Shoshone County, Idaho

Shoshone County, Idaho

[Written Dec., 2013:]  If current trends continue unabated the future prospects for U.S. counties with national forests — particularly where great proportions of the county’s total area are occupied by national forests — do not look promising.  The anticipated sunsetting of Secure Rural Schools (SRS) after 2014 will imperil county road and local school district funding levels.  The rise of an “ecological forestry” sensibility in the U.S. Forest Service — displacing the agency’s previous and longstanding multi-use ethos — promises to keep timber harvests at very low levels.  Moreover, the Forest Service appears unwilling or unable to address the buildup of excess fuel loads on millions of acres of their land, thus threatening still more summer fire seasons with huge catastrophic wildfires. These same fires, in turn, use up an increasing portion of the Forest Service’s operating budget, thus further reducing resources for timber harvests and fuel reduction projects.  Catastrophic wildfires pose the severest threat to the longterm safety and well-being of forested counties.  The “Not Without a Fight Coalition,” which currently comprises our Shoshone County’s county commissioners and school superintendents, has launched this blog as a medium for discussion of these historical forces and their daunting implications for the future.  The blog’s title — “Not Without a Fight!” — is meant to convey that we do not intend to sit idly by and watch our county’s well-being and safety, and the well-being and safety of other forested counties, continue to decline.

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