Thursday, August 23, 2012

The "Smokey Bear Effect": How Government Forest Takeover Has Led to More, Bigger and Hotter Fires

National Public Radio reports today on how the federal government's "takeover" of America's forests with the creation of the U.S. Forest Service in 1905 has led to more, not fewer, forest fires in the long run.  Among fire historians it's known as the "Smokey Bear Effect," thus the title of the segment "How The Smokey Bear Effect Led To Raging Wildfires," here's a slice: 
Scars from thousands of sections show how often fires burned in the Southwest. It was every five or 10 years, mostly — small fires that consumed grass and shrubs and small seedlings, but left the big Ponderosa pine and Douglas fir just fine. This was the norm. 

Then something happened. "Around 1890 or 1900, it stops," say tree ring expert Thomas Swetnam. "We call it the Smokey Bear effect."

Settlers brought livestock that ate the grass, so fires had little fuel. Then when the U.S. Forest Service was formed, its marching orders were "no fires." And it was the experts who approved the all-out ban on fires in the Southwest. They got it wrong.

That's the view of fire historian Stephen Pyne. "The irony here is that the argument for setting these areas aside as national forests and parks was, to a large extent, to protect them from fire," Pyne says. "Instead, over time they became the major habitat for free-burning fire."

So instead of a few dozen trees per acre, the Southwestern mountains of New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado and Utah are now choked with trees of all sizes, and grass and shrubs. Essentially, it's fuel. And now fires are burning bigger and hotter. They're not just damaging forests — they're wiping them out. Last year, more than 74,000 wildfires burned over 8.7 million acres in the U.S.
MP: Maybe there's a lesson here for government intervention in the economy?

108 Comments:

At 8/23/2012 10:53 AM, Blogger Che is dead said...

Over the past decade, from British Columbia to New Mexico, the world’s most rapid deforestation has been underway in the North American west, with an average of nearly six million acres of forest lost per year — roughly double the three million acres per year rate in Brazil. The culprits here, however, have not been humans, but Western Pine Beetles, whose epidemic spread has turned over 60 million acres of formerly evergreen pine forests into dead red tinder, dry ammunition awaiting any spark to flare into catastrophe.

Yet while the global green movement has made a cause célèbre of the Amazon rain forest, they have done nothing to oppose those destroying our woods. Quite the contrary, they have been doing everything in their power to assist the wreckers. Indeed, over the past decade they have launched over a thousand lawsuits to block every attempt by the National Forest Service or others to take necessary counter measures. ...

Limited harvesting that would save the forest (and incidentally reduce damage to forests elsewhere, such as the Amazon, by driving down the global price of wood) is to be shunned — precisely because it would create jobs, useful products, and commerce. At the same time, vast depredations that destroy tens of millions of acres of wild habitat, kill countless numbers of terrified animals in the most horrible way, and throw millions of tons of smoke, pine-tar gas, and other pollutants into the atmosphere are discounted as irrelevant and unimportant by those who claim to care so deeply for nature and all its creatures. -- Incinerating America’s West‏

 
At 8/23/2012 10:56 AM, Blogger Che is dead said...

"... the modification of the American continent by fire at the hands of Asian immigrants [now called American Indians, Native Americans, or First Nations/People] was the result of repeated, controlled, surface burns on a cycle of one to three years, broken by occasional holocausts from escape fires and periodic conflagrations during times of drought. Even under ideal circumstances, accidents occurred: signal fires escaped and campfires spread, with the result that valuable range was untimely scorched, buffalo driven away, and villages threatened. Burned corpses on the prairie were far from rare. So extensive were the cumulative effects of these modifications that it may be said that the general consequence of the Indian occupation of the New World was to replace forested land with grassland or savannah, or, where the forest persisted, to open it up and free it from underbrush. Most of the impenetrable woods encountered by explorers were in bogs or swamps from which fire was excluded; naturally drained landscape was nearly everywhere burned. Conversely, almost wherever the European went, forests followed. The Great American Forest may be more a product of settlement than a victim of it (Pyne 1982: 79-80) -- Gerald W. Williams, Ph.D., Historical Analyst, USDA Forest Service, Washington, D.C.

 
At 8/23/2012 11:09 AM, Blogger Hell_Is_Like_Newark said...

Another affect has been the acidification of lakes and streams. Contrary to conventional wisdom, the acid comes from rotting plant matter and NOT acid rain.

Fires clear out the plant matter, adding to the fact that ash is alkaline.

 
At 8/23/2012 11:39 AM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

This really goes to show how amazing our planet is, no?

Here we are, looking at things we call "disasters", things like forest fires. But what they were actually doing was preventing overgrowth of the forest and more severe fires.

I am always amazed by how nature works (and part of the reason I am a fervent believer in God, but that is a story for my own blog). I mean, this planet is home to billions of species whose population number in the trillions. Yet no species hungers. No species goes without. It is just amazing, isn't it?

Not to mention the sheer beauty of the world.

 
At 8/23/2012 12:14 PM, Blogger John smith said...

Hello America from down under. ok when you guys picture our country, you think of kangaroos and koalas, right. Ok. We now have an interesting idea for koala habitat development. Koalas eat gum leaves.
, and nothing else. Ok. So some well meaning, but not particularly foresighted scientists have got taxpayers money in the form of massive govt grants to.....plant gum trees. Ok. So they say the problem is that the gum tree habitats are too small, resulting in small isolated populations, of koalas, that result in inbreeding, and a unhealthy , narrow gene pool, or so they reckon !. Ok, so people have encroached on koala habitat. So the solution ??? They palmy corridors of trees, so that koalas can move through gum tree areas, nd breed. With me so far. Ok. Now we have bushfires, and gum trees are like , very oily, and burn, like you wouldn't believe.....and when the fire hits those new taxpayer funded gum tree corridors, the fire races along, and barbecues every single koala for miles around, instead of just a few in isolated habitats. The best way to save koalas is to have less gum trees, more European wet footrests, and lots of high quality water infrastructure. That might create a few jobs. Hang on a sec did I just suggest the English might have it right when they first arrived. Yep I am saying that native trees are their own worst enemy. By the way I don't consider the English to be European. They hopefully are way to smart to get involved with Europe!

 
At 8/23/2012 12:30 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

what do ya'll think happened to those forests in the 10,000+ years of "no harvesting" BEFORE the Forest Service took over?

Do you think there were "lots of fuels" in those 10,000+ years and LOTS of natural fires?

oh.. and acid from 10,000 years of natural rot and decay?

I'm amazed at how folks "forget" how nature "worked" BEFORE we came along...


 
At 8/23/2012 1:08 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

john-

well, that's socialism for you no?

those koalas needed to bear their fair share of the fire.

 
At 8/23/2012 1:10 PM, Blogger spotteddog said...

Yep....I find it kinda funny when I hear new people say how fire has destroyed some number of acres. The acres are destroyed? And when it's said that "we need the rain, etc". You never hear "we need the fire" when really we do.
God knows what's going on and He's in control. (It is too bad when homes are burned, no doubt).

 
At 8/23/2012 1:30 PM, Blogger juandos said...

I'm shocked that NPR actually ran this story and apparently understands to some small degree the heavy hand of federal intervention...

 
At 8/23/2012 1:33 PM, Blogger Jim from Texas said...

I toured Yosemite in the early 70s and was told of the ill effects of the no burn policies by the tour guides. And we still kept fighting every fire for the last 40 years?

 
At 8/23/2012 1:53 PM, Blogger Charles Platt said...

The lesson is really very simple and has wide application: If you tinker with a complex system, which you do not fully understand, and which involves unknown variables, you are likely to get unexpected consequences. In economics, as in ecology.

