Disposal of Paper and Paperboard Waste, by Year

Peak use of paper and paperboard was in around year 2000, after which electronic communication started to cut into the amount of paper used and discarded. Subsequently paper recycling grew, which cut the amount going to landfills and garbage incinerators. Numbers are in thousands of tons per year, nationally. https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-11/documents/2014_smm_tablesfigures_508.pdf

Beyond Cynicism: America Fumbles Towards Kafka’s Castle

James Howard Kunstler remains a very astute observer of American politics today ...

"Bad ideas flourish in this nutrient medium of unresolved crisis. Lately, they actually dominate the scene on every side. A species of wishful thinking that resembles a primitive cargo cult grips the technocratic class, awaiting magical rescue remedies that promise to extend the regime of Happy Motoring, consumerism, and suburbia that makes up the armature of “normal” life in the USA. They chatter about electric driverless car fleets, home delivery drone services, and as-yet-undeveloped modes of energy production to replace problematic fossil fuels, while ignoring the self-evident resource and capital constraints now upon us and even the laws of physics—especially entropy, the second law of thermodynamics. Their main mental block is their belief in infinite industrial growth on a finite planet, an idea so powerfully foolish that it obviates their standing as technocrats."

Map: Beartown State Forest

Map: Beartown State Forest

The 7211 acre Beartown State Forest is named for its proximity to a former small pioneer settlement by that name. The main access road leading from the north into this forest also "bears" the same designation. Granite bedrock forms the base for the mostly shallow, poor soils found here. Rock outcrops are common, with beaver inundated wetlands occupying the low areas.


I am opposed to wilderness areas and public parks because I believe they overly restrict public use of public lands, banning many uses of public lands and restricting public access to the lands that were purchased for taxpayer dollars. Parks and wilderness areas are opposite sides of coin – intensively developed or preserved lands that limit public use and enjoyment. Many public uses are restricted in parks or require payment of fees, while other public uses are banned in wilderness areas. Wilderness areas and parks are de-funded lands, that provide no useful materials to mankind to cover the cost of their administration and maintenance (unless of course they charge user fees).

Opposition to wilderness and public parks does not mean opposition to public lands or public use of lands. Nor does mean that one is pro-development or primarily concerned with the extraction of timber or mineral resources. Wilderness and parks opposition in contrast stands in support of sustainable use of public lands, one that sees a role in the state actively managing the land for a wide variety of primitive, rustic uses of the land.

In opposition to wilderness and parks, I support multiple use of public lands as implemented in our National Forests and State Forests. As Gifford Pinchot would say, “the greatest good, for the greatest number of people, over the greatest amount of time.” Well-managed forests can not only provide timber in support of the wood products and paper industries, it can provide multi-successional growth to produce a diverse and healthy forest habitat. Cows can keep fields open and habitat for birds and wildlife. Oil and gas wells that are properly regulated can provide an immense amount of wealth to government land managers that can invest it back into the land, building things like trails, roads and bridges. Natural resources harvested from the land are much like advertisements on commercial television — necessary to keep the free service up and running.

Public lands should be free, wild and rustic in character. While public use should be encouraged, our forests should not become developed parks. Forest roads should be dirt, campsites should be spread out and lightly developed – no more then a fire ring, a picnic table, and a pit privy. Let users bring their own equipment and set it up as they like. If they want to shoot guns, play loud music, have bonfires, knock down some cold ones, all the more power to them – as long as they restore the land to how they found it when they got there. Trails should be lightly developed, maintained to limit mud and provide reasonable crossings across rivers, using bridges made out of wood or darkly painted steel. Signs should be limited and of rustic character. Boat launches should be gravel with no extensively developed features.

Forest infrastructure should be designed to discourage people from aggregating in any one particular area, even if certain vistas or natural features may be naturally attractive for people. Spreading out campsites and providing a variety of trail routes is one to keep farther apart to protect the wilderness character. Different roads can provide different places to explore and the people should be educated about different options to explore. At the same time, by limiting infrastructure to dirt roads, limiting signege and promotion of land, it can keep public use down to a sustainable level.

By limiting infrastructure and implementing sustainable harvests of natural resources, public lands can remain funded and free for public use.