Open Letter to the U.S. Senate Regarding Fire Suppression Costs
February 7, 2007
By Mike Dubraisch [email protected] 

(Note: To those reading this for the first time, as well as those that have received this from Mike Dubrasich of SOS Forests in Lebanon, Oregon: I commented on what you will find posted here: but you will find much to enjoy here, too: You will be so glad you visited Mike's website, whether you are a forester, consumer, student, or whatever! Mike gives each of us a great gift with his website and his words. Both are 'from the heart' and deserve our appreciation and sharing with many more. Please consider sharing with all those you know that benefit from trees and the products made from them.)


Good morning, Mike!

I just submitted my comments to your letter at your website, but am also pasting them below. As you will readily see, I rather liked them! Please know that my prayers are for you to keep up this great work; it's easy to see that you truly care about trees and the people that need trees for their 'quality of life!'


Julie Kay

My posting:


What's not to love/agree with in your concise, utterly fact-based letter? This could be a white paper for America's timberers. It tells everything the way it is, other than that I would question the reasons for Forest Service actions that appear to seek a new record number of acres burned each year.

As you know, my website (and in this case, my Forest Service and Loggers buttons) focuses on property rights and responsible resource providing. Viewing this particular federal agency through the lens of a researcher, ferreting out facts and seeking reasons for actions, I have come to a troubling conclusion: the current Forest Service is being driven by a plan that seeks to rid itself of inholders (those owning private land within the boundaries of National Forests, often having owned those private properties since before the Forest Service existed, i.e., when such private properties were NOT 'inholdings') and acquire as much more land, i.e., resources, as possible. All the while, the actual responsible stewardship that was once a hallmark of the Forest Service, has been traded in like a worn-out old pickup truck for a new 'mission,' one whose goal is the polar opposite of Teddy Roosevelt's:

"And now, first and foremost, you can never afford to forget for a moment what is the object of our forest policy. That object is not to preserve forests because they beautiful, though that is good in itself; nor because they are refuges for the wild creatures of the wilderness, though that, too, is good in itself; but the primary object of our forest policy, as of the land policy of the Unites States, is the making of prosperous homes. It is part of the traditional policy of home making in our country. Every other consideration comes as secondary. You yourselves have got to keep this practical object before your minds: to remember that a forest which contributes nothing to the wealth, progress, or safety of the country is of no interest to the Government, and should be of little interest to the forester. Your attention must be directed to the preservation of forests, not as an end in itself, but as the means of preserving and increasing the prosperity of the nation." - Teddy Roosevelt, speaking to the Society of American Foresters in 1903.

The "new" Forest Service seems rather to view timberers thusly:

"Loggers losing their jobs because of Spotted Owl legislation is, in my eyes, no different than people being out of work after the furnaces of [the Nazi concentration camp] Dachau shut down." - David Brower, former executive director of the Sierra Club, on September 23, 1992, to travelers to a Canadian mountain.

Now, my comments regarding such (yes, you may quote me):

"How far can you look and not see evidence that you need the timber industry? It is everywhere, from the toothpick you use after a meal to the toilet paper to the supporting home walls and the frames around your family's treasured photographs. Because the venue of the logger is often in places distant to most of the population, we consider him or her as we contemplate the trucker: we see the truck but not its driver, the wood products but not the human beings who worked long and arduous hours to make them available to us. Wood is a renewable resource. The United States Forest Service is a branch of the Department of Agriculture, and wood is a crop, to be tended and harvested. If those in charge of it are not good stewards of land and water, their livelihood will be a self-fulfilling disaster. The healthier private enterprise becomes, the healthier the forests and the industry will be."

Here's an important definition, straight from the Forest Service, which underpins my concern for the motive and actions of this agency:

Alienated Land - Land of one ownership [that is] enclosed within [the] boundaries of another ownership. Often refers to land in private ownership within the boundaries of public land. - National Grassland Plan (USDA Forest Service)

So, Mike, again I applaud your effort and am both sharing and posting a link to it on my website and to my extensive email lists.

God bless you! Americans need you almost as much as American Forests need you!




[Original Message]

From: Mike D [email protected]

To: [email protected]

Date: 2/7/2007 4:05:58 PM

Subject: Letter to the US Senate Regarding Fire Suppression Costs

Dear Julie,

Today I wrote an 'Open Letter to the U.S. Senate Regarding Fire Suppression Cost Accounting'. It is posted here:

I would very much appreciate your review and comments.

Thank you

Mike Dubrasich

SOS Forests

33862 Totem Pole Road

Lebanon, Oregon 97355


[email protected]