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Dr. K. Norman Johnson, Chair

Oregon State University

 

Dr. James Agee

University of Washington

 

Dr. Robert Beschta

Oregon State University

 

Dr. Virginia Dale

Oak Ridge National Lab.

Oak Ridge, TN

 

Dr. Linda Hardesty

Washington State Univ.

 

Dr. James Long

Utah State University

 

Dr. Larry Nielsen

Pennsylvania State Univ.

 

Dr. Barry Noon

Colorado State University

 

Dr. Roger Sedjo

Resources for the Future

Washington, D.C.

 

Dr. Margaret Shannon

Maxwell School of Citizenship & Public Affairs

Syracuse, NY

 

Dr. Ronald Trosper

Northern Arizona Univ.

 

Charles Wilkinson

University of Colorado

 

Dr. Julia Wondolleck

University of Michigan

MEMORANDUM

 

DATE: June 12, 1998

 

TO: The Committee of Scientists

 

FROM: K. Norman Johnson, Committee Chair

 

SUBJECT: Albuquerque Committee Meeting Notes

 

 

Enclosed are the notes from the seventh meeting of the Committee of Scientists Federal Advisory Committee held April 14-15, 1998 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

 

The purpose of the meeting in Albuquerque was to hear from USFS Region 3, range management representatives, a traditional and contemporary panel, a land planning panel, and the public. In addition, the Committee discussed processes and principles.

 

Enclosed you will find:

Attendance from April 14-15, 1998

Meeting minutes

 

 

Thank you for your participation in the meeting.

ATTENDANCE

APRIL 14-15, 1998; ALBUQUERQUE

 

COMMITTEE OF SCIENTISTS

 

Dr. Norm Johnson, Chair

Guest Speakers

Dr. Bob Beschta

Eleanor Townes, Region 3 Regional Forester

Dr. Linda Hardesty

Art Briggs, Region 3 Planning Director

Dr. Virginia Dale

Doug Shaw, Region 3 Planning

Dr. Larry Nielsen

Al Koschmann, Region 3 Engineer

Dr. Jim Long

Dave Sire, Region 3 Environmental Coord.

Dr. Ron Trosper

Audrey Kuykendall, R3 Plnr, Carson NF

Charles Wilkinson, Prof. of Law

Dave Seesholtz, R3 Social Analyst

Dr. Julia Wondolleck

Wayne Robbie, R3 Regional Inventory

Dr. Jim Agee

Teresa McClung, R3 Planner, Cibola NF

Dr. Barry Noon

Susan Bruin, R3 Carson NF

Bob Cunningham, Designated Federal Official

Elizabeth Agpao, R3 FS, Cibola NF

 

Jim Enote, Zuni Conservation Project

 

Max Cordova, Truchas Land Grant

 

Raymond Montoya, Terra a Monte SWCD

 

Dusty Hunt, Gila Monster Watershed Project

Committee Staff Support

Bob Budd, Red Canyon Ranch

Harriet Plumley, USFS

Dennis Moroney, Cross U Ranch

Ann Carlson, USFS

Ted Milesnick, BLM Senior Planner

Jonathan Stephens, USFS

William deBuys, Conservation Fund

Rosemary Romero, Western Network

 

Luis Torres, Community organizer

 

Audience *Made public comments.

Martin Moore, Eastern Counties Organization*

Jeremy Kruger, SW Forest Alliance*

David Tracy*

John Talberth, Forest Guardians*

Bob Partido, Society of American Foresters

Bryan Bird, Forest Guardians*

Dave Zaber, Defenders of Wildlife

Martos Hoffman, SW Forest Alliance*

Dave Barone, USFS Wash. Office

Priscilla Tracy*

Preston Guthrie, Bureau of Indian Affairs

Jock Fleming*

Yale Weinstein

Fred Galley, Rainy Mesa Ranch*

Vicky Estrad, USFS R3 Cibola NF

Patrick McCarthy, The Nature Conservancy*

Mary Zabinski, USFS Region 3

Steve Bennett, Stone Container*

Cara Nelson, Natural Resource Defense Council

Lorin Porter, Precision Pine*

Brad McRae, Northern Arizona University

Henry Carey, Forest Trust*

Ellen Rainier, Eco-Justice Comm.