 
At 8/23/2012 1:59 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

anyone who has had the opportunity to spend some time in the wilderness of Canada - where there are no pesky smokey bear types - can tell you that the forest floor is littered with "fuels" - the direct result of thousands of years of forests growing and then dying.

And those forests do burn when lightning strikes and they burn far and wide and for days, weeks and months.

the no-burn policies have been replaced by proscribed burns so give some credit to learning but the very first people who complain about proscribed burning are the folks who have built homes in the woods - and of course those pesky towns that have grown up surrounding by the national forests.

"harvesting" does not do away with fuels building up on the forest floor.

In fact, when trees are felled in forestry operations - the "laps" are left to turn into "fuels".

It's one thing to hammer govt policies - that are little more than private and academic recommendations .. it's quite another to be purposely dumb about it and pretend that only govt policies are involved in the issue.

and all of this just to support the stock anti-govt blather than emanates...

 
At 8/23/2012 6:26 PM, Blogger Aiken_Bob said...

Actually Larry one can't tell what it would be if the government didn't "help", but I for one would bet the next mortgage payment that it would better.

 
At 8/23/2012 6:36 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

re: govt "help"

here's something to ponder....

why did the govt buy many forests like the Monongahela Nat forest in the first place?

here's a start:

The Lands Nobody Wanted:
The Legacy of the Eastern National Forests

http://www.foresthistory.org/ASPNET/Policy/WeeksAct/LandsNobodyWanted_Shands.pdf

turns out that a lot of forest land was timbered - and then essentially abandoned once the wood was "harvested".

In the Monogahela's case, " The MNF was established following passage of the Weeks Act in 1911. This act authorized the purchase of land for long-term watershed protection and natural resource management following the massive cutting of the Eastern forests in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. "

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monongahela_National_Forest#History

of course one would actually want to know the actual history before they condemned the govt, right?

 
At 8/23/2012 6:54 PM, Blogger Scott Drum said...

I expect that our government will be able to manage our healthcare system with similar adeptness.

 
At 8/23/2012 7:56 PM, Blogger hancke said...

About a year ago I listened to a former tree hugger on NPR that admitted he was all wrong on forest preservation. He had a change of heart when he realized he overlooked that man was indeed part of nature and had managed forests for thousands of years clearing trees for farming or hunting. A government knee jerk reaction banning man completely from forests is unnatural.

 
At 8/23/2012 8:02 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

well, here's the mark of man:

http://www.foresthistory.org/ASPNET/Policy/WeeksAct/LandsNobody.aspx

 
At 8/24/2012 10:21 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

That was an excellent story. I suggest it reflects less of an over reach on the part of government than by tree hugging environmentalists who demanded action and got it.

Government did what it does: that which (we) demand of it.

It also suggests the futility of sequestering carbon in the forests. If you really want it sequestered, cut some of the forest down and make it into something valuable that people will own and protect, maybe for centuries.

 
At 8/24/2012 10:37 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Larry is correct that private industry decimated forests and did little to restore them. Since loggers did not own the forest, there was no reason to protect it.

Also, I have an aerial photo of my area from 1933. There are almost no trees in that photo, where todayIt is 60% forested. The fact that farms were worked with draft animals that needed grazing accounts for much of this, along with using wood asffuel. Tractors and petroleum were responsible for much of the reforestation in this area.

Larry is also correct in pointing out that the government would like to have more prescribed burns, but citizens have acted to prevent this through complaints, lobbying, and lawsuits.

This is a good example of how we blame "the government" when the government is us.

 
At 8/25/2012 5:56 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

" we blame "the government" when the government is us"

Indeed - I found the Conversation over ticket scalping - from free market folks who abhor government involvement essentially saying "there ought to be a law".

This is often now regulation comes about from one part of society while the other part of society rails against it.

But anyone who knows the history of our National Forests knows that the govt stepped AFTER the land was stripped of timber and was being decimated by rain that turned into river system to mud and flooding.

Yes they got into an anti-burn policy to protect National Parks and towns and people with ranches and cabins.

but they also got rid of wolves and other predators for the same reasons and it had the untended effect of exploding deer populations.

but to just blame govt as if it had no connection to what people wanted or worse that govt operated like a tyrannical dictator in deciding things - like fire policies just ends up being yet another anti-govt rant with little real substance.

 
At 8/25/2012 1:27 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"turns out that a lot of forest land was timbered - and then essentially abandoned once the wood was "harvested"."

Well of course it was. It was public land that nobody owned. A typical tragedy of the commons.

 
At 8/25/2012 1:32 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Indeed - I found the Conversation over ticket scalping - from free market folks who abhor government involvement essentially saying "there ought to be a law"."

Can you cite an example of a "free market folk" saying "there ought to be a law"?

 
At 8/25/2012 1:36 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Larry is correct that private industry decimated forests and did little to restore them. Since loggers did not own the forest, there was no reason to protect it."

You DO understand that this is a classic example of the tragedy of the commons, and a strong recommendation for private ownership, right?

 
At 8/25/2012 2:08 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

not really.. there WERE property owners... and I'm sure the following will distress the anti-govt types, but it's the truth:

" By the 1880s loggers had removed most of the valuable timber from New England and the Great Lakes region, and were buying forests in the Pacific Northwest and the South. Eastern farmers who had exhausted their lands and had moved west also left behind land prone to fire and erosion. The abandoned farms and badly cut-over forests became known, in the words of forest policy analysts William Shands and Robert Healy from their eponymous book, as "the lands nobody wanted."

...

" In 1900, Congress gave $5,000 to Secretary of Agriculture James Wilson to "investigate the forest condition in the Southern Appalachian Mountain Region of western North Carolina and adjacent states."

Issued in 1901, Secretary Wilson’s report ran more than 180 pages. The U.S. Geological Survey provided the latest data on the geology, geography, and climate of the Southern Appalachian region and its river basins. The report emphasized the region’s economic importance to the entire nation. It included photos showing flood-damaged areas and burned-over lands to illustrate the damage done by indiscriminate logging and agricultural clearing. In his conclusion, the secretary did not mince words, declaring, "The regulation of the flow of these rivers can be accomplished only by the conservation of the forests. . .Federal action is obviously necessary."

http://www.foresthistory.org/ASPNET/Policy/WeeksAct/LandsNobody.aspx

 
At 8/25/2012 3:10 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

not really.. there WERE property owners... and I'm sure the following will distress the anti-govt types, but it's the truth:...

Property owners don't destroy what they own because it has economic value dumdum. And if you are interested in History why not look at the national parks?

Long recognized as a scene of great natural beauty, in 1872, Ulysses Grant set aside Yellowstone as the first formal nature preserve in the world. More than two million acres, larger than Delaware and Rhode Island combined. John Muir was very pleased when he visited in 1885, noting that under the care of the Department of the Interior, Yellowstone was protected from, quote, “the blind, ruthless destruction that is going on in adjoining regions.”

Theodore Roosevelt was also pleased in 1903, when as President, he went to Yellowstone for a dedication ceremony. Here he is. This was his third visit. Roosevelt saw a thousand antelope, plentiful cougar, mountain sheep, deer, coyote and many thousands of elk. He wrote at that time, “Our people should see to it that this rich heritage is preserved for their children and their children’s children forever, with its majestic beauty all unmarred.”

But in fact, Yellowstone was not preserved. On the contrary, it was altered beyond repair in a matter of years. By 1934, the Park Service acknowledged that whitetail deer, cougar, lynx, wolf, and possibly wolverine and fisher are gone from the Yellowstone.

