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OSU Faculty try to stop Biscuit Fire Research results

Several high ranking OSU School of Forestry faculty unsuccessfully tried to stop the publishing of a study that would have stopped the logging of post fire southern Oregon forests. Below is the story from the AP. It is important to take note of the story as OSU is moving fast to becoming a corporate voice for the true eco-terrorists...those who use technology, bio-technology, machines, power and fear to rape the earth.
Dissenting OSU faculty try to delay anti-logging article
The Associated Press
Published: Saturday, January 21, 2006

CORVALLIS - A group of professors at Oregon State University's College of Forestry unsuccessfully tried to get the prestigious journal Science to hold off on publishing a study that concluded that leaving forests alone is the best way to help them recover from wildfires.

Editor Donald Kennedy, the former president of Stanford, said those who dispute the findings can respond to the study once it is published instead of using what he called censorship. The study was scheduled for Friday's edition of the journal.

An Oregon State graduate student, Daniel Donato, 29, led researchers in examining lands burned by the 2002 Biscuit wildfire in Southwest Oregon, where the Bush administration and others at OSU had promoted logging as a means of restoring forests quickly

Donato's team concluded logging slows forest recovery. They found that logging after the Biscuit Fire destroyed seedlings and littered the ground with flammable tinder.

As is customary, Science's editors had independent scientists review Donato's research.
OSU's College of Forestry, which receives 10 percent of its funding from a tax on logging, was immediately divided. Some said the request to delay publication raises questions about academic freedom.
``One has to notice and acknowledge the courage of a graduate student to do research and publish findings that run against the norm,'' said Kathleen Dean Moore, a distinguished professor of philosophy at OSU who teaches environmental ethics.

College of Forestry dean Hal Salwasser, who has testified in favor of a congressional bill that would accelerate logging after fires, sent a memo to faculty questioning conclusions of the research paper, first released Jan. 5 in Science's online edition.

Earlier, John Sessions, a distinguished professor of forest engineering at OSU, and Professor Emeritus Michael Newton wrote a report suggesting aggressive logging would restore forests after the blaze.
They were among nine OSU scientists and professors, plus the U.S. Forest Service, who asked Science editors to delay publication of the study until it addresses their criticisms. Alternately, they asked that their concerns be included in a letter accompanying the study.

Found in the Eugene Register Guard - January 22, 2006

Global warming 22.Jan.2006 12:33


Is this the same prof at OSU that denies global warming? Sounds like OSU is bought and sold by corporate America.

Stacked deck 22.Jan.2006 12:34

Look who the players are

Foxes guarding the henhouse as usual. An industry hack like Salwasser heading up the forestry program at OSU? Who would have thought? Watching his "wise use" commercials on TV makes my blood boil. Calling for his resignation.


Editor's Roundup
USDA people in the news

Hal Salwasser was selected as the regional forester for the Forest Service's Northern Region, based in Missoula, Mont.

Not the global warming critic 23.Jan.2006 18:07


The global warming critic would be george taylor the state metorologist.

The two gentleman (for we are all gentle-people...right?) who first proposed the wide-scale post fire clearcuts in the biscuit were actually the two most vocal critics of these OSU reseachers report to Science.

It is important to note that three of the 7 critcs (OSU Professor John Sessions Professor Emeritus Michael Newton, College of Forestry Dean Hal Salwasser) have significant reputation motive to try and stop the publication.

All three went public in favor of the Biscuit logging plan, the rational for which was undercut by the recent research in Science.

Hal Salwasser testified before congress that the clearcutting was needed 'to speed forest recovery', effectively staking his academic reputation

John Sessions & Michael Newton were paid by Douglas County pro-timber industry knee-jerkers to write their analysis of how much money could be made off of post fire logging, an analysis that was never subject to peer review publication.

All three (amoung other researchers in the College of Forestry, including the authors of the Science article) are housed in nice buildings paid for by timber industry groups and their departments are subsidized by a tax on the timber industry. Many members in these departments are recent returnees from big timber, and many student are groomed for work in the big timber companies.

Their report recomended far reaching intensive clearcuts including in roadless areas. As a result of their analysis they were flown to DC and talked with political appointees in the USDA forest service pushing their plans (all paid by the same folks out of the Douglas County chamber of commerce).

So Sessions and Newton and Salwasser all have a lot of face to loose.

The regional forest service officer in charge of most of the area burned by the biscuit fire returned from these DC meetings with instructions to Medford forest planners to wratchet-up the areas and amounts of forests to be cut under the Forst Service post fire plans. When the senior forest office in charge of the plans told his recently returned from DC boss that there wasnt that many trees in the forests he was told to do it anyway and had to resign in disgust.

All of this culminated in a large agressive roadless logging program that lost money and destroyed parts of a botanical reserve....not to mention the people arrested and whose rights were trampled in a rush to close down access and publicity of the often illegal cutting that was taking place out of media view.

For excellent back ground on what REALLY went on with the Biscuit fire turning into a disaster for the Siskiyous see the HCN.org article