Five years ago, Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo organized the Clearwater Basin Collaborative (CBC) to develop a plan for future actions on the Clearwater/Nez Perce National Forests. The CBC gave Crapo what he wanted: a plan to “significantly increase timber harvest” on 2,800 square miles of public land.
Nobody should be surprised that Crapo’s priority for our public land is to maximize corporate profit. The opportunities for public recreation in an undeveloped forest will, of course, be diminished when and if the plan takes effect.
Crapo used the collaborative group scam dreamed up by the U.S. Forest Service to get its way. The USFS convenes such collaborative groups to eliminate any risk of having to act according to the wishes of the majority of the public. How? They assure the pre-selected group members support their proposed project.
Tragically, the USFS claims their collaborative groups represent the general public. Nothing could be further from the truth. Ask the senator why three out of four of the “citizens at large” CBC members are retired USFS employees.
The fix is in. Enjoy your national forest while you can.