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Forest Service taking the heat
Salt Lake Tribune ^ | Jan. 1, 2004 | Brent Israelsen

Posted on 01/01/2004 2:17:49 PM PST by Excuse_My_Bellicosity

For setting a "prescribed fire" that went awry in September, the U.S. Forest Service is in hot water with the state.

Rick Sprott, director of the Utah Division of Air Quality, has issued the Forest Service a "notice of violation" in connection with the Cascade Springs II fire, which burned 7,800 acres and poured smoke into the Wasatch Front for a week.

The notice accuses the Forest Service of polluting the air in Utah's population center and of failing to submit a proper plan to the division before igniting the fire. It does not call for a fine, although the notice points out the state reserves the right to levy fines in the amount of $10,000 per day of violation.

"We will follow our standard policies and penalty calculations for the appropriateness of a fine. We're not ruling [a fine] out, by any means," said Sprott.

Forest Service spokesman Dan Jiron said his agency is still reviewing the notice but plans to cooperate fully with the state in resolving any outstanding concerns.

"If there are any procedural issues involved, we'll make sure they are corrected," Jiron said.

The Cascade Springs II fire, on the Uinta National Forest west of Deer Creek Reservoir, originally was proposed to be a 600-acre "prescribed fire." Such fires are set intentionally to clear land of unwanted vegetation or to improve the vegetative "mosaic."

On Sept. 23, after studying the fire for four years and postponing it one year, Forest Service crews ignited a test burn about 12:30 p.m. The fire, however, was set outside the originally prescribed 600 acres.

By about 2:30 p.m., winds began gusting to 12 mph and a "spot fire" jumped over the containment line. A half-hour later, another spot fire broke out. The fires advanced rapidly, eventually combining. By 5 p.m., officials declared the Cascade Springs II burn, which was then at 500 acres, a wildfire.

Before firefighters contained the blaze a week later, the fire sent tons of fine-particulate pollution into the sky. Much of the smoke flowed down Provo Canyon into Utah and Salt Lake counties.

The smoke decreased visibility, forced cancellation of sporting events, sent some people to seek medical help and prompted the Division of Air Quality to warn people with respiratory problems to stay indoors.

On Sept. 25, an air-monitoring station in central Salt Lake City measured particulate pollution at 350 micrograms per cubic meter of air, well above the 150 microgram level considered unhealthy by the federal Environmental Protection Agency. A station in Lindon, in northern Utah County, measured 160 on Sept. 26.

To state officials, the most troubling aspect of the Cascade Springs II fire is why Forest Service crews set fire to a 400-acre parcel outside the original 600-acre boundaries.

The Forest Service's own post-fire investigation concluded that the "primary cause" of the wildfire was the decision to ignite that 400-acre parcel.

"This area was burned without an analysis of [containment] and contingency-force needs," the report stated.

Sprott said the Forest Service has yet to fully explain how that occurred.

"I was very surprised and very disappointed and kind of shocked that there weren't better controls on their activity," Sprott said.

The air-quality director said his agency wants assurances that the Forest Service will prevent similar occurrences.

Jiron said those procedures -- such as better training for the fire crews -- already are being implemented to provide better oversight of prescribed burns.

While authorities are reviewing and revamping procedures, nobody is questioning the need for prescribed burns, which have proven to be an effective ecological tool.

The Cascade Springs II fire, for example, is expected to vastly improve wildlife habitat.


TOPICS: Government; News/Current Events; US: Utah
KEYWORDS: enviralists; environment; forestfire; landgrab; usfs; utah
...nobody is questioning the need for prescribed burns, which have proven to be an effective ecological tool.

Well, maybe "nobody" SHOULD be questioning the need for presribed burns. I find their pattern of controlled burns getting out of control pretty disturbing. In most cases, the cause of the out-of-control fire is sheer incompetence.

