When is a “Forest” Bill Just a… Logging Bill???

by JC

When major legislation is introduced at RY Timber Co. in Townsend at 1 p.m. Friday. That’s when. This would kinda be like Baucus announcing the arrival of his legislation to reform health care by going to the steps of United Health or Aetna, and holding a press conference there.

When is a “Forest” bill not a wilderness bill? According to the Missoulian:

Sen. Jon Tester plans to unveil a draft of his new forest land management bill this Friday in Townsend.

The word “wilderness” did not appear in Tuesday’s announcement of what many consider the first federal wilderness legislation to come out of the Montana congressional delegation since 1988.

In a news release, Tester described the bill as “designed to create jobs in Montana’s forests.”

Tester not putting the word “wilderness” in his press release is kinda like Sarah Palin not mentioning global warming in her recent oped on cap & trade. But when you are just sliding a little wilderness into legislation designed to cater to the logging industry and a few self-interested national environmental groups and multi-national corporations, then I guess you don’t want to piss off your constituents contributors too much by advertising any wilderness in your press releases.

In case you don’t make it to Townsend, Tester will be in Seeley Lake touting his jobs bill on Saturday at the Chamber of Commerce at high noon.

Oh, and lest I forget, there already is a fine jobs bill in Congress that truly is a wilderness bill out there, if Jon wanted to take a look.

  1. Jim Lang

    So you claim this is because of his ‘contributors’?

    Does that have an factual basis?


  2. Fake

    This post was removed due to having claimed being someone he/she wasn’t.

  3. klemz

    Hey James Joyce, you expect me to read all that? It’s 2009, Koehler.

  4. Is it true that the Lost Creek Scenic Area, the Big Hole National Recreation Area, the West Pioneers Recreation Management Area and the Yaak Special Management Area will be released permanently from ever becoming wilderness, even though they have all the characteristics of wilderness? That would make it an undoing-Wilderness bill, right?

  5. Matthew Koehler

    Hello: People should know that I didn’t post that comment above. Someone is using my name and posting some of my previous comments to various sites. This happened yesterday with this same exact comment on Ochenski’s latest Indy column.

    And yes, Binky, it is true that the Lost Creek Scenic Area, the Big Hole National Recreation Area, the West Pioneers Recreation Management Area and the Yaak Special Management Area will be released permanently from ever becoming wilderness, even though they have all the characteristics of wilderness.

    This is one of the many details that you likely won’t hear at the Tester timber mill press conference.

    Something else you may not hear is the fact that the Wilderness Society is looking to remove people from their listserve (see below). And for the record, I’m not even on the The Wilderness Society’s wildalert list and all I did was share Paul Richards’ article with people. Thanks, – Matthew Koehler


    From Paul Richards

    The e-mails below are quite illuminating. I’ve been a Wilderness Society member since 1972 – 37 years! Longer than any one of these people!

    And now they want to take me off of our Wilderness Society e-mail list because they deem me “unsupportive.”

    These people have sheer disdain for public information, public debate, and public involvement. With these negatives attitudes about the public, they certainly should NOT be determining the future of our public lands. Let them open waffle shops!

    All my best,

    Paul Richards
    PR Media Consultants®
    Public Interest Media Since 1968

    —–Original Message—–
    From: Jared White, TWS
    Sent: Thursday, July 16, 2009 4:10 PM
    To: Peter Aengst; paul@prmediaconsultants.com
    Subject: RE: Paul Richards on Tester’s Logging Bill

    I don’t think this will get much play. If it does, Tester’s response is supposedly something like, ‘ I have to write bill for the entire state of Montana, not just Paul Richards”..


    From: Peter Aengst, TWS
    Sent: Thursday, July 16, 2009 3:59 PM
    To: Jared White, TWS
    Subject: FW: Paul Richards on Tester’s Logging Bill

    Can you check with Kathy Kilmer and see if it is possible to remove certain unsupportive people from our wildalert lists? Like Paul Richards and say Matthew Koehler (see his direct quoting of our alert below)



    From: Peter Aengst
    Sent: Thursday, July 16, 2009 3:58 PM
    To: Scott Brennan; Jared White; ‘Tom Reed’; ‘Bruce Farling’; Tom France; Ben Long; Barb Cestero; (tbaker@wildmontana.org)
    Subject: FW: Paul Richards on Tester’s Logging Bill

    A gold star to anyone who has the patience to read through all of this rant…

    Do note that I wouldn’t be surprised if some try to make a “broken campaign promise” media story out of this.




    @ http://www.fileden.com/files/2009/6/10/2472743/Richards%20letter.pdf

  6. Ed

    Hard to tell your real comments from your fake comments as they all seem to be the same length. Just saying.

  7. Pronghorn

    Don’t know if this story is worth the telling, but…
    Several years ago (5 or 6) on Xmas eve morning, I heard chain saws. Looked out, and there was Plum Creek cutting the last few merchantable ponderosas off a hillside facing the narrow valley I live in. Called the PC office to offer my thoughts on this (they’ve already treated us to every noxious weed in the book, now they’re taking the last of the viewshed?) but the office was closed for the holiday. To their credit, a man called me back after the holidays. We had a testy (testy, not tester) exchange. At the end of the conversation, I added, “Oh yeah, and that other cut you did farther up that side valley? That is absolute devastation!” (It looked like God came along with a scraper and simply scraped the hillsides bare.) He took exception to this remark and informed me about responsible cutting, leaving seed trees, etc. We both hung up somewhat pissed. A few days later he calls me back and says, “I just realized what other cut you were talking about and wanted you to know that that wasn’t our cut.” “Whose was it then?” “RY Timber,” he answered. That was the first time I’d ever heard that name.

  8. Mr. Tester is studying at the feet of Max – it’s not about money, but rather, power. To persuade a politician to do something, you have to gain his confidence, and the the same time make it clear that you can hurt him. Then he will respond. Job, a bright man, has gotten the message, and is responding.

    And he’s doing it the right way. He’s giving wilderness advocates symbolism, timber interests real timber.

    Wilderness people have this notion that if you “work with”a politician, and “support” him, that he will do the right thing. They don’t understand politics. Max used to be the big roadblock to wilderness. Now it’s Jon.

  9. Matthew Koehler

    The Great Falls Tribune’s Lowdown blog has video and audio from the entire press conference for Senator Tester’s Mandated Logging Bill announcement last Friday.

    If you have any doubt that this bill is really an effort by self-selected special interests groups and timber corporations to mandate industrial logging and give tens of millions in US taxpayer subsidies to Montana’s timber industry (during the steepest decline in lumber consumption in US history) you need to watch the press conference and listen to the Q/A between Senator Tester and reporters.

    You can watch the entire press conference (in three parts) at:


    Also at that link, you can download audio of the entire Q/A between Senator Tester and the reporters. As you’ll notice, Senator Tester was asked (and pretty much entirely ignored or danced around) a bunch of important questions regarding how all this mandated logging will pay for restoration work given there’s no demand for lumber.

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