Ground Truth: Sound Off

It’s Called “Lying by Omission”

On Tuesday, Vicki Christiansen made her first Hill appearance as Forest Service chief, albeit with an “interim” asterisk. Her written testimony focused on fire funding and “active forest management,” aka, logging:

The funding and related work will support between 340,000 and 370,000 jobs and contribute more than $30 billion in Gross Domestic Product. Through the use of tools like the Good Neighbor Authority, with more than 127 agreements in 33 states, 20-year stewardship contracts with cancellation ceiling relief, and other internal process improvements like environmental analysis decision-making (EADM), the Forest Service will move forward to sell 3.7 billion board feet of timber while improving the resiliency and health of more than 3.4 million acres of National Forest System lands through removal of hazardous fuels and stand treatments.

The Forest Service’s FY 2018 Budget is the source for her jobs and GDP data. Here’s what the budget says:

The proposed Forest Service program of work is projected to contribute between 340,000 and 370,000 jobs in the economy and between $30 billion and $31 billion in GDP. A greater share of the economic benefit, up to 70 percent, is anticipated to be generated by resource use effects in FY 2018. While all resource uses are important to the nation, recreation and wildlife visitor use will continue to provide the single largest category of economic contribution.

Guess what she left out of her written testimony? Yep, not one word about the importance of recreation and wildlife visitor use.


3 comments on this post

  1. David says:

    The Forest Service now lives in the era of target driven objectives. If a program does not have targets set by congress (ie wildlife, water quality, recreation, etc.), the Forest Service is free to disregard the program as a “nice to do” thing. The Forest Service has also led the public into thinking that they are working hard on their public image. Yet, the public face of the Forest Service, Recreation, gets barely any funding. And their harassment culture has not changed one bit despite having two female chiefs, now, and tons of policy and training. The Forest Service really needs to do a fact check in the mirror before making any more statements.

  2. Earl Emerson says:

    Christianson was the State Forester for the Washington Department of Natural Resources (WADNR). WADNR is nothing more than a state run logging and tree farming company along with firefighting capability. Recreation, fisheries, wildlife and other forest amenities are either provided by accident or after being forced by citizen interest groups with legislation or lawsuits. The only thing their foresters are concerned with is providing funding to the state trust funds to the exclusion of anything else. Having applied to jobs with the organization I was treated to the comments under the table that it was a friends and relatives organization despite the so called lip service to equal opportunity. Really loved a panel of interviewers playing grab ass and ignoring me during what was supposed to be an interview for a Forester position. I have little or no regards for anyone from that organization. Christianson sounds like a good fit for Purdue and his corporate raiders who want to return to the old days of get the cut out under the pretense of wildfire reduction. Meanwhile I watch the forest roads overgrow or wash away and I can’t even get down them with a 4X4 and nobody gives a rats behind in the organization or the political arena. Citizens just don’t count.

  3. a retired USFS employee says:

    Those line-officers in the USFS who excel at planning and implementing tragic, destructive mining, grazing and timber projects to please their corporate masters advance quickly to the top of the promotion ladder. The USFS probably has a new job for people to create euphemisms. The recreating public does not want their national forests logged. So what does the USFS do? The invent new names for logging to fool the public: active management and mechanical treatment. They use our tax dollars to backhand us … and skip home after work believing they served us.

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