Wild places sustain and define us; we, in turn, must protect them.
Forest Service and Trump Administration Propose Eliminating Public Disclosure, Input, and Environmental Review: Comments Urgently Needed by August 12, 2019!
The U.S. Forest Service has extended its comment deadline to Aug. 26. Take action at OurForestsOurVoice.org.
The United States Forest Service and Trump administration have put forward a dangerous new proposal to end longstanding requirements that the Forest Service notify the public, allow for public comment, and analyze environmental impacts when approving logging, road building, pipeline construction, and other activities on 193 million acres of national forest lands across the country, including the Daniel Boone National Forest and Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area in Kentucky. Comments on the proposal are due by August 12, 2019. Directions on how to comment are at the end of this post.
What are they doing?
The proposed rule would amend the agency’s procedures for implementing the National Environmental Policy Act, commonly known as “NEPA.” The proposed changes fundamentally undermine NEPA’s bedrock principles of government transparency, accountability, public participation, and science-based decision-making.
In more technical terms, the Forest Service’s proposal would allow most land management activities to take place under a “Categorical Exclusion” or “CE,” whereby the Forest Service can approve projects without first conducting an Environmental Assessment (EA) or Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Traditionally, CEs have been used for minor, non-controversial activities like removing hazard trees from campgrounds and roadsides. The proposal also does away with requirements that the Forest Service notify the public and allow for public comment on projects before a decision is made, whether carried out under a CE or with a full Environmental Assessment or Environmental Impact Statement.
The types of projects that the Forest Service wants to apply Categorical Exclusions to include:
In effect, every single logging project, and nearly all utility and road building projects on the Daniel Boone National Forest and at Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area could be proposed in secret, with no environmental review and no public input. Adding to the audacity and absurdity of the Forest Service’s proposal, the 4,200 acre logging exemption was created by averaging project sizes from across the country, with the 170,000 acre Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area treated the same as the 17,000,000 acre Tongass National Forest in Alaska.
And these aren’t the only destructive provisions in the proposal.
Why are they doing this?
According to the Forest service, this radical proposal is about “increase(ing) the pace and scale of work accomplished on the ground.” But the bottom line is that it’s about cutting more timber, building more roads, and allowing more pipelines and utility development without the hassle of public participation, oversight, or environmental analysis.
But NEPA isn’t the problem. The main reason that the Forest Service has trouble getting work done – whether it’s maintaining campsites and trails or selling timber – is that they are severely underfunded by Congress and woefully under-staffed which shockingly high turnover. Over the last 10 years, the Daniel Boone National Forest has had four Forest Supervisors and eleven District Rangers in charge of the four Ranger Districts. Forestry and wildlife personnel – the people that actually plan most land management projects – are often temporary fixtures, coming and going from other national forests and agencies from all over the country. It’s become rare to have consistent Forest Service personnel throughout the development of even a single project on the Daniel Boone National Forest.
Why does this matter?
Public lands belong to the public, and the Forest Service can make some really bad decisions. Whether you care about hiking trails or rare plants, old-growth or clear streams, your voice matters.
Without the currently mandated system of public participation and environmental analysis we never would have identified and saved the forest above Climax Spring and old-growth in Little Egypt from logging in the Crooked Creek project, or stopped thousands of acres of deeply unpopular logging in Land Between the Lakes in the Pisgah Bay project, or saved old-growth “Core Areas” in Land Between the Lakes from getting logged in the Birmingham Ferry Salvage project, gotten hundreds of acres of logging dropped in the Greenwood project (saving the trailhead to the Beaver Creek Wilderness and Three Forks of Beaver Creek Overlook), stopped road building in the Beaver Creek project near Cave Run Lake, or identified old-growth that the Forest Service wants to log in the South Redbird project…the list goes on.
What can you do?
Send in your comments!
The Forest Service is accepting comments on their proposal through August 12th, 2019. Although you can submit comments directly through the Forest Service’s website here, we recommend using the web portal set up by our friends at the Southern Environmental Law Center at OurForestsOurVoice.org. This web portal will assist you in submitting unique comments, and help us track the number of comments getting submitted. There have been indications that the federal government has been “losing” comments submitted through federal portals and we want to make sure your voice is heard.
Spread the word!
