Timber harvest on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests has exceeded 250 million board feet in past years. As a result, watershed integrity, water quality, and fish and wildlife habitat greatly suffered. Eventually, public scrutiny reduced logging levels. In 2013, timber harvest was approximately 40-million board feet on these forests.
Unfortunately, Forest Supervisor Cheryl Probert just chose the largest alternative for the Clear Creek Integrated Restoration Project. Dubbed the “big one” by logging interests, this timber sale would produce 85 million board feet from a single watershed. This, despite the fact that Clear Creek does not currently meet water quality standards under the existing forest plan. Now it makes sense why the Forest Service is trying to weaken, not strengthen, water quality standards in their existing forest revision efforts.
The Clear Creek Integrated Restoration Project is the pet project of the timber industry-driven Clearwater Basin Collaborative. Just as the collaborative process is dubbed democratic, the giant timber sale(s) produced by the exclusive group are classified as restoration. The common denominator is that they are The Big Hoax. The majority of Americans don’t want to see the glory days of destructive logging return to places like the Clearwater Basin.
Ashley Lipscomb, Moscow
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