What they didn’t say was that the Park Service was solely responsible for the disappearances. Park rangers had been shooting the animals for decades, even though that was illegal since the Lacey Act of 1894. But they thought they knew best. They thought their environmental concerns trumped any mere law.

What actually happened at Yellowstone is a cascade of ego and error, but to understand it, we have to go back to the 1890s. Back then, it was believed that elk were becoming extinct, so these animals were fed and encouraged. Over the next few years, the number of elk in the park exploded. Here you can see them feeding them hand to hand....


 
At 8/25/2012 3:11 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

continued...

Roosevelt had seen a few thousand animals on his visit, and he’d noticed that the elk were more numerous than in his previous visit. Nine years later, in 1912, there were 30,000 elk in Yellowstone. By 1914, there were 35,000.

Things were going very well. Rainbow trout had also been introduced, and although they crowded out the native cutthroats, nobody really worried. Fishing was great. Bears were increasing in numbers, and moose and bison as well.

By 1915, Roosevelt realized the elk had become a problem, and he urged scientific management, which meant culling. His advice was ignored. Instead, the Park Service did everything they could to increase the number of elk. The results were predictable. Antelope and deer began to decline. Overgrazing changed the flora. Aspen and willows were being eaten at a furious rate and did not regenerate. Large animals and small began to disappear from the park.

In an effort to stem the loss, the park rangers began to kill predators, which they did without public knowledge. They eliminated the wolf and the cougar, and they were well on their way to getting rid of the coyote. Then a national scandal broke out. New studies showed that it wasn’t predators that were killing the other animals. It was overgrazing from too many elk. The management policy of killing predators therefore had only made things worse.

Actually, the elk had so decimated the aspen that now, where formerly they were plentiful, now they’re quite rare. Without the aspen, the beaver, which use these trees to make dams, began to disappear from the park. Beaver were essential to the water management of Yellowstone, and without dams, the meadows dried hard in summer and still more animals vanished....


 
At 8/25/2012 3:13 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

and more

The situation worsened further. It became increasingly inconvenient that all the predators had been killed off by 1930, so in the 1960s, there was a sigh of relief when new sightings by rangers suggested that wolves were returning. Of course, there were rumors all during that time, persistent rumors that the rangers were trucking them in. But in any case, the wolves vanished soon afterward. They needed to eat beaver and other small rodents, and the beaver had gone.

Pretty soon, the Park Service initiated a PR campaign to prove that excessive elk were not responsible for the problems in the park, even though they were. The campaign went on for about a decade, during which time the bighorn sheep virtually disappeared.

Now, we’re in the 1970s, and bears were recognized as a growing problem. They used to be considered fun-loving creatures, and their close association with human beings was encouraged in the park. Here’re people coming to watch bear feedings. There’s a show at a certain hour of the day. And here’s one of my favorites. Setting the table for bears at Lake Camp in Yellowstone Park. You see they’re very well behaved.

But that didn’t actually continue—the good behavior, I mean. There were more bears, and certainly there were many more lawyers, and thus the much-increased threat of litigation, so the rangers moved the grizzlies out. The grizzlies promptly became endangered. Their formerly growing numbers shrank. The Park Service refused to let scientists study them, but once they were declared endangered, the scientists could go back in again.

And by now, we’re about ready to reap the rewards of our 40-year policy of fire suppression, Smokey the Bear and all that. The Indians used to burn forests regularly, and lightning causes natural fires every year. But when these are suppressed, branches fall from the trees to the ground and accumulate over the years to make a dense groundcover such that when there’s a fire, it is a very low, very hot fire that sterilizes the soil. In 1988, Yellowstone burned, and all 1.2 million acres were scorched, and 800,000 acres, one third of the park, burned.

Then having killed the wolves, having tried to sneak them back in, they officially brought the wolves back. And now the local ranchers screamed. The newer reports suggested the wolves seemed to be eating enough of the elk that slowly, the ecology of the park was being restored. Or so it is claimed. It’s been claimed before. And on and on.

As the story unfolds, it becomes increasingly impossible to overlook the cold truth that when it comes to managing 2.2 million acres of wilderness, nobody since the Indians has the faintest idea how to do it. And nobody asked the Indians, because the Indians managed the land very aggressively, very intrusively. The Indians started fires regularly. They burned trees and grasses. They hunted the large animals, elk and moose, to the edge of extinction. White men refused to do that, and made things worse.

To solve that embarrassment, everybody pretended that the Indians had never altered the landscape. These pioneer ecologists, as Stuart Udall once called them, did not manipulate the land. But now, in recent years, the wisdom of Indian land management policies is increasingly difficult to cover up....

 
At 8/25/2012 3:13 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

and more



All right, if we’re going to do better in this new century, what must we do differently? What is the story of Yellowstone really telling us? I would argue that, in a phrase, we must embrace complexity theory. We must understand complex systems. We live in a world of complex systems. The environment is a complex system. The government is a complex system. Financial markets are complex systems. The human mind is a complex system. Most minds anyway.

By a complex system, I mean one in which the elements of the system interact among themselves such that any modification we make to the system will produce results that we can’t predict in advance.

In addition, a complex system is sensitive to initial conditions. You can get one result from it on one day, but the identical interaction the next day will yield a different result. We cannot know with certainty how the system will respond. Third, when we do something to a complex system, we may get downstream consequences that emerge weeks or even years later. We have to be watchful for delayed and untoward consequences.

The science that underlies our understanding of complex systems is now 30 years old. A third of a century is plenty of time for this knowledge to filter down to everyday consciousness, but except for slogans like the butterfly flapping its wings and causing a hurricane halfway around the world, not much has really penetrated general human thinking.

 
At 8/25/2012 3:18 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

if you want to compare what the govt did - including mistakes to what those solely interested in profits did - it is no contest whether you are talking about National Forests or National Parks.

calling what profiteers did a "tragedy of the commons" while hammering what the Feds did is comical.

The Feds learned some lessons in their attempts to do the right thing and made some mistakes.

I'll take their actions any day over the profiteers actions.

The vast, vast majority of the National Forests and Parks are in superb condition due to their stewardship.

Profiteers have proven over and over that they do not care what happens downstream from their "property".

 
At 8/25/2012 3:37 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

most folks do not realize that the Forest Service is NOT the largest land-owning agency in the Federal Govt.

BLM is and BLM ALSO manages forests including fire management but the anti-govt, sound-bite types are oblivious to real facts in their focus on their anti-govt rhetoric.





 
At 8/25/2012 4:16 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

if you want to compare what the govt did - including mistakes to what those solely interested in profits did - it is no contest whether you are talking about National Forests or National Parks.

calling what profiteers did a "tragedy of the commons" while hammering what the Feds did is comical....


There is no private tragedy of the commons because anyone who is stupid enough to destroy his own property is soon out of business and bought out by someone smarter. The market does not tolerate or reward stupidity. But governments do.

 
At 8/25/2012 4:23 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

The Feds learned some lessons in their attempts to do the right thing and made some mistakes.

No, they did not. The same stupid mistakes continue to be made over and over again because there is no incentive to generate positive returns or create improvements. The feds are consumers of capital, not creators.

I'll take their actions any day over the profiteers actions.

Given the fact that you are one of the most illogical and dumbest people here that is not a surprise. But you are free to be as dumb as you wish to be.

The vast, vast majority of the National Forests and Parks are in superb condition due to their stewardship.

Actually they are not. The parks that are managed by private operators are substantially better off, which is why many states are now farming out the operation of camp ground facilities to the private sector.

Profiteers have proven over and over that they do not care what happens downstream from their "property"

Only if there are no property rights enforcements. But if you look at the biggest polluters in the world you will find the American government at the top of the list.

