The Prez is coming!
To Seattle, that is.
And the local barking moonbats are
gearing up for the temper tantrum to beat all temper tantrums. Banners are being unfurled, riots
(oops, I mean protests) are being planned as we speak, and just about
every left-wing group is being assembled for this trip. In short, the typical political
spectrum up here in the Puget Sound. But what really gets to me is when
the moonbats start screaming about Bush's environmental track record. This whole "Bush is raping the earth"
schtick is pretty old, especially when viewed with the eye of someone who
actually deals with the impact of all the regulations and rules that the
Environmentalist movement pushes for.
I grew up in what can be called "the
Acres and acres of trees, streams,
open land, the works. I have
literally spent years walking through the forests that environmentalists
claim to be protecting. I
have walked them, worked on them, pulled firewood from them, and
experienced them first hand, which is something that many of the so-called
environmentalists can't claim.
In fact, despite the many claims that come out of the eco-movement,
most of their "information" is nothing but hype, sound bites,
exaggeration, and smokescreens.
When one of the (1) founding members of Greenpeace gives an
interview in New Science magazine and states "The environmental movement
abandoned science and logic somewhere in the mid-1980s", you know you have
problems. HUGE problems,
And if you take a good hard look
at the state of our national forests, you'll see just how huge a problem
this really is.
Now, our national forests have too many
species of trees to go over.
So we'll go with two of the highest population trees. (2) Ponderosa Pine, and (3) Douglas
Go into any forest in the northwest, and
you'll see stands of these trees.
Normally, they would co-exist in a cycle. Ponderosa Pines are shade
intolerant; they need direct sunlight in order to sprout and grow. Douglas
firs are shade tolerant; they can grow quite well in the middle of a
crowded forest. In a normal
cycle, fire would clear out large spaces of forest, allowing the Ponderosa
to grow, and the Douglas fir would come in later, after the Ponderosa had
been well established. Thanks
to the eco-movement, this cycle has been interrupted, with disastrous
results. The first part of
the cycle that has been stopped?
fires have been fought
tooth and nail for over a century, but they are (4) part and parcel
to a forest's life. In recent
years, the US government has slowly adopted a "let it burn" practice which
has been applauded by some environmental groups, but in some cases that is
not practical, due to homes, other property, or the habitat of the (insert
protected species here) being threatened.
And to top it all off, years of
mismanagement under more and more oppressive eco-regime regulations have
produced a literal tinderbox, waiting for a spark. In every forest there is a (5) fuel
ladder, material that can spread fire into the crowns of trees. In national forests, the (6)
eco-movement has blocked sale after sale of beetle-killed timber or
fire-scorched timber, delaying the logging until the wood was no longer
commercially viable. This
allows the spread of pine beetles to other areas, with the end result of
acres and acres of dead trees.
Those trees are a firestorm waiting to happen.
And by stopping the salvage of
insect infested trees, you're exacerbating the problem. (7) Once you actually notice a
beetle damaged tree, it's too late.
That tree is going to die.
There are two main options for controlling beetles: burn the tree or cut it down and
strip off the bark. It's not
fun, and it may not be pretty, but it will save your forest. A
five acre clear-cut can recover much more quickly than a five hundred acre
stretch of dead trees.. But
thanks to the eco-movement, whole stands of beetle killed trees have been
allowed to stand, causing beetle infestations all over the country. Just Google "pine beetle" and see
what comes up.
And the ultimate irony is that logging
companies, having been blocked from salvaging dead lumber off of public
property, now have to (8) log living healthy trees on private land
in order to stay alive.
So fire hasn't been allowed in many areas,
logging hasn't been allowed, and dead trees are blocked from salvage
logging by the eco-movement.
In short, you have the perfect recipe for forest killing
fires. The fuel ladder is in
place, there are dead trees full of pitch standing like giant matchsticks,
and the undergrowth is ready to go.
One lightning strike, and there's nothing you can do to stop
it. Several fires in
Colorado burned so hot that
they sterilized the soil.
Many of the forests in Yellowstone National Park
are (9) still bare after the 1988 fires. When a fire burns that hot, it kills
the burrowing animals and (10) beneficial microbes and insects that
inhabit the soil. In effect,
it creates a dead zone that will last for years to come. Many of these burns can be
attributed to the eco-movement's policies in national lands.
So, fire has been prevented from doing its
thing. But the other big
chunk missing from the cycle is logging. Logging can replace fire in terms
of removing dead wood and undergrowth, thus breaking the fuel ladder. A
long clear-cut one-quarter to one-half an acre wide can and will stop a
forest fire from spreading, as well as giving younger trees a chance to
A one square acre clear-cut can
remove dead, dying, and infested trees, and prevent a forest from becoming
stagnate (single species, or single age range). But logging has been
stopped, blocked, and prevented by the eco-movement. One of the reasons for the establishment
of national forests was to (11) ensure that this country
would have a renewable supply of timber. This has been shot down in
practice by the eco-movement, at every opportunity, and we have huge
tracts of land sitting unused.
The eco-movement would love for the
to end all logging in the national forests. But there's a problem with
that. We haven't stopped
using lumber, or wood products.
So where are we getting it from? Houses are still being built,
newspapers are still being printed, so trees are still being used in this
country. Who's cutting down trees?
And the damage done to the forests
in those countries boggles the mind.
Tundra and Taiga forests don't grow very quickly, due to climate,
soil condition, and other variables.
But they're being clearcut to satisfy demand for wood around the
world, including here at home.
It's the ultimate irony.
While the relatively quick growing Fir and Pine forests in the
are sitting unused, the slow growing, old growth forests are being wiped
out in other parts of the world.
While the eco-movement blocks sale after sale in the very forests
designated to provide a renewable source of timber, our demand for wood is
causing the destruction of arboreal forests in
The logging hasn't stopped, it's just moved elsewhere, in places
not as able to replenish or renew itself as our forests are. Instead of controlled logging in a
national forest, it's a wood-chopping free for all in areas out of our
And as our forests sit unused, the
rest of the world makes up for the difference.
mills are shut down,
are lost, US forests are mismanaged to the point of catastrophic wildfires
and insect infestations, but golly gee, the environmentalists have
triumphed over those evil logging companies! Congratulations, Eco-people!
And the worst part
of it all, is that the eco-movement doesn't deal with the
consequences. They live in
their nice wooden urban homes, reading their magazines or books or
newspapers, and print banners on cardboard so that they can scream at
President Bush, all the while never giving a lick of thought as to where
all that paper and wood comes from, while the people who live in the areas
most effected can do nothing but sit and watch as our national forests go
to waste. There are huge
tracts of trees in the Wenatchee
National Forest that are
dead. While my girlfriend and
I were on our motorcycle trip, she estimated that one out of every four
trees in that forest was dead and brown. I can show you stretches of trees
in Idaho that are dead, just standing there, going to rot, spreading
insects and disease, waiting for a spark or lightning strike to set them
ablaze. In short, it's a
monumental waste of our natural resources. A study
on salvage logging beetle-killed trees from the U of Idaho admits that
Northwest forests are (14) overstocked with trees, a condition which
increases the spread of insects and disease.
And yet the eco-movement, too
blinded by it's own ideology, doesn't care. They have their rallies, and then
go to their homes in and around big cities, while small towns watch their
lumber mills close. They pass
out their paper pamphlets and curse the president, while