Results 1 to 19 of 19

Thread: USFS at it again , your help is needed.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    3,931

    Default USFS at it again , your help is needed.

    Many of you have followed us on the practice of the USFS destroying large stands of marketable timber and eradicating hardwoods on the FMNF as well as increasing their burning averages during the nesting and fawning season via the use of large scale aerial set firings on poor category days and late sets.

    Recently upon receiving a scoping letter, it became known to me that the FMNF is looking to up their allowable acreage for yearly burning from 50k to 60k and to have their NEPA restrictions lifted allowing them to burn at will and at any time to include the Wilderness areas, the Wildlife preserve and to further push Long Leaf restoration where even their models shows it doesn't belong.

    A new " Prescribed Fire adaptive Plan" has been started of which requires an Environmental assessment. An Environmental Assessment must be completed which requires public meetings. Typically these public meetings allow an open forum and public discussion and the attendance and opinion is recorded and on the record. I was just notified today that this will not be the case in this plan nor in these upcoming meetings. The only way to oppose this plan is by personal email as it seems they have found a way around the past EA requirements as to the definition of a meeting.

    Further the USFS is neglecting its own goals and missions our to protect traditional culture however this plan makes no mention of hunting, nor wild game , nor of protecting the rare mature mast bearing hardwoods stands. It only speaks to more acreage, Long Leaf and fire adapted species, specifically the Red Cockaded Woodpecker.

    If you would please take a second and say that you oppose this new plan.

    You should send the email to : comments-southern-francismarion-sumt...rion@fs.us.gov Subject line : Prescribed fire on the Francis Marion NF.

    A few points that should be included in your own words.

    Opening paragraph: From recent examples of large tracts of marketable pine timber and mature mast bearing hardwoods being destroyed with the fire regime upon the Francis marion I oppose the new prescribed fire adaptive management plan.

    1. That fire sets and acreages during the birthing and nesting season, notably as 3/15 - 6/15, be restricted to no greater than 5,000 acres annually or above 10% of total annual burn acreage for any given year. That growing season acreage accrual outside of 3/15-6/15 be no more than 10,000 acres or above 20% of total annual burn acreage for any given year. That dormant season burns account for the remaining 70% of the annual burn acreage for any given year. Furthermore that the 5,000 acre allocated for the aforementioned nesting period timing should only be used when absolute scrutiny has been applied as to wild game sensitivity and needed prescription.

    2. That the annual burn acreage allotment be held to no more than 50,000 acres total on any given year.

    3. That extra sensitivity, protection and prioritization of mast bearing hardwoods be written into the plan to include Dogwood, Holly, Oaks and Hickories.

    4. That this plan in both MA1 and May2 be revised such that Wild Game and our longest running culture on the forest, hunting be noted. That also game species be noted and prioritized equal to T&E species.

    6. That this plan in both MA1 and MA2 be revised such to include the protection, proper management and reintroduction of both Mesic and Xeric hardwoods to include ridges, patches, bottoms and other inclusions. That these hardwood habitats be prioritized above that of Long Leaf reintroduction being that per your own Land Management Plan this habitat is the least prevalent at only 5,800 acres of the FMNF. These species are of great importance to all wildlife fecundity and are of greater importance to a greater number of species.

    7. That both NON fire adapted species and NON fire adapted habitats be equally prioritized in the plan.

    8. That the term "natural fire regime" be removed entirely as studies have shown that rarely, if ever did natural fire ever occur on the same block of land with short return intervals of less than 5-10 years especially during the early growing season. To return fire within 2-3 years or shorter to the same compartments during the early growing season is not natural nor necessary. This practice also runs a greater risk of poor fire effects, damaging habitat and also destroying the marketability of timber harvest and its economic gains.

    9. That eco tones, transition zones and soft edges be added to the plan as promoted and protected by not pushing fire through these areas and that all existing historical fire lines be restored and maintained.

    10. That no other fire description other than "low intensity" be allowed, revised or added as to any prescribed fire description and that such remains current per existing plan.

