Skip to comments.A Tree Party Rebellion
Posted on 09/18/2011 8:15:59 AM PDT by Kaslin
Communities all over the country feel that their hands are tied with one-size-fits-all DC Brand Red Tape. The rules and regulations prevent them from doing what is best for their specific circumstances. The situation has escalated to the point where elected officials are now taking charge to do what is local and logical.
What took place this weekend in the rural New Mexico town of Cloudcroft could become the model for all who want to cut the red tape. Hundreds of people were at what is being called the Otero County Tree Party in support of realigning the federal government and putting them back where they belong.
Ten years ago, the New Mexico State Legislature passed SB1, which was signed into law by then-governor Gary Johnson. The legislature overwhelmingly voted for it, believing that it was a necessity borne out of Uncontrollable, but preventable wildfires, and unresponsive federal agencies. The Forest Services (USFS) inaction to reduce or remove the fuel buildup put the lives and property of the citizens of New Mexico at risk.
SB1 exerted local sovereignty over public lands. But it had never been tested.
Then, in 2011, the Wallow and the Las Conchas Fires left severe economic and social impactsmuch like the 2000 Los Alamos Fire that prompted SB1.
For the past decade, the folks in Otero County have been trying to work with the USFS to solve the problem of the Lincoln National Forest. It was unhealthy, like a tinderbox. Each time the county leadership thought the members were making progress with the Forest Service officials, the officials were transferred. The stall tactics worked until the summer of 2011, when the county declared a state of emergency.
Ronny Rardin, chairman of the Board of Otero County Commissioners, told me they didnt want to be the next disaster. Peoples lives were in grave danger. The commissioners drafted the Emergency Forest Management Plan. On September 9, a public hearing was held. One-hundred twenty people supported the plan. Two opposed it. The commission voted to move forward.
For the past 20 years, since the Mexican Spotted Owl was listed as an endangered species, New Mexicos forests have become overgrown. Thousands of jobs were lost, sawmills closed up. Fires became wild.
A study done earlier this year by the USFSs Pacific Research Station, and validated by work done by Sandia National Laboratories, shows that the healthiest forests in the arid climate of the Southwest have approximately 50 trees per acre. Many of the forests in the Southwest have as many as 2,500 trees per acre. Forest management practices that aim to restore owl habitat, rather than that of an overall healthy forest, have contributed to increased fuel loads and fire severity.
The forest density is a serious fire danger, as the trees are thin and unhealthy. Many small trees lead to high-intensity fires where, by contrast, forests with fewer and larger trees have low-intensity fires. Additionally, there is not enough water to support all the treeswhich also makes them more susceptible to disease, and dead trees burn more easily than healthy ones.
The water issue is dangerous for more than just the trees health and fire prevention. With the current forest density, the trees are sucking up the limited water supply and threatening the local communities who depend on the near-surface aquifer.
The nearby forests of the Mescalero Tribe provide a case study on forest management. Rather than following USFS policy, they manage for the health of the forest and practice uneven age managementmeaning they log selectively. When there are forest firesa reality in the arid mountains of the Southwestin the Lincoln National Forest, the fires quickly become wild, threatening people, livestock, structures, and livelihoods. When the same fire rushes on to Mescalero lands, due to the healthier trees and less density, it lays down and becomes a more manageable surface fire. An added bonus: their forests have several spotted owl protected activity centers.
Keeping the forest healthy through thinning costs about $600 per acre, but fighting a forest fire can cost nearly four times more. Additionally, rather than going up in smoke, thinned material can be used for wood products and biofuels. The thinning helps the watershed store more water and limits erosion, which fills up reservoirs and streams with silt from the flash floods on mountains with no vegetation to hold the water back. It also helps maintain the mountain ecosystem and allows the snow to melt and filter into the ground water rather than evaporating from the branches, reduces structure damage and insurance issues, and maintains the recreation economy.
So, why has the USFS fought the citizens of Otero County, who want what is best for their community? Why were Congressman Steve Pearce and county commissioners threated with incarceration if they cut the tress as planned? Like Why is the EPA fighting farmers? answers to these questions remain left to our imagination.
What we do know is that on Saturday, September 17, the Otero Country Tree Party put the Forest Service on notice. They did not ask permission; they realigned the government and took back their right to manage the lands owned by the state and county. The 1976 Federal Land Policy and Management Act requires that the lands be managed in coordination with the state and local governments and New Mexico state law gives local sovereignty over public lands.
New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez supports the countys efforts but could not attend because of the states special legislative session going on at the same time. A letter from Lt. Governor John Sanchez was read at the rally before the tree cutting ceremony.
The Sheriffs Department had an obvious presence with a SWAT vehicle and riot gear. But the only trouble was a lone environmentalist holding up a sign in opposition of the tree cutting efforts.
While the Tree Party on Saturday was largely symbolic, it let the Forest Service know the County is serious. If the Forest Service doesnt follow through with the Emergency Forest Management Plan the County has drawn up, the County will have no choice but to move forward on its own. The actions taken by the Otero County Commissioners are being watched closely by the National Association of Counties.
