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Re: [RC] selling off national forest lands - Barbara McCrary

Title: Message
If the government, through the USFS, had allowed continuing timber harvests, done in a careful manner, the forests would not have suffered but would probably be healthier for a bit of selective harvesting.  The shutdown of the federal forests has done enormous damage to the forests themselves, communities that were dependent on timber harvesting, and the tax base.  Had selective harvesting been allowed, the land would still be in government ownership, whole communities would not have been destroyed, and the government would not have to be selling FS land to make up the deficit.  But many people who do not understand forest management demanded the forests be off limits to harvesting, thinking that everything was going to be more beautiful if the trees were left alone.  They didn't stop to think how this shutdown was going to affect other people, the economy and the tax base.  There is a huge domino effect set in motion by shutting down the federally-owned forests.  If anyone wants to discuss this further, e-mail me privately.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Sunday, February 12, 2006 11:53 AM
Subject: RE: [RC] selling off national forest lands

There has always been ?land deals? by the FS.  However, the objective in the past has been to use the small isolated parcels as ?trade bait? to increase the size/contiguity of the National Forests, usually resulting in a net increase in overall protected acreage.  For example, trading a small valuable piece of prime isolated ?flat? land suitable for building/development/farming for a larger tract of mountainous, less desirable land contiguous to NF lands.  Sometimes the land acquired is in a flood plain or riparian area, where acquisition protects the watershed.  This is reasonable, prudent and good management. 


However, this is NOT the current case.  Notice that this is an outright sale to provide funds to replace an expiring bill that provides money for schools.


?The parcels are part of a nationwide sales package intended to raise about $800 million, according to government officials looking to replace an expiring 2000 law that provided milllions to rural school programs in areas where declining timber harvests had lowered school tax bases. The law, the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act, expires Sept. 30.?


This action sells off PUBLIC assets to provide funds for this project, and IMHO, will be wasted somewhere else.  This is a one-time ?fix? but I guess the Bush administration, instead of dealing with it up front, prefers the typical short-sighted solution of simply ?passing the buck? to the next administration when all the funds from the land sale are gone, avoiding more ?heat? right now on the failure of their school programs.


Selling the land outright results in the FS having less land parcels for negotiating with landowners to acquire larger contiguous areas and increase green spaces.  Wonder how that affects global warming? It?s a ?lose-lose? situation, and another poor decision. We?re ?spending the principle instead of the interest?, and eventually there will be no more principle?..or ?principals? either if the abuse of the American people?s rights and heritage continues in it?s current direction.




Jim, Sun of Dimanche+, and Mahada Magic


Richard T. "Jim" Holland

Three Creeks Farm

175 Hells Hollow Drive

Blue Ridge, Ga 30513

(706) 258-2830


Callsign KI4BEN

Rather than looking at the aggregate amount of acreage to be sold, look at the size of the parcels. Many of them are small isolated pieces of land that are very difficult and expensive to manage. Also look at the blocks of land the USFS is anticipating acquiring in addition to the sales. More to be acquired than to be eliminated.  Find all the facts not just one side of the equation. 

Bob Morris
Morris Endurance Enterprises
Boise, ID

This is on the front page of the Chattanooga, TN paper

South hard hit by White House proposal to sell off publicly owned national forest land
In a move that sets a dangerous precedent and reverses decades of policy, the Bush Administration has announced plans to sell off some 300,000 acres of national forest lands around the country - including 31,000 in our region.

http://www.southernenvironment.org/cases/usfs_lands/casepage.htm    so folks, it is getting closer to home all the time.  Some of these areas are places we ride. 


Linda Norton

RE: [RC] selling off national forest lands, Jim Holland