Jerry Baker*

Richard Becker, NM FOF

Bill Greenwood, Eagar, AZ*

Gerry Gonzalez, NRCS

David Lujan, Tonantzin Land Institution*

Rebecca de la Torre, NRCS

 

 

 

USFS Region 3 (Southwestern) Presentation

 

Art Briggs, Director Planning - moderator.

 

Doug Shaw, Environmental Coordinator - video presentation of the Region.

 

Ellie Townes, Regional Forester

Discussed cultural and social issues, wildlife threatened and endangered species resources, and urban interface issues. Some new, old, good, bad, and different issues in Region 3. The area has those who would have one measurable truth, and others who prefer flexibility. Two truths: planning is dynamic, and science is dynamic. We used to live with folks who thought like us and deferred to us; now they have word processors and computers and donít trust that we know all we think we know. We have a public process - it is costly. As a decision-maker, I need maximum flexibility that allows for adjustments rather than being locked into a set process. Science is not a point, a line, or a specific number. It is a range, ratio, percentage, or band that informs the public and decision-makers.

 

Doug Shaw - Planning and Monitoring Coordinator

Forests have had between 2 and 21 amendments each (ave. 7). Have done major amendments to all forest plans. The northern spotted owl and northern goshawk have created a need for changes. Have 16 ongoing lawsuits right now that are related to forest plans. The Cibola is the only forest to have a notice of intent published in time to continue with the revision process. There are another 55 threatened and endangered species listed that we need to address. Our approach is to manage through broad principles. No desk guide, but have folders on big issues. Forest planners meet frequently to come up with processes that work; those that work in northern Arizona donít necessarily work in New Mexico. Norm Johnson has said, "we need to be able to dream." Mine is that a forest plan would be a map of the forest with standards and guidelines on the back side, and this would be covered in plastic for use in the field. Doesnít need a lot of detail. Right now we are moving toward a lot of detail in order to accommodate single species management. Balance analytical tools with importance of issues outlined in the plan. Be flexible enough to solve local problems and work collaboratively with other planning entities in the Region.

 

David Seesholtz - Regional Social Analyst

The southwest is one of the fastest growing areas of the U.S. Changing demographics and beliefs. Significant natural resource issues. Fundamental shift in values related to natural resources. Social environment is people living in and adjacent to national forests. Cultures within the Cibola National Forest zone of influence: land grant communities, national forests, 28 tribes. Many communities rely on national forests for their livelihood. People express themselves differently. There are ways we can make their dreams come true. Pheonix is the ninth largest metropolitan area in U.S., and fastest growing, but still a rural landscape. Even a perfect plan can not make conflicts go away for more than five minutes. Plans should be more flexible, dynamic, socially responsible and culturally adaptable. Community-based planning will be essential in the next go around.

 

 

Al Koschmann - Regional Engineer

Never want to go from a draft EIS to a forest plan again. Want a simple, dynamic process. Too complex for public and for people who had to implement. Share Dougís vision for simplicity. More attention to social aspects. Sense that we have the environmental community on one side, and commodity folks on the other. We need more information from people who fish and camp on the national forests. Who are the people using the forests, and what are their values and cultures. Aspect of forest planning that could be dropped: lists of projects and budgets. These raise expectations we will never meet - campground projects, etc. Currently 5-7 years behind, and are still tied to forest plan project lists that are out of date. Single-species management is troubling. Forced more and more to do so. Puts forest plans in a bad light. Trying to implement decisions based on large area assessments is becoming more difficult; the issue of scale should be looked at very carefully. Defining roads is getting very complex. A core point should be common definitions. We should build data bases together with public. Data is used (on internet) in ways we never imagined. Must be able to plan fast enough to keep people involved. People move, die, lose interest; values change. A planning process should take months, not years.

 

Dave Sire - Environmental Coordinator

We challenged the Carson Forest Supervisor to revise their Forest Plan so it fits in a pocket. Desired conditions are argued over, but when you talk with the public, they actually donít vary by much. Expertise from original plans is gone. Are starting over in reality. Assess a landscape; that can become part of a forest plan. Wonít preclude amendments. Litigation on threatened and endangered species is driving a lot of amendments. We are arguing over tools and how to achieve desired future conditions; having common ones would help resolve disputes.