We need help getting the word out. Our social media feeds and inboxes are all packed these days, and we’re not seeing much about this from many of the big national organizations that have a big reach. By helping to amplify this message you can make a real difference.
Call your members of Congress!
While this proposal is coming from the Trump administration and U.S. Forest Service, make sure your members of Congress know that you strongly oppose the Forest Service taking away public participation and oversight of national forest management. Public opposition has stopped similar proposals in the U.S. House and Senate in recent years.
For more details and a great explainer on why this matters so much, head on over to our friends at Tennessee Heartwood. They’ve done a fantastic job going deep on why NEPA and public participation are critical for protecting our public lands.
You can also read these articles from The Hill and NPR.
Official documents for the Forest Service's proposal can be found on the Forest Service website here.
And if you find this useful, please consider supporting our work by donating or joining Kentucky Heartwood here.
Please note that commenting on this blog post does not send your comment to the Forest Service.
To comment, we recommend using the web portal set up by our friends at the Southern Environmental Law Center at OurForestsOurVoice.org.
This web portal will assist you in submitting unique comments, and help us track the number of comments getting submitted. There have been indications that the federal government has been “losing” comments submitted through federal portals and we want to make sure your voice is heard.
7/17/2019 07:55:16 pm
This is ridiculous, and just wrong !
7/17/2019 07:57:12 pm
This should not be passed . Nor should anything like this ever be passed .save and preserve our Forrest, natural areas and endangered species.
8/4/2019 09:26:04 am
Really??? Funny thing you don't mention the Human people that need it to live in, or to have Rainbow Gathering in. But too many use them for Survival. BUT YOU DON'T CARE ABOUT THE PEOPLE. That's clear to see.
8/4/2019 04:05:22 pm
I do care about people. Not that I'm going to change your mind, but here's some of the reasoning behind why so many of us are against this move to reduce public oversight.
7/17/2019 08:47:39 pm
How dare they even consider this?
7/17/2019 09:21:51 pm
This must be stopped. Public disclosure and input is essential.
7/17/2019 09:34:41 pm
Once these forests are gone, we will never see the likes of them again. It's important to adhere to strict rules that are transparent to the public, rules that the public help make. Protecting the environment is a responsibility that should not be subverted.
7/25/2019 02:49:23 pm
I completely agree with Kathy Reel, once our national Forests are gone that it. I am an avid trail rider and its getting harder and harder to find nice places to ride. I hope that by the time my grandchildren are grown there will still be public lands to ride on. Please dont take our voices away by passing this law for the $ and dont destroy our National Forests. They are homes to a great many animals, birds, flora and fauna, reptiles and fish.
7/17/2019 10:02:49 pm
No no no save our Forest our trees nature we don’t need anymore concrete we need places we can go to get away from the world and rewind breath fresh air and just be ....if only for a few hours at a given time.....I say NONO NO
7/17/2019 10:09:37 pm
I disagree with this if it eliminates transparency into what is happening to our forests. The public needs to know when anything under the sun impacts any of our forests. No! No! No!
7/17/2019 10:42:49 pm
As a person displaced by the Land Between the Lakes project 50 years ago
7/18/2019 09:55:43 am
I agree 100%. The forests belong to the public who should always have input. The profit makers are out of control. Stop them before it's too late.
7/19/2019 09:00:17 pm
Been attending and commenting since RARE II and the last 50 year plan. Anyone who loves our earth must get involved. Just criminal in the Amazon!
7/17/2019 11:13:27 pm
Stop raping America for profit!! This has to stop and stop now! These lands are for the public not to be sold for profit. The current administration is selling American to the highest bidder, not making it great!!
7/18/2019 02:42:42 am
My family is from The Land Between The Lakes or some of you might know it as Land Between The Rivers they should not pass this there are so many Family Cemeteries in this area that are actually getting lost because they don’t keep up the roads down there so you can’t get to them anymore you have to hike miles to get to them they have not been cleaned up in years the vegetation is shoulder high it’s just sad lots of family history I can keep going on but my sister Karen Barrow is down there and other family members are there trying to help keep our heritage and the history of the people who came from there going on not to mention other family’s people are helping out thanks Steve Barrow
7/18/2019 02:46:08 am
Climate change is already having devastating effect in many parts of the country, this is a matter of survival, preserve the beauty of this land free from the threat of ecocidal policies by a reckless administration.