 
At 8/25/2012 4:26 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

because anyone who is stupid enough to destroy his own property is soon out of business

not true when it comes to consumptive activities as clearly evidenced by the abandonment of forest land after it was cut....

the time frame for re-planting and re-harvesting is too far away for folks interested in cutting the timber and moving on - which is exactly what happened and when it did happen, the steep slopes ran into rivers full of silt and flooding....downstream.

this is why profiteers do....and have done and much/most of the land that the Forest Service and BLM acquired was land that was plundered then abandoned without regard to harm done to others downstream.

 
At 8/25/2012 4:26 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

But if you look at the biggest polluters in the world you will find the American government at the top of the list.


Let me be clear before someone misunderstands. I do not consider CO2 to be a pollutant or energy use to be a big problem. My biggest issue is with real pollution that is toxic and demonstrably harmful at the various levels that are released into the environment. On that front the US military and the DOE are among the worst polluters on the planet.

 
At 8/25/2012 5:10 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

No, they did not. The same stupid mistakes continue to be made over and over again because there is no incentive to generate positive returns or create improvements. The feds are consumers of capital, not creators.

what is left on a 50% slope to "invest" in after it has been clear cut?

when you can answer than question successfully, you might convince that private development is "better".

Until then all you are demonstrating is an inability to understand reality.

 
At 8/25/2012 11:02 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

not true when it comes to consumptive activities as clearly evidenced by the abandonment of forest land after it was cut....

You obviously have no clue what you are talking about. If you buy forest land and just cut the trees you will not be able to get your money back because the market price assumes that it will continue to provide cash flow for years into the future. Companies do not stay in business abandoning their own land after they cut down the trees. I suspect that you will have trouble getting examples of cases where that has happen. You are more likely looking at instances where companies have cut down trees on government land because the fools in the government have no way to make sound financial judgments. You lefties tend to say many things that do not describe reality in context or are outright lies.

 
At 8/25/2012 11:05 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

the time frame for re-planting and re-harvesting is too far away for folks interested in cutting the timber and moving on - which is exactly what happened and when it did happen, the steep slopes ran into rivers full of silt and flooding....downstream.

But it isn't too far away. Many of us have investments in companies that harvest timber continually. To keep making profits they have to replant the trees so that in a decade or so they can harvest them again. If they did not do that the valuations would be much lower.

this is why profiteers do....and have done and much/most of the land that the Forest Service and BLM acquired was land that was plundered then abandoned without regard to harm done to others downstream.

You are an absolute idiot. Investors make money by making sure that they can keep selling over long periods. They do not kill the golden goose for the meat because they are interested in selling the eggs that it produces. Of course, in your fantasy world where everything is a cartoon character that does not happen but I can assure you that in this world that is how things work.

 
At 8/25/2012 11:08 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

what is left on a 50% slope to "invest" in after it has been clear cut?

when you can answer than question successfully, you might convince that private development is "better".

Until then all you are demonstrating is an inability to understand realit


As I said, you have no clue how business works. Value comes from adding up all the future earnings, not by using everything up. A great example are the game reserves in Africa. The government run reserves are barren because there is no incentive to let the animal numbers increase. The private reserves are teeming with game because killing elephants, lions, and other animals is a huge source of income for the owners and the people that live in the parks. The same situation holds true for trees.

 
At 8/26/2012 4:18 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

" You obviously have no clue what you are talking about. If you buy forest land and just cut the trees you will not be able to get your money back because the market price assumes that it will continue to provide cash flow for years into the future."

do you actually READ the stated history LOON!

back when the National Forests were created, the land WAS abandoned and the steep slopes were coming down during rains and devastating rivers and causing floods.

That's the documented history and there are ample photographs to show it.

the problem with you zealots is that the facts don't matter only your ideology and the facts get ignored or re-worked to support your own beliefs.

You live in a make-believe world that is constructed to suit only your own beliefs... and biases.

the history of the National Forests could not be more clear except of course to those in denial.

 
At 8/26/2012 8:57 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

do you actually READ the stated history LOON!

back when the National Forests were created, the land WAS abandoned and the steep slopes were coming down during rains and devastating rivers and causing floods.


That is the tragedy of the commons fool. You cut down the trees on land that is not yours and you have no intention of working and move on. If the land had been sold to someone none of that would have been a problem since the steep slopes would go to the people who farm and live below them and they would not be cutting down the trees that protect them from landslides.

And did you forget that your 'history' is only about one little forest in one area? Yellowstone is a much bigger area that was not being cut down or harmed by human activity. Yet the government destroyed it by shooting predators and causing the elk population to explode within the park. The entire ecosystem was changed and the park became a shell of what it used to be. The issue again is property rights. History shows that people are far better able to plan how to use their own property than bureaucrats who have nothing at stake and little information about local conditions and demands. The federal government's management of land has been terrible. What is required is privatisation and local sovereignty.

 
At 8/26/2012 9:01 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

That is the tragedy of the commons fool.


so you DON'T read do you or else you would have known that they DID own the property and they DID abandon it.

Are you stupid or just willfully ignorant to suite your ideology?

re: how many areas?

again - do you know the difference between a national park and a national forest?

do you know that one is managed by the Dept of Agriculture and the other by the Dept of Interior?

Do you know how many national forests there are ?

you don't read guy.

or what you do read is so biased and uninformed as to be comical.

at the very least, you should want to get your facts correct BEFORE you take off on your ideological tangents.

 
At 8/26/2012 4:25 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

so you DON'T read do you or else you would have known that they DID own the property and they DID abandon it.

As I have said before, marginal property gets abandoned all the time and is not a problem. We have seen this in the tropics as all that clearcut forest is growing back as farmers move into cities where there are more opportunities. People who can't make ends meet will abandon property. That is not a problem and has never been a problem.

Are you stupid or just willfully ignorant to suite your ideology?

Neither. I am simply aware of scale and of human nature.

re: how many areas?

again - do you know the difference between a national park and a national forest?

do you know that one is managed by the Dept of Agriculture and the other by the Dept of Interior?

Do you know how many national forests there are ?

you don't read guy.


It does not matter 'guy' because the important word is NATIONAL. Having governments run forests or parts means that resources and their management are taken out of the hands of private individuals.

or what you do read is so biased and uninformed as to be comical.

I read the same things as you do. The problem is that you ignore the principles involved.

at the very least, you should want to get your facts correct BEFORE you take off on your ideological tangents.

There are no tangents. The issues are property rights and top down planning.

 
At 8/26/2012 5:16 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

As I have said before, marginal property gets abandoned all the time and is not a problem.


It CLEARLY WAS a problem as it led to destruction of entire watersheds and other property owners were forced to pay for rehabilitation.

It made sense if they had to pay that they would also acquire the land so it could not be misused again in the same way in the future.

If the Govt/Forest Service had not done this - great destruction to existing property owners property would have continue to occur.

This is why and how the govt got involved. The private sector/free market did NOT do a better job. It did a disastrous job.

 
At 8/27/2012 12:34 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

"turns out that a lot of forest land was timbered - and then essentially abandoned once the wood was "harvested"."

Well of course it was. It was public land that nobody owned. A typical tragedy of the commons.


=================================

Not so. I have an aerial photgraph of this area dating from 1933, The land was all privately owned and all timbered off.

 
At 8/27/2012 12:51 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

This is called confirmation bias.

The history is clear. People DID own the land and they DID abandon the land after they timbered it.

But admitting that - completely blows away the theory that govt caused the problem.

so they ignore the facts - not once, but over and over.. and then cite as proof - clearly biased and clearly wrong narratives that better suit their ideology.

