Skip to comments.Burned Out
Posted on 06/25/2002 1:15:50 PM PDT by Tailgunner Joe
A few folks have written to me asking when I was going to do a column about the fires raging out West. The body of my column is a response to that inquiry. Suffice it to say it replaces the long scholarly piece, with tons of quotes and documentation, that I was going to write.
However, the following quotes come from reputable silviculturists and need to be taken to heart. If only the powers that be would consider them.
Most of all those who vote for politicians who are venal and self-serving need to know how they vote matters. When they vote for certain parties or individuals they are voting against people and animals, and most of all what is best for the land, water and forests. The environmental movement, their friends in Congress, the media, the foundations, actually don't show much concern for the "nature." Their Luddite emotional beliefs do zip for maintaining healthy habitat for plants and animals. The West is burning and human and animal habitat is going up in smoke.
If only those who could make changes in foolish, ill-conceived and often ludicrous environmental polices thought things through and listened to people who know what they are talking about rather than a movement that is way past its best days. If only people considered how many firefighters have died, the homes and lives being lost, the pollution in the air, the destruction of the soils, the erosion that will be worse than any logging ever could be, the mercury being released when soil burns to bedrock - if only they cared.
I doubt anyone who could change policy cares much. You couldn't prove it by me.
Do not count on the highly politicized green movement and their colleagues in federal agencies to give a damn about anything except getting their way; even when it is the WRONG way. There is no compromise with them. They want it all, and if the world burns down in the process, they think that is the necessary outcome of man's tinkering with nature. To them I say go straight to hell, the same hell you have created for human beings and animals and the forest systems you say you care about.
Those Who Know and Understand
- Old growth is a human-imposed phrase, not a natural law. As such, it is closely tied to the mistaken idea that nature exists in perfect balance.
We use the old-growth phrase now to approximate a range of structural features and processes associated with relatively old forests. From a scientific perspective, these forests are a piece in the puzzle, perhaps no more or no less important than young forests.
Waiting for nature poses a greater risk of large-scale ecosystem destruction than the risks associated with small-scale human intervention. Our regions forests have a history of frequent, violent, large-scale disturbance. If we walk away and leave these forests to nature, we run the risk of losing the very ecosystems we are trying to preserve. Moreover, we have no assurance that forest set asides will actually grow older. There is a greater probability they will burn up or blow down first.
- Dr. Chadwick Oliver, silviculturist, College of Forest Resources, University of Washington, Seattle, Evergreen, September 1993
- Misconceptions about naturalness are seriously eroding the publics ability to deal effectively with land. The undisturbed old-growth landscape many envision never existed, and the quest to achieve it is undermining science-based efforts to restore a range of more viable growing conditions. The public is loving its forests to death. - Dr. Edward Buckner, Overton Professor of Forestry, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, October 1997
- You dont have to return to pre-settlement forests to see the likely result of a ban on harvesting. The years 1992, 1993, 1994 and 1996 were big fire years in the intermountain West. They provide very visible evidence of what happens when forests are neglected: severe fires in ponderosa pine forests that historically had lower intensity burns, major losses of fish and wildlife habitat and degradation of air and water quality. [Minus some form of management in the forests we will witness more] large damaging firs, a futile fire fighting effort costing hundreds of millions of dollars and possibly taking firefighter lives, and massive insect and disease infestations. - Dr. Steve Arno, fire ecologist, Intermountain Fire Sciences Laboratory, USFS, Missoula, Montana, Evergreen, Winter 2000
Letter to a Reader in Arizona
Thanks for writing. You read my mind. My next piece is on the fires out West. Frankly, my disgust for governors, the present administration, especially the last administration, the various green bureaucracies and NEVER mind the environmentalists, has made me so cynical.
I hesitate to write any more columns about environmental issues. You cannot know how much time, energy, money I have spent on the phone, fax, e-mail, researching, investigating and writing about this issue.
Some congressional staffer got hold of me when the lynx debacle happened. I compiled a ream of stuff for them which was handed to me on silver platter by various organizations, individuals, whistleblowers, others who had tons of documentation on the current failures of environmental policies. That documentation would fill a box car. It includes abuses by the greens and feds in collusion, which also includes the tax-free foundations, as well as the failure to address the problems in any comprehensible manner.
They knew about the reasons for these fires, but too many don't care, are risk adverse themselves and know that the Democrats are bought and paid for by the greens, and both parties are so afraid of the environmental movement they would rather let America burn than confront them.
When Bush added grant money for green groups to buy up more private land in the "Faith Initiatives" bill, I gave up on him too. That is part of the problem, both parties have given up on private property ownership and opted for feudalism. Both parties, cynically, will not challenge the Luddite greens, the religious greens and the big business greens because it is the new religious issue of our times - the third rail of politics.
Kissing up to the greens and the soccer moms is what it is about. Forget common sense; it does not compute with these people.