7/18/2019 04:20:21 am
This is the devil's work
7/18/2019 06:52:52 am
Yet another example of the Trump supported Administration disregard for the environment.
Carol B Cope
7/18/2019 09:42:16 am
I agree! This administration is very short-sighted when it comes to the environment. All they care about is Money. I, as well as most americans, want to leave a healthy environment for my kids and my future relations!
7/18/2019 07:03:17 am
Please stop stripping our forest and our rights away. Once they are gone they will never be replaced. Look at the coal companies that stripped the land turning our streams into acidic waters and failing to reclaim land according to laws. The amount of flooding caused by stripping our forest will become uncontrollable.
7/18/2019 07:22:29 am
The Forest Service MUST NOT take away public participation and oversight of national forest management. Pipeline installation, roadbuilding, timbercutting and any other major project MUST include public participation and environmental analysis. The purpose of the Forest Service is to PROTECT the forests.
7/18/2019 07:32:42 am
There is always a balance of utilizing resources without total destruction.
7/18/2019 08:14:17 am
Please stop this. Please stop this pure madness. We need our forests more than ever. Do not allow this to happen.
7/18/2019 08:58:13 am
Why do we need forest service,if they are stripping away all of the trees in the forest?
7/18/2019 09:02:12 am
Here is an idea. Reuse the white oak barrel on lower grade bourbon. Reserve the new casks for the exclusive stuff. Sounds like lorax the movie where the conglomerate steals all of the world's resources and after the damage was done, they sold them oxygen within the dome where everything was fake.
7/18/2019 09:06:19 am
My family was born and raised,and buried in LBL. I want to have an input on anything that goes on in LBL. I will never vote to do away with the forest in LBL for logging or for profit. This is my heritage,my family's home till we were run out. Why should the forest service or President Trump have a say on anything that goes on in LBL?
please do not destroy our sacred forests!! when its gone it will forever be gone..it takes years and years to have such beautiful places like this, it does not happen over night..memories are made in the forests..plants and animals will be killed off..SAVE our forests!!!
7/18/2019 09:41:05 am
Public lands means we the people’s land and we deserve and demand disclosures.
7/18/2019 09:41:36 am
Kentucky forests are our future. Just imagine what our state would be like if we take away tourism. Trees and water provide monies and jobs for residents of Kentucky. What are the proponents of this removal project planning for replacements? Brick buildings? Environmental hazards? Take a look at the monumental, negative effects of the Paducah Nuclear facility of the past. That land is now not fit for human habitation, even with cleanup. In this current proposal, there isn’t even talk of shelter cutting, which would protect wildlife. This is just another thoughtless move from the leaders of our Federal government. It is time for them to stop the childish fighting and take time to look at the issues of real life. Kentucky citizens are going to have to stand up to bullies who want to make Kentucky a dumping ground for war wastes and so called progressive projects. What appears to be progress for them is DEATH for Kentuckians. Think about this. There has to be a dumping ground for nuclear wastes. A war is brewing. Will that ground be in Kentucky? Perhaps, the big idea people have this in mind??? Just something to think about.
7/22/2019 03:59:28 pm
You can always "Ditch Mitch" in Kentucky. That would be a huge step in the right direction.
7/18/2019 09:42:08 am
I agree with Linda: The Forest Service MUST NOT take away public participation and oversight of national forest management. Pipeline installation, roadbuilding, timbercutting and any other major project MUST include public participation and environmental analysis. The purpose of the Forest Service is to PROTECT the forests.
7/18/2019 09:43:13 am
Public comment goes in one ear and out the other , and that goes for all Dems and Reps. We have a bought and paid for system in our Government. Its all about Wall Street and the World economy THATS ALL THEY WANT TO HEAR.
7/18/2019 10:11:11 am
Save the Forrests!
7/18/2019 10:20:54 am
Please STOP this madness! We MUST have transparency!
7/18/2019 10:35:26 am
The purpose of the Forest Service is to protect our forests/lands and ensure its longevity. There must be a check and balance system in place and excluding Environmental Assessments and/or Environmental Impact Statements and/or public opinion (the public's taxes do come into play here) would be a grave mistake. Forests are essential to human longevity...the trees absorb heat and carbon dioxide, provide a home to wildlife and many other beneficial factors. Keep the check and balance system in place!