1 posted on 01/01/2004 2:17:50 PM PST by Excuse_My_Bellicosity
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity

Dave Harmon, engine boss for the U.S. Forest Service, studies the Cascade
Springs II fire, west of Deer Creek Reservoir, on Sept. 25.
(Al Hartmann/Salt Lake Tribune file photo)
2 posted on 01/01/2004 2:19:49 PM PST by Excuse_My_Bellicosity (Bad spellers of the world untie!!)
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To: madfly; **Utah; *Enviralists
Ping!!
3 posted on 01/01/2004 2:26:06 PM PST by Excuse_My_Bellicosity (Bad spellers of the world untie!!)
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To: farmfriend
ping
4 posted on 01/01/2004 2:59:57 PM PST by Libertarianize the GOP (Ideas have consequences)
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity; AAABEST; Ace2U; Alamo-Girl; Alas; alfons; amom; AndreaZingg; Anonymous2; ...
Rights, farms, environment ping.

Let me know if you wish to be added or removed from this list.
I don't get offended if you want to be removed.

5 posted on 01/01/2004 9:04:00 PM PST by farmfriend ( Isaiah 55:10,11)
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To: glock rocks; Pete-R-Bilt
ping
6 posted on 01/01/2004 9:16:09 PM PST by B4Ranch (Wave your flag, don't waive your rights!)
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity
The guy in the photo is thinking, " We will back fire from here"
7 posted on 01/01/2004 9:47:16 PM PST by forester (Here's wishing you a happy new year!!!)
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity; SierraWasp; farmfriend; sasquatch; Carry_Okie; marsh2; Grampa Dave; ...
To state officials, the most troubling aspect of the Cascade Springs II fire is why Forest Service crews set fire to a 400-acre parcel outside the original 600-acre boundaries.

The Forest Service's own post-fire investigation concluded that the "primary cause" of the wildfire was the decision to ignite that 400-acre parcel

As a former seasonal (7 years) USFS fire fighter, this is to be expected from an agency that promotes people based on race, gender and ideology instead of ability. That is why these folks look at 90 years of fuel build-up and think that throwing a match into it is better then people "managing the forest." Notice that they called it a wildfire when they lost control. The only thing wild about stuff like this is:... hardly anyone ever finds out about it.

8 posted on 01/01/2004 9:57:22 PM PST by forester (Here's wishing you a happy new year!!!)
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To: forester
Notice that they called it a wildfire when they lost control. The only thing wild about stuff like this is:... hardly anyone ever finds out about it.

State sponsored arson.

9 posted on 01/01/2004 10:10:32 PM PST by farmfriend ( Isaiah 55:10,11)
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To: farmfriend
BTTT!!!!!!
10 posted on 01/02/2004 3:13:24 AM PST by E.G.C.
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To: farmfriend; forester
Notice that they called it a wildfire when they lost control. The only thing wild about stuff like this is:... hardly anyone ever finds out about it.

State sponsored arson.

You got that right. Later on when the fire was over, I'm sure the engine boss in the above pic was at the local bar telling stories about how heroic he and his guys are, neglecting to tell people that it was his agency's incompetence that started the "wildfire" in the first place.

The lapdog news media conveniently failed to report how the Forest Service paid tens of millions of dollars to angry Los Alamos residents for burning up their town and the local countryside. The news media also didn't report that the top 3 bosses involved in that fiasco were placed on paid administrative leave (paid vacation), "reassigned" (allowed to sit at a desk playing solitaire and drinking coffee and being home by 1:00 PM every day), and allowed to retire with full benefits.

11 posted on 01/02/2004 9:21:30 AM PST by Excuse_My_Bellicosity (Bad spellers of the world untie!!)
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity; 1Old Pro; 68-69TonkinGulfYatchClub; a_federalist; abner; aculeus; ...
"The Forest Service's own post-fire investigation concluded that the 'primary cause' of the wildfire was the decision to ignite that 400-acre parcel."

Interesting, let's read on...

"Well, maybe 'nobody' SHOULD be questioning the need for presribed burns. I find their pattern of controlled burns getting out of control pretty disturbing. In most cases, the cause of the out-of-control fire is sheer incompetence."

Is your mind open to another suggestion?

