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Spin

proposed reduction in size of Federal Wilderness Lands and National Monuments

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Spin

I'm not sure if the recent proposed plan to reduce the size of several federal wilderness area along with some National Monument areas has come up here on UJ yet

but t made quite a stir with the public at large judging from the response on the blogs in several promenient newspapers. Without getting too political I would suggest concerned members might want to take the time to contact their  states congressional representitives and express their views and concerns.

 

http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-national-monuments-pictures-20170426-htmlstory.html

 

https://thinkprogress.org/trump-order-puts-monuments-in-jeopardy-7eb59371d5ff/

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salmontogue
6 minutes ago, Spin said:

I'm not sure if the recent proposed plan to reduce the size of several federal wilderness area along with some National Monument areas has come up here on UJ yet

but t made quite a stir with the public at large judging from the response on the blogs in several promenient newspapers. Without getting too political I would suggest concerned members might want to take the time to contact their  states congressional representitives and express their views and concerns.

 

http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-national-monuments-pictures-20170426-htmlstory.html

 

https://thinkprogress.org/trump-order-puts-monuments-in-jeopardy-7eb59371d5ff/

 

Both cited sources are highly political....just saying.  Single use designation is common and certainly not friendly to sportsmen.

 

My alternative suggestion is to designate the District of Columbia as a national monument with wilderness status that excludes the entrance of people, particularly all politicians regardless of party affiliation.  Problem solved.

 

Perk

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Spin
6 minutes ago, salmontogue said:

 

Both cited sources are highly political....just saying.  Single use designation is common and certainly not friendly to sportsmen.

 

My alternative suggestion is to designate the District of Columbia as a national monument with wilderness status that excludes the entrance of people, particularly all politicians regardless of party affiliation.  Problem solved.

 

Perk

I understand public lands in Maine are among those under consideration for downsizing.

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salmontogue
11 minutes ago, Spin said:

I understand public lands in Maine are among those under consideration for downsizing.

 

If you are referencing the Northeast Seamounts and Canyons, I am hardly an informed expert.  The promise to consider all "stakeholders" (government speak) has been a litany of mostly hollow promises and deception  according to many locals.  Someone involved in fishing, sport and commercial, would be more qualified to expand the discussion.

 

If you are referencing the 87,000 acres donated by Roxanne Quimby, the Woods and Waters National Monument, that is an hour or so north of me.  In the distant past, I have hunted and fished that area but now live in a more productive area for both.

 

The publicly stated opinions (not necessarily my own opinions) are as follows......

 

1. Intense distrust of Roxanne Quimby and her son who have advocated and implemented anti-multi use policies and attached caveats in the land donation that mirror those opinions and on other land owned by them.

 

2.  Intense local distrust of the US Park Service.  Some is earned and some is drama.

 

3.  Residents of surrounding towns in Aroostook County are opposed.

 

4.  Aroostook County Commissioners are opposed.

 

5.  The entire Congressional delegation was opposed.

 

6.  The governor was opposed and has asked the President to intervene.

 

7.  The Sportman's Alliance of Maine is opposed.  Fisheries and Wildlife is opposed.

 

8.  Regulations being developed would prohibit fishing, hunting, horseback riding, ATVs, snowmobiles, camping and easy access.  An often asked question concerns the wisdom of removing this land from the tax rolls when private access will be mostly denied.

 

9.  The opposition has not abated.  In fact it has grown.

 

A good comparison would be the Downeast Lakes Land Trust (DLLT) which is all about sensible multi-use and access.  This group has it right.  If the Woods and Waters followed the DLLT model, there would not have been the huge controversy, mistrust and fierce controversy.

 

Dave in Maine, Brad Eden and several others have previously voiced their opinions.  Hope they do again.

 

Perk

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Spin

So you favor the downsizing. Now let me ask you  if you still remain in favor knowing that sale and development of this land is a definite possibility if not likely. I myself know that public use and/or restrictions can and do change with time, administrations, public opinions, etc. The land is still there and in public trust. Once sold and developed however it is pretty much lost forever. People live in the now and tend to take a short sighted view.( all too often politicians view time in 4 year increments) I would urge taking at a more long term view.