7/18/2019 10:38:58 am
FYI, the link for Our Forests Our Voice doesn’t seem to be working.
7/18/2019 11:09:48 am
This destruction must stop, this is the only planet we have!!! Think of your children!
7/18/2019 11:14:05 am
PUBLIC input is ESSENTIAL. This must not be passed without the PEOPLE's permission.
7/18/2019 11:45:52 am
It's critical to protect our ENVIRONMENT! NOW!
7/18/2019 12:22:11 pm
Stop! Just stop....the lack of transparency, the destruction of anything good, the lining of the pockets of those who don't give a flip about nature.
7/18/2019 12:27:06 pm
Just the mere fact that this administration doesn’t want public disclosure, input and environment review shows how ridiculous this proposal is. This administration wants to harm the environment in secret!
7/18/2019 12:45:47 pm
That's spoliation of evidence. This is not just a crime against humanity. This is a crime against entire Earth.
7/18/2019 01:13:09 pm
The use of public forests and waterways is protected in state constitutions as the right to hunt and fish. To spoil any public forest and grant rights to contstruction for the sake of profit and without public disclosure is appaling. PROTECT PUBLIC LAND
Tina Marie Johnson
7/18/2019 01:23:14 pm
Please note that commenting on this blog post does not send your comment to the Forest Service.
7/18/2019 07:40:42 pm
It's public land. It belongs to the people not the president or his donors.
7/18/2019 08:17:55 pm
Protect our forests! Reject the proposed changes! They seriously undermine the fundamental principles of the National Environmental Policy Act: government transparency, accountability, public participation, and science-based decision-making.
7/19/2019 11:38:50 am
Another bad idea that benefits a very small few with nothing but money money money. This man and his agenda have got to go.
7/19/2019 12:40:42 pm
This is nothing more than the rich and famous hijacking our nation’s forests. Donald has been slowly removing our national areas...and now this: It’s quite clear to me, and I hope it is to ALL Americans what this plan is all about. Donald is looking out for his rich land development friends. Donald and his friends want more beautiful playgrounds that only they will have access to, at our expense.
7/19/2019 01:54:51 pm
Transparency must be preserved on any actions in and about our National Forests this includes environmental impact reviews/reports that include NEPA and CEQA type of Notice that allows for Public Comment and Notice.
7/19/2019 02:36:55 pm
Blame Congress they're the ones right now that are worried about global warming. Let them sit down and make some laws. This matter is in Congess' hands not President.
7/19/2019 03:15:50 pm
Once trees are gone..nothing left to cool...this will be your global warming
7/19/2019 08:03:02 pm
My family came to Tennessee in 1802 and our farm is still in the family. We have always managed our precious trees and protected them for the future generations. I can not understand why the current US Dept of Interior will not manage the forests that belong to our citizens. Members of the US House and Senate must now stand up and be counted or be replaced during the next election.
7/21/2019 04:24:05 pm
Just remember the current house are Dems and are not doing anything for we the people.
7/23/2019 08:09:09 pm
The democrat-led House is helpless to accomplish anything legislative as long as the McConnell-led republican senate refuses to even receive, let alone pass, any legislation originating in the house, and Trump has the veto. McConnell, Trump, and now the Supreme Court share the exact same Koch Bros. agenda: the deconstruction of our Federal government to allow the rampant exploitation of public resources with zero oversight. As this current proposal all-to-clearly demonstrates. It’s fair to criticize the Dems for a lot of things, but it is unfair to insult them for not passing legislation when it is literally structurally impossible for them to do so. These vile people will never be stopped if we don’t all get out and vote them out power in both the Congress and in the White House.
7/20/2019 03:01:41 am
The Forrest no matter where they are. Are ours to walk through and discover the world it's life , it inhabitants , it's fresh air, it's a pond way back in the woods with fish where we can go fishing or to just look at the wonders of it all . The trees bring us fresh air , the bears , the deer , the racoons , the birds , the , ground animals they all mean so much to us if you cut down a Forrest you ruin that all for all of us . How long does it take a new Forrest to grow ?? . To long these are national parks they are not something that can be bought and sold like so much lumber we need the forests more then they need the bourbon or anything else . . We all need the forests . We need all of the Forrest. Leave then alone for future families to enjoy . Leave them alone .