 

Audrey Kuykendall- Plan Implementation Carson NF

The Carson Forest Plan was the only one in the Region not to get appealed. Change over last 10 years: could not get projects implemented on ground due to appeals - mainly those related to threatened and endangered species issues. Crockett Dumas was the first district ranger (Camino Real RD) to volunteer to work on this problem. Entire District was to be involved in the process. Started with existing condition. Wanted 1/2"/mi map. Doing this with no more detail was tough for some. On the Camino Real, they had a tremendous amount of knowledge of the area. Included social influence zones - how people were using the forest. Then worked on the desired future conditions. These became the meat of the document. In ecosystem management areas, we looked at the difference between existing and desired conditions. Focused projects on the differences (not just environmental, but social as well). Where needed to do a lot of thinning - had local communities involved in accomplishing. Focus on meeting needs of natural resources by meeting needs of the people. Used to dump everything into one NEPA process - impossible to get through appeals process. Now do simple analyses with individual focus. Follow a simple framework, the same on each Forest, but tailored to each Districtís uniqueness.

 

Wayne Robbie - Soil Scientist, Regional Inventory

Coordinates with other agencies and institutions: heritage programs in western Arizona, Nature Conservancy, World Wildlife Fund. Assures that the information and data the USFS collects meets a standard everyone believes is credible. Results oriented. Must provide public information that can be used. Science is integrated foremost in the process of collecting data. Used to describe conditions. The art is to use it to form a management objective, and ultimately an alternative in a plan. Not a strict scientific process. Information changes in scope through that process. Must start with quality information, then have scientific credibility. Used to be primarily interested in condition and trend. Translation of science should be in context of social information and credible resource information. Have a ways to go with rangeland ecosystems.

 

Teresa McClung - Cibola NF

Public becoming more educated about USFS planning and how it will impact their lives. Requires us to work more collaboratively.

 

Susan Bruin - Carson NF

Need a plan to tell us what conditions should the riparian area be in; not how many cows will we graze or how high will the timber cut be. Quantifying extractive numbers wonít help us at all because of the dynamic nature of the landscape. Too much uncertainty. Agree on the condition of the habitat; allow us to manage to proper levels.

 

 

Natural Resource Panel

 

Jim Enote - Zuni Conservation Project

The project started from two lawsuits: 1) lands taken (the tribal lands were reduced from 15 million acres to 400,000), and 2) lands damaged. They eventually settled out of court, and received funds to correct damages. The project employs 70 people; only one non-Zuni. They are focused on agricultural systems. Effort to sunset Bureau of Indian Affairs involvement, and move to a fully Zuni empowered system. Have been around since the conversion from grass to corn. We all search for a type of quality in our lives. Patterns of events that keep happening; rituals, rites of spring; can be landscapes or part of the galaxy. Include using springs and diverting water; happened to be best habitat for southwestern willow flycatchers. Have modified the landscape of the southwest, and the culture. Boundaries (e.g. USFS land to the east) do not especially keep Zuni people from crossing boundaries for specific reasons. Goals to assure Zuni livelihoods today without compromising future generations. A personís first language is not always English. Sometimes have to decode. Important to access new vocabularies - protocols. In the southwest, the diversity of culture eclipses some other considerations. Traditional uses of the land sustain peoples. Web sites are inaccessible to people in rural areas. And can you really believe the information on them anyway. Protecting religious freedom is important, especially traditional cultural property. Deciding whether a site is sacred should be up to specific individuals within various cultures. Dealing with historical protection acts requires a federal template and process; need to go farther to include cultural leaders. USFS should compensate cultural leaders for input. Tribes are like developing governments; sometimes only 20 years of development or less. In real transition. Feet in both worlds: traditional beliefs and developing democracies. Community a term never used in a bad way. In reality, made up of different individuals. Use science, but it is the easy part. Must also deal with religious aspect: develop and maintain trust. Politicians: no sudden moves. Finances - must know how to reimburse those who participate. What are some other ways besides face-to-face communication that would work with Tribes? A meeting with cultural resource office if the Tribe has one. Be wary of going directly to the BIA; they tend to strictly follow CFRs. Tribes will give you more visceral information.