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salmontogue
9 hours ago, Spin said:

So you favor the downsizing. Now let me ask you  if you still remain in favor knowing that sale and development of this land is a definite possibility if not likely. I myself know that public use and/or restrictions can and do change with time, administrations, public opinions, etc. The land is still there and in public trust. Once sold and developed however it is pretty much lost forever. People live in the now and tend to take a short sighted view.( all too often politicians view time in 4 year increments) I would urge taking at a more long term view.

 

The "long term view", your words, is serious damage to the Aroostook County economy and tax base.  Roxanne Quimby promised to never resell the land in question.  Perhaps we should accept her representations, collect taxes and encourage her to use environmentally friendly land use options to fund the associated taxes.

 

Maine has an unusual stumpage tax credit program that goes back to the days of Governor Percival Baxter and the establishment of Baxter Park.  The regulations make it extremely difficult to develop lands that have been used for forest products production.  Tax credits are given to such landowners and, in the event of use changes, must be paid back with interest to the state.  In most cases the back tax credits are over a century old and repayment is not economically feasible.  Governor Baxter was something of a genius with foresight to understand state supported ways, through stumpage credits, to protect the vast northern lands.

 

It would be interesting to know what other states use a similar program.

 

One item I failed to mention is that the 87,000 acres have little to create excitement.  Most of the area is pretty much unspectacular, difficult for traditional tourists to access and too far away, particularly when Acadia National Park is spectacular, has incredible access, is close to tourist amenities and is a much shorter drive from most anywhere.  The popularity of nearby Baxter Park has everything to do with multi-use and spectacular geography.  Woods and Waters would not be first or last pick in any litter.  It is that ordinary.

 

Perk

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Chukarman

It is important to realize that parks are like aquariums... just a small sample of what might be. North America needs large, undeveloped areas. Areas that comprise wilderness or very lightly developed land that is essentially in its natural state. Hunting and fishing do little to impact this land, but mining, logging, oil and gas development, and grazing DO impact it. Almost always in a negative way.

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salmontogue
1 hour ago, Chukarman said:

It is important to realize that parks are like aquariums... just a small sample of what might be. North America needs large, undeveloped areas. Areas that comprise wilderness or very lightly developed land that is essentially in its natural state. Hunting and fishing do little to impact this land, but mining, logging, oil and gas development, and grazing DO impact it. Almost always in a negative way.

 

I mostly agree with your statement but, in the case of Maine, at 89% (USDA), the most heavily forested state in the country, harvesting timber is not optional if forest lands are to remain healthy and productive.  Harvesting plans including environmental impact statements, erosion control and reforestation planning are all required and are a part of the licensing process.  Cutting is not permitted within view of water bodies and clear cutting is prohibited.

 

Without this controlled harvesting, small and big game species as well as non-game species would be adversely affected and the populations would sharply decline.  With the exception of blueberries, cranberries and potatoes, farming is mostly a family affair.  There are dairy farms but nothing approaching states like VT, NY and PA.

 

Scouting for upland birds is most productive in areas that have been harvested or in or near areas with second growth.  The available food supply is limited in a mature forest with a dense canopy.  Old farmsteads are productive but the encroaching woodlands have drastically reduced their numbers when not maintained.  There is far more forest land than when I first started hunting nearly sixty years ago.

 

Perk

 

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Chukarman

So Perk, most of the timber cut in Maine comes off NF lands?  In the PNW about 80% of timber cut USED to come off NF lands, now it is less than 20%. This is because of constant challenges of some environmental groups that basically oppose ANY lumbering on public land. This has created a lot of grown-up forests on lands that had been cut previously, sometimes several times. This has played havoc with some local economies and, I think, given the competitive edge to those lumber companies that own their own forest ground.

