knight, acting field supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office, 2800 Cottage Way Room W–2605, Sacramento, CA 95825; reached by telephone at 916–414–6600; or by facsimile at 916–414–6712.

Rod Kerr is retired with 30 years of service at the California Department of Food Agriculture and with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.


Discussion | 14 comments

  • Judith MathatMay 14, 2013 - 10:03 pm

    The gates are closing on the pens put up to catch wild pigs! Been warning the BOS zand others for 30 years and Dr.Michael Coffman put out the maops to the Senate just in time to stop them from voting in the BioDiversity Treaty which included the Wildlands Act and now your have had several Presidents and non-accountable appointees and agencies with their lobbying NGOP like the WWF, Sierra Club and Nature Conservancey sucking up taxpayers funding for maintaining our public lands and the American public gets to see the locked gates and trails destroyed to avoid any human contact with another part of the WSildlands act. Did you know that this includes many National Parks and other areas that were open to the ublic to camp and visit, like Yosemite, Grnd Canyon, Yellowstone. Again sooner than later you are seeing the implementation of the Wildlands Act under the Biodiversity Treaty projected onto public lands and eventually you will all get to live in the hamlets of the designated human use areas of General Plans of your counties and especially El Dorado County will find they cannot afford to live outside of locked gate communities or established human areas and will be forced off rural lands tha have been coveted by the formation of One WOrld Government that began with Mikhail Gorbachev and Maurice Strong in 1993 at the Rio de Janerio Earth Justice Forum and the Bio diversity Treaty for the United Nations was displayed as the upcoming plan for lands across the planet. Sovernity be damned s all of those who do not believe in this direction will be suspect and if that is not thought possible then look what is going on in todays news about the IRS and other agencies counting info on those they want to intimidate!!

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  • kggMay 15, 2013 - 7:36 am

    the us department of agriculture estimated the sequester will cut $2 billion from its annual budget and the result would be furloughs for a third of their employees. this will cause 19,000 recreation sites including areas under the forest service to be closed.

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  • cookie65May 15, 2013 - 9:06 am

    We the government, by the government, for the government, of the government. And half the country to STUPID to object.

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  • jon schroderMay 15, 2013 - 11:32 am

    I`ve been back in the woods on the Iron Mountain quarter for 40 years, I`ve seen how the public has abused that area, it needs to be closed to the public. At least until americans learn to take care of their land and the area recovers.

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  • Jim RiordanMay 15, 2013 - 12:52 pm

    It is my opinion that every time any lands, parks, trails or services OF ANY KIND are closed to citizens or "eliminated" or "downsized", then that controlling government entity should be eliminating INTERNAL jobs in direct economic proportion. There are plenty of redundant,deskbound idiots who never see the public, who can be eliminated from every one of these "Parks and Services" departments without affecting any of the "public services". But they won't do that will they? Instead they look for any "savings" through ways that they know will directly hurt the taxpaying citizens who use such services, facilities etc. It is SO transparent and predictable and I am SO tired of their pure retaliatory BS. The same day any services are cut off to us, all deskbound idiots of that government entity that closed them should be let go and their facilities shut down. We no longer need them. The Postal service is a prime example. They cannot deliver 6 days, and need to cut to 5 . . then their employees and budgets should be cut by 1/6th the same week. Citizens get reductions in service,then Government agencies should, at the same time, get reductions in $$$ in equal proportion. If eco groups want to shut our forests, let them BUY the land, pay for it themselves and send the government agencies packing. Then they can take over trying to prevent folks from using it at their own cost, not ours. The land and roads belong to all of us, not just Eco-freaks. I don't use any of them but I damn sure support our citizens who want to.

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  • rodMay 15, 2013 - 5:31 pm

    Dittos Jim, I think YOU should run for office

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  • Ken SteersMay 16, 2013 - 3:08 pm

    I've noticed that a disproportionate percentage of "ECO-FREAKS" tend to be high all the time. Is there any correlation between eco-freaks running government controlled land management thus eliminating access to the general public. And the price of marijuana being $200 an ounce? This is my first foray into the conspiracy theorist field. And I think I may be on to something. Much easier to grow if no one is around.

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  • francescaduchamp@att.netMay 16, 2013 - 4:42 pm

    Here in Pollock, our eco people drink wine--it is okay to drink several glasses and still drive apparently. I like scotch--and dont try to fit in. I have always been a rebel--lucky for them I dont drink before town meetings--I am not very fond of them as it is...I am even less shy under the influence of scotch . And I am not shy.

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  • Tom GibneyMay 16, 2013 - 4:49 pm

    Well, our local Enviro Zealot, Karen Schambach will be more than happy to answer any questions for you regarding her and CBD's claim to 'save wetlands and Species that do not exist in out forest (truly some of those species live in more coastal and lower elevations.)YOu can thank her for helping bring these lawsuits to the USFS who go broke trying to combat them. Pure Idiocy.

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  • francescaduchamp@att.netMay 16, 2013 - 4:59 pm

    Tom -I agree unwarranted lawsuits are bad. Sometimes I think people bring some poor frog in from another place--maybe capture their whole family and displace them--Im just saying I think they are high on wine--not weed.

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  • francescaduchamp@att.netJune 08, 2013 - 6:05 pm

    Rod--many people are aware of what is happening across the USA--although I went to support Mr. Nutting and his family--I was also aware of the frog "issue"...I spoke to the board about really looking at the whole picture--if you give land away...chances are you are not getting it back. Pay attention to the BOS agendas--it will tell you what will be spoken about for a particular day. the people , such as Ron are passionate--well spoken people. I also brought up that the lack of logging is creating a thick -unhealthy I have been talking to people here in Pollock whose home insurance has gone up--because of where we live--so if the insurance companies "get it"--why is no one paying attention? Go to a meeting--talk to people there--I didnt come in a group--I just like people--I like to ask questions.

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  • francescaduchamp@att.netJune 08, 2013 - 6:58 pm .number 33 on the agenda is the frog "issue"

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  • francescaduchamp@att.netJune 08, 2013 - 7:12 pm

    If one reads this article from the point of view of someone who lives in the forest (such as I do) one starts thinking--there are more trees smashed together--so they are sucking up more water...they are too close together--so they are unhealthy. Logging is still being down --but the forest is growing faster than the amount removed--dead trees are more common--beetles? if so why is no one taking them down? My grandson dealt with beetles as soon as he saw them-if a tree was too far gone--he took it out. It is where you live that can alert a person--wait--this doesnt make sense... I have been pointing this out to people in Pollock--so they can point it out to others...the board has been asked to look at it as well--if a huge fire happens--who is responsible? because up here in Pollock --people are paying attention...and home insurance is going up because of fire danger.

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  • francescaduchamp@att.netJune 08, 2013 - 7:14 pm

    I meant grand father--grandson must be talking about me...lololol

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