The so-called “Friends” of the Clearwater’s request for an investigation into the Clearwater Basin Collaborative is a joke. I am a former CBC participant, and I know that the “Friends” have repeatedly been invited to join the CBC.
The collaborative brings together diverse interests to discuss scientifically sound ways to manage, preserve and maintain the Clearwater-Nez Perce National Forest. The meetings aren’t easy or particularly fun, but they are the only venue where people can ask hard questions of each other and achieve real, workable solutions together.
The “Friends” are the worst kind of activist organization. They constantly sue the U.S. Forest Service over technicalities, diverting funding from other uses and tying the hands of people who strive to sustain the land. The “Friends” oppose the CBC because collaboratives and consensus-based approaches to national forest management threaten their ability to litigate and self-perpetuate through the income they receive for these actions – not to mention additional income from court costs paid by the government.
If the “Friends” truly are friends of our national forests, they will participate in established collaborative processes. If they are not, expect more of the same negativity and activism that has always marked this sad little organization.