Subversion of the Public Process

The Forest Service's Interpretation of the Salvage Rider

Two recent letters from the Idaho National Panhandle Forest indicate the lack of respect for public input and the lip service being payed to the democratic process:

In violation of the National Environmental Policy Act, the District Ranger, Susan Jeheber-Matthews states that the Forest Service is not required to include environmental analysis of activities on private lands in their cumulative effects analysis:

"we have no jurisdiction or right to access those properties for the purpose of environmental analysis. The analysis of direct, indirect or cumulative effects includes effect of activities on National Forest System lands only."

She further states that, "Although response to public comment is not required under PL 104-19, I would like to address several of your statements." (emphasis added)

Forest Service Hides Behind Salvage Rider to Push Through Timber Sale

The following excerpt is from Beaverhead National Forest Identification Team notes. The notes document an internal meeting in which the team is discussing how to ensure that the Tobacco Roots Vegetation Treatment project can qualify as a salvage sale so that administrative review is avoided:
"This ties into the salvaging of the timber in the Tobacco Roots. And are we really trying to do something that is appealable?? ...The timing of this decision is important as to whether or not it will be appealable also...Wildlife Standards - current standards would allow burning of everything without a problem, yet harvesting could be a problem. Is it possible to do this project and waive amending the Forest Plan??" (emphasis added).

Payette National Forest to Convert Green Sales to Salvage Sales

Ron Hamilton, Branch Chief of Wildlife, Soils, and Water for the Payette National Forest in Central Idaho told the McCall Star News that the Payette intends to convert green sales to salvage sales in order to avoid the appeals and litigation that have plagued the Payette NF in the past. "The fact they are not appealable doesn't hurt us," he told the Star News(2/22/96).

Here's a map of Salvage Sales in the Wild Rockies, and the Threats to the Northern Rockies that they pose.

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