 

The problem with much "reclaimed" forest is the lack of biological diversity. Recovery to full pre-harvest diversity may never happen or be a long time in arriving.

 

 

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Spin
15 hours ago, salmontogue said:

 

The "long term view", your words, is serious damage to the Aroostook County economy and tax base.  Roxanne Quimby promised to never resell the land in question.  Perhaps we should accept her representations, collect taxes and encourage her to use environmentally friendly land use options to fund the associated taxes.

 

Maine has an unusual stumpage tax credit program that goes back to the days of Governor Percival Baxter and the establishment of Baxter Park.  The regulations make it extremely difficult to develop lands that have been used for forest products production.  Tax credits are given to such landowners and, in the event of use changes, must be paid back with interest to the state.  In most cases the back tax credits are over a century old and repayment is not economically feasible.  Governor Baxter was something of a genius with foresight to understand state supported ways, through stumpage credits, to protect the vast northern lands.

 

It would be interesting to know what other states use a similar program.

 

One item I failed to mention is that the 87,000 acres have little to create excitement.  Most of the area is pretty much unspectacular, difficult for traditional tourists to access and too far away, particularly when Acadia National Park is spectacular, has incredible access, is close to tourist amenities and is a much shorter drive from most anywhere.  The popularity of nearby Baxter Park has everything to do with multi-use and spectacular geography.  Woods and Waters would not be first or last pick in any litter.  It is that ordinary.

 

Perk

Roxanne Quimby promised to never resell the land in question.  Perhaps we should accept her representations, collect taxes and encourage her to use environmentally friendly land use options to fund the associated taxes.

 

 To address the above statement, I can't speak for Maine but from my own experience with two states that I have called home for multiple decades each - Get It In Writing!

Next

As I said Times change and politics, influence and laws with them. We have just seen constitutional law set aside (Emoluments clause, Time period before a ranking military officer may assume high office in the federal government, anti nepotism law. Not to dwell on this but it is a fresh example just how easily things can change. The trust you are putting into this as a protection is perhaps too certain. Lastly those 87,000 acres seem to have little significance now. I have far too often seen this happen. You don't value that which is already there and in abundance and perhaps to a large degree unconsciously believe that it will always remain so. After all it was always there before!

Believe me and am positive many, many others on this site who will tell you, this trust is misplaced. They have seen it, experienced it and mourn the loss because of it.

That timber land cannot or will not be developed simply isn't true. Here in the Upper Great Lakes region we know beyond a doubt that it can and has happened. The Yellow Dog River drainage in upper Michigan is presently being torn up by mining concerns despite Tribal legal resistance and Very wealthy and well funded efforts of the Huron Mountain Club and several other conservation minded organizations and citizens groups. The frak sand  mining operations in northwest Wisconsin are another example.

Maine will with time loose more and more of it wilderness areas and wild places.  We in this part of the country know how easily this happens, we can simply look and see just how much so in just the span of one lifetime. Don't rush it!

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salmontogue
2 minutes ago, Chukarman said:

So Perk, most of the timber cut in Maine comes off NF lands?  In the PNW about 80% of timber cut USED to come off NF lands, now it is less than 20%. This is because of constant challenges of some environmental groups that basically oppose ANY lumbering on public land. This has created a lot of grown-up forests on lands that had been cut previously, sometimes several times. This has played havoc with some local economies and, I think, given the competitive edge to those lumber companies that own their own forest ground.

 

The problem with much "reclaimed" forest is the lack of biological diversity. Recovery to full pre-harvest diversity may never happen or be a long time in arriving.

 

 

 

That is not what I wrote as there is absolutely no reference to NF lands production as any percentage.  Most timberland in ME is privately owned, 94% according to the forestry department at the University of Maine.  Your reference to economic havoc is spot on and a large factor in Aroostook County where the economy is largely dependent on forestry and potato farming.

 

Perk

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salmontogue
12 minutes ago, Spin said:

Roxanne Quimby promised to never resell the land in question.  Perhaps we should accept her representations, collect taxes and encourage her to use environmentally friendly land use options to fund the associated taxes.