    11. That the entire acreage of a compartment be used for accruals not just the pine component. It has been noted and proven that much more than the pine component has been burnt as the result of stringing fire with the aerial sets via helicopter. Furthermore and factually proven, a prescribed burn does not simply effect just the confines of its perimeter but the entire ecosystem surrounding the burn.

    12. That any wildfire acreages of a fiscal year be included as prescription accruals and subtracted against the 50,000 acre allotment.

    13. That there be a revision added to the plan that restricts timber mortality and stress to less than 1% of annual acreage allotment.

    14. That timber management and harvest be added to the fire priorities in both MA1 and MA2 as this practice not only produces positive economic income but also decreases fuel loads while increasing natural and available browse.

    15. That the oldest culture on the FMNF is indeed hunting and that even the Forest is named after Francis Marion who hunted there and that the first win for the Wild Turkey was fought and one here.
    Last edited by Strick9; 07-10-2018 at 09:35 PM.
    Genesis 9;2

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    3,931

    Default

    email address is showing up odd in the original post.. its comments-southern-francismarion-sumt...rion@fs.fed.us

    You can click on the email and it will hopefully link it up so that you just type in the subject line as noted above.
    Last edited by Strick9; 07-10-2018 at 09:38 PM.
    Genesis 9;2

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    313

    Default

    USFS operates under the direction of Dept of Agriculture, I think you need to go further up the food chain to stop this!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    313

    Default

    To them it’s just a crop to harvest.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Homestead, FL
    Posts
    1,211

    Default

    done
    "Opinion on everything, expert on nothin' "

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    3,931

    Default

    Fire is their crop these days not timber unfortunately. Sonny Purdue, Secretary of Ag has been contacted and has personally traveled to visit the Francis Marion National Forest. He left the USFS with the words that they are to become productive and manage timber properly and to cease the wanton burning of marketable timber. The Deep state however has built its base far deeper into many agencies that one would imagine.

    Thanks for all the views, I sincerely hope that more than Tman has sent the email.

    This forest and its indigenous Eastern Wild Turkey are likely the very reason you and the rest of the SE have turkeys to hunt.
    Last edited by Strick9; 07-12-2018 at 10:07 AM.
    Genesis 9;2

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    York Co
    Posts
    3,844

    Default

    thanks Strick! email sent from here
    Last edited by YoungBuckTX; 07-12-2018 at 10:28 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    'Down in the Holler', SC
    Posts
    11,462

    Default

    Is there someone, or a named committee, etc, that this email should be addressed to vs just "To Whom It May Concern", etc?
    .
    Foothills Golden Retriever Rescue
    .
    "Keep your powder dry, Boys!"
    ~ George Washington

    "If I understood everything I said I'd be a genius." ~ 'Unknown'

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Santee Cooper Country
    Posts
    6,064

    Default

    BUMP...Send an email fellas

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    3,931

    Default

    Woody,

    You can address the email as you posted to whom it may concern or to the district ranger Rhea Whalen.

    Thanks guys,

    Here is another big kicker, their new Forest Land Management Plan was created and adopted in 2017, its a daggum huge book full of graphs, photos, satellite imagery and of course lengthy reading that a common person has an incredibly hard time digesting. This plan was created from the very best current science, research, monitoring and evidence that was available. Surely it cost the taxpayer a couple of million to produce. The plan held accountability for burn acreage to not accrue to more than 50k acres per year with 16,500 of that being the growing season. It held accountability for only low intensity fire and did not make allowances for excessive tree mortality or stress and also protected the Wilderness areas. It made very small recognition of wild game and management but at least they were mentioned.


