How the outsourcing of forestry jobs seeps into our public lands debates

By Hal Herring
High Country News
October 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

We were somewhere in Benewah County, Idaho, on a resplendent late April afternoon in 1993. ..None of us knew it then, but we were witnessing the end of a long era of Western woods-work, the end of tree-planting, timber-thinning and most other manual labor on the public lands, at least by American citizens like Davis and me. …The narrative reveals hypocrisy in our national politics on both the left and the right. As I write this, the smoke has just cleared from one of Montana’s worst fire seasons. The state’s new congressman, Republican Greg Gianforte, is planning a “Forest Jobs Tour” to promote the idea that the fires resulted from a combination of U.S. Forest Service inaction and environmental litigation that has shut down public-lands logging and thinning. Absent is any discussion of the Republican Party’s relentless efforts to strangle the budget of that same Forest Service.

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