 

 To address the above statement, I can't speak for Maine but from my own experience with two states that I have called home for multiple decades each - Get It In Writing!

Next

As I said Times change and politics, influence and laws with them. We have just seen constitutional law set aside (Emoluments clause, Time period before a ranking military officer may assume high office in the federal government, anti nepotism law. Not to dwell on this but it is a fresh example just how easily things can change. The trust you are putting into this as a protection is perhaps too certain. Lastly those 87,000 acres seem to have little significance now. I have far too often seen this happen. You don't value that which is already there and in abundance and perhaps to a large degree unconsciously believe that it will always remain so. After all it was always there before!

Believe me and am positive many, many others on this site who will tell you, this trust is misplaced. They have seen it, experienced it and mourn the loss because of it.

That timber land cannot or will not be developed simply isn't true. Here in the Upper Great Lakes region we know beyond a doubt that it can and has happened. The Yellow Dog River drainage in upper Michigan is presently being torn up by mining concerns despite Tribal legal resistance and Very wealthy and well funded efforts of the Huron Mountain Club and several other conservation minded organizations and citizens groups. The Frank mining operations in northwest Wisconsin are another example.

Maine will with time loose more and more of it wilderness areas and wild places.  We in this part of the country know how easily this happens, we can simply look and see just how much so in just the span of one lifetime. Don't rush it!

 

You might be interested in researching the stumpage tax credit program in Maine and the multi-use program developed by the Downeast Lakes Land Trust (DLLT).  The two in concert comprise an approach to land conservation that provides protection but allows managed public use and access.  The plan for the Quimby donated property simply shuts out the public and seriously impacts the local economy.  It would also lead to forest lands past their prime and wasted resources.  Returning the property to the Quimby family with a contractual conservation easement would be a workable solution and provide permanent protection without government dependency.  The federal government cannot effectively manage lands under their control now and adding to that burden accomplishes nothing positive.

 

Perk

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Chukarman

As Usual, Perk, there are big differences between east and west. I took the following comment as meaning that 89%of forest land was under the control of the USDA (Forest Service)

 

...but, in the case of Maine, at 89% (USDA), the most heavily forested state...

 

I am all for controls on lumbering, mining, O&G development, and grazing because I haveseen first hand what happens when these things are not controlled.

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Spin
2 minutes ago, salmontogue said:

 

You might be interested in researching the stumpage tax credit program in Maine and the multi-use program developed by the Downeast Lakes Land Trust (DLLT).  The two in concert comprise an approach to land conservation that provides protection but allows managed public use and access.  The plan for the Quimby donated property simply shuts out the public and seriously impacts the local economy.  It would also lead to forest lands past their prime and wasted resources.  Returning the property to the Quimby family with a contractual conservation easement would be a workable solution and provide permanent protection without government dependency.  The federal government cannot effectively manage lands under their control now and adding to that burden accomplishes nothing positive.

 

Perk

The state of Michigan has a public use and access program that has been long standing and highly successful granting a tax advantage to 'Private " land owners who allow such use. There is also timber harvest allowed on state and federal lands there but it is closely controlled and supervised. Generally speaking Federal lands are left alone and have successfully resisted several attempts at partial or wholesale sell offs.

   I will as you suggested, look over the program you suggested when I get just a bit more time. I am sure it will help in understanding all sides of the issue in debate.

Thanks.

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salmontogue
7 minutes ago, Chukarman said:

As Usual, Perk, there are big differences between east and west. I took the following comment as meaning that 89%of forest land was under the control of the USDA (Forest Service)

 

 

 

 

I am all for controls on lumbering, mining, O&G development, and grazing because I haveseen first hand what happens when these things are not controlled.

 

My bad.  The USDA was referencing the information source.  Forest land comprises 89% of the land mass and 94% of that area is privately owned.

 

I am in agreement concerning controls.  My objection is to closing publicly owned lands to reasonable public use and access.

 

Perk

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