The Forest Service is over-run with pagan environmentalists, and they have an agenda so dark that they make Stalin and Hitler seem like choir boys. This is all far beyond accidents, and coincidences, and the well known incompetetence of the fed gov cannot explain recent events.

Having watched the behavior of the supervisory personnel during the lightening-started fires in Tuolumne county last summer, I have come to the realization that there is a policy in place (at what level I do not know) to allow fires to get a head start before they begin to fight them.

If you'll recall, that is what allowed the Biscuit fire to eventually burn almost 1/4 of the forests in central Oregon.

12 posted on 01/03/2004 3:01:43 PM PST by editor-surveyor ( . Best policy RE: Environmentalists, - ZERO TOLERANCE !!)
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To: editor-surveyor
Like your tag line.
13 posted on 01/03/2004 3:11:23 PM PST by farmfriend ( Isaiah 55:10,11)
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To: editor-surveyor
FIRE ~ Bump!
14 posted on 01/03/2004 3:11:56 PM PST by blackie
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To: forester
I'm glad that I didn't have a mouth full of coffee when I read your statement:

The guy in the photo is thinking, " We will back fire from here"

15 posted on 01/03/2004 4:08:54 PM PST by Grampa Dave (Kaddaffi: "I will do whatever the Americans want. I saw what happened in Iraq. I was scared!)
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To: forester
An example of your PC Affirmative Action Diversity Forestry Union in action.
16 posted on 01/03/2004 4:10:11 PM PST by Grampa Dave (Kaddaffi: "I will do whatever the Americans want. I saw what happened in Iraq. I was scared!)
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To: editor-surveyor
My husband who is from California says most of the fires there are man made.
17 posted on 01/03/2004 4:46:04 PM PST by freekitty
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To: editor-surveyor
The Forest Service is over-run with pagan environmentalists, and they have an agenda so dark that they make Stalin and Hitler seem like choir boys.

And they churn out junk science in an attempt to mislead.
Thanks for the ping.

18 posted on 01/03/2004 4:58:56 PM PST by sistergoldenhair
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To: editor-surveyor
There is a policy of nature's method of controlling trashy forests. The great fire in the Yellowstone several years, a decade ago, was allowed to burn until it got so large that they decided it was going to get out of the park and overwhelm the states surrounding it.

According to the enviros, human progress is to be avoided at any cost. Unfortunately, there are many enviros imbedded in the government. There is also the issue that fire fighting is a vocation of its own in the forest service. They don't want the fire to get out of control but want a big enough one to fill out the paycheck.

19 posted on 01/03/2004 5:20:28 PM PST by meenie (Remember the Alamo! Alamo! One more time. Alamo!!!)
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To: editor-surveyor
The fire that burned all those homes around Hamilton Montana a few years back could have easily been put out.

Several experienced fire fighters, ( out of work loggers), and other truck drivers stopped to put it out right after it started and were chased away by Forest Service employees.

Instead of paying the local out of work loggers they brought what they called more expert fire fighters from other countries to fight the fire.

At night the would share cultural dances in the fire camps

Didn't sound too much like their fire fighting was very hard work.

I am still angry about it.
20 posted on 01/03/2004 5:59:25 PM PST by Delphinium
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To: forester
As a former seasonal (7 years) USFS fire fighter, this is to be expected from an agency that promotes people based on race, gender and ideology instead of ability..........

I get EXACTLY what you mean. Thanks. All kinds of angry and otherwise unemployable liberals and earth firsters run our forest service. They finally found a job in gubbermint instead of being shiftless bums!
21 posted on 01/03/2004 6:04:44 PM PST by dennisw (G_d is at war with Amalek for all generations)
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To: editor-surveyor
Having watched the behavior of the supervisory personnel during the lightening-started fires in Tuolumne county last summer, I have come to the realization that there is a policy in place (at what level I do not know) to allow fires to get a head start before they begin to fight them.

An accident on purpose, eh? Seeing the behavior of leftists in other areas of politics and govt., I wouldn't be surprised.