 

Dusty Hunt - Coordinator, Gila Monster Watershed Project

The Gila Monster Watershed Project is an attempt at locally-led resource restoration. Dusty Hunt is the coordinator of 27 different agencies that regulate various aspects of the Gila River. The river was stable for many years, but in the 1970ís it began to suffer from effects of changing or increased uses of the land. Destructive flooding took place as the result of poor watershed condition and rain-on-snow events. The project has focused on stabilizing banks and stanching serious erosion on privately owned agricultural farmlands. Logging has had some effects, but very minor. The district cut only 5 million board feet in 1997, and not all of it was in the Gila drainage. The overall effects of logging are positive because thinning opens the canopy, allows light to reach the forest floor and an herbaceous community can grow. They believe the USFS has done a good job of managing grazing, and are perhaps even a bit overzealous. Historically cattle were a problem; large numbers of cattle, sheep, goats, and even hogs were permitted in the 1800ís. Today permits are only for cattle, and they are moved out of the river. There is a desperate need to restore fire to the ecosystem. Dendorchronology studies indicate that fires burned every eight years in mosaic patterns so that within an eight-year period, all the open land was re-established. Since the 1940ís, fire control has been very efficient and fire prevention programs so successful that the area is losing its herbaceous community to pinon pine and gray oak. The only economic way to restore the 1.5 million acre watershed above Gila valley is through fire.

 

Max Cordova - Truchas Land Grant

U.S. lands in this area used to belong to Hispanics and others. The government does not want to acknowledge the documents in place. Stepping on USFS land everywhere you go. Impact the forests have in communities is tremendous. Many (65%) of the people use wood to heat homes and cook food. Animals put food on tables. They believe you donít put all your eggs in one basket - do many things to make ends meet: grazing, agriculture. Started a collaborative stewardship program with the Carson NF. Have way too many trees per acre. Most often cited solution is to light a match to it. Finding solutions - takes special people to find solutions. A forest is a living entity; can turn it into anything we want - big trees, many trees, no trees. Government viewed as a big brother that takes care of the needy. At end of WWII, government told them it does not matter who holds title as long as you continue to get the resources you need. Asking that land be returned to rightful owners, or at least let them go into the forest to collect firewood without red tape. Created a woodlot - economic development for the community. Will be able to get people from the community into the forests to thin it out and keep it healthy. Looking for ways small diameter products can be used. Three schemes: short-term need, intermediate, and long-term. Time for new model for the USFS to participate with forest users. Idea of a custodial management model is scary. Five years ago relatively small numbers of people were visiting the southwest; now large numbers. People are trying to drive cars on closed roads in isolated areas, resulting in emergency calls and services. Grazing issues - have a lot fewer animals now, and ranchers have rights dating before the U.S. took possession of the land. Have documents stuffed under mattresses saying the government will give them the right to graze the land. Litigation not part of their culture, but they are being forced to use governmentís process. Land grant people are saying, "We demand justice." USFS managers come from Oregon, for example, who have no knowledge of the people, who they are, what makes them special. Two important resources: land and people. Northern New Mexico should be managed in a special way. USFS touts itself as a grassroots organization; not really - top heavy. Biggest watchdog - local people with a history of taking only what they need.

 

Raymond Montoya - Terra a Monte Soil and Watershed Conservation District

In the early 1990ís a new natural resource plan was needed. Major issue - cities in competition with downstream irrigators (e.g. Las Vegas, New Mexico municipal watershed). Great competition for water resources exists. Local landowners want to voice concerns. People are offered big money to sell, but they hold onto their land and only sell to those who have the history and ethic they have. In Gallinas watershed: must find solutions that work. Education and outreach. Some ranchers have good practices - protect riparian areas, etc. Others are not well educated about good practices; they are the ones who need education. Implementing community tree planting to restore watersheds and education in schools. Some people have rivers running right through their town, but donít understand they have a watershed and that they affect it. Working with Pecos River Watershed; conducting sociological studies prior to developing a management plan. Not just ethnic issues, but incomes, cultural traditions, uses. Gallinas Watershed Plan does not contain public involvement or social assessments. Address these in the Pecos River Natural Resource Plan. Big incentives to landowners are partners like universities who have expertise and ability to obtain funding. Liaisons between landowners and the government are happening. Networking is a major component in successful watershed planning.

