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Rep. Tom McClintock: Federal Forests & Land Usage

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Bloviating Zeppelin: Rep. Tom McClintock: Federal Forests & Land Usage

Bloviating Zeppelin

(in-ep-toc'-ra-cy) - a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Rep. Tom McClintock: Federal Forests & Land Usage

I am lucky enough to live in Representative Tom McClintock's Fornicalia area (District 4), which includes more rural areas of the state -- the upper northeastern portion of Fornicalia down to an area just south of Lake Tahoe -- inclusive of Butte, El Dorado, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sierra and (a portion of) Sacramento counties.

"All politics is local" as has been said, and so it is with my area and other areas affected by the federal government in terms of land, water and forest management. District 4 is not generally a high-density population zone; it is, however, an area utilized by vacationers, hikers, campers, rural residents (like myself) and those who have purposely determined to flee the crush of people, traffic and crime.

Those who know me, know that I still work for a major law enforcement agency in the Sacramento valley after 35+ years, but live in the Sierra Nevada Mountains at roughly the 4,000-foot elevation. I moved in 1993 because I was just tired of living in a social vise. A homicide next door had nothing to do with that movement -- whilst I was called by my own SWAT team in the dead of night to identify my young neighbor suspect, Brian Frye. And I cannot yet afford to retire primarily due to economic -- like the rest of you -- issues.

That said, my representative made a major, insightful and significant speech on September 20th before the subcommittee on national parks, forests and public lands:

By Tom McClintock on September 20, 2011

Gifford Pinchot, the founder of the U.S. Forest Service, gave a series of lectures at the Yale School of Forestry from 1910 to 1915, in which he propounded maxims for the (quote) “Behavior of Foresters in Public Office.” Among them:

  • A public official is there to serve the public and not run them.
  • Public support of acts affecting public rights is absolutely required.
  • It is more trouble to consult the public than to ignore them, but that is what you are hired for.
  • Find out in advance what the public will stand for. If it is right and they won’t stand for it, postpone action and educate them.
  • Get rid of an attitude of personal arrogance or pride of attainment or superior knowledge.

Since taking office, I have been inundated with citizen complaints over conduct amounting to the very opposite of Pinchot’s maxims. I want to thank Chairman Bishop and the sub-committee for responding to these complaints and coming to Sacramento to hear firsthand from the people directly victimized.

We will hear about a multitude of exclusionary policies adopted by the current administration including:
  • Imposing inflated fees that are forcing the abandonment of family cabins held for generations;
  • Shutting down long-established community events upon which many small and struggling mountain towns depend for tourism;
  • Expelling long-standing grazing operations on specious grounds – causing damage both to the local economy and the federal government’s revenues;
  • Closing long-used roads, many of which are parts of county road systems essential to local residents and even obstructing county efforts to provide maintenance from local budgets to keep those roads open.
  • Obstructing the sound management of our forests, creating both severe fire dangers and chronic unemployment. For example, the Forest Service has dramatically reduced its Timber Harvest Target and then boasts they’re going to achieve 90 percent of their reduced target.
During this hearing, we will also hear the usual excuses by activist political groups supporting these policies. It is important to understand the context of their assurances.

For example, after doing everything possible to discourage motorized access to our forests, the activists now cite decreased motorized use of our forests as evidence the public has lost interest and they are merely responding to changing demand.

After imposing punitive new conditions on routine events with the obvious intention of shutting them down, the activists tell us that they’re merely trying to assure the victims of these punitive conditions pay for them.

After driving out cabin owners and grazing operations with cost-prohibitive fees, we’re told they’re just trying to reflect market conditions, raising the question, if these are market rates, why aren’t the cabin sites and grazing lands being re-leased?

We’re told they have to shut down forest roads for lack of funds, yet as we will hear, their policies are to actively obstruct local communities seeking to use their own funds to maintain these vital roads.

Frankly, I believe the sophistries in the written testimonies submitted to this subcommittee by the administration and these so-called environmental advocacy groups border on intellectual dishonesty.

I do want to acknowledge that there have been some improvements over the last few months and I want to thank Randy Moore for what he has done to produce them.

For example, the Forest Service has removed inflammatory leftist anti-grazing propaganda from official Forest Service plaques within the Tahoe National Forest and local officials are reporting that consultation by the Forest Service has improved to a limited extent.

However, these are exceptions. The sum total of these policies clearly seems more in line with the radical leftist agenda to drastically limit any human presence from vast tracts of public land, an objective antithetical to the original aims of the U.S. Forest Service and hostile to the values and principles of any free society.

The preservation of our forests for future generations does not mean closing them to the current generation.

I believe that the vast timber, land and recreational assets administered by the U. S. Forest Service represent a limitless and renewable source of prosperity for our nation and for our local economies, a portion of which can then be redirected to assure the maintenance and preservation of the national forest lands for the use, enjoyment and prosperity of the American people in perpetuity. But, that will require a significant change in policy within the current administration.

I am subject to all the strictures of the county, state and federal governments in my area. And I can tell you from my own perspective that Mr McClintock is absolutely correct in his words.

You already know how scathingly non-responsive the federal government was in terms of Mr Obama's speech to farmers, as I wrote on August 20th. As in: dismissive, arrogant and uneducated.

For example, I have to keep my land groomed, cleaned and as fire-safe as possible, or I am subject to citation from CalFire. I spend roughly $1,000 each season in order to do this; $500 for labor and $500 for a 30-cubic-yard+ dumpster through Tahoe-Truckee.

The federal government, however, isn't subject to this stricture. There are 20+ years of tree and brush deadfall in the forests surrounding me and -- further -- this extremely seasoned deadfall cannot lawfully be removed. I can look at my next door neighbor's yard, for example, and see almost a half-foot's difference between my land's level and hers in terms of brush and needle depth.

