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USDA Forest Service Retirees Call National Forest Policies Unsustainable!

The National Association of Forest Service Retirees (NAFSR) have called the USDA Forest Service policies and procedures for forest health and wildland fire suppression unsustainable! They have offered up a 10-point plan of actions to clarify and improve the current fire policy situation. In abbreviated form, it calls for:
1. More active management of forests and grasslands;
2. Reduced fuel loading and more prescribed fire;
3. Review and learning from past big fires like Yellowstone, 1988;
4. Clarification of fire policies concerning when to implement aggressive initial attack;
5. Fire leadership adequate training;
6. "Hot" fire reviews and more accountability;
7. Pursue adequate fire suppression funding;
8. Ensure all USFS employees have a role in fire emergencies;
9. Develop more leadership succession planning to replace experienced retirees;
10. Streamline environmental planning and reduce legislative conflicts.

For years I have felt, personally and professionally that our public lands have become tied down in bureaucracy and unnecessary legislative silliness and environmental radicalism. I see this report from an esteemed membership as encouragement for a better future for our public lands -- if someone listens.

Read the whole report here: position paper.pdf


Del Albright

Director of Operations, BlueRibbon Coalition
Founding Trail Boss, Friends of the Rubicon
Environmental Affairs, CA4WDC

420 Posts
Not much about fuel management or fire suppression is "sustainable." It all takes infusions of lots of money. Here in western Montana we have the luxury of markets to sell biomass - usually in the form of sawlogs - that helps pay for fuel treatments. Costs are driven up by environmental analysis costs (estimate is that 10% is needed to make a good, environmentally sound decision and 90% goes to trying to make it withstand court challenges) and protection of social values. Don't think the FS will ever get to the point where everyone is happy or management pays for itself like the old days.
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