 

Grazing Panel

 

Bob Budd - Manager, Red Canyon Ranch, Wyoming

Red Canyon Ranch has a large number of acres, 40 miles of riparian area, several threatened and endangered species, and over 100 neotropical migratory birds. The ranch was purchased by The Nature Conservancy because of the threats that exist to natural resources in Wyoming. The main threat is housing - fragmentation. Profitability is going down for ranchers and conversions to other uses is a strong tendency. Objectives of Red Canyon Ranch project is to show that conservation can be done well with livestock. Profitability, demonstration, experimentation. Every year 1800 children come through the ranch; university interns are employed. Education and research. Operate on an ecosystem or landscape scale. Utilize consensus mode (no votes). Operate on the theory that there are no lines (ownership boundaries). If you have those lines, they do not correlate to natural features. Ownership boundaries run through a wetland - the management impact is phenomenal. Mimic or enhance natural processes; grazing is a natural process. Different kinds of grazers, large and small (not always sheep and cows). Fire would be good to reintroduce. Beaver (historically removed). Boils down to compatible human use. Nature does not manage for early seral condition in perpetuity. Have fire, recreation, roads, meadow management plans. There have been recent efforts by USFS to work collaboratively. Everyone shares frustration that the old rules have become barricades. Ownership requirements on forests, upper limits, timing - these are all embodied within allotment management plans. If they can have flexibility, great progress can be made. Fine to have rules and guidelines, but give managers the ability to waive rules if it is in the interest of the resource. Tradeoffs - fisheries and grazing; donít graze same time every year and sometimes graze hay meadows. Grass banking - potential tool in Wyoming where public pastures are rested while other private ones are utilized, or vice versa. They burned 6000 acres on one allotment, which allowed another to recover. Creativity is stifled by NEPA and plan guidelines. Conifer encroachment is reducing meadow areas and increasing fire risk. Beaver and willows can be compatible with cows. Planning for grazing is essential, and it must be done in an open setting. Need to work on connectivity at the landscape scale. Start with a solid goal.

 

Dennis Moroney - Public Lands Manager, Arizona

Works with the Santa Maria Mountains Group, 30 miles southwest of Prescott, Arizona. Grazing predates existence of the Prescott National Forest. Used to be that if you owned a brand and could find some cattle, you could be a rancher. Original homesteaders were consolidated until one owner held lots of land. Moroney purchased his ranch from a Dole Pineapple owner. Everything was very run down. Made decisions about how he would run the ranch. A constituency existed with different goals than theirs as ranchers. Contacted people to meet and discuss commonalties. Now, five years later, they have a three-part common goal. Two aspects most frustrating: 1) contentious entities (those who file lawsuits against the USFS) who reject invitations to participate; 2) the regulations and bureaucratic infrastructure the USFS operates under. Individual people on the ground are committed, but trapped in an agency overburdened with stratified view of forest management. Requested a change from rest rotation grazing to one that allows flexible timing. Still waiting for NEPA and not scheduled until 2001. Restrained by a grazing management system that was state-of-the-art 20-40 years ago. Could have been making quantum leaps. Opportunity for change. Many ranchers of Moroneyís generation are on the cutting edge of evolving ranching practices. Many things are almost intuitive: limit grazing of riparian areas to a short time during the dormant season. Operate with an abundance mentality. Plenty of everything out there, but make sure there is plenty for future generations. Visualize a process for forest planning that brings results for sustainability; not one that is politically expedient. Amenities can be produced and at the same time products can be produced. Look at community interaction and human ecology over the landscape. Flaws in the current view - working with a national resource that has the most impact to local communities. Providing products from the land - food (50 tons of beef). Any plan without a monetary incentive is doomed to fail. There needs to be an economic incentive. Motivate positive results on the land by including economic incentives. People who live and work on the land are motivated. Want to see things get better. Less than 2% of the American people are involved in producing agricultural products. Many people are four generations away from connection with the land and natural biological processes. He provides an opportunity for people to visit and work on the ranch. People come back to see the results of their labor. Build education, spiritual knowledge, and historical context. Agencies should be providing technical expertise. Have not had a fire in large areas of the ranch in 90 years. Implementing fire ecology. Must deal with conversions from herbaceous vegetation to woody (juniper encroachment). Partnerships to work on solutions that meet the expectations of all of us. Will gladly work with anybody who wants to bring about improved conditions of the resource. It is worse to have turnover of hobby ranchers than to have a bad rancher over a long period of time. This creates abuse and does not promote stewardship. Rate of suburbanization of rural areas in the southwest is horrible. Fences cut, ATVís running up creeks, other effects. Human resources can be brought to bear; doesnít stop with people drawing paychecks from the USFS. Very few young people see any reason to go into sustainable ranching. Average age is 65 years. Not seeing payoffs of sustainable ranching.