    This seeking to make a new plan literally only one year since the old speaks to the fact that they were busted breaking their own legal documentation by the CWS. The new plan ups there acreage to 60k, allows them to burn into the wilderness area ( the only place where natural forest succession was being allowed), it removes there obligations of only using low intensity fire, removes not killing or stress trees to include the pine and hardwood component while bringing in more Long Leaf. Worst of all it takes away there acreage restriction during the growing/nesting/fawning season. That acreage was 16,500, now will be unlimited. Furthermore it emphasizes wild game nor wild game habitat not one single time however the Red Cockaded woodpecker, flatwoods salamander and a few grasses are mentioned about 2 million times. Thank the Lord that they will soon have to recognize the Northern Long Eared bat which was recently found on the forest and nests in the dead bark of old cavity hardwoods and pines. oh wait , no they won't if they get this plan passed soon enough as such will stall them having to manage for the LEB.

    Scott Rhodes , see if you can not shake awake your Prescribed Fire Council and Long Leaf Alliance into at least acknowledging this plan it is bias towards non game species and hardwoods of which is the rarest component on this forest. Further from examples already seen on this forest I assure you that this plan will only further hurt the perception of both fire and Long Leaf reintroduction from the examples evident throughout the forest. I have said all along if the Fire circle doesn't start policing there own that in the end they will bear the guilt of loosing fire. This is the time for you to act Calibogue.

    I recently asked why we had not seen any hand set fires and why dormant season burns in Nov, Dec, Jan were almost non existent. I was told by an upper level USFS employee ( that is not in agreement with current USFS burning examples) and he said : Well thhe helicopter is not here during that time and that USFS employees accrue up to and over a full month of vacation very quickly in their tenure. Thus the fire crews typically take off weeks or the full month surrounding Thanksgiving , Christmas and New Years. Think about that for a second the people responsible and hired for prescribed fire are not even working during the best firing months leaving only Feb and March traditionally and then are forced to burn in April, May and June to catch up to burn budget, yep I just said that and this is is a grave problem in my opine.


    Please send in your concerns, opinions and opposition.
    Last edited by Strick9; 07-13-2018 at 08:38 AM.
    Genesis 9;2

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Beaufort, SC
    Posts
    7,662

    Default

    I do not currently nor ever have I sat on the Prescribed Fire Council FYI.
    I have however discussed the topic with a number of individuals and most pretty much agree their prescribed Fire in the forest sucks!
    To alter their agenda will require way more than the influence of the PFC however.
    If it was changed how would one go about making fire across 50,000 acres in a season without aerial ignition at this point in the landscape?
    Short of taking the management out of USFS control and contracting it out to the private sector, I don't know?
    Lots of logistical issues but first you have to change the entire ES management approach and that is huge!
    I've said it before.... Butterflies and salamanders ate what they care about, not deer and turkey but y'all have figured that out by now.
    \"I never saw a wild thing feel sorry for itself. A small bird will drop dead frozen from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself.\" <br />D.H. LAWRENCE

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    3,931

    Default

    Scott,

    I thought you had interaction with them based on your posting on their page, no biggy. I sure wish those whom you have spoke to that agree it sucks would at least point out the bad effects its having.

    As to the how would they, I guess the same way they have since 1936 up until the last 5-10 years nothing has changed except mentality of doing work and getting the job done appropriately. They have the same amount of fire staff then as now with more technology. What has changed is the management of the crew itself more than anything.

    You can't have a good fire crew if your entire fire crew is allowed to take full months off during the most productive burning times thus depleting your entire staff during the best category and productive periods.

    When I was a warden I certainly wasn't allowed to take off Holidays, actually had to work them, all of them. As to T&E species , am hoping that the Trump restructuring of these handouts will help bring efficiency and accountability.
    Genesis 9;2

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    'Down in the Holler', SC
    Posts
    11,462

    Default

    Here is the copy of the slightly revised email I will be sending, including a few minor corrections (MA2 vs May2 in #4), etc.

    Please advise if I've made any improper changes as I'll hold my email until this afternoon.

    Feel free to copy and modify as desired...

    ------------------------------------------

    Dear Rhea Whalen, District Ranger, USFS:

    Based on recent examples of large tracts of marketable pine timber and mature mast bearing hardwoods being destroyed with the fire regime procedures upon the Francis Marion National Forest, I oppose the current/new Prescribed Fire Adaptive Management Plan.