22 posted on 01/03/2004 6:48:23 PM PST by Excuse_My_Bellicosity (Bad spellers of the world untie!!)
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity; Grampa Dave; editor-surveyor; farmfriend; dennisw
The news media also didn't report that the top 3 bosses involved in that fiasco were placed on paid administrative leave (paid vacation), "reassigned" (allowed to sit at a desk playing solitaire and drinking coffee and being home by 1:00 PM every day), and allowed to retire with full benefits.

This is why government employees should NOT manage land. The Forest Service should contract out the actual work. That way, someone is held accountable for negligence. For example, if a contractor knew he was on the hook if the fire got away, he would not light the unit after hearing that there is a "high wind warning" in effect.

The Forest Service should revert to an over-sight agency focused on contract administration, instead of the affirmative action employment program it has become. The Bush administration is currently looking at this, but I don't know if they can make these changes without Congress.

23 posted on 01/03/2004 9:35:11 PM PST by forester (Here's wishing you a happy new year!!!)
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To: editor-surveyor; Grampa Dave; SierraWasp; BOBTHENAILER; dennisw; Carry_Okie; farmfriend
there is a policy in place (at what level I do not know) to allow fires to get a head start before they begin to fight them.

This comes from the top. Our local National Forest (Klamath N.F.) annouced last August that they would now use wildfires as a tool to achieve "land management objectives". These people literally cannot find their ass with both hands, how the hell are they gonna control 300' flame lengths?

The USFS is decommisioning roads, a third of the air tanker fleet is permantly grounded because the wings are falling off due to airframe fatigue; yet catastrophic fire does not worry the USFS? So let me get this straight, less roads to get into the woods means the USFS needs to rely more heavily on aircraft; but we don't have as many planes as before because we wore them out fighting all the fires the Clinton people set. Meanwhile, we still got medicated imbeciles who think that throwing a match into 90 years of fuel accumulation is a peachy-keen thing to do.

When the whole thing goes up in flames, the press still cannot figure out what happened. Why? Because the press and the enviros refuse to hold the social outcasts in the USFS that thought-up this delusion accountable!!!

How many thousands of acres of forest must be incinerated before this asine policy is abandoned? When will the journalist who supposedly dedicate their careers to informing the public of the truth, kick their addiction to regurgitating lies spewed by enviro outfits that are more interested in anarchy and socialism, then the health of the forest?

24 posted on 01/03/2004 10:05:30 PM PST by forester (Here's a happy new year rant!!!)
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To: forester
This comes from the top. Our local National Forest (Klamath N.F.) annouced last August that they would now use wildfires as a tool to achieve "land management objectives".

This is what the Sierra Club wants.

25 posted on 01/03/2004 10:09:49 PM PST by farmfriend ( Isaiah 55:10,11)
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To: forester
When will the journalist who supposedly dedicate their careers to informing the public of the truth, kick their addiction to regurgitating lies spewed by enviro outfits that are more interested in anarchy and socialism, then the health of the forest?

The short answer is......NEVER!!!!!

26 posted on 01/03/2004 10:16:18 PM PST by BOBTHENAILER (One by one, in groups or whole armies.....we don't care how we getcha, but we will)
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To: BOBTHENAILER
The short answer is......NEVER!!!!!

I still hold out hope that a bright young reporter will take this issue up in the near future. But being a realist, I know that this will require a home-schooled individual!

27 posted on 01/03/2004 10:24:55 PM PST by forester (Prevent dumb downed students...home school children.)
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To: farmfriend
This is what the Sierra Club wants

Then their members should be held accountable for the damage that their policy inflicts on innocent bystanders.

28 posted on 01/03/2004 10:28:36 PM PST by forester (When did the Sierra club take over the National Forests?)
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To: forester
But being a realist, I know that this will require a home-schooled individual!

and thankfully, there are more and more home-schooled individuals.
29 posted on 01/03/2004 10:29:04 PM PST by BOBTHENAILER (One by one, in groups or whole armies.....we don't care how we getcha, but we will)
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To: forester; BOBTHENAILER; Carry_Okie; farmfriend
I feel your rage!!! I share it!!!