 

Ted Milesnick - Bureau of Land Management, Senior Planner

In charge of BLMís planning process: FLPMA 1976 provides that the agency develop and maintain land use plans. NEPA was utilized concurrently as they developed their land use process. The first tier is management framework plans (MFPs). In 1983, the second vintage - resource management plans (RMPs) were developed. They are currently in the process of developing nine new RMPs. The total is 110 RMPs, and 45 MFPs. Budgets have been reduced; now moving away from the concept of revising all plans, and toward amending and being responsive to issues. Nine-step process: notice of intent, scoping period, develop issues, develop planning criteria, develop alternatives, develop impacts of alternatives, select proposed action, 90-day review period, develop proposed RMP. Opportunity for protest is through the Director of BLM. Issue a record of decision on the RMP. The Governorís consistency review runs concurrently with the protest period. Project level decisions are appealable to the Interior Board of Land Appeals. Decisions are typically about resource goals and objectives for resources, and identification of land use allocations. The Resource Advisory Council consists of committees established by the State from throughout the west. This Council establishes guidelines for livestock grazing. These are chartered committees - no FACA issues. Advise BLM on various issues, especially on whether the standards and guidelines fit. Have developed national standards and guidelines.

 

Bill deBuys - Conservation Fund, Environmental Historian

Discussed woody plant encroachment: based on aerial photos from the 1930ís & 1980ís, the area has lost 55% of its meadows and grasslands. The loss of grassland is enormous: in New Mexico it is 1% per year. If we continue to have a fixed number of cattle, they must squeeze down, and this is sure to affect the landscape negatively. In northern New Mexico, half of the time we are fighting over the wrong thing. Land is a passive pallet instead of a major actor in the drama. When we try to maximize a single variable in a complex system, it crashes. Must move to managing whole systems. How do we get fire back in the grassland and forest system without hurting someone. Must work with people. Wanted to develop a grass bank to apply specifically to USFS land. When we bought 240 acres of property, we became the permittee of 76,000 acres. To help strengthen the ranching in southwest, we must show that land users and agency personnel can work together. Bring the cattle from permittees from other allotments while home allotments in other parts of the national forest are rested. Use own place as an example of a good ranch. Provide maximum flexibility. Allow grass to burn, pull cows out of riparian area, etc. Ranching community at times can become stubborn. Northern New Mexico stockmanís organization has become a full-fledged partner. Cattlemen have difficulty distinguishing their position. Needed ranchers willing to put cattle on this property. They fear that maybe the USFS wonít deliver or allow them to go back on their own allotments - lack of trust. But changes took place in the last 6 months. Will be fully stocked this summer. Biggest issue is the ability of the USFS to deliver on the promise of support for rested lands. Hope that the USFS will utilize vacant allotments as grass banks. The value of private land has skyrocketed because it is surrounded by national forests and is placed where the water was, but ranchers are selling off because if a threatened or endangered species is found, they are restricted from using a 5000+ acre pasture.

 

What are the key ingredients to your models that the USFS could emulate? Usually comes down to an individual (all the regulations in the world canít force new management). Can give breadth of action so innovation can happen. Give flexibility to managers at the district level. Give us a chance to try things on the ground.

 

Traditional and Contemporary Issues Panel

 

Bill deBuys - Conservation Fund

Discussed an institution called the Land Grant - historical institution. Made by the Crown of Spain - compensation for the risks of settling land. Other incentives - enough forage for grazing, wood, etc. Community land grants were functional holds that supported the communities within them. Centered on the idea of community. Can we organize USFS management to support the land grant focus? Much of the land was held in sovereignty - several families held it in common. The land grant commons are in the most contention today. In 1846, the lands came under U.S. ownership, and in 1848, the Treaty of Guadelupe de Algo was signed assuring rights of the commons would be continued (traditional uses). The U.S. did not adequately discharge its duties under the Treaty. Failed to make room for community ownership of land. Under Spanish and Mexican law, the community divesting itself of its commonly owned land was unthinkable. People who came in to circumvent were pleased with divestiture of common lands. Done by jiggering survey processes, falsifying documents - these were legal under the U.S. judicial system of the time. There would be a lawsuit for partition of your individual share a suit of the land commons. The court appoints a special master who interviews the whole land grant community, and decides that you have a 176th interest; he presents to the judge; the judge decides he canít divide up the land along those fractions, so allows sale to the highest bidder (who is the law partner that pays a minimal price because nobody else is informed of the pending sale). People owning the land grant were never fully notified. Sales often went for $1 to cover the quick claim deed. This transaction was a breech of the Treaty of Guadelupe de Algo. The Land Trust areas were bought up by the USFS through the Weeks Act after the timber was slicked off. Thus you have the heritage of New Mexicoís national forests. At least 22% of the Carson and Santa Fe national forests are patented land grants. If we make allowances for fraud and machinations, the real national forests would be reduced by close to 50%. Communities in northern New Mexico are truly dependent on those lands. Efforts are being made to reorganize by needs through the Soil Conservation Service and the USFS, who denied traditional uses and managed according to general USFS policy. Uprising occurred, people were shot. Regional Forester at the time, William Hurst, wrote a policy saying that we first must recognize cultures. His policy is officially dead; we are told that it is integrated into current policy. There is a bill in Congress to recognize land grants.

