“Saving” Watersheds and Urbanites

The Prussian “Iron Chancellor” Otto Von Bismarck is often credited with the saying: “To retain respect for sausages and laws, one must not watch them in the making.”

Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) recently introduced legislation to speed forest clearcutting and thinning projects in the Forest Service’s Northern Region.

The “Protect Collaboration for Healthier Forests Act” would adopt a regional approach to disputes over forest management projects that Daines has sought to implement nationally. According to Sen. Daines, “fringe litigators — radical environmental extremists — sue to stop commonsense collaborative forest management projects that would reduce the risk of wildfire.”

Not to be outdone, The Elk Foundation’s president and chief executive officer, David Allen added his own rant against “unmanaged” forests: “One of the main reasons forests remain unmanaged and susceptible to insects, disease and wildfire is the staggering number of lawsuits filed by organizations seeking to stop all management — despite the damage done to forest resources, wildlife and communities,”

Similar legislation, the “Resilient Federal Forests Act,” H.R. 2936, proposed by Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.), would limit the fundamental American principle of citizen access to courts.

Oh, but there’s more. Another uber-logging bill, “The Wildfire Prevention and Mitigation Act of 2017,” the illegitimate offspring of timber-industry lobbyists, Senators Steve Daines (R-MT) and Sen. John Barrasso, (R-WY) was the subject of a recent Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing in Washington, D.C.

This gaggle of proposed anti-forest laws is 21st-Century virtual “sausage” with no substance, fabricated to deceive for one purpose, and one purpose only: maximum corporate profit. Don’t avert your eyes, instead, reach for the reading glasses to understand the bill’s malintent. Daines and this cohort of intellectually and morally disabled souls believes clear-cut logging and forest-thinning will reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires.

Since the 1988 “Yellowstone Fires,” wildfire and the fear of wildfire has been a beard for industrial-strength destruction of America’s forests. Corporate propaganda surrounds us like water engulfs fish. Clearcutting has increased dramatically in recent years.

Every new clearcut is linked to a sawmill by bulldozing a new road deeper and deeper into the primeval forest. The objective is to kill the last, best (old growth) trees for a few shekels. U.S. Forest Service logging targets have steadily increased. Hand and glove, so too have subsidies and industry profits. Neoliberal, pseudo-conservatives Daines and Barrosso believe no physical or legal limits should restrain corporate looters’ relentless attacks against Mother Nature.

Sausage, however, may not be the best analogy to describe this multi-purpose Act against nature. I’m thinking minestrone. Minestrone is a full-bodied Italian soup made with vegetables, featuring whatever vegetables are in season.

Here’s some of what’s “in season” for this pot of congressional soup:

  • The bill would set up, as a pilot project, binding arbitration as an alternative to litigation, in an effort to accelerate such projects.
  • Reduce citizen enforcement of federal environmental laws (deregulation).
  • Create (legal loopholes) categorical exclusions for misguided sage grouse and mule deer projects.
  • Create a five-year pilot program to deny judicial review to plaintiffs.
  • Specifically overturns a 9th Circuit Court precedent.
  • The so-called national “forest health crisis” is one giant fraud. It’s all about money.

“We need forest management reform now to reduce the severity and intensity of wildfires and create more good-paying jobs,” said Senator Daines. More bad acting and “fake news” from the Washington Idiocracy. Clearly, Daines has pedigree, net worth in the millions of dollars, title and extreme privilege. All that superficial persona and status cannot mask his intended role to feign general ignorance and arrogance about nature, or his abnormal loathing for one of God’s most sacred gifts to humanity. So, what is Real, forests or Senator Steve Daines? Only one is truth, the other is false.

Government has never created a forest, not one. For over 100 years government has permitted and licensed corporations to monetize and destroy priceless, living beings (forest ecosystems) and all life that depend on forests to persist. As a powerful corporate-government agent, Senator Daines commits unspeakable crimes against nature and violates Natural Law – the foundation of all (common law) man-made law – by under valuing forests in only money (mammon) and ignoring the key role fires play in keeping forests on the landscape – doing what forests have been doing for millennia. Fires are not bad. The problem is people and money, not forests or wildfires.

