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This letter is in response to your online story by Masha Herbst. I find the Forest Service's request to harvest disturbing. In fact, I find it most difficult to accept given my past experience with the U.S. Forest Service and their district rangers.
Here's an example, and I only wish that I had been able to speak this to the public forum. The USFS banned my landing of fixed-wheel aircraft on a frequently used air strip. This primitive airstrip has been used for many decades and is continually used by residents of Southeast. However, in my case, I was requesting use of the strip under USFS authorization under a special use permit and was denied (even after federal appeal). The USFS's reasoning was that the low tide grasslands were being impacted by my requested nine landings over a course of a year. That is correct, I was requesting to land only nine times. They claimed that the grass was being damaged. Their exact words were that I was causing "environmental damage to the grass."
Well, for their information, not only were others using the strip in higher frequency than my requests (without restrictions,) but also the grass was not severely damaged and, more importantly, grass grows back much faster than trees.
I only wish that the USFS would play fairly and play with the same deck of cards as they deal to others.