One of the government's own, former U.S. Fish and Wildlife manager Jim Beers, blew the whistle on the collusion between the feds and the greens, but no one listened to him. He recently won a settlement against the feds for driving him out of the service. They still won't listen to him. They don't listen to anyone who has a lick of common sense.
Congress got hold of me TWICE when the lynx issue was hot. But they did not like what I had to say. As I maintained I didn't have the time or money or energy to testify only to see absolutely NOTHING happen, I did not have any faith in Congress to act, that they could stuff it because they failed to act and have had numerous opportunities to do so.
Two years ago, the House legal counsel cited the collusion of the feds, the greens and the Clinton administration vis-à-vis the roadless initiative, and still nothing came of it. That condemnation by the House was a blistering attack about the collusion between the Clinton administration and the greens and the federal agencies, but no one cared enough to follow through on the recommendations. The Clinton cabal, and the collaboration of the federal agencies in concert with the green movement, is to inflict more stupidity on an America that is not paying attention to how it is being manipulated by a bunch of cultural Marxists.
In regard to the fires in the West, the warnings about how devastating they would be have been out for years. Yet the uninformed, ignorant federal courts invariably approve lawsuits brought by the greens to stop salvage logging or any mechanical cutting meant to reduce fuel loads.
The greens say that might lead to cutting the sacred cow "old growth" when they KNOW federal law limits cutting to trees less than 12 inches in diameter. That would drastically reduce fuel loads and make it possible for biomass production of woody refuse creating a whole new industry. That industry could help in generating electricity as it does in California.
But don't confuse them with something like a possible profit off cutting. That is what they can't stand, that someone might make a buck, even if that buck helps the forests and the critters.
I had to laugh the other day when some Colorado green ninnies said they were worried that if cutting or thinning or salvage were allowed, that the logging industry would start harvesting again in Colorado.
The head of the Forest Service, Dale Bosworth, told them, THERE IS NO LOGGING INDUSTRY IN COLORADO. There are NO sawmills left. They have been put out of business by green activism, which fails to see any need for thinning, cutting and human management of forests. That is for what the socialist greens have in mind.
I am beyond hope that anything will be done on the federal level. It will take gutsy action by the states. If you find one Western governor willing to go to the mat on this issue, tell me WHERE and WHEN, and you get the brass ring.
As you can tell I am angry, disappointed and nearly hopeless on the failure of Congress, on the failure of the states, the failure of the current administration, to clean house, revamp stupid environmental laws so they actually HELP the environment rather than destroy lives and property. I have no hope that Congress or this administration will reform federal land agencies, rescind Clinton's Hegelian environmental policies and land grabs.
So many good people, including myself, have expended time and energy, but NO ONE LISTENS. When they do, they do NOTHING about it that matters a hill of beans. Congress and this administration have the power but do not have the WILL.
But what is really galling is that at this moment some fool is sitting in the ruins of his fire-destroyed home in Arizona or Montana or Colorado and asking, "Why me?" The same fool, I am betting, has canceled checks indicating contributions to the Sierra Club or the Democratic Party.
They never ever make the connection between stupid environmental policy and their support of such organizations. That willful ignorance and complicity is what hurts the most.
The fires have been devastating for a reason, and that reason is about insane federal management policies, collusion between the feds and the greens, the total failure of courage by Republicans in Congress, the total idiocy of the Democrats as they obstruct any implementation or consideration of sensible management of our forests and lands. Mostly they are interested in buying private land for the feds to screw up.
Democrats "care" about global warming but don't know that when forests burn it adds pollution and destroys one more carbon sink. That carbon sink that helps to clean up the environment and lessens supposed global warming. How Hegelian! They would rather believe in failed policies than do the right thing.
No one seems to care that the feds now own about 42 percent of the land mass of the United States. Oh, give me lots of land to mismanage - I guess. Never mind, the urbanites who support them think the environment is being "saved." Both parties are guilty of this kind of cynical vote buying, but the Dems are worse.
Anyway, I almost decided not to write about green issues anymore. Since the Bush administration does not seem to care about them, they are not urban issues, after all, and they don't play to people's prejudices re the environment.
Besides, soccer moms think environmentalism is a "good" thing no matter how stupid and destructive it has become. The suburbanite swing voters, as manipulated as they are, could be educated about sensible environmental policy IF either party gave a flip. But as of now, it is burn, baby, burn. It does not matter as long as you keep those swing voter in suburbia happy.
I became cynical when Bush and company failed to rescind Clinton's monument designations and road closures. When it took them a year to find out the Klamath farmers had been destroyed for no good reason. When they failed to kick out leftover Clintonistas in federal agencies, and most of all when Republicans succumb to green intimidation. That fact tells me that votes are what both parties are about even if the whole damn country burns to the ground.
Take care, stay safe, and say a couple of prayers for me. I am running on empty at the moment. Burnout comes all kinds of ways.
That pretty much says it all doesn't it? "
Bump for the unenlightened...