Looking for logging sites
April 26, 2012 2:07 PM   Subscribe

Is there any way of finding recent (~1-3-year-old) logging sites on National Forest land or BLM lands (or other public lands), specifically in California, without calling the district offices of those entities?

I have no nefarious political or activist motives, by the way. The reason I don't want to place a phone call is that I'd like a list of sites, rather than information on a specific site.
posted by mudpuppie to Law & Government (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The Freedom of Information Act. In most cases, no one will respond to a phone call. They will tell you to submit an FOI request.
posted by yclipse at 2:19 PM on April 26, 2012

Try here: www.fs.fed.us/im/foia

Easiest way is to call and ask though.
posted by fshgrl at 2:57 PM on April 26, 2012

Another point is that the listing will tell you where licensees have been issued a license but not necessarily where they have cut. Company ABC may license 40,000 acres in a year but do cutting on only 12,000 (numbers pulled out of a hat).
posted by yclipse at 3:27 PM on April 26, 2012

FOIA is a last resort when public officials won't hand over information upon request. It should not be your first stop.

BLM specifically states that a FOIA request is not necessary for timber sales records, because they are public records. They do respond to phone calls and will tell you NOT to submit a FOIA request.

In BLM districts in other states, the info is on their website. For example in Oregon. You could derive a list right from that page. But the California districts don't seem to have such a page.

So if I were you I would just call Kathleen Christian, (916) 978-4409, (listed on the FOIA page) who should be able to tell you where to find it or how to get it without any hassle.
posted by beagle at 5:01 PM on April 26, 2012

Is this possibly available online via a GIS interface? In Victoria Australia you can find all that history available through Forest Explorer Online.

I'm going to hunt around and see if there's anything similar for your state.

Try not to use FOI as your first resort. It should be a last resort. The government is not your enemy.
posted by wilful at 10:23 PM on April 26, 2012

Man that service sucks. Ought to be embarrassing. The data should be either there or there, but I can't find it. How nontransparent.
posted by wilful at 10:28 PM on April 26, 2012

Best answer: I am a government data professional. I am not YOUR government data professional (well, not on this website. Figure out where I work and what I do, and well, I work for you)

GIS is the way to go. All this information is publicly available.

Here is the GIS clearinghouse for the Pacific Southwest region. Poke around in that vicinity and you should be able to find publications and lists of sites as well.

This this USFS developed tool, called Harvest will let you make predictions and stuff
posted by rockindata at 9:07 AM on April 27, 2012

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