Sep 18

Enviro-arrogance: US Forest Service aims to stop nature in its tracks!

By Editor tree huggers Comments Off on Enviro-arrogance: US Forest Service aims to stop nature in its tracks!

They just can’t leave well enough the environment alone.

The AP reports:

CORVALLIS (AP) — On an upside-down summer evening when Marys Peak had its head in the sunshine and its feet in the clouds, Forest Service botanist Marty Stein led a small group of people on a meadow tour.

As he walked, he paused to point out some of the native species that make up the complex carpet of grasses crowning the Coast Range summit: Roemer’s fescue, oatgrass, brome, Hall’s bentgrass.

“We have a nice mix of grasses up here, and that’s one of the things we want to hold onto,” he said.

At the meadow’s edge, Stein pointed out the stumps of small-diameter noble firs cut down under an old Forest Service management plan for the peak. Now a new plan is under consideration that would cut down more of the fir trees, which have gobbled about 100 acres of meadow in the last 60 years.

Not doing anything is an option, Stein said. “But we’d probably end up losing more of the meadow.”

Stein’s group was one of several touring the mountain last week to learn about the Marys Peak Landscape Management Project. About 80 people turned out for the event organized by the Marys Peak Stewardship Group.

After a picnic supper on the grass, Forest Service ecologist Cindy McCain outlined the proposal.

“This is the highest peak in the Coast Range, over 4,000 feet, and it’s got a community of plant species that you don’t find anywhere else in the area,” she said.

Both the extensive wildflower meadows and the expansive stands of noble fir that surround them are rare in the Coast Range, she explained. But the fir has been steadily moving in on the open grasslands.

The management plan proposes halting that encroachment, restoring lost connections between separate meadows, and removing most or all of the “tree islands” that have taken root in what was once an unbroken sea of grass.

“Normally, I’d say there’s nothing lovelier than a noble fir,” McCain said. “But right now, the noble fir is causing a problem because it’s making a concerted rush into the meadow at the rate of about half a meter a year.”

No one’s certain how the meadows formed, and the encroachment is a natural succession, McCain acknowledged. But the Forest Service believes the meadows have both scenic and botanic value, and the only way to keep them open is to beat back the advancing trees.

Now the agency is trying to get buy-in from the public.

“So what are we doing trying to stop this succession and maintain the meadows?” McCain asked the crowd. “It’s a social question.”

A highly unscientific straw poll at the end of the event drew a strong show of hands in favor of cutting more noble firs to preserve the meadows. No one voted to let the tree encroachment continue unabated.

That’s far from the last word on the subject, however.

A draft plan is due this winter. After more public comment, a final version will be adopted and the work put out to bid, probably as part of a larger thinning project.

Since the predominant feature of a “forest” is, well, trees, perhaps the US Forest Service should consider calling themselves the US Meadow Service.

And I wonder what the tree huggers will have to say about this?

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Sep 22

Funniest video ever: Gullible, guilt-ridden Earth First environmentalist wackos bawling over dead trees

By Editor Earth First, tree huggers, video Comments Off on Funniest video ever: Gullible, guilt-ridden Earth First environmentalist wackos bawling over dead trees

Hat tip: Glenn Beck

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