This is what is wrong with a lot of these folks.

they've got a doctrine they believe in and nothing else is acceptable even if they are facts.



 
At 8/27/2012 6:49 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

This is called confirmation bias.

The history is clear. People DID own the land and they DID abandon the land after they timbered it.


You really think that the 1 million acres that were taken by the government were clearcut and abandoned by people that owned the land? There is no evidence of that. All you have are pictures of people clearing land for farming that was too difficult to farm and was abandoned and some examples where land that was acquired for free was cleared by loggers.

But admitting that - completely blows away the theory that govt caused the problem.

Not at all. Land that is owned is not the government's business and if people abandon it the land will revert to a wild state. Clearly if someone does something on their property that harms others or their property there are laws to compensate the victims.

so they ignore the facts - not once, but over and over.. and then cite as proof - clearly biased and clearly wrong narratives that better suit their ideology.

The facts are what they are. Property belongs to the people that own it, not the government. Just because a few people burn the interior doors for heat it does not mean that the average person does or that the government has the right to take the homes away.

This is what is wrong with a lot of these folks.

Yes, they believe in property rights and freedom.

they've got a doctrine they believe in and nothing else is acceptable even if they are facts.

The word is principles, not doctrine. The issues are liberty and property rights and no amount of communitarian crap can distort the picture.

 
At 8/27/2012 6:57 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

did you actually read the history:

http://www.foresthistory.org/ASPNET/Policy/WeeksAct/LandsNobody.aspx

abandoned land HARMS other property owners guy.

when someone devastates a piece of land and then abandons it and it starts to damage others property, what do you do?

how do you fix this if not govt?

 
At 8/27/2012 7:07 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"when someone devastates a piece of land and then abandons it and it starts to damage others property, what do you do?"

Well I suppose you steal money from a lot of people far away from the area who have nothing to do with it, and no interest in it, so you can spend that money to fix the problem.

 
At 8/27/2012 7:14 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Not so. I have an aerial photgraph of this area dating from 1933, The land was all privately owned and all timbered off."

You can determine ownership from an aerial photograph?

 
At 8/27/2012 7:16 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

Well I suppose you steal money from a lot of people far away from the area who have nothing to do with it, and no interest in it, so you can spend that money to fix the problem


or the people who are suffering the damage have to pay to reverse or limit the damage and those people are going to also support laws and regs to prevent others from repeating that damage.

the point here is that the claim is that govt is the one that screwed things up.

the reality is that it was property owners that caused the damage and other property owners had to pay to fix it.

 
At 8/28/2012 8:30 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

did you actually read the history:

http://www.foresthistory.org/ASPNET/Policy/WeeksAct/LandsNobody.aspx

abandoned land HARMS other property owners guy.

when someone devastates a piece of land and then abandons it and it starts to damage others property, what do you do?



You take him to court and get compensated. In fact, courts would prevent certain activities on your own property if they will damage the property of others. They prevented the type of activities that you are talking about unless such activities took place beyond the frontier in areas that had no established rules.

As usual you have failed to look at any of the reference material that you were provided the last time we had arguments about law. No wonder you keep posting the same idiotic crap over and over again. You refuse to learn anything that does not fit with your views.

I pointed out that there is no evidence of damage to anything but a tiny portion of the million acres that the government took control over. Your reference does not provide any evidence to the contrary. It was written by one person who has an interest in the region

Larry: "Not so. I have an aerial photgraph of this area dating from 1933, The land was all privately owned and all timbered off."

Ron: You can determine ownership from an aerial photograph?


Actually Ron, his citation is titled, THE LANDS NOBODY WANTED but he claims were owned. Larry has a reading comprehension problem.

 
At 8/28/2012 8:42 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

ya'll got the aerial photo (which I did not provide) confused (as usual) with the "land that nobody wanted" when I did provide.

the problem with your "take them to court" approach is that they abandoned the property and left the area and the damage is ongoing and continuing.

you have no answer to this.

your provided "solutions" are idiotic, unfeasible, and exist no where on earth.

the approach took by the govt is the approach taken by most every govt on earth when property owners cause land-based damage that far exceeds the value of wheat they extracted and they abandon the property once they've extract the value and evade paying for the damage.

The problem with you and your friends is that you so virulently anti-govt and dogmatic in your ideology that you cannot accept any solutions that involve govt so you gravitate towards totally bizarre and off the wall ideas that clearly demonstrate why you are a tiny minority when it comes to solving real problems.

you folks have always been around hiding in the woodwork but the internet has given you a voice now.

that's fine - we do recognize you and what you stand for and the fact that you'll never have any real impact on govt even as you carp on and on.

 
At 8/28/2012 9:12 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

the problem with your "take them to court" approach is that they abandoned the property and left the area and the damage is ongoing and continuing.

No it isn't. Trees grow back and farm land reverts to the wild. There is no justification for robbing people in New York or Boston to pay for a local problem in some wilderness area where nobody wants to work the land.

 
At 8/28/2012 9:27 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

No it isn't. Trees grow back and farm land reverts to the wild. There is no justification for robbing people in New York or Boston to pay for a local problem in some wilderness area where nobody wants to work the land.


no they don't - not on steep slopes - not for hundreds of years unless you re-plant and put in ditches where roads were cut and the like.

you are just plain wrong and too stubborn to admit it even when provided with ample evidence.

your ideology translates into willful ignorance.

you are so virulently anti-govt that you cannot admit that in some cases, govt is the best option.

 
At 8/28/2012 10:18 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

no they don't - not on steep slopes - not for hundreds of years unless you re-plant and put in ditches where roads were cut and the like.

Nonsense. Seeds look for places to take root and will grow wherever there is no competition that kills them. And where it is too steep for them to grow loggers with primitive equipment tend to die from accidents. In areas where there are few people and lots of forest the loggers tend to go for the low hanging fruit, not steep slopes that would kill them.

As usual you are getting all mixed up and getting confused by bits and pieces of information provided to you by someone who is looking to spin a particular point of view. We are talking about a million acres of forest. Little of this forest was owned by anyone and what there was did not get logged out because it was quite difficult to get the lumber from the bush to market. You are talking about a time when there were no large companies to create a maze of logging roads that would allow them to take as many trees as they planned to. And you are not looking at the issue logically. Why the hell would people want to scale steep and dangerous slopes when there were plenty of trees in more accessible locations that could be harvested in a safer manner?

You also ignore the fact that the natives used to burn down forests regularly because they kept growing back. Their land management practices were a lot more intrusive than what we have today and what the early settlers used in the wilds. And you ignore the fact that most of the forests that you are looking at are quite young. They only formed after the great ice sheets pulled back and the amount of precipitation increased along with temperatures.

you are just plain wrong and too stubborn to admit it even when provided with ample evidence.

Not at all. I am simply pointing out that people do not destroy their own property because once they do that they have little to sustain them. Slash and burn architecture and clear cutting is only possible in a world where nobody owns the land. And if nobody wants the land you can't justify robbing some people so that others can have government jobs managing it.

your ideology translates into willful ignorance.

It is logic and principle, not ideology.

you are so virulently anti-govt that you cannot admit that in some cases, govt is the best option.

But it was shows that it isn't the best option. It was government that killed off the predators and allowed the elk to transform huge tracts of forest in ways that reduced biodiversity. It has been government that allowed dead trees to accumulate and add fuel to massive fires that could not be contained. It was government that prevented smaller fires that are healthy for the revitalisation of the ecosystem.

