07. March 2022 · Comments Off on Ag and Rural Caucus Call to Meeting, March 2022 · Categories: Recent Events
Monday, Mar 28, 2022 06:30 PM Pacific Time
Meeting ID: 872 0778 8906
Passcode: 467257
+1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)

No Drama

Wolves…that is what comes to mind when we think about resource management in the northeast counties: Ferry, Stevens, and Pend O’Reille. Well, there is another story. It is about managing forests. It is a story that takes the drama out of natural resource management. De-tox, though, does not happen by accident, or because there is nothing to fight about. Values clash, agency priorities differ, jobs and incomes are at risk, community sentiment swings and splits, science sometimes concludes “it depends”, and personalities can grate.

What kind of process, what kind of thinking, can bring together the Tribes, State Department of Natural Resources, United States Forest Service, and a lumber mill operator and the biggest employer in the region…to talk about forest management, agree on an approach and make it happen?

Join us for a conversation.

I thank Mike Lithgow and Robert Schutte.for making this meeting possible.


Cooperation and Partnership

Managing natural resources is messy. Oh, from a distance it is easy to know what needs to be done on the ground. Wolf – cattle conflicts, no problem. Regenerative ag, of course. Thinning and burning, naturally. Add “health” or “sustainable” to the prescription and all becomes clear.

On the ground there are tradeoffs. Do I remove green blackberry patches and understory today to plant trees that will take ten years to make a difference? Do I plant wheat-on-wheat to keep a crop on the ground, roots in the soil, and me in business, when all the smart advice tells me to rotate peas? What is a working forest? Thinning takes out diversity of age and often species, but it is conventional wisdom that thinning makes for forest “health”.  

Natural resource management entails trade-offs. Sometimes it is time: today versus tomorrow. Sometimes it is values: financial sustainability can compete with future environmental values. Sometimes it is favoring one species over another: spotted versus barred owl. Natural resources are not cookie cutter. What you judge needs to be done may change from stream to stream, from field to field, and season to season. These are complex systems. Slogans are no substitute for observation and judgement, drawing on what we know at any given time.

Complexity and uncertainty…Mike Lithgow with the Kalispell Tribe takes us on the ground and shows us how cooperation and partnership can manage risk in natural resource management and optimize outcomes. Carin Vadala from the National Forest Service and Ray Entz from the Kalispells join Mike in describing in how working together makes for better decisions.

I thank Robert Schutte, ARC eastern vice-chair, for making this meeting possible.


Copyright © 2022 Ag and Rural Caucus, All rights reserved.
Ag and Rural Caucus of State Democratic Central Committee
Our mailing address is:
Ag and Rural Caucus
2921 Mud Creek Rd
Waitsburg, WA 99361

Add us to your address book