Tuesday, October 25, 2011

BLM and Weyerhaeuser by Jason Thoma

Warner Pacific College
October 24, 2011
            My view on the bureau of land management’s involvement in our society is one of an avid outdoorsman who feels that everyone should get to enjoy the natural beauty of the wilderness. The bureau has had many impacts on our society for better and for worse, but all in all I think that they do the best they can. In this paper I will discuss the pros of having a bureau of land management and what they give back. I will also include my views on how Weyerhaeuser, the company that owns the most land in the northwest, is doing business in regards to the needs of our society.
            The bureau of land management in Oregon and Washington has over 15 million acres of land to protect and conserve for the public to enjoy (Tourism, 2010). They are able to do this by receiving grants from the government and charging fees at all recreational areas.
The term that the BLM use for this is “public land” but some are not so sure how open to the public it is; when every forest that we want to enjoy costs money for us to enjoy. Some people feel that if the public owns this land, (the parks/lakes/rivers, anywhere that there is a place for recreational adventure) than it should be free to the public to use and enjoy. These same people that continually complain about our government how it operates yet do nothing to correct the errors. This same group of people is the reason for the hippie fest that occurred last summer under the guise of “Rainbow festival.” The BLM allowed these people to go out and reconnect with nature on the lands that they operate and care for and all these people did was leave a giant mess in the woods that now we have to clean up.
Right now the fees that we pay to enjoy these public lands are not substantial but can be annoying if you are not prepared for them. Without these fees the parks themselves wouldn’t have funding to stay operational. The BLM recorded that 7,962,017 people visited the 70 recreational sites that the BLM manages last year. And they were able to generate 1.9$ million dollars from the fees and permits that they required (Tourism, 2010). It is nice to see that one bureau of our local government can raise almost 2 million dollars for its own continued success instead of taking it straight out of taxes that could’ve been better spent on other situations.
As an avid outdoorsman I have had many experiences with the Weyerhaeuser Company in the state of Washington. Besides BLM owned land Weyerhaeuser is the 2nd largest land owners in Washington. Growing up I have found that my friends and I are more often than not on Weyerhaeuser property when we go out to enjoy the wilderness. They have been very generous in letting the public go onto their lands and conduct their recreational adventures, as long as it doesn’t impede the logging work that is being done in that particular area.
After Weyerhaeuser is done with their logging of an area they offer plots of land to be sold back to the public. Right now there are 90 listings of land that Weyerhaeuser is selling ranging from 3+ acres to 340+ acres. I think this is a great way for a company to offer people a chance to live out their dreams of escaping the city life to live in the solitude of the wilderness.
The BLM and Weyerhaeuser have taken our most precious resource in the Pacific Northwest, which is our vast expanses of wilderness, and transformed them into recreational areas for our families to enjoy and cherish. As our cities grow and our wilderness diminishes it is imperative to have the BLM speaking out to keep our forests intact.

Coranto. (2011, January 1).Washington’s Public Lands. Retrieved from http://publiclands.org/explore.quadrant_map.php?plicstate=WA&quad=wa_q14

Tourism. (2010, January 1). Retieved from

Weyerhaeuser. (2011, June 10). Retrieved from

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