 

Luis Torres - Community Organizer, Habitat for Humanity

Luis Torres was born in northern New Mexico town bordering a national forest near Taos. They grazed cattle, and he and his father had a lot of interaction with the USFS as a permittee and per diem fire guard. In 1959, after high school graduation, went to work for the USFS. USFS has gone through waves of who in management is having an impact. From his own perspective, range management and fire control ran the USFS in those days. In 1960, times started to change; timber industry interests began to be felt. Forests and districts began acquiring timber staff; the agency became a timber-producing one, and this lasted until early the 1990ís. Luis quit the agency in 1955; began having interaction again in 1974. You are thrust into contact with USFS if doing community work. Livelihood of people depends on the forests. In 1988, he began working on a sustained yield unit. Canít achieve anything through policy by itself. Must have people on the ground willing to implement in order to achieve those interests. There were never policies that served the communities in northern New Mexico. People became dependent on a sawmill that treated them badly and drove them to poverty. Tried to take that workforce and create a new idea - fuelwood business and other products. Opportunities were there in terms of the product. Very much dependent on the USFSís good will. Regional Forester was in support, and John Bedell, a forest supervisor, was also. A district ranger began a bold experiment that started going down the tubes as soon as USFS personnel changed. Used to get money from the State and Private segment of the USFS. Luis was the first person in northern New Mexico to write a grant for these funds. It worked well for a while. The Rural Community Assistance Program helped across country; in New Mexico, after 4-5 years, started draining funds to Forests so that the public relations officer could manage them for their own purposes. Doubt that the USFS needs any new regulations. Probably have the regulations needed. Contracting mechanisms need to be tweaked here and there. Believe that the USFS could, if had the will, go into a mode of creating a relationship with communities. The key is to get people on the ground who are willing, and getting people higher up who are willing to take chances.

 

Rosemary Romero - Western Network

Money for the Western Network comes mainly from foundation support. They are looking for mechanisms for true involvement from USFS. How do you get people to participate with USFS when traditional people do not come to meetings. How to meet with people in their community of place. Community resource mapping is an idea for how to get people involved in a nontraditional way. They have convinced the USFS to try new this idea in two project areas: Mountainaire and El Rito. Have developed a memorandum of understanding to find out where people are gathering herbs, firewood, etc. during certain times of year. Western Network has a mediation perspective. Mapped how owls were using areas, as well as traditional human uses. Maps become a tool for starting conversations. Once they map uses, they can identify conflicts. Communities themselves could know who is using areas when. A native New Mexican grandmother mapped herb gathering areas for her granddaughter - she did not realize how valuable that would be to the USFS. The two district rangers they worked with were phenomenal. Wildland Urban Interface (burning) - the meetings were facilitated by the Western Network; the USFS was a guest. People attend and donít want to go home. Trying to figure out projects together to meet everyoneís needs. Contracting in USFS not working, and there is no educational component for showing people how to get contracts.

 

Public Comment Period

 

Sixteen members of the public spoke to the Committee for five minutes each. These individuals then formed an impromptu panel and answered questions from the committee for approximately one hour.

 

Committee Work

 

Two subcommittees met: biological sustainability, economic and cultural sustainability.

 

Discussion on perhaps drafting a separate regulation for levels of planning required.

 

Discussion on the draft report. Norm will bring the version to date to Missoula where the Committee will continue to develop it.

 

Reviewed Missoula agenda: USFS Regions 1 and 4, Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem panel.

 

Meeting nine scheduled for May, 27-29, 1998, in Boulder, Colorado. No agenda time for public comment. Committee will work on its report to the Secretary.

 

 

*End of Meeting Notes*