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That might be a part of it as well, but I think there are other factors at play that don't help either. I remember hearing about a back log of work that they needed to get done but didn't have the funds or equipment to do it. One of my moms very close friends is admin for our area and she says she has to fight tooth and nail just to get stuff done from her higher ups. Trying to use of equipment that is 20+ years old, surplus or leftovers from other branches/departments that should have been junked years ago. Our federal preserve is right next door to a state park and the state stuff always seems to be running around in new stuff or has new equipment every couple of years. I know they come in here and get new side by sides or ATVs every three years or so, sometimes they trade em in or sometimes they just sell em out right.

I think the amount I heard that they need to fix the back log of work is something like 15+ billion
There is another way you know. It is called the logging industry. Those same people who brought you the formerly beautiful forests on the West Coast that are mostly ash piles or in the process of becoming ash piles due to federal mismanagement now. The logging industry will care fore the forests and leave them however the government wants them in exchange for payment in marketable trees.
They were the ones who originally created these forests from what they were and nurtured them to greatness over much of the last century because the tree they contained provided an income stream for them.

That change in course, allowing those with the means and knowledge to care for the forests to do so again, will requires those in charge of the National forests to actually get off their asses and supervise the whole process from timber sale to final cleanup and have enough integrity to resist being bought off by bribes etc from unscrupulous businessmen, which also exist in the logging just as every other industry.

It might be asking a bit much of the forest service after 3 decade of sitting around and watching the forests become tinderboxes while collecting a check for doing nothing to discourage it nor prevent it to do their job, but I know several Forest service people in my area who would like the chance to try and would do so if the politicians would get out of the way.

When it is all burned and gone shortly, remember it became great because of private industry and private industry can do it again for the nation if allowed to because it's a crop that can be regrown.
If allowed to, private loggers will put a lot of people to work doing regrowing it and caring for it. Large scale forestry is labor intensive, but the results are awe inspiring to say the least.

It will be gone shortly so if you want to see it get here while you can. It took 100+ years the first time and 30 yrs of mismanagement to get to this disaster.
Don't expect the second time that it will come back in a single persons lifetime.
 

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Spot on Joe. Oregon's timber industry was the largest employer in the state and the largest tax payer. Its taxes supported our education system up through universities. Now they have to float bonds, put levies on the ballot, increase property taxes and conduct bake sales.
There are (still) more trees in this country than when Lewis and Clark were on their little hike, thanks to the private timber industry. And yes, trees are a replaceable harvest commodity, much like corn. A farmer doesn't plant a field of corn only to leave it there to rot. Same happens with trees.
Some abhor clear cutting, but Douglas Fir is our main commercial lumber tree and in order to replant and grow, it has to be planted in open areas to get the sun they need. Selective harvesting is a cheaper way to get trees, but the Doug Fir seedlings will die in the shade of neighboring trees.
Clear cuts are beneficial to grazing animals as the plants that pop up there, such as fireweed, contain more nutrients and proteins than those in forested areas.
The big problem of the day is mob rule. Politicians react to what the mobs are demanding and the mobs are not well educated about the subjects they are yelling about.
 

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Spot on Joe. Oregon's timber industry was the largest employer in the state and the largest tax payer. Its taxes supported our education system up through universities. Now they have to float bonds, put levies on the ballot, increase property taxes and conduct bake sales.
There are (still) more trees in this country than when Lewis and Clark were on their little hike, thanks to the private timber industry. And yes, trees are a replaceable harvest commodity, much like corn. A farmer doesn't plant a field of corn only to leave it there to rot. Same happens with trees.
Some abhor clear cutting, but Douglas Fir is our main commercial lumber tree and in order to replant and grow, it has to be planted in open areas to get the sun they need. Selective harvesting is a cheaper way to get trees, but the Doug Fir seedlings will die in the shade of neighboring trees.
Clear cuts are beneficial to grazing animals as the plants that pop up there, such as fireweed, contain more nutrients and proteins than those in forested areas.
The big problem of the day is mob rule. Politicians react to what the mobs are demanding and the mobs are not well educated about the subjects they are yelling about.
As far as what I said about the logging industry wanting to save the forests there is one group that doesn't fall into that category. That would be the largest corporations which own their own private forests and never need to use public forests for their timber source.