Moreover, to imply a need to build yet more logging roads in national forests is absurd.  Only 4% of the U.S. timber supply comes from public lands, and only 6% of that could potentially come from un-roaded, native forest areas – less than ¼ of 1 percent of U.S. timber supply.

Finally, consider this: All public-land logging is uneconomical.

A good lawmaker, like a good chef, should always taste the minestrone before serving it to honored quests. If it’s made with love, charity and good intent it will likely be something Nature can support in perpetuity. If not, it defiles Nature, enhancing the matrix-system that has already begun our descent down, into madness and permanent slavery. There is a right path and a wrong one. It’s time for each of us to choose, before we lose our ability to even contemplate choice.



16 thoughts on ““Saving” Watersheds and Urbanites

  1. Steve, I am curious about a man I met through MWA whose behavior while I was with them was as kind of a guru. I was quite naive, but looking back I see he came to them from the timber industry, supposedly disaffected, and took a leadership position which he holds to this day, though I have not checked. He could well have retired. In retrospect he looks like controlled opposition. His name, John Gatchell.


  2. Yup. You are absolutely right, and he’s still there “collaborating” with the timber industry to get the cut (timber quota) out and running interference for any and all Blue-Dog, “timber-Democrats.”


    1. Wasn’t Tester “collaborating” with the timber industry in ’09? Seems he should get a mention.

      “When you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing; when you see that money is flowing to those who deal not in goods, but in favors; when you see that men get rich more easily by graft than by work, and your laws no longer protect you against them, but protect them against you … you may know that your society is doomed.”
      Ayn Rand


      1. Tester could be on his way out … he was put in place by the Timber Lobby to take the baton that Burns dropped and carry it to the finish line with his Forest Jobs and Recreation Act. Daines has now taken the baton from Tester. The underlying legislation never changes, only the faces.

        Looking back on it now, Swede, I see the Abramoff gambit they pulled on Burns was fabricated, but used to drive him out of office … this by the very people who put him in office. What I suspect is that controllers, people who keep watch on elected officials, saw early signs of dementia in Burns, and sent out a signal that he needed to be replaced. Pure speculation, I admit.


        1. As it was with Sen. Melcher when Burns was selected. Since statehood, it’s always the same drill. There are no real senators. Viceroy is more like it.


        2. Abramoff was a small piece in a well executed symphony of collusion. Election night on the reservations have become giant pizza party feasts located within feet of the booths.

          Gov. Brian was correct when he joked about the stolen election in Big Horn County.

          Same day registration enabled out of state students at UM cast the deciding votes to push Jon over the finish line.

          The controllers you mention have their fingerprints on all of this, including a willing media.

          Liked by 1 person

      2. Swede, you are absolutely correct. Tester, like Baucus before him, has always been a loyal agent/servant of the “landed gentry.” Watch the puppets dance. Collaboration changes nothing, except, perhaps, making the whole charade a little more transparent to the powerless, (99%?) slave-class — and the desired reaction, which yields the amoral, greed-is-good, Trump (Reagan on steroids) era.


  3. FWIW, both “Tester” and “Daines” turn up in ThePeerage.com, though I am not sure what it means. Tester strikes me as soft, not a farmer at all, not even knowing which end of a shove works. He is beef on the hoof, morbidly obese. “Baucus” does not turn up in the peerage but “Siebenburgen” does … perhaps the American side of that name was shortened. Max’s middle name is Sieben, and his family, the Sieben’s, own a large sheep ranch, lots of acreage, landed gentry.


  4. Good read, but I’m afraid you maybe don’t see the forest for the trees.
    I’m a bit of a tree hugger myself, even so your evocative talk of bulldozers ripping through primeval forests makes me a touch queasy. It’s a complicated issue, you go a little distance with it, but there is some critical context missing in this article.
    You could say I work close to the timber industry, or at least am privy to their actions in an intimate way. It is a cold fact that in my region(Great Lakes) trees are dropping at a rate unseen since the first part of the 20th century, and more and more on public land.
    I appreciate your antipathy towards the senators and representatives, but you omit the larger geopolitical machinations that have been going on recently, RE: Canadian timber tariffs.
    Related to Trumps renegotiation of NAFTA there has been a huge increase in tariffs on Canadian timber; causing US timber to become a brighter prospect. I could see a Trump supporter/timber supporter calling this a win for Trump, but honestly I think this has been in the making for at least 5-10 years.
    I travel many, many miles of forest by foot, and have been for the past 20 years or so. About 10 years ago I noticed a massive amount of trees starting to be marked for cutting on public land, then a noticeable increase in active cutting operations over the past 5, culminating now to far and away the most activity I have ever seen in the woods.
    The whole thing is complicated though. I am very much in favor of logging. It can be done in ways that minimize harm to the environment, and I can attest the industry has embraced better practices in recent years(selective/progressive cutting).
    It is a fundamental question though weather you think all these great resources are here to be used or what… Timber is an incredible, vast resource, and despite what ‘deep green’ types might argue; it is renewable. It wasn’t much more than a century ago that 60%- 80% of ALL timber in parts of the Great Lakes region had been clear cut, and now a huge amount of it is back and ready to be cut again.
    Maybe I’m a pessimist, but in sum: I think trees are going to be falling weather us plebs like it or not. Maybe take comfort our timber is a bit more valuable now, maybe thank Trump for that or maybe not. I think the best thing a person could push for, in terms of activism or what-have-you, is better practices in the timber industry. It is a highly regulated and controlled industry, with geopolitical ramifications as I noted, so congress does have the ability to legislate better practices. Clear cutting is almost always bogus and unnecessary; simply a cost saving measure.
    Also as an end note, like I said before: this issue is close to me, so it’s entirely possible I myself am not seeing the forest for the trees.


    1. Good comment, and I add just a touch of some trees-hiding-the-forest observation: The notion that “Trump” or any other politician has any input into public policy is an illusion. The political system is put there to distract from and camouflage the true policy makers, the oligarchs and their corporate step children.


  5. “It is a fundamental question though weather (sic) you think all these great resources are here to be used or what… Timber is an incredible, vast resource, and despite what ‘deep green’ types might argue; it is renewable.” -Will Thank you for your thoughts.

    My fundamental objection to business as usual centers around the presumption that forests are a “resource,” which, by definition, fails to acknowledge and protect forests as nature, God’s creation, if you will. Forests are not man’s creation. Man-made “forests” (tree farms) are not real forests. And that is not a distinction without a difference. If that fundamental reality escapes us, no wild forests — and by extension, wild, untrammeled lands of any kind — are safe from the pursuit of money, accumulated wealth (debt/investment) and greed. The exchange of money (something fictional) for forests (reality in its existence and source) is a bargain with the devil, one which I will continue to try to expose, however seemingly futile.
    Each of us must choose.


    1. Thanks for the reply Steve. I’m just being contrarian for the sake of it: this is Piece of Mindful right? I do actually agree with your thinking in many ways, but I’m just not the idealist I once was. I might even agree that it’s a devil’s bargain, but one must give him is due right?


      1. “And so it is, that both the Devil and the angelic Spirit present us with objects of desire to awaken our power of choice.” – Rumi

        “Idealistic” is a tricky word with many meanings. I, personally, so not worry so much about the category or status that it may imply. I do love forests and believe they do exist, as we do, as part of nature. This presents us with two choices: Will our actions support and protect God’s creation (reality) or will we follow man-made law (immoral by design) which permits/licenses death and destruction in pursuit of government IOU’s? Each must choose which action (path) to follow.


  6. With only about 3% of old growth forest remaining, I fear the chance to choose has already past. Hopefully I’m just a pessimist though. Thank you for sharing your thoughts in this post. Very thorough. I find it ever-disturbing that corporate profit is driving the constant blistering destruction of wild nature.


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