You know that government is unduly influenced not only by so-called "special interests," but also by the "group think" delusions of pressure groups called "NGO's!"

Since power follows money and votes in our democratic process and our officials "feel" obliged to react to groups, rather than individuals... This ain't gonna git changed until we get to "My group can whip yer group" status!!! It's already "May the loudest mob win!" (not even the biggest mob sometimes)

Government "leaders" are a totally intimidated lot in the current environment!!! (check out my new tagline)

30 posted on 01/03/2004 10:32:09 PM PST by SierraWasp (GovernMental EnvironMentalism has become totally counterproductive and everybody knows it !!!)
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To: SierraWasp; BOBTHENAILER
Love yer new tagline! Hay, I wuz readin' some links that i found on FR an found one a yer pet peaves at this here site entitled Destroying Social Continuity: The leftist war on Social Cohesion It explains why we got urban people who don't know squat telling rural people what to do with the land.

The concept of an almost instant right to vote in the new resident is compounded by the application of a One Man--One Vote theory of Political virtue, first applied by the Warren Court to the apportionment of State Legislatures in the early 1960s. In a manner that effectively prevented any check on majority rule in the several States, designed to protect the unique interests and cultural values of small rural communities from collectivized decisions dictated by the large centers of population--the areas most fluid in the pattern of settlement;--and deliberately ignoring the fact that the Constitution provides that each State must be allotted two Senators, regardless of its population; the Court held in a rapid succession of cases, that allowing either house of a State Legislature to be apportioned on any basis other than population would make a vote "worth more in one district than in another, [which in the words of Chief Justice Earl Warren] would ... run counter to our fundamental ideas of democratic government."

Without going into the question of what fundamental ideas Earl Warren thought he had discovered, which could circumvent the clear vision of the Fathers of the Constitution, these decisions sounded a virtual death knell for effective representation for many small rural communities across America. It meant that many more isolated communities, which might have had some influence in a contested district coextensive with a rural County, would go effectively unrepresented in a much larger district, with more diverse interests, thereafter--and correspondingly, less able to protect the unique qualities of their community. With the increased urbanization at the time, having both houses selected by districts of equal population, effectively put urban interests in control of most State Governments. And since the urban interests tend to be less cohesive, more culturally and ethnically diverse, that very phenomenon tended also to undermine the continuity of the social order.

Thus in one blow--supported by no language in the Constitution--the Supreme Court undermined both Cultural Continuity and a valuable check on unfettered majority rule (one of the chief motivations for a written Constitution). Thus, also, one more tie to an honored past, to the America that was settled by various small groups, religious, political and social, each seeking to preserve what was culturally unique about themselves, was subverted in favor of the very tyranny of the whole from which they each had fled.

31 posted on 01/03/2004 10:50:47 PM PST by forester (When did the Sierra club take over the National Forests?)
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To: editor-surveyor
BTTT!!!!!!
32 posted on 01/04/2004 3:16:03 AM PST by E.G.C.
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To: forester; Jim Robinson; Carry_Okie; marsh2; farmfriend
"...these decisions sounded a virtual death knell for effective representation for many small rural communities across America."

"...was subverted in favor of the very tyranny of the whole from which they each had fled."

Eureka! You've been paying attention and found something wonderfully supportive of reversing "Cows don't vote!"

Ever since America has let President Eisenhower's worst mistake (Earl Warren) yank this counter balancing wheel weight off of our left-front wheel, our national vehicle has been bouncing hard LEFT!!!

As far as any community outside the city limits of major metrosexual areas, we're powerless and in the proverbial ditch. You are one of the few people to recognize this and even understand where the wheels REALLY came off of America!!!

In many ways, this has had even more detrimental effects than the ruination of the 10th Amendment when President Eisenhour sent Federalized troops into Alabama to hold a funeral for the 10th Amendment!!!

Thank you forester, for finding this! Now I'm gonna hafta BOOKMARK this thread for posterity!!! (and go check out that link!)

