The Feb. 17 Columbian story, “House panel OKs new timber plan,” regarding the targeting of trees on federal land, is sensible and needs to be highlighted. Since the passage of the Pacific Northwest Plan by President Clinton in 1994, timber harvests in California, Oregon and Washington have been reduced by 80 percent, and yet, the environmental activists continue to file appeals and lawsuits on the remaining minor projects.
Counties where most of their land base is in federal ownership have historically benefitted from federal timber receipts to the tune of 30-40 percent of their budgets, but not now.
One of the primary designers of the Northwest plan now says, after 18 years of experimentation, that the plan has proven to be a failure, and is no longer relevant. Single species management is basically what the Endangered Species Act leads to, and the “infinite wisdom” of state and federal fish and wildlife professionals would now have the government “taking” (shooting) such critters as the barred owl in order to protect a species that was the motivation for setting aside vast quantities of national forestland.
Certainly, we need better forest management from our public forests.