 
At 8/28/2012 10:22 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

Nonsense. Seeds look for places to take root and will grow wherever there is no competition that kills them


we found out from EXPERIENCE guy. When Pittsburg was getting more and more floods... it was traced back to steep clear-cut slopes that were not naturally reseeding... fast enough and when you clear cut an entire slope - even reseeding can be destroyed from new incidents.

Van - you are truly ignorant of this.

why don't you admit it?

re: govt missteps/predators

yes.. on fire also.. but they keep at it until they get it better...right...

that does not happen with individuals who extract value and inflict damage and then abandon ...

it happens over and over and never gets better.

until the govt steps in...

you overrate individuals and underrate govt. guy.

 
At 8/28/2012 10:25 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

re: predators

the govt has TRIED to re-introduce predators and people are OPPOSED to it because the predators will eat whatever is opportunity including household pets and kids!

the govt has tried to reintroduce buffalo to Yellowstone and the adjacent cattle owners are totally opposed to it...

the point here is that property owners often have economic interests that are at odds with natural ecology.

 
At 8/28/2012 11:41 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

we found out from EXPERIENCE guy. When Pittsburg was getting more and more floods... it was traced back to steep clear-cut slopes that were not naturally reseeding... fast enough and when you clear cut an entire slope - even reseeding can be destroyed from new incidents.

It is getting floods when you are on a flood plane and ignore the variability. Yes, people can make a difference but not a few in some wilderness. Like I said, you are arguing for the confiscation of a million acres of forest by pointing to one or two alleged instances that may not be attributed properly.

What I recall is your total ignorance of facts and reading comprehension problems. You cite selectively while you ignore logic and history and don't read very carefully. If the slopes above certain areas were important to the people of Pittsburgh they could either buy them at little cost or sue the people who are causing the damage to the property of others. That has worked much better than confiscation of everyone's property so that some idiots can have jobs working for the federal government.

Van - you are truly ignorant of this.

why don't you admit it?

re: govt missteps/predators

yes.. on fire also.. but they keep at it until they get it better...right...


There is no incentive to get things right because government employees don't own the land and don't benefit from improvements. They simply follow rules laid out by people who usually have some agenda or another. If the property is yours and you have an agenda you are free to follow it as long as you do not harm the property of others. If you are using other people's money that is a problem.

 
At 8/28/2012 11:43 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

re: predators

the govt has TRIED to re-introduce predators and people are OPPOSED to it because the predators will eat whatever is opportunity including household pets and kids!


Kids and pets do not live in the wild.

the govt has tried to reintroduce buffalo to Yellowstone and the adjacent cattle owners are totally opposed to it...

Because they like to have their own cattle graze for free. The government should not give free stuff to anyone.

the point here is that property owners often have economic interests that are at odds with natural ecology.

Yes they do. And on their own property they should be allowed to do what they wish. But not on the property of others.

 
At 8/28/2012 1:47 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"the reality is that it was property owners that caused the damage and other property owners had to pay to fix it."

But those other property owners had no responsibility or liability for the damage, but they were forced to pay for it anyway. How is that justice?

 
At 8/28/2012 1:47 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

the floods came from denuded steep slopes in what is now the Monongahela National Forest.

The people that cut the trees subsequently abandoned in and in the next decades rains proceeded to further erode the hillsides turning clear rivers into silted mud flows and floods in areas that were never flooded before.

what I am relating to you is documented history guy.

the property owners destroyed the land and the govt (other property owners) were forced to go fix it.

this is exactly what happens when some property owners can make money and not pay for the damage caused by their activities.

We have a bunch of super-fund sites to show that it does happen and the original miscreants escape financial responsibility.

this is why we have regulations.

this is why we have govt.

property owners do NOT self-govern ... they screw each other over if they can come out ahead.

the reason we have the Forest Service and National Forests is because property owners are NOT necessarily good stewards of the land. Some are and some are not.

there are not all good stewards just by virtue of the fact that they are not the govt.

that's wretchedly tortured thinking.

 
At 8/28/2012 1:51 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

But those other property owners had no responsibility or liability for the damage, but they were forced to pay for it anyway. How is that justice?


it's not. but if they do not act, - even more damage to even more property owners would occur.

you guys think govt screws things up.

property owners themselves screw things up if it benefits them personally - even if it harms others.

this is why we have the Forest Service, the Army Corp and the EPA.

the all came about in response to damages to other property owners that was going to continue if not stopped/fixed.

this is why you have govt. this is how govt gets involved in these issues.

 
At 8/28/2012 1:51 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

But those other property owners had no responsibility or liability for the damage, but they were forced to pay for it anyway. How is that justice?


it's not. but if they do not act, - even more damage to even more property owners would occur.

you guys think govt screws things up.

property owners themselves screw things up if it benefits them personally - even if it harms others.

this is why we have the Forest Service, the Army Corp and the EPA.

the all came about in response to damages to other property owners that was going to continue if not stopped/fixed.

this is why you have govt. this is how govt gets involved in these issues.

 
At 8/28/2012 1:56 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"no they don't - not on steep slopes - not for hundreds of years unless you re-plant and put in ditches where roads were cut and the like."

You are complaining that logging on steep slopes is a problem and that trees won't grow there. Which is it?

 
At 8/28/2012 2:01 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

You are complaining that logging on steep slopes is a problem and that trees won't grow there. Which is it?


Trees WILL grow there but it might take a hundred years or more for them to get a foothold and eventually take hold again.

you can grow trees on steep slopes if you restrict it to less steep slopes and you replant - and then replant again if some are lost.

it takes years of forestry husbandry to get trees to re-establish after they have been cut - and the timeline is such that the existing generation will not benefit from that effort.

did you not look at the pictures in the "Land that nobody wanted" or are you just being purposely obtuse again?

 
At 8/28/2012 2:06 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

The Forest Service conducts timber sales but they determine where cutting can take place and where it is too steep - AND they require replanting and re-seeding, etc as part of the bidding.

the FS also set standards for access roads so that they are engineered properly and will not result in resulting damage from rain and runoff.

Few of these standards and safeguards were followed by the original property owners because it took away from their bottom line.

the cheapest,most profitable way to do it was to send in bulldozers to chew up the hillsides..then clearcut, then leave ... and move on to the next site.

These are facts - you can easily find them. they are the truth and the truth is that property owners did not take good care of the land.

They despoiled it then abandoned it and the Forest Service then bought it and rehabilitated it.

 
At 8/28/2012 2:25 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

[justice] "it's not. but if they do not act, - even more damage to even more property owners would occur."

So if your neighbor causes flooding on your property, you think it's OK if you take money from me to pay for the damage?

 
At 8/28/2012 2:34 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"the all came about in response to damages to other property owners that was going to continue if not stopped/fixed."

If you are allowing runoff to flood my property you won't mind, then, if I take money from people in New York so I can hire someone to come onto your property without your permission to fix the problem?

 
At 8/28/2012 2:37 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Trees WILL grow there but it might take a hundred years or more for them to get a foothold and eventually take hold again."

Stuff from ass. Do you have support for that claim?

 
At 8/28/2012 2:43 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"did you not look at the pictures in the "Land that nobody wanted" or are you just being purposely obtuse again?"

There is no question about the damage, the question is about the solution. If nobody wanted the land, you think someone should be able to take it, decide on a best use for it and make everybody pay for it.

 
At 8/28/2012 4:14 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

So if your neighbor causes flooding on your property, you think it's OK if you take money from me to pay for the damage?


if you and neighbor and thousands like you are seeing regional flooding up and down the watershed - and you are demanding that something be done about it.....

re: grow back period for trees.

not from ass - it's very difficult to get trees to regrow on steep slopes... it can take a long, long time and until regrowth is successful the slopes are vulnerable to new storms.



