Quiet, Please! The Latest Threat to the Big Wild

It was another long summer of smoke-filled eyes in the West. An early snow storm in the Northern Rockies ushers in a season of peace and solitude. Wildfires frighten tourists, excite the media and reacquaint homeowners who built in the forest to Mother Nature’s laws.  Hey, I get it, fires are deadly and sexy – good ratings. But after decades of kicking the environmental can down the road, at the first sign of smoke most politicians want someone else to blame for their pathetic past performances.

Three of the last four summers (2015, 2017, 2018), Glacier National Park erupted in a fury of smoke and flames. Tourists scampered away to Yellowstone, “inholder” homes were evacuated, some incinerated. But that’s not why I picked up the pen today. Let’s talk about quiet, yes quiet.  Where has our quiet gone? Continue reading “Quiet, Please! The Latest Threat to the Big Wild”

YELLOWSTONE GRIZZLIES RETURNED TO ENDANGERED SPECIES LIST 

MISSOULA, Mont. – A federal judge today restored Endangered Species Act protections to grizzly bears in the Yellowstone ecosystem after they were prematurely and illegally delisted last year. This victory means that the grizzlies will remain protected as a threatened species pending additional scientific analysis and a more comprehensive plan for their recovery.

“The Trump administration wants to see Yellowstone’s grizzlies taken off the Endangered Species list so they can be hunted, killed, and mounted on the walls of wealthy trophy hunters like Trump’s sons” said Mike Garrity, Executive Director of the Alliance for the Wild Rockies. “But grizzly bears remain a tiny fraction of their former population and are living in an even tinier fraction of their former range.  Due to increased development and lack of connected habitat, it’s safe to say the grizzly bear isn’t really recovered yet.  These incredible animals deserve better from humans than a rush to the taxidermist.”

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Seventeen years after …

SBWell, it is the seventeenth anniversary of 9/11, so this has to be written. Please take time to review Kevin’s article below, The Sewing Circle (Loose Threads) as it is much more interesting than this will be.

It is time to talk about controlled demolition of seven buildings, two of which oddly formed the number 11 and that perhaps sat mostly empty for 33 years, of vicsims and rabbit holes, the devilishly clever misdirection of Dr. Steven Jones and Dr. Judy Woods and, of course, Jim Fetzer, who is not very clever but omnipresent in every fake event. All of that matters, and it needs to be discussed, especially on the anniversary …

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Campaign of Illusions: Where the Zero Cut Movement to Save the National Forests Went Wrong

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”

Trial by Fire

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”

Another “frivolous” lawsuit

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.

Map

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Fake, fake, fako

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”