7/20/2019 11:43:14 am
What a terrible idea. Our forests and wild places make America great. Without transparency, they will be threatened.
7/20/2019 02:55:35 pm
If we don’t have our forests, we won’t be able to breath, we will lose our wildlife, our ecology will fall out of balance, extinction is imminent. Is this what we want? Or de we prefer to gaze at piles of money?
7/20/2019 05:33:03 pm
It is a proven scientific fact that the forests help with scrubbing the air of carbon, an accomplishment nothing else on earth is as capable of so eliminating vast swaths of forest for the sake of lumber for furniture, pipelines for a glut of oil we should be moving away from and other things that eliminate this needed part of our ecosystem is INSANITY AND GREED! Wake up before your greed kills us all!!
7/20/2019 10:09:55 pm
This is the STUPIDEST plan so far!
7/21/2019 05:21:37 am
The current admin are enemies of the Earth, a huge threat to public health.
7/21/2019 04:29:20 pm
Stop blaming current administration and look to see what the house under Pelosi is doing to save anything beneficial for we the people.
7/21/2019 09:31:30 am
The end to public disclosure, comment and environmental impact reviews will extend far beyond USFS public lands. This will impact all public lands including BLM lands. At this time plans are in place for moving the BLM national headquarters from Washington DC to Denver, Colorado. That will make it a lot easier to begin the process of exploiting BLM lands throughout the west. That will be followed by the exploitation of USFS lands. With no chance for public input there will be no chance of stopping this.
7/21/2019 11:08:32 am
Public comment is absolutely necessary for preservation of the common good.
7/21/2019 11:48:50 am
7/21/2019 12:32:48 pm
What in the world???? No, just no.
7/21/2019 01:13:33 pm
Please stop destroying the land. We need mother nature in all her glory! It belongs to the people, and we the people have a had enough!
7/21/2019 02:14:41 pm
We need trees on public land to absorb carbon and produce oxygen. They are essential for our atmosphere and survival. These lands belong to the public and should not be logged or bulldozed for private profits. Doing so is to rob the American people! Creating wealth for a few companies is not a reason to clearcut or bulldoze what belongs to everyone. It is therefore critical that the public be notified of plans to make any changes at all the public lands!
7/21/2019 04:13:59 pm
Trump is an eco-terrorist.
7/21/2019 07:54:15 pm
Any land owned by the U.S. government needs to be openly administered, taking into consideration the will of us, the governed citizens, to whom the legislators and bureaucrats are responsible.
Megan Kathol Bersett
7/21/2019 11:28:56 pm
I am fully against the proposal to remove the transparency, accountability, environmental analysis, and public participation in the decisions made about PUBLIC lands.
7/22/2019 02:48:33 pm
This is foul. Trump needs to stay out of our parks and open space. He is unqualified to make any meaningful judgements.
7/22/2019 04:26:19 pm
Instead of downgrading the president why not let congress know how you feel as they can oversee the decisions made and hopefully pass laws to save this land.
7/22/2019 02:49:17 pm
It is WE, as citizens, that must OVERSEE and COMMENT UPON, the behaviors of our government and its institutions, for OUR OWN welfare. If we are to keep losing our forests, our animals (yes, even those essential bugs!), how are we to retain life and awe and beauty in the face of such destruction? HOW???? Our very lives are already being endangered by illnesses and despair, for which there is only one cure, the health of our EARTH! - and therefore, ourselves!
7/22/2019 05:01:25 pm
The one thing I did not understand is why would the forestry department agree with trump for non-disclosure. This does not make sense to me. President Trump on the other hand, has worked hard to weaken the EPA, and other oversight that actually Look out for the welfare of the people. We as citizens who have elected our officials, I’m not being represented as a whole. This needs to end. Our citizens have a right to be informed, since I have not seen this disclosed on the news, I wonder why the news and media agreed to keep quiet. Forests and animals need to be protected, for they have no voice to do cell, so it is up to us. End Trump’s mighty power To disassemble protections that I’ve been put in place for the welfare of the whole.
7/22/2019 05:52:08 pm
There must be laws on the books that let's this happen. The president didn't make this an executive order from what i can see. We have to contact congress to change these laws or get a court to over rule the non diclosure and all laws giving power to the president. The media isn't reporting this story because exposure isn't exciting enough. Shame on rhe media.