 
At 8/28/2012 9:59 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"If you and neighbor and thousands like you are seeing regional flooding up and down the watershed - and you are demanding that something be done about it..... "

But I'm not. I'm no where near the watershed, I'm seeing no flooding, causing no flooding, and not demanding that anything be done about it.

Will you still steal my money to fix the problem?

 
At 8/28/2012 10:01 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"not from ass - it's very difficult to get trees to regrow on steep slopes... it can take a long, long time and until regrowth is successful the slopes are vulnerable to new storms."

OK, then do you have support for that claim?

 
At 8/28/2012 11:14 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

Stuff from ass. Do you have support for that claim?

Or course not. Our friend spins tall tales and ignores actual facts to support his ideology. And he still can't justify why it is that we have to pay to settle some local disputes that can easily be handled by courts.

 
At 8/29/2012 4:44 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

re: " Will you still steal my money to fix the problem?"

yes.

re: pulled from ass

here's one:

http://www.foresthistory.org/ASPNET/Policy/WeeksAct/ProtectionofWatersheds_Williams.pdf

 
At 8/29/2012 5:33 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

here's another:
http://agroforestry.net/overstory/overstory78.html

reforesting steep slopes is time consuming and expensive and prone to failure because seedlings can be dislodged by new rains or eaten by deer or destroyed by new slides.

if you read about how the forests got de-forested in the first place, you will see that once the timber was extracted, it was financially advantageous to abandon the land.

In fact, much of the land that the Forest Service subsequently bought was land owned by local government who took it when the taxes were not paid on it.

" As many of the farmers moved out in the 1930's, generally just abandoning their farms and homes, local officials became concerned about the growing amount of tax delinquent lands on the tax rolls.
Indiana's governor, Paul V. McNutt, and the 73rd Indiana Congress in June, 1934, asked the Forest Service to buy this land for the eventual creation of a National Forest."

http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/hoosier/learning/history-culture

" Many large forest landowners in Pennsylvania and other northeastern states simply abandoned the land and moved West in search of new forests. The land left behind often ended up on delinquent tax rolls, prompting a financial crisis for rural counties. The bare soil and logging slash made floods and wildfires a constant danger."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allegheny_National_Forest

you folks who write anti-govt blather are not bothered by the facts as your goal is to attack the govt in the first place.

the reality is that property owners are the ones that despoiled the forests and then abandoned the land and other property owners out of self protection from subsequent land slides, watershed degradation and flooding had to pay to rehabilitate the forests.

the history is ample and clear as to what happened.

Now, a hundred years later, the anti-govt idiots want to re-write the history which is par for the course with folks who have a belief and do not want it messed up with real facts and realities.

ya'll have no scruples at all. A lie is just fine if it suits your ideological agenda.

 
At 8/29/2012 1:52 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"ya'll have no scruples at all. A lie is just fine if it suits your ideological agenda."

Scruples? Is this the person who thinks it's OK to steal money from others talking about scruples?

Get a grip.

Notice that part of your history describes local government being unwilling to spend money on a local problem, and asking the federal government to spend federal taxpayer's money instead.

Scruples indeed.

 
At 8/29/2012 2:00 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

re: "stealing money"

for the interstate highway system or the NTSB or Secret Service, NASA, etc


see in "your" world" "stealing" means "taxes" you don't like.

but that's fine if that is your principles... dumb and off the wall but honestly held.

but Lying ...that's a different story... and that you also do....

and that's a serious character flaw... spurred on by your ideology and refusal to accept history and realities.

 
At 8/29/2012 5:40 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

re: "stealing money"

for the interstate highway system or the NTSB or Secret Service, NASA, etc


The first interstates were built by private investors. No government was needed to fill a market need.

The NTSB is not required to be funded by the public. Neither is the Secret Service. Or NASA.

 
At 8/29/2012 5:43 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

FBI, local police, Coast Guard, CDC,

I can name a hundred more guy.

who do you think maintains the interstates? who do you think patrols the interstates and arrests law breakers?

where did GPS satellites come from?

how about NOAA satellites?

are all of these "theft"?

 
At 8/29/2012 10:09 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

FBI, local police, Coast Guard, CDC,

I can name a hundred more guy.


Don't need for any of those to be paid for by federal taxes or even local taxes. Guy.

 
At 8/29/2012 10:11 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

who do you think maintains the interstates? who do you think patrols the interstates and arrests law breakers?

They are paid for by gasoline taxes. Private roads and enforcement would be cheaper.

where did GPS satellites come from?

I don't care where they came from. I know that private companies put satellites in orbit all the time to make money. They certainly do it cheaper than the government and only charge those willing to pay for the services that are provided.

how about NOAA satellites?

are all of these "theft"?


Yes they are because they did not ask permission to take the money that was earned by taxpayers. That is clearly theft.

 
At 8/29/2012 10:12 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

Don't need for any of those to be paid for by federal taxes or even local taxes. Guy

really?

can you name some places that actually work that way?

 
At 8/29/2012 10:55 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

It CLEARLY WAS a problem as it led to destruction of entire watersheds and other property owners were forced to pay for rehabilitation.

But it wasn't a problem for others. If people in an area have a specific problem it is up to them to deal with it, not steal money from others. And there clearly wasn't very much damage from cearcutting because there wasn't forest being lost to such practices, particularly forest that was owned by the people doing the cutting. To protect themselves people who were being harmed could purchase wild land and leave it alone. Such land would be cheap because few people wanted it.

It made sense if they had to pay that they would also acquire the land so it could not be misused again in the same way in the future.

Of course. The land was very plentiful and very cheap otherwise it would not have been abandoned.

If the Govt/Forest Service had not done this - great destruction to existing property owners property would have continue to occur.

Didn't they have courts?

This is why and how the govt got involved. The private sector/free market did NOT do a better job. It did a disastrous job.

There was no need. As I wrote above, there were courts to compensate victims and stop destructive practices. Such courts stopped slaughterhouses being built near residential areas or smithies built near churches or schools. They would have no trouble stopping land owners from clear-cutting areas and causing flooding. And it is clear that people who did not live in the areas affected by such practices should not have paid anything.

 
At 8/29/2012 11:08 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" But it wasn't a problem for others. If people in an area have a specific problem it is up to them to deal with it, not steal money from others."

it was pretty widespread guy.

read up on the Weeks Act.

the problem extended from New Hampshire, to Michigan to West Va to North Carolina, etc.

this was a Federal response to a regional/national issue.

flooding was affecting a LOT of towns causing tremendous damage and the majority of people supported the creation of national forests from taxes.

but the bigger issue here is the original assertion that the Forest Service does not perform good stewardship of the forests and that private property owners would do a better job..

and history shows exactly the opposite happened.

have you conceded that?

 
At 8/30/2012 2:44 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

are all of these "theft"?"

Yes they are.

 
At 8/30/2012 5:17 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

so any/all taxes ARE theft ?

so basically you are opposed to govt - period. right?

 
At 8/30/2012 9:29 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

really?

can you name some places that actually work that way?


Look to your own history. For most if it the reach of the federal government was very small and citizens would have rejected the idea of direct taxation to pay for federal overreach.

You might also want to look to the Constitution which prohibits direct and unequal taxation.

 
At 8/30/2012 9:30 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

it was pretty widespread guy.

No it was not. The effect was only to some people downstream. Why should others pay for a problem that did not effect them?

 
At 8/30/2012 9:36 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

because polluted air and water affects a LOT of people.

For instance, polluted water affects everyone who uses city water from the river.

polluted water affects people who would fish for food.