    I fully support the following recommendations developed by persons who are very knowledgeable in this field, and respectfully request their inclusion into the FMNF Precribed Fire Adaptive Management Plan for the balance of 2018 and beyond by the USFS.

    1. That fire sets and acreages during the birthing and nesting season of species such as wild turkey and quail, notably as 3/15 - 6/15, be restricted to no greater than 5,000 acres annually or not above 10% of total annual burn acreage for any given year. That growing season acreage accrual outside of 3/15-6/15 be no more than 10,000 acres or above 20% of total annual burn acreage for any given year. That dormant season burns account for the remaining 70% of the annual burn acreage for any given year. Furthermore that the 5,000 acre allocated for the aforementioned nesting period timing should only be used when absolute scrutiny has been applied as to wild game sensitivity and needed prescription.

    2. That the annual burn acreage allotment be held to no more than 50,000 acres total on any given year.

    3. That extra sensitivity, protection and prioritization of mast bearing hardwoods be written into the plan to include Dogwood, Holly, Oaks and Hickories.

    4. That this plan in both MA1 and MA2 be revised such that Wild Game and our longest running culture on the forest, hunting, be noted, and respective considerations included in the plan. That also game species be noted and prioritized equal to T&E species.

    6. That this plan in both MA1 and MA2 be revised such to include the protection, proper management and reintroduction of both Mesic and Xeric hardwoods to include ridges, patches, bottoms and other inclusions. That these hardwood habitats be prioritized above that of Long Leaf reintroduction being that per your own Land Management Plan this habitat is the least prevalent at only 5,800 acres of the FMNF. These species are of great importance to all wildlife fecundity and are of greater importance to a greater number of species.

    7. That both NON-fire adapted species and NON-fire adapted habitats be equally prioritized in the plan.

    8. That the term "natural fire regime" be removed entirely as studies have shown that rarely, if ever, did natural fire ever occur on the same block of land with short return intervals of less than 5-10 years, especially during the early growing season. To return fire within 2-3 years or shorter to the same compartments during the early growing season is not natural nor necessary. This practice also runs a greater risk of poor fire effects, damaging habitat and also destroying the marketability of timber harvest and its economic gains.

    9. That eco tones, transition zones and soft edges be added to the plan as promoted and protected by not pushing fire through these areas and that all existing historical fire lines be restored and maintained.

    10. That no other fire description other than "low intensity" be allowed, revised, or added as to any prescribed fire description and that such remains current per existing plan.

    11. That the entire acreage of a compartment be used for accruals and not just the pine component. It has been noted and proven that much more than the pine component has been burnt as the result of stringing fire with the aerial sets via helicopter. Furthermore and factually proven, a prescribed burn does not simply effect just the confines of its perimeter but the entire ecosystem surrounding the burn.

    12. That any wildfire acreages of a fiscal year be included as prescription accruals and subtracted against the 50,000 acre allotment.

    13. That there be a revision added to the plan that restricts timber mortality and stress to less than 1% of annual acreage allotment.

    14. That timber management and harvest be added to the fire priorities in both MA1 and MA2 as this practice not only produces positive economic income but also decreases fuel loads while increasing natural and available browse.

    15. That the oldest culture on the FMNF is indeed hunting and that even the Forest is named after Francis Marion who hunted there and that the first win for the Wild Turkey was fought and won here.

    Please provide your, and/or the final USFS response to including the above fifteen criteria requests for the Francis Marion National Forest Prescribed Fire Adaptive Management Plan, for the balance of 2018 and beyond.

    Thank-you.

    Respectfully,

    -----------------------
    .
    Foothills Golden Retriever Rescue
    .
    "Keep your powder dry, Boys!"
    ~ George Washington

    "If I understood everything I said I'd be a genius." ~ 'Unknown'

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    3,931

    Default

    Looks good to me Woody, thank you for your ongoing support sir!