7/22/2019 08:36:53 pm
NO, NO, NO! Public citizens have to be informed on our natural resources!
7/23/2019 09:45:24 am
This is truly appalling and must be stopped!
7/23/2019 09:46:17 am
Taking away the Public's ability to make decisions about public land is stealing from them This Is Our Land we will make the decisions on what happens here you have to allow us to do that
7/23/2019 07:03:30 pm
Thanks for this valuable report of corruption
7/24/2019 12:50:58 pm
Any plan to cover up or hide activity related to our precious earth is immediately suspect. Absolutely unacceptable behavior!
7/24/2019 10:05:40 pm
If they government proposes carrying out the business of the people of this country in secret, it runs counter to the principles of democracy. Those lands belong to us, the citizens. It is not for the government to appropriate these lands for undisclosed reasons which can only lead to misappropriation of monies and power.
7/25/2019 04:57:18 am
Public Trust once meant something. This proposed delineation of our rights is a boundary that should not be crossed. What kind of soulless chicanery is at play? This administration has repeatedly accused the last administration of dismantling the Constitution; in reality our so called current leaders have zero respect for humans or the rights of any living creatures.
7/25/2019 08:55:35 am
This is terrible. I pray it falls through. Once we lose this land it will be gone forever. I have grown up going to these places and I hope they are around when my kid grows up so he can take his family too. They can lay pipe line without destroying a whole forest. There are plenty of roads around so there’s no need to go through and take this away from the people.
7/25/2019 09:48:53 am
This is outrageous. All this quiet back planning of the forest areas is so unfair, and fringes on everyone citizens' rights. Stand up people, speak out. These are the issues that need addressed in our society! We are losing all our natural resources to government decisions.
7/29/2019 02:25:45 pm
This is about one thing: M-O-N-E-Y. If we want to stop this outrage, and the onslaught of travesties that they will propose next, we are going to have to change the administration in not just the next, but all future elections. Get out and VOTE, people...!
7/29/2019 04:27:16 pm
Almost dismissed this as some media Insanity that could never even be thought. But no. It is the real @realDonaldTrump who is not capable of anything rational. Especially good at hiding the bodies, which is what these executive actions are, hiding the high crimes Trump repeats, again and again and again.
7/31/2019 02:52:03 pm
Eight years ago - nearly to the month - a group of Native American and other activists fought snow-making with treated waste water on the San Francisco Peaks (sacred to thirteen tribes) in Northern Arizona. With the blithe rationale, "I have to honor skiers' rights," Coconino Forest then-supervisor, Nora Rasure decided to allow the snow-making. We fought. A trio of white judges in San Francisco made the final call. All last winter the glare and roar of snow-making machines desecrated the mountain. https://dissidentvoice.org/2011/08/from-sacrilege-to-sacredness-whats-the-big-deal-about-snowmaking/
8/1/2019 12:31:20 pm
No! The public has a right to information regarding any projects that are affected by taxpayers dollars!!! If you force this through then quit putting our tax dollars into any program that disregards our opinions.
8/2/2019 08:04:22 am
Preserve our natural lands! Leave it alone!
8/7/2019 04:01:01 pm
Transparency must be kept. No secret back door meetings and decisions please.
Carol Joan Patterson
8/14/2019 10:25:10 pm
The Public's ability to participate in decision making about public land is of utmost importance, and should not be removed. The comment period has great value not only in sharing individual opinions, but also because often valuable environmental evaluations are submitted for consideration. Eliminating public disclosure, input and environmental review removes a necessary safeguard, allowing unscrupulous individuals to degrade our unique wild places that are of inestimable value. This proposal is foolhardy and harmful and should be rejected. Thank you for considering my comments.
8/26/2019 01:25:18 pm
Please allow comments from the community before logging on our lands. Please remember these lands belong to the people, and not just to the government. All issues should be addressed before logging, especially environmental impact.
8/26/2019 02:57:58 pm
This is becoming a war zone here in Daniel Boone National Forrest. I wake each morning to the sound of logging trucks! I have an increase of squirrel and woodpeckers displaced by the ongoing rape of the surrounding forrest ! My heart is broken! This needs to stop! There has been a significant increase of logging here, I've been told that White oak is the tree in demand as the Bourbon industry is in need of barrels .
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