Letter to the Editor: the real answers
In the June 29 edition of the Sun Advocate you ran an article by Stephan Bloch titled, "A Response from SUWA." I to would like to respond to his article.
Stephan Bloch denies that SUWA does not collect signatures in front of Wal-Mart, I can't say if that is true or false, but they do send out their news letters to their members of whom many of them are in the eastern states and they could not point out on a map where the Burr Trail or the San Rafael is located. However they are capable of loading the Forest Service and the BLM offices with stacks of comment letters from their members. Thus 90 percent of their members letters contain what they are prompted to submit. Most personally understand zilch about the situation.
Mr. Bloch writes, "Thus all of us, whether you live in Price, Salt Lake City, or Seattle have an interest in ensuring that these lands are managed properly." I am certain Mr. Bloch and myself have two distinct definitions about managing our federal lands properly. I believe our forests, if managed properly can be managed to renew their product for years to come. All tree's growing in our forests whether it be pine, spruce, fir or hemlock have a top tip that is always pointed straight up. This indicates the tree is thrifty and growing. When this tip turns brown or is bent or broken off there is a definite indication the tree is dying. This is always found in the old growth trees. When the tip starts to bend or grow brown, these trees will start to die from the inside center outward. This is called dry rot or red rot. If this tree is removed in its early stages of dying it can produce hundreds of board ft. of new lumber.
But this was the type of tree SUWA used when it filed its 14 timber sales appeals against the Dixie National Forest. On the 89th day of the comment period the environmental groups filed their frivolous appeals hiding behind the fallacy these trees were the nesting places for the Spotted Owl. This forced the forest service to delay the sale for 90 days while they reevaluated their advertised sale.
Doing this gave the beetles 180 day unrestricted expansion, turning small out breaks into a major epidemic. Second the mills in Escalante, Panquitch and Fredonia, Ariz. sat without logs to process and eventually shut down, putting a couple of thousand people out of work. The rippling effect of that carried onto the infrastructure, adding 15 times the devastation to those counties economies.
Old growth trees should be removed to make room for new growth to grow and develop. This is known as properly managing our forests and making it possible for them to continue to renew their product.
SUWA does not believe in this concept. They use the Endangered Species Act to prevent the cutting of these old growth trees. Always claiming these trees are the natural nesting place for the Mexican Spotted Owl.
During World War II while acting as a personal courier for General George S. Patton. I traveled on roads that went through Ardennes and the Argonne forests of France and the Black Forest. These forests go back before the days of Charlemagne the Great of 768-814 AD and they are still producing timber. The only dead trees I saw were those that was a victim of the war. All limbs were removed and shredded and the chips were used to cover up the roads that were built to remove those trees and strengthen the forest community. Even today without question these forests are still producing lumber, are still beautiful to see and travel through.
Frivolous lawsuits and challenges have cost everyone a lot of money. What we need is answers as to why SUWA has created these situations, not more situations.