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Author Topic: Stimson/ Colville NF Proposed Land Swap  (Read 4003 times)

Offline cougforester

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Stimson/ Colville NF Proposed Land Swap
« on: March 18, 2021, 10:56:03 AM »
Haven't seen any discussion about this on here yet. I'm pretty firmly opposed to this. Stimson gets a whole boat load of nice timber to log and gate off, USFS gets a bunch of cut over crap in the name of grizzlies, lynx and bull trout.

https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/colville/news-events/?cid=FSEPRD892781

Quote
Proposed Land Exchange with Stimson Lumber Company and the Colville National Forest
Media Contact: Charles Lassiter charles.lassiter@usda.gov

Colville, WA (March 8, 2021) – The Colville National Forest and Stimson Lumber Company are pursuing a land exchange involving approximately 90,000 acres. The potential exchange was initiated when Stimson approached the Forest Service with a proposal to consolidate the relatively fragmented landscape of ownership and management in Northeast Washington. Stimson currently owns several thousand acres of inholdings within the proclaimed boundaries of the Colville National Forest, Kaniksu National Forest, and Little Pend Oreille National Wildlife Refuge in Pend Oreille and Stevens County, Washington. The parties developed an agreement to initiate an equal value exchange of approximately 60,000 acres of land currently owned by Stimson for approximately 30,000 acres of lands currently managed by the Colville National Forest. Although the bulk of the lands acquired from the proposed exchange would be on the Colville National Forest, the United States would also acquire inholdings on the Little Pend Oreille National Wildlife Refuge and within the boundaries of lands managed by the Idaho Panhandle National Forest in Washington State.

Over the last couple of months, notices of the exchange proposal were published in local newspapers and sent to permit holders and others who may be potentially impacted by the exchange. “As we seek to ensure this proposal provides the greatest good for the greatest number in the long run, we are pleased by the responses we’re receiving from permit holders, landowners, and the public,” said Forest Supervisor, Rodney Smoldon. “The input indicates broad support and have highlighted specific concerns from permit holders and others who we will work with to mitigate potential impacts.”

Most of Stimson’s acreage involved in this potential land exchange is part of the checkerboard pattern of ownership granted to Burlington Northern Railroad during the railroad land grants of the mid-1800s. The remaining acreage consists of inholdings acquired by Stimson and their predecessors. This fragmented ownership presents several unique management challenges, along with a continuing need to maintain or develop property lines and cooperative agreements between Stimson and adjoining landowners. For these reasons, along with the potential to consolidate timber and land resources, Stimson proposed an exchange with the United States which would mutually benefit the resource management objectives of both parties and provide economic stability to nearby communities that rely on sustainable forest industries.

Lands acquired by the United States through this exchange would include culturally significant properties as well as habitats for important wildlife and fish species.  By creating connected and contiguous areas of public land, the exchange could create enhanced opportunities for recreation, forest restoration, management of natural and cultural resources, as well as fire preparedness, suppression, and protection.  Consolidated ownership of land would provide better opportunities to manage property boundaries leading to less public confusion.  While potentially impacting some recreation uses on the southern end of Colville National Forest, it would also improve user access to substantial portions of the forest.  Seamless landscape-level management could also lead to enhanced habitat management in key watersheds and critical habitats for threatened species including Canada lynx, grizzly bear, and bull trout. 

The Forest Service is currently developing the land exchange proposal and performing initial review for feasibility.  This is the first stage of a lengthy process which could lead to the title transfer of lands. If the Forest Service determines that this exchange is in the public interest and this potential land exchange is approved, we anticipate title transfer to occur in the Summer of 2023. This project will also be analyzed under the National Environmental Policy Act. There will be additional opportunity to formally comment on this project when we initiate scoping later this year.

Information on the land exchange, including a map of the lands involved, is posted under Developing Proposals on the Land and Resource Management/Projects portion of the Colville National Forest website at www.fs.usda.gov/projects/colville/landmanagement/projects.  For additional information about the Colville National Forest, please visit our website at www.fs.usda.gov/colville.  For the most current updates about the Colville National Forest, please follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/colvillenf/ and Twitter at  www.twitter.com/Colville_NF.

Offline ganghis

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Re: Stimson/ Colville NF Proposed Land Swap
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2021, 11:09:51 AM »
Interesting, thanks for posting.  Though this helps me because it would make it a lot easier to hunt some of the checkerboard stuff (and ads a small piece to an area I go for late whitetail hunts).  That's purely me being selfish though.  I guess in the long run, maybe it reduces quality on NF because the forest becomes more homogeneous?


Offline KFhunter

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Re: Stimson/ Colville NF Proposed Land Swap
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2021, 11:30:37 AM »
60,000 acres of Stimson for 30,000 acres of NFS

Not all acres are equal, assume difficult to log scrub rock areas.


I'm going to have to see this with a bit more detail before I form an opinion.

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Offline Moe the Sleaze

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Re: Stimson/ Colville NF Proposed Land Swap
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2021, 11:33:30 AM »
I'm leaning towards the negative on this, but I can see why Stimson has the USDA's ear; they are basically offering to give up 2 to acquire 1 as far as the acreage is concerned. I am still analyzing how this swap might affect my recreation up there, but I'm guessing there will be trade-offs, both positive and negative for me.