To these heavy hitters the public mismanagement of the timber forests is a good thing. Each catastrophic fire makes their assets (private forests) worth more.
If every national forest burned this year it would be wonderful as they would be the sole source of wood for the market.

These guys you need to watch carefully. They have been part of the problem for a very long time using political campaign donations to politicians so that the forests are managed in a way that stifles free market competition.

This is why the National forest service is a good idea if it actually has the nations forests best interest's in mind and it is set free of political influence.
 

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Discussion Starter #84
I spent a lot of time talking to people in the Smokies, Yellowstone and Grand tetons, most of them was maintance and rangers. These are are NPS and not NFS workers, all of them said the budget they need they are not getting and it looks like they never will. A back log of work that even if today someone cut them a check for the full amount plus some still might take them 10 years to finish, and that's if they have the labor power to pull it off.

Never fails every other year when the parks around here have controlled burns or go in and cut down a bunch of old stuff, there is always a group or groups here to protest or get on social media and blast them for destroying nature. The state and federal park that I have in my back yard, yes I mean seriously in my back yard, I can walk 300 yards south of my house and be on state owned metroparks, keep going about three miles and be on federal land.

I remember back in 2015 when we had to buy our park pass and this stuck with me just for the simple fact that the person in front of us was complaining about the price so much that I thought there was something wrong with the guy. I think back then the year pass was $45 or 55? I cant remember 100% but I even thought that was cheap for what you was getting, full year access to EVERY national park in the country. I remember seeing the back lash the next year when they finally raised the price to $80 and even then I thought that was still cheap and fair. Me and all the other people I have talked to on all my other forums would have even been ok with paying more then that if it helped get the NPS back on track. One pass I think covers one car, so even if its a $100 split four ways, seems fair to me. Raise the price till you get caught up and then you can start to ease it back down.
 

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Discussion Starter #85
Looks like my next out west might have to wait till...I don't know. I can survive for a week in the smokies and get my fix in for a while.
 

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Shoot me an email when you are thinking about coming out this way again. Can give you an update on the conditions as best I can. It's still quite smoky out here. I was on top of Sawtelle in Island Park this last weekend and the view was quite restricted. Some much needed rain sure would be nice...
 

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Discussion Starter #87
Shoot me an email when you are thinking about coming out this way again. Can give you an update on the conditions as best I can. It's still quite smoky out here. I was on top of Sawtelle in Island Park this last weekend and the view was quite restricted. Some much needed rain sure would be nice...
If I do get back out there it probably wont be until September 2019, travel partner does not wanna go so I might go solo or try and coax a buddy of mine to go.
 

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Offer still stands whenever you get a chance to head this way. Would be nice to meet in person if possible also.
 

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Discussion Starter #89
The way the weather is looking for down south, I told my travel partner last night we should have stuck to our out west trip this time, Yellowstone looks clear and free this time and not a snow flake anywhere on the radar.
 

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About now is the time to go. Tourist season is coming to an end. I think they had record attendance this year. They have had construction all year and the mindless masses were kind of focused to some areas. I was ready to swear off the park on the last trip. May try again now that it is closer to the end of season. As a plus, you usually see more critters late in the year. Still on the smoky side, but not real cold yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #91
About now is the time to go. Tourist season is coming to an end. I think they had record attendance this year. They have had construction all year and the mindless masses were kind of focused to some areas. I was ready to swear off the park on the last trip. May try again now that it is closer to the end of season. As a plus, you usually see more critters late in the year. Still on the smoky side, but not real cold yet.
We didn't do west adventure this time, go figure this time its clear and sunny and the place we are heading for now is on the outer path of hurricane Florence.
 

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That's my kind of luck...
 
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