The Otero Country Tree Party has worked to stay within the law and asked people to leave their pitchforks and chainsaws at home. The trees were cut by professionals, who safely dropped them, as a cheering public looked on. Congressman Steve Pearce cut the first tree under the direct supervision of the professionals. The Tree Party supporters then helped clean updoing what the USFS should be doing.
The Otero County Commissioners believe that in addition to saving lives and property through reducing the fire danger, their Emergency Forest Management Plan can provide as many as 1,000 jobs for the local communities. Chairman Rardin said: We are just trying to fix our problem. This is what America wants.
The Otero County Tree Party is a movement that could change the nation as other counties realign the government by putting them back where they belong.
So they cut down one tree? Sounds like classic symbolism over substance to me.
That spirit is now breaking out all over the country. It was clearly evident in 2009 in Washington DC and all over the country, and what it MUST lead to is a serious overturn in representatives, removing the liberals, socialisists, RINOs, go along to get along establishmenbt politicians for down to earth, God-fearing Americans.
Double down on 2010 in 2012!
The fires in Northern Arizona were largely the result of lack of selective thinning and logging. I had a relative who worked with the Forest Service in that area and he retired early because he couldn’t stand the greens who were taking over and abolishing good forest management practices.
We have been fighting the exact same federal practices here in Idaho for years. The entire environmental program and the laws that have been passed have become more than a fiasco, they have become another tool in the sicialists and marxistrs plan to destroy our country. Plain and simple IMHO.
Do not pass “GO”! Go back to third grade. Learn to read.
I am loud to blame environmentalists during each and every fire. That they prevent clearing of land is the reason for hotter, longer fires.
used to be that when you visited a National park you would pick up little sticks laying on the ground and have a fire in the fire ring at your campsite. That kept the paths and on each side picked up and less kindling everywhere.
Multiply that all over the U.S., add the stupid rules you can’t even clear around your own land and there is no wonder the lands are burning up
BUREAUCRAT GO HOME!
Cloudcroft is one of the prettiest places I’ve seen.
NM list PING! Click on the flag to go to the Free Republic New Mexico message page.
(The NM list is available on my FR homepage for anyone to use. Let me know if you wish to be added or removed from the list.
Now if all freepers everywhere would do this all over the country, cutting into the non-voter block this time, (maybe only 5% more of the vote), we would wipe the floor with this little Mack Daddy America-hating prick!!!!!
Interesting. Thanks for the ping.
If 200,000+ freepers each found even 10 such people, that would be 2 million additional votes.
I believe we can...furthermore, I believe it is happening all over the country spontaneuosly as a result of the impact of the marxists who are currently run the Whoite House and Senate, and deeply imbedded in the House.
Question: I've been trying to get the nickname "Snake Oil Barry" stick to Obozo for a long time, go viral even, a nickname he most definitely deserves historically. Nobody seems to be using it, except the Lamestream mentioned the other day about the Repub candidates being 'snake oil salesmen'. They're steeling my phrase. I named Barry ManChild this last year sometime right here on FR. We gotta do something.
Question: I've been trying to get the nickname "Snake Oil Barry" stick to Obozo for a long time, go viral even, a nickname he most definitely deserves historically. Nobody seems to be using it, except the Lamestream mentioned the other day about the Repub candidates being 'snake oil salesmen'. They're stealing my phrase. I named Barry ManChild this last year sometime right here on FR. We gotta do something.
Here is another “rebellion” further downriver from the Klamath Basin Headgates. This one is about dam removal, forest road obliteration, loss of federal forest management, loss of mining, taking of water from Scott and Shasta Valley Farmers and Ranchers: http://www.defendruralamerica.com/DRA/Home.html
Steven Greenhut: Rural rebellion brewing; http://www.ocregister.com/opinion/county-324351-rural-state.html
Sheriffs discuss challenges they believe rural communities face; http://www.siskiyoudaily.com/news/x319048564/Sheriffs-discuss-challenges-they-believe-rural-communities-face
Interview; Karen Budd-Falen Radio Interview; http://www.teapartymedia.net/20111023/we_the_people_radio_2011-10-23.mp3
8 Northern California Sheriffs Form Coalition Against Tyranny, http://www.klamathbasincrisis.org/DefendRuralAmerica/articles2011/8NCalsheriffsformcoalition_Yreka110111.htm
County sheriffs support Defend Rural America (I believe it is now at 14); http://www.defendruralamerica.com/DRA/Home.html
Extended Interview with Jon Lopey; http://www.teapartymedia.net/20111030/we_the_people_radio_2011-10-30.mp3
Youtube videos of Sheriff’s speeches; Defend Rural America website; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIrGFRMIryk
We are a peaceful people, but we will stand up for our property rights and economic right to survive. We are not beyond using civil disobediance to draw public attention to our issues.