Zero-Cut No Commercial Logging again? A quarter century after it became the banner and guiding star for much of the grassroots forest movement, and then over a decade of semi-retirement, the campaign for this legislation is trying to mount a national revival. My question is simple: Is it the best strategy for a collapsed forest movement, daily confronting the debacle of rapidly increasing logging and roadbuilding in the national forests?
The combination of President Trump and an overtly hostile Republican-controlled Congress has shocked the grassroots, non-collaboration forest movement. Awakening from over a decade of a sort of slumber, these forest defense activists are daily burning up internet chat rooms with news chronicling cascading losses in Agriculture and Interior Department rules, regulations, administrative edicts, and newly-passed laws and congressional riders that roll back decades of environmental laws and court victories.
They are stunned to see the reality that their strategy of timber sales appeals and lawsuits are no longer holding back the bulldozers and chain saws of the timber industry and its U.S. Forest Service puppet. As they ponder these mounting losses, they watch their local forests logged with increasing ferocity, a comprehensive assault on public lands with transgressions that few imagined they would live to see. Continue reading “Campaign of Illusions: Where the Zero Cut Movement to Save the National Forests Went Wrong”
Last evening I participated as one of five presenters in a live-audience, multi-media discussion/presentation with a group of foresters, a smoke jumper and State of Montana’s tourism specialist in the Dept. of Commerce. The topic was “Can we manage wildfire; Should we manage wildfire.” As the lone “tree-hugger” on the stage, I tried to probe other panel members for the reasons for their beliefs – most believed in management as a “solution” to our wildfire “problem.” Needless to say, the anthropocentric viewpoint predominated.
Soldiering on, I tried very hard to interject a few self-evident truths about nature and fire’s natural role in the continuous mystery of life in its many forms. When cornered with truth, however, the other participants simply lied to escape reality. I’m sure they believed their lies, but even to the live audience lying seemed obvious, but generally an acceptable answer to a confrontation with an inescapable truth. Continue reading “Trial by Fire”
Environmental groups (real ones, anyway) are often criticized for excessively engaging in lawsuits. The logging industry has engaged the PR industry to defend them, generating talking points such as calling the lawsuits “frivolous” and even painting environmental groups as racketeers. Behind the scenes they no doubt talk a different line … lawsuits force industry to follow the law, and are a damned nuisance.
I worked for many years in the environmental movement in Montana. The group I worked with, Montana Wilderness Association, is now a full-fledged industry front group. They might have been so in the 1990s too, when I was with them, but they had very little money. That is usually a sign of a genuine environmental group. These days their money rolls in from trusts and foundations and they are bloated with excessive staff while “collaborating” with industry. They are phonies.
Continue reading “Another “frivolous” lawsuit”
I spent a couple of hours yesterday in a discussion with Faye, a woman who lives in Switzerland, about the topic of Waco – it was done on February 28th, the 25th anniversary of the initiation of the event. Faye reminded me that two days earlier, February 26th, is the 25th anniversary of the first bombing of the World trade Center, and event which she and I and others now think to have initiated the evacuation and stripping of the buildings in preparation for their destruction on September 11, 2001.
Anyway, I had a fun time, I hope she did too. Faye speaks four languages, and her English is clear and easily understood, this even though she never formally studied it and only picked it up by immersion, apparently.
Continue reading “Fake, fake, fako”
On January 11, 2018, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) released its “scientific review” of the Canada lynx in the contiguous U.S., which concluded that the species “may no longer warrant protection” under the ESA (Endangered Species Act of 1973).
An estimated 2,000 Canada lynx remain in the wild, its range extends from Maine, to northeastern Minnesota, and westward to western Montana, northeastern Idaho, north-central Washington and western Colorado. Lynx are a long-legged cousin of the bobcat – with tufted ears. Lynx can grow almost 36 inches long and weigh up to 30 pounds. These reclusive, snow-loving cats prefer dense forest habitat and feed primarily on the snowshoe hare, but will take pine squirrels when times are tough.
According to the Fish and Wildlife Service’s own scientist, Megan Kosterman, 50% of each lynx home range must be mature, dense forest to provide optimal habitat for lynx to breed and raise kittens, and no more than 15 percent of each lynx home range should be clearcut. Not a single National Forest is complying with this ecological recommendation – a system failure devastating to population trajectories. FWS refuses to address this issue. Continue reading “Killing Cats for Sport and Profit”
I was not prepared to accept this comment from XE on first reading. It sat uncomfortably even as I know I can be fooled, and have been time and again.
I watched the movie Grizzly Man in 2005, and we met Timothy Treadwell at a lecture in either Bozeman or Billings, Montana. That created personal interest. What I wrote before was the result of twelve-year-old memories.
Back then I did not watch movies with a discerning eye. I still thought jets flew through buildings like a knife through butter. I thought that elections were real, that news was essentially a (distorted) reflection of reality, and that a movie labeled “documentary” by its makers would be an honest enterprise.
I had to watch the movie again, and did yesterday afternoon.
Continue reading “Grizzly deaths”
Steve is a man in his mid-thirties, married with a young child. He expresses himself well. He is a bit of an idealist, that is, he uses words like “authentic” in describing people and looks for meaning behind things like mini-malls. (Idealism is always about “What does it mean? What does it really mean?”) He’s aware of reputation, how far words travel, how meaningless Facebook friendship can be.
He is apparently feeling some stress, as we all do, at having to produce a constant flow of income into his household to keep it afloat. He realizes this will never end.
Continue reading “And now for something completely different”