Out in the surrounding forests when I hike or ride, I can show you areas where the land is rife with brush, fallen trees, at least a foot of squishy needles and detritus.

But no, one cannot clear that land or log those trees or harvest those pieces of fallen and broken timber for, if nothing else, valuable fire wood in winter.

And fires in summer set by accident, arsonists, campers or nature?

Oh my. What incredible tinder purposely exists in this state -- in the Sierra Nevada Mountains -- for a conflagration that could not remotely be stemmed due to (literally) years of neglect. Let me please repeat and emphasize this word: NEGLECT.

I cringe every summer and cannot wait for fall, then winter. Today is the "official" first day of fall.

Doesn't make any difference; my fire season is not yet over.


I'll wager that the bulk of my reader's don't exist in high-density areas like New York or Chicago, Detroit or San Francisco. I'll wager that the bulk of my readers live in moderate-to-low density portions of the nation and know, inherently, that the federal regulations and federal mindsets do and will affect them as well.


Blogger mrchuck said...

I've had a lot experience with the USFS.
The agency has changed from welcoming visitors to running them off.
Timber harvest used to be important, but now restricted.
Recreation has become un-welcome.
Why, I think the bureaucrats are now running the show, and not the Rangers.
Diversity and femininity has definitely caused a great part of this demise.
Democrats, Liberals have political agendas that totally differ from the Republicans.
Answer,,,, let Rick Perry be President, and he knows how to shake these socialists out of the woods, and return it back to local interests, who live in or close by to our beloved forests.

Thu Sep 22, 06:09:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Well Seasoned Fool said...

From Sipsey Street Irregulars, The Pima County, NM Tree Party.

Local community taking control; needs to be a national trend.

Thu Sep 22, 07:54:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Average American said...

It's weird that they won't allow you to take the dead wood out. Up here in northern New Hampshire, we can get a permit for, I believe, $5.00, to go in specified areas and pick up "dead and down" wood for winter fuel. Almost like we have more than 1 U.S.F.S., and I think I like ours better.

Thu Sep 22, 08:12:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Always On Watch said...

I may be one of your few readers who lives in a fairly densely-populated area. The bastion of liberalism here in Northern Virginia! I remember when this area wasn't like this. **sigh**

Fri Sep 23, 07:52:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Old NFO said...

You and he are both correct... Saw the same thing with my Uncle and BLM back in the early 80s...

Fri Sep 23, 09:39:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Trekkie4Ever said...

I can almost guarantee that these green-loving, tree-hugging liberals don't even live in any of the areas they are trying to "protect."

Mr. Chuck has asked a legitimate question, why aren't the Rangers allowed to do their jobs?

BZ, gosh, I am sorry about the financial hardship the liberals are causing the people of these beautiful lands.

I live in an area where hunting is life and I am curious to know if they are feeling the pinch of liberal propaganda, yet?

Fri Sep 23, 10:22:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Dixon Webb said...

bz . . . I know Tom McClintock and he would make an outstanding addition to a conservative republican administration. . . Bump

Fri Sep 23, 01:39:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

MrC: the federal government's policies make little sense and bend over for the Religious Left. And you're correct, the Admin Wonks are running the circus and not the rangers or the boots on the ground.

WSF: so damned correct.

AA: nope. Can't be done legally.

NFO: and it still goes on.

AOW: but I bet your nearby forests are "managed" in a similar fashion.

Leticia: good questions, all of them. You live in Arkansas, yes? Can you not harvest deadfall?

Bump: I would LOVE Mr McClintock to make a serious run for president some very near day!


Fri Sep 23, 03:37:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

With regards to this post, I have finally reached so-called "threshold."

That is to say, I can only plan to leave my formerly-beloved state.

I believe Fornicalia has some of the most wonderful forests, farmland, rivers, valleys, canyons, mountains and coastlines in the entire United States.

On the earth.

But, in it's current direction, I'm not going to be paying for any more parasites. I'm not going to pay for this state to be a failure and for it to turn into another Mexico when even MEXICANS can't stand Mexico. Demography is prophecy and I can see the writing on the wall and have the freedom to say this as opposed to Mr McClintock and other politicians and administrators. I am not the future of this state. My nieces and nephew are not the future of this state. I am a statistical minority in terms of my ethnicity now, plus my willingness to be the continued host to parasites.

I'm planning to leave at the earliest opportunity. This may take a year, this may take five years. But I'm leaving because I REFUSE to be FLEECED for more tax dollars paying for more failed social projects and for the racist/GOWP inclinations of those who now and in the foreseeable future are/will be "managing" the state. And I use that term very loosely.


Mon Sep 26, 05:42:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Dixon Webb said...

BZ . . . Read your post about leaving. Sad that it's come to this. Question is "where to go"? No state is even close to perfection. America with all it's faults is headed for a major citizen revolt. Obama is a symptom of accelerating corrosion. He's greasing the path to ruin. Yet beside it all we have a beautiful nation that still allows quite a lot of individual freedom. It taxes us, unfairly to be sure, less than most other countries would, and our government is proving to be shockingly corrupt, but I still wonder where you can find a better lifestyle than Fornicula? Personally, I keep hoping for a common sense conservative administration that will weed out the garbage and appoint competant people to run the surviving agencies. Cain for President and Perry for V.P., Gingrich (baggage and all) for Sr. Advisor, John Bolton for Secty. of State and Sarah Palin for Secty. of the Interior and Jindall for Homeland Security etc. etc. Could happen? Bump

Tue Sep 27, 11:38:00 AM PDT  

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