33 posted on 01/04/2004 8:49:31 AM PST by SierraWasp (GovernMental EnvironMentalism has become totally counterproductive and everybody knows it !!!)
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To: forester
...the Court held... that allowing either house of a State Legislature to be apportioned on any basis other than population would make a vote "worth more in one district than in another, [which in the words of Chief Justice Earl Warren] would ... run counter to our fundamental ideas of democratic government."

Note the key phrase, "our ideas of." There is thus an easy basis for tossing this ruling citing Article IV, Section 4, of the US Constitution:

The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence. Your source is exactly correct. This is not a government constituted in the ideas of Earl and his buddies on a post-Roosevelt SCOTUS.
34 posted on 01/04/2004 9:06:37 AM PST by Carry_Okie (The environment is too complex and too important to be managed by central planning.)
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To: SierraWasp; forester
I would add that the nexus of the entire Federal Convention debate was on the very question forester cited. Thus for Warren to ignore the basis of "the great compromise" (wherein the manner of apportionment of Representatives and Senators was decided) is the kind of fatuous arrogance of which liberals seem uniquely capable.
35 posted on 01/04/2004 9:20:40 AM PST by Carry_Okie (The environment is too complex and too important to be managed by central planning.)
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To: Carry_Okie; forester
"The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government"

You know... If enough of us, or should I say, a group of us could pursuade Pacific Legal Foundation, or some such "Public Interest Law Firm" to find an airtight case to try to induce the Supremes to re-visit this infamous decision...

But even I grow timid of that idea the way Saundra Day O'Connor has been voting in her old age!!! Judas Priest, she's become disgustingly disappointing lately!!! Funny how aging even made her fellow Arizonian Barry Goldwater go daft and to the left near the end of his days!!! Sad.

36 posted on 01/04/2004 9:45:49 AM PST by SierraWasp (GovernMental EnvironMentalism has become totally counterproductive and everybody knows it !!!)
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity
Thank you for starting this thread! It's turning into a classic, IMHO!!!
37 posted on 01/04/2004 9:46:48 AM PST by SierraWasp (GovernMental EnvironMentalism has become totally counterproductive and everybody knows it !!!)
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To: freekitty; editor-surveyor; AuntB
"My husband who is from California says most of the fires there are man made."

Tis true and exactly the kind of "truth" the EnvioNazis USE to push their agenda of stopping everything man-connected in our forests, like roads, forest health, even fire suppression!!! Their premise is that MAN is NOT part of NATURE and that's just NOT NATURAL!!! (excuse me for hollerin a bit, please. It's upsetting!)

38 posted on 01/04/2004 9:53:13 AM PST by SierraWasp (GovernMental EnvironMentalism has become totally counterproductive and everybody knows it !!!)
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To: forester
BTTT
39 posted on 01/04/2004 10:18:50 AM PST by hattend (Mr Bush, the Supremes upheld CFR...what's your plan B? Too late to veto, now)
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To: SierraWasp; Carry_Okie
You've been paying attention and found something wonderfully supportive of reversing "Cows don't vote!"

I really wasn't sure of the implications of cows don't vote until I came across this. I have been aware of the "tyranny of the majority" that Madison spoke of in the Federalist Papers, but frankly, did not link this to the Warren decision until yesterday. It was a "the light-bulb came on and I knew we have been had" type of moment to be sure!

I like you're ideas on getting Pacific Legal to take a case that would overturn this horrible decision. I'd bet one could even cite civil rights laws as well as the constitution...something along the lines that rural American minority is being discriminated against by an urban majority.

40 posted on 01/04/2004 11:57:07 AM PST by forester (When did the Sierra club take over the National Forests?)
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To: forester
I'd bet one could even cite civil rights laws as well as the constitution...something along the lines that rural American minority is being discriminated against by an urban majority.

The term is "disproportionate burden."

41 posted on 01/04/2004 12:09:12 PM PST by Carry_Okie (The environment is too complex and too important to be managed by central planning.)
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To: SierraWasp
Holler away, Waspman. I've screamed about it until I have no voice left.
42 posted on 01/04/2004 4:04:16 PM PST by AuntB (REFORM SS DISABILITY: http://www.petitiononline.com/SSDC)
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