Polluted water makes people sick who swim in it.

your basic thesis is wrong on so many fronts.

people EXPECT govt to prevent property owners from benefiting personally at the expense of others.

you never know when you would become the next victim of that kind of harmful activity so people want it stopped BEFORE it happens to them next.

The guy who is burning trash in his backyard and flips you off is an example of why we have government.

The guy who is dumping chemicals, trash, etc next to your property is why we have govt.

you think property owners will agree among themselves to do what is right.

you are totally wrong.

you think other property owners in the same local area will get together and stop one guy.

you forget, more than a few of those other property owners may also want to engage in the same activities that harm others - at others expense.

this is why we have govt.

 
At 8/30/2012 9:57 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

because polluted air and water affects a LOT of people.

For instance, polluted water affects everyone who uses city water from the river.


The debate was about confiscating land and getting taxpayers to fund the project even though they were not being affected.

 
At 8/30/2012 10:01 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

The debate was about confiscating land and getting taxpayers to fund the project even though they were not being affected.

a river that is full of sediment from denuded upstream land - and also floods and destroys property - affects everyone who uses or is adjacent to that river.

When you have a county or town that taxes for all manner of services including potable water, repair of streets, replacement of court houses and schools affected by flooding.. the people who pay the taxes to protect the things they pay for are not going to view it as "theft".

only a virulent anti-govt type would and those kind get invited to go elsewhere for their vitriol.


 
At 8/30/2012 10:11 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

a river that is full of sediment from denuded upstream land - and also floods and destroys property - affects everyone who uses or is adjacent to that river.

And if it does then they should get the courts to compensate them or purchase the land using their own funds. Why should someone else be taxed to solve a very local problem?

 
At 8/31/2012 1:11 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

V: "And if it does then they should get the courts to compensate them or purchase the land using their own funds. Why should someone else be taxed to solve a very local problem?"

And *still* that question goes unanswered.

 
At 8/31/2012 5:22 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

And if it does then they should get the courts to compensate them or purchase the land using their own funds. Why should someone else be taxed to solve a very local problem?

the question was answered from the get go.

towns and counties levy taxes to pay for roads, schools, fire, rescue, etc.

floods destroy these things and require them to be rebuilt with more taxes.

if the floods are caused by upstream forest destruction in turn caused by property owners who cut the forest and abandoned their property then the people who pay taxes are entitled to ask that their taxes be used to prevent more floods.

this would be the same government taxes that paid for the roads.

the question has been answered but anti-govt types who consider any/all taxes for any purpose to be "theft" just are never going to admit it.

 
At 8/31/2012 8:00 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

the question was answered from the get go.

towns and counties levy taxes to pay for roads, schools, fire, rescue, etc.

floods destroy these things and require them to be rebuilt with more taxes.

if the floods are caused by upstream forest destruction in turn caused by property owners who cut the forest and abandoned their property then the people who pay taxes are entitled to ask that their taxes be used to prevent more floods.


You missed a few things. First, if people are being harmed by the actions of others they have recourse and can use the court's to get compensation. Second, if the trees are on land that is so cheap that people are willing to destroy its carrying capacity the taxes could be used to acquire that land and prevent clear cutting. Third, the question is why should people who are not effected pay for what is clearly a local issue contained to a part of the watershed?

 
At 8/31/2012 8:10 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

" You missed a few things. First, if people are being harmed by the actions of others they have recourse and can use the court's to get compensation."

I thought you did not believe in courts only cooperating property owners?

besides what part of "abandoned" do you not understand?

" Second, if the trees are on land that is so cheap that people are willing to destroy its carrying capacity the taxes could be used to acquire that land and prevent clear cutting."

isn't that what the FS did ALSO?

" Third, the question is why should people who are not effected pay for what is clearly a local issue contained to a part of the watershed?"

for the same reason people pay taxes overall even though they do not use all taxpayer-provided services.

of course if you oppose any/all govt and taxes to start with... then why argue about details guy?


 
At 8/31/2012 11:39 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

I thought you did not believe in courts only cooperating property owners?

Sure I believe in courts. I don't believe in monopoly on courts. But in this case you clearly had a mechanism to deal with damage caused by people you claim owned the land.

besides what part of "abandoned" do you not understand?

What part of liability don't you understand? If some company bought the land, cut down all the trees, and caused a problem to others it is still liable for the damages. This is what happens when you pull stuff out of your ass and make claims based on narratives that are not supported by clear evidence. As I pointed out, courts can make people pay for damages or put them in jail if they refuse to comply with orders. The true story is probably a lot simpler. You had land in the wild that was virtually free. People cut it down and moved on to other free land. As I pointed out, they can still be held liable for damages caused by their actions. Or if people are worried about potential damage they can acquire the land themselves at very little cost and prevent its timber from being cut down. There certainly is no need to have federal involvement in what is a local problem.

 
At 8/31/2012 11:42 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

for the same reason people pay taxes overall even though they do not use all taxpayer-provided services.

of course if you oppose any/all govt and taxes to start with... then why argue about details guy?


Because you are ignorant and illogical. Guy. You cannot justify having people pay for programs that they do not support, want, or use. You mention a REASON but never seem to provide it. It seems that is still stuck in your arse and will take some time to extract it.

 
At 8/31/2012 11:45 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

have you ever heard of Superfund sites guy?

where companies run off or go broke and have no assets that can be taken?

what part of abandoned and turn over to localities for tax liabilities do you refuse to accept?

The Forest Service came about because - in the East, actual property owners abandoned property and in the West, people, not owners, just cut and left.

(you'd know this if you actually read the history).

I've provided quite a few links about this - and you have chosen to ignore them.. preferring instead your own self-constructed world.

 
At 8/31/2012 11:49 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

" You cannot justify having people pay for programs that they do not support, want, or use. You mention a REASON but never seem to provide it. It seems that is still stuck in your arse and will take some time to extract it. "

The REASON is that the Constitution - both the US and State Constitutions allow it for the "health and welfare" of the population as a whole.

taxes to pay for police that you may never use.

taxes to pay for a road you may never use.

taxes to pay for regulation to keep pollutants out of a river - you may never use.

this is what govt does and is Constitutionally empowered to do.

 
At 8/31/2012 12:22 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

The REASON is that the Constitution - both the US and State Constitutions allow it for the "health and welfare" of the population as a whole.

But it does not permit direct taxation dumdum. And the Welfare clause was described in the Federalist and Anti-Federalist papers. It does not mean what you say it does or what the federally appointed Supremes have decided.

 
At 8/31/2012 12:27 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

re: taxation.

really?

you mean it's unconstitutional?

got a cite?

 
At 8/31/2012 6:32 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

re: taxation.

really?

you mean it's unconstitutional?

got a cite?


The constitution. It talks of uniformity and proportionality. This was why the Supremes overturned the income tax the first time it was tried. Direct taxation is nothing more than legalized plunder that leads to serfdom and decay.

 
At 9/01/2012 12:52 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

how would you fund a standing army?

 
At 9/01/2012 3:28 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"The REASON is that the Constitution - both the US and State Constitutions allow it for the "health and welfare" of the population as a whole."

Not unexpectedly, as short as it is, you have misread the Constitution. the word "health" is nowhere to be found.

Based on your illogic, I could ask you what the reason was that some people kept other people as slaves, and you would respond that it "reason" was that the constitution allowed it.

 
At 9/01/2012 3:30 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"how would you fund a standing army?"

Why do you need a standing army?

 
At 9/01/2012 8:59 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

how would you fund a standing army?

You don't need a standing army.

You might actually try to read some of your own history. This debate is not new.

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home