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The Chronicle recently published a story about the new Forest Action Plan released by the Montana DNRC. This plan was developed by a citizen-led Forest Action Advisory Council. I have seen many fake conservation plans over the years, and this one is quite typical of such. Humans have a rare talent of devising logging programs that are called “conservation” or “restoration” programs.

Take for example, the new “fake” conservation plan for grizzly bear management on many Montana forests where whatever roads exist in a particular landscape become the road density direction for grizzly bears. Or the lynx conservation plan, where there is no limit on the size of clearcuts in critical habitat, including those of hundreds of acres in size.

Speaking of clearcut sizes, the Forest Service limit of clearcuts to 40 acres or less is also a fake requirement. Any clearcut size is allowable as long as it is approved, you guessed it, by the Forest Service. This may include clearcuts of hundreds of acres. Although not a specific conservation plan, Forest Service logging projects typically consider clearcuts as elk security as long as no roads pass through them.

The restoration plan by DNRC to log 3.8 million acres of supposedly unhealthy Montana forests is just another fake forest restoration plan that bodes badly for wildlife. Maybe this advisory council believes it is fake science that western forest birds have declined by 30% since the 1970s, with 64% of these species in decline. Or that it is fake science that industrial logging is a huge contributor to climate change. Or that it is fake science that logging promotes forest fires.

What is clear is that this advisory council understands that logging of public forests provides profits to private interests, which is clearly the actual purpose of this proposal.

Sara Johnson

Three Forks

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