    A quick update as to todays meeting on the scoping letter and public opinion open house.

    Did our wild game and its habitat needs possibly gain some help today from your letters to the USFS? Read below to find out!

    Here is the update as to last evenings public open house meeting on the scoping letter concerning the new Adaptive Prescribed Fire Management Plan. If you haven't sent your emails please do so!! There is also another meeting scheduled for this Saturday, you can find the information for this meeting on the left of your screen under events, please attend and voice your concerns! ( saturday in Mt Pleasant , Laing Middle School, 11-1pm. ).

    For the record, I wasn't allowed to film my actual question and answer periods within the various areas of discussion and with USFS employees this evening. However, I did get to film as I asked each USFS if they would answer questions as to the plan on video for the record. Each employee denied me videoing their answers on film. Valuable? Yes indeed.

    During the questioning I was able to fill in some vague areas as to the upcoming Environmental Assessment draft for the "Adaptive Prescribed Fire Plan. It is possible that this scoping letter was left vague concerning certain areas of interest in hopes that the public wouldn't take notice. I could be wrong but even the Ranger agreed to some of the vagueness and promised to clean those areas up for complete clarity moving forward in the assessments preliminary draft..

    On the record per my notes from questioning USFS employees to include Wildlife, Silviculture, Fire Management and the head ranger and of course with witnesses:

    I was guaranteed that the USFS will NOT be seeking an additional annual acreage over the existing 2017 Forest Land Management plan acreage of 50,000 annually.

    I was guaranteed that there would be no allowances further written in allowing the use of high intensity fire.

    I was guaranteed that the USFS will not be seeking more growing season acreage than already allowed in their 2017 Forest Land Management Plan of 16,500 acres annually.

    I was guaranteed that there would be no written in allowances for marketable pine timber mortality or hardwood over story ( mature) hardwoods of either hard mast or soft mast bearing species. To those not familiar hard mast are acorn/nut producers such as Oaks and Hickories and soft mast are Persimmon, Dogwood, Black Cherry, Crab Apple and etc.

    All in all it was a positive meeting minus that of the questions directed towards the Fire Management Officer which fully denied any evidence of large scale high intensity fire and pine/ hardwood timber mortality even with photographic evidence and satellite imagery being provided showing both.

    I have hope, but certainly won't trust at this stage that the final outcome in the Environmental assessment preliminary draft will include these corrected areas of vagueness.

    If these positive changes are written into the plan such parameters will certainly lend itself to spreading the 50k allowance over a greater range of land versus pounding the same compartments with short return interval fire over and over again. I also emphasized that any existing hardwood forest not be damaged while entering the Urban Interface. That was duly noted and promised as well.

    So, did Turkeys, Quail, low nesting song birds, low mobile reptiles and fawns as well as other non fire adapted species gain a chance of sensitivity and emphasis? Yes they did receive such and SHOULD benefit IF followed.

    Guess what else ? YOUR VOICE is truly is making a difference and our concerns are being heard!!! Time will tell as always and we must keep pushing for growth in our membership! Add a friend today that cares about proper wild game management being reinstated on our public lands!
    Last edited by Strick9; 07-16-2018 at 10:05 PM.
    Genesis 9;2

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Columbia, SC
    Posts
    30,819

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    where you aren't
    Posts
    1,768

    Default

    Oh my..........here's a fun fact the NWTF gets more money from the USFS than any of the other partners.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Columbia, SC
    Posts
    30,819

    Default

    yep
    and its a private "charity", right?
    Ugh. Stupid people piss me off.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    where you aren't
    Posts
    1,768

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 2thDoc View Post
    yep
    and its a private "charity", right?
    Yeah a charity that is not concerned with a turkey's well being. In fact the more troubles the Wild Turkey faces, the more money the NWTF gets within reason.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Mt Pleasant
    Posts
    74

    Default

    Good work Dave, is it too late to comment(send email).? I'll send one anyway if I don't hear back from anyone.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •