A little good news for trees and critters in the upper Priest River area in northern Idaho. After years of battling the U.S. Forest Service and it’s work games, a federal judge wasn’t fooled by the “happy talk” and sent the agency back to the drawing board. This by no means is the end of this battle, but it does demonstrate, I believe, that the simple strategy of endless pressure, endlessly applied can produce positive results, even in the face of overwhelming odds against winning. The misuse of the “categorical exclusion” to NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) is one of the Forest Service’s favorite administrative maneuvers to further one of the primary neo-liberal economic principles: deregulation.
Always good to stay positive, even when the world seems like it’s crashing down upon us. This piece appeared first in CounterPunch, April 30, 2021. https://www.counterpunch.org/
Hanna Flats, Idaho Panhandle National Forest. Photo: Paul Sieracki.
The upper Priest River area in the Idaho Panhandle National Forest has the largest contiguous area of old-growth cedar, hemlock, and grand fir in the interior Western United States and the largest concentration of ancient cedar stands in northern Idaho. Because of the bowl-shaped topography the high ridges on three sides capture cold air in the lower elevations and trap cool moist air in the summer. The result is that the low-elevation winter snowpack is deeper and more persistent than elsewhere in northern Idaho and summertime conditions are relatively moist and cool compared to neighboring areas which makes the area less susceptible to wildfires.
Yesterday, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) reintroduced our 23-million acre, 5-state ecosystem bill, the Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act (S.1276) in the U.S. Senate (117th congress). First introduced in 1992 by Rep. Peter Kostmayer (D-PA), this legislation is the first of its kind to take a “beyond borders” (ecosystem) approach to public lands protection. Based on John and Frank Craighead’s work in Yellowstone National Park, primarily studying grizzly bears, we have tried to incorporate the most valuable fish and wildlife habitat in the “Wild Rockies bioregion” into legislative form to protect what’s left of “untrammeled nature” in the Lower 48.
Of course, not a single senator from the West signed on. But then again, not a single southern senator signed onto the Civil Rights Act. The (abusive) powers that be control the bills that pass through congress, lubed with big bags of money delivered by K Street lobbyists, so we’re not expecting passage in this congress. But what is life without vision?
Is anyone still waiting for the end of all this global, digital flim-flam? Like perpetual (conventional) warfare, the ruling class can never quit inventing new methods to control the masses and snatching up an ever greater percentage wealth and natural resources (including “human capital” i.e. slaves). Psychopaths and sociopaths need someone else to blame for their own failings. But who is left to call an external enemy when the entire world is now controlled by one, unified power alliance? The so-called terrorists of the late 20th Century aren’t scaring anyone, and it’s pretty well known that they’re our terrorists, funded via our allies (Israel, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates etc.) in the Middle East.
CJ Hopkins over at Consent Factory, Inc. has a nice overview of our current situation.
“A globally-hegemonic system (e.g., global capitalism) has no external enemies, as there is no territory ‘outside’ the system. Its only enemies are within the system, and thus, by definition, are insurgents, also known as ‘terrorists’ and ‘extremists.’ These terms are utterly meaningless, obviously. They are purely strategic, deployed against anyone who deviates from GloboCap’s official ideology … which, in case you were wondering, is called ‘normality’ (or, in our case, currently, ‘New Normality’) … [t]he new breed of ‘terrorists’ do not just hate us for our freedom … they hate us because they hate ‘reality.’ They are no longer our political or ideological opponents … they are suffering from a psychiatric disorder. They no longer need to be argued with or listened to … they need to be ‘treated,’ ‘reeducated,’ and ‘deprogrammed,’ until they accept ‘Reality.’”
Some most welcome news from the new administration; it cancelled a big, ugly clearcutting project on public forestland near the boundary of Yellowstone National Park.
Last December the Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Native Ecosystems Council, and Yellowstone to Uintas Connection took the Trump administration’s Forest Service to federal court over plans to massively log and burn over 40,000 acres in the very headwaters of the world-famous Henry’s Fork of the Snake River.
This incredible wild trout fishery wind through the mile-high caldera on the border of Yellowstone National Park. Besides being voted No. 1 out of the nation’s top 100 fly fishing rivers by Trout Unlimited, the headwaters of this huge drainage contain what’s left of the Caribou-Targhee National Forest’s old-growth stands and provides irreplaceable habitat for grizzly bear, lynx, wolverine, gray wolf, boreal toad, Columbia spotted frog, American three-toed woodpecker, boreal owl, great gray owl, bald eagle, northern hoshawk, peregrine falcon, trumpeter swan, elk, marten, moose, mule deer, and snowshoe hare.
I have been sent no less than five separate messages from friends, or links to blogs and websites in the past week; all referring to wetiko and its amazing parasitic influence on human behavior. These converging signals constitute what is commonly called synchronicity, defined as “the simultaneous occurrence of events which appear significantly related but have no discernible causal connection.” I ignored these events for decades. I now take notice and move closer to explore these mysterious events.
If you take the time to do a little exploring or your own, I think you will find the subject of wetiko both fascinating, and cathartic in the context of our current predicament. Who knows, one more journey into the unknown may be “just that the doctor ordered.”
By now, we have all heard rumblings of Empire’s imminent collapse. Propaganda can no longer hide the obvious fact that social, financial, cultural and political systems have failed miserably, and are still failing with no end in sight.
Some collapseologists are observing something less apparent, which they describe as a “post-propaganda” phase or stage.Clearly, Empire is fighting for its life, overwhelmed by one institutional crisis after another in every bureau and department.What is left of Empire’s tattered unifying symbols? Is there much more remaining than a flag, national anthem and the Super Bowl to believe in? Even the national anthem was dispensed with at a recent NBA game in Dallas. https://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local/article/Mark-Cuban-responds-NBA-push-back-on-anthem-15942393.php
Propaganda can no longer serve as a unifying tool to rally the commoners behind their great ruler (hero) and transport the masses to a parallel universe where all agree on common purpose, shared history and a willingness to work toward a future vision which promises a new, “Golden Age.” Instead, evidence of multiple grave crises afflicting the system surround us. The advanced state of Empire’s decomposition (rotting from the head down) caused by malevolent and incompetent leadership is now self-evident.
More push-back from grassroots groups is on the way against the government’s killing machine, as the government again finds itself in federal district court trying to explain its serial lawbreaking. This scorched earth program attacks the public forest just West of Yellowstone National Park’s western boundary.
“The project is in “the watershed for the world-famous Henry’s Fork of the Snake River, and will harm grizzly bears, and log much of the remaining old-growth forest left in the Targhee National Forest,” Mike Garrity, executive director of the Alliance for the Wild Rockies, said in a statement. “And that’s why we are taking them to court to either comply with the law or drop the project.””
The Alliance for the Wild Rockies and two other grassroots groups filed a lawsuit filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court bringing multiple claims that the U.S. Forest Service violated environmental laws.
The project involves logging, prescribed burning and riparian (stream-side) dithering using bulldozers and other heavy equipment on about 66 square miles on the Caribou-Targhee National Forest in Idaho. Get this! The govt. says its needed “to maintain wildlife biodiversity with prescribed burning and logging.”
Not much ever changes here in Montana. A few more stores have the mask cops at the front door of local supermarkets and retailers turning away those “selfish” non-essential people trying to buy a loaf of bread or a little something to eat during the week ahead. Out in the rural parts the mining, logging, grazing and other nature-destroying extractive industries are having a field day. It’s like in the Amazon rainforest here, with huge (300-acres and larger) clearcuts and heavy machinery logging right down to the edge of tributary streams that feed the “Blue Ribbon” fishing haunts so popular with out-of state tourists and locals alike. We’re full on “banana republic” these days. There are a few who fight on trying to minimize the damage. Too many enemies of nature and way too few defenders of Creator’s many gifts. The worship of Mammon has swept into power big time. May it be a short-lived mania. Below is an account of our latest lawsuit against federal government agencies run amok.
Peace, brothers and sisters, and all forms of life on this tiny planet. Do not miss the solstice and Saturn-Jupiter conjunction sky watchers. Rare moment, with all its exceptionally deep, dark energy.
The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), a bedrock procedural law signed by President Nixon, has just been gutted by the U.S. Forest Service-USDA. The logging industry, oil and gas industry and other industrial “rapers and scrapers” have successfully lobbied for one giant free-fire development zone on any and all of the 193 million acres of nation forest system land under federal agency management.