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Audit faults forest program controls ( Healthy Forests ag Fires )
Star-Tribune Washington bureau ^ | October 07, 2006 | NOELLE STRAUB

Posted on 10/07/2006 8:02:28 PM PDT by george76

The U.S. Forest Service has not developed national guidelines to assess the risks communities face from wildfires and is unable to ensure that the most important fire prevention projects are funded first, an independent government audit has found.

And while the majority of catastrophic wildfires occur in the West, nearly 58 percent of the total acres treated in fiscal year 2004 were in the southeastern states, the report said.

"The Forest Service cannot clearly identify the level of risk to communities from wildfire," it said.

"It cannot demonstrate to stakeholders its accomplishments in reducing those risks with the funds provided."

The Forest Service agreed with the report's assessments and vowed to put changes in place by July 31 next year.

The Inspector General Office of the Agriculture Department last month released the audit report on the implementation of the Healthy Forest Initiative, focusing mainly on programs to reduce the over-accumulation of vegetation that can fuel fires.

In fiscal year 2004 the southern region treated more than a million acres, largely through prescribed burns, a less-expensive method.

By contrast, the intermountain region treated only 59,000 acres, the northern region 86,000 acres and the Rocky Mountain region 110,000 acres.

"The majority of catastrophic wildfires occur in the west, but the southeast states treated over 57 percent of the total hazardous fuels acreage in the United States in FY 2004,"...

"inappropriate allocation of resources,"

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Government
KEYWORDS: barkbeetle; barkbeetledamage; beetle; beetleinfestation; fires; forest; forestdevastation; forestfires; foresthealth; forestpolicy; forests; forestservice; healthforest; healthyforest; logging; nationalforest; nature; pinebeetle; unhealthyforests; usfs; washington; wildfire; wildfirerisk; wildfires; wildlandfire; wildlandfires
Healthy Forest Initiative
1 posted on 10/07/2006 8:02:29 PM PDT by george76
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To: george76

We own a small ranch that is surrounded by National Forest. Just beyond our property line is a large pine grove covering about 30 acres where 100% of the trees have died because of the bark beetle. The Forest Service won't cut them down. They say they don't have the budget. Unfortunately, if that grove catches fire, it will take out our place too.

2 posted on 10/07/2006 8:42:20 PM PDT by passionfruit
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To: passionfruit
It looks like very little preventative money is being spent in the west.

With McInnis gone...

We see major dead and dying forests that should be harvested now. Many have been economically interesting to loggers, so the USFS would actually earn some revenue.

The Sierra Club lawyers block alot of it, too.

The billions of dollars that are spent on fire fighting is a huge waste of taxpayer dollars. Much of this money loss and environmental damage could have been prevented.

Sorry for your mess.

Will the forest service let you create a defensible fire zone ?
3 posted on 10/07/2006 8:51:47 PM PDT by george76 (Ward Churchill : Fake Indian, Fake Scholarship, and Fake Art)
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To: george76

There used to be saw mills around our mountains, and in fact most of the older buildings and homes in Southern California were made of wood from our local mountains. Both of the houses on our ranch are built of wood that grew on the ranch and were milled on the mountian.

Unfortunately due to endangered critters, hoppy rats, spotty owls and other creeping crawley flying or slithery critters, the libs have forced the closure of the sawmills bu forcing the cessation of logging. Now, the trees have to be hauled hundreds of miles to the nearest mill, if they even want the wood. there is no longer profit in doing the logging.

Damn those endangered critters!

4 posted on 10/07/2006 9:33:23 PM PDT by passionfruit
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To: passionfruit; forester; SierraWasp; HairOfTheDog; Carry_Okie

I talk with dedicated liberals about our mismanaged federal lands, the beetles, and the fires...they argue with me until they go see the forests themselves.

Then they say, how does the Sierra Club allow their lawyers to block logging ?

These liberals begin to understand rather that the lawyers have taken over the Sierra Club for the easy legal fees.

And that the Sierra Club has become a shill for the DNC.

5 posted on 10/07/2006 10:42:22 PM PDT by george76 (Ward Churchill : Fake Indian, Fake Scholarship, and Fake Art)
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To: george76
Before the HFI first came out, I warned then that it wouldn't come to diddly. I made a number of comments on the thread as to why.
6 posted on 10/07/2006 11:01:57 PM PDT by Carry_Okie (There are people in power who are truly evil.)
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