Offline cougforester

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Re: Stimson/ Colville NF Proposed Land Swap
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2021, 11:34:41 AM »
It would make the checkerboard easier but remove access to that whole block around Power Peak and Calispell Creek. That's a great area for good vehicle access but still has gated roads to filter people out, but with this they'd be gated wayyyy earlier. Plus that stuff is really nice timber, and I'd assume what the USFS is getting (since it's a 2:1 swap) is cut over and bombed out. I'd rather Stimson partnered with the USFS to get more harvesting done on USFS ground without swapping this over. All this over grizz and trout habitat. No thanks.

Offline KFhunter

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Re: Stimson/ Colville NF Proposed Land Swap
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2021, 11:36:20 AM »
I'm leaning towards the negative on this, but I can see why Stimson has the USDA's ear; they are basically offering to give up 2 to acquire 1 as far as the acreage is concerned. I am still analyzing how this swap might affect my recreation up there, but I'm guessing there will be trade-offs, both positive and negative for me.
At first glace at the map, look how much easier it would be to expand wilderness in the Selkirk.

Stimson would aquire premium flat timberlands.

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Offline KFhunter

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Re: Stimson/ Colville NF Proposed Land Swap
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2021, 11:41:33 AM »
The short term gains as far as blown out timberlands concern me less, its a forever trade, timber grows back.

What I like about checker board ownership is diversified habitat, blown out private timber with escapement to NF.

What I don't like is access issues with checkerboard.

But if its "for the grizz" then will access really improve?


I see a big expansion of wilderness, or wilderness 'lite' roadless.

Not against roadless, but am against wilderness.



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Offline Buckhunter24

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Re: Stimson/ Colville NF Proposed Land Swap
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2021, 12:17:10 PM »
It would make the checkerboard easier but remove access to that whole block around Power Peak and Calispell Creek. That's a great area for good vehicle access but still has gated roads to filter people out, but with this they'd be gated wayyyy earlier. Plus that stuff is really nice timber, and I'd assume what the USFS is getting (since it's a 2:1 swap) is cut over and bombed out. I'd rather Stimson partnered with the USFS to get more harvesting done on USFS ground without swapping this over.All this over grizz and trout habitat. No thanks.

 :tup:
« Last Edit: March 18, 2021, 12:29:28 PM by Buckhunter24 »

Offline hunter399

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Re: Stimson/ Colville NF Proposed Land Swap
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2021, 01:09:10 PM »
It would make the checkerboard easier but remove access to that whole block around Power Peak and Calispell Creek. That's a great area for good vehicle access but still has gated roads to filter people out, but with this they'd be gated wayyyy earlier. Plus that stuff is really nice timber, and I'd assume what the USFS is getting (since it's a 2:1 swap) is cut over and bombed out. I'd rather Stimson partnered with the USFS to get more harvesting done on USFS ground without swapping this over.All this over grizz and trout habitat. No thanks.

 :tup:
I Agree with the above statement.
No reason the forest service can't award some harvest contracts ,without giving up property.
Two birds in the Bush is always better than one in the hand-that way you can always go to the Bush and hunt another day .conservation=Better hunting.
Wrote by hunter399

Offline Fl0und3rz

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Re: Stimson/ Colville NF Proposed Land Swap
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2021, 02:34:35 PM »
Keep the 30K, buy the 60K?

Offline Pegasus

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Re: Stimson/ Colville NF Proposed Land Swap
« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2021, 02:49:12 PM »
I am sure money has nothing to do with this swap.

Offline MtnMuley

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Re: Stimson/ Colville NF Proposed Land Swap
« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2021, 03:21:59 PM »
Another terrible idea, so I'm sure it will happen.

Offline Weatherby92

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Re: Stimson/ Colville NF Proposed Land Swap
« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2021, 03:22:19 PM »
I don't see this as a good thing. I frequent these areas for recreation and hunting. With the current ownership checkerboarded it creates a mosaic landscape of treated vs. untreated FS land. The benefit for wildlife is huge with the mosaic pattern that provides feed.  I also agree with the concern stated above about the huge block of land that will most likely be gated off. While I am not a road hunter this is still a concern as far as recreation use. Blocking road systems makes sense for the land managers when timber production is that main concern, it doesn't help us as hunters. I don't blame Stimson for blocking roads to protect their investment, it takes a few people causing a disturbance or not respecting their land to ruin it for the rest of us, it is their ownership after all. I'll be interested to see how this goes. The Forest Service loves their Grizzly bears.
Do the thing you fear most and the death of fear is certain - Mark Twain

Offline KFhunter

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Re: Stimson/ Colville NF Proposed Land Swap
« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2021, 11:37:56 AM »
Bump 4 views

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Offline Alan K

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Re: Stimson/ Colville NF Proposed Land Swap
« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2021, 12:02:11 PM »
No reason the forest service can't award some harvest contracts ,without giving up property.

The USFS takes entire basins of timber for planning areas and by the time every 'ologist' takes their cut out, usually a 10,000 acre planning area is reduced down to 500 acres of thinning as the only allowable harvest. It's sickening how much they leave behind to burn over.  Any time they try and harvest more the green groups threaten lawsuit.  The east side sawmills have had their wood sources gutted by the USFS's bowing down to the environmentalists. There is zero doubt in my mind that they've been a constant voice trying to get additional sales put out.

I'm mixed on this, but actually the opposite of what it seems like most people are.  I view blocking ownership up as a good thing, and I hope it happens more and more. How many threads have there been on here about the evil timber companies with landlocked public lands? I am not familiar with the area in question, but it makes it easier for everyone involved to have blocked up ownership.  From a timberlands perspective I see it as bad because the USFS won't actually do any meaningful harvesting, so in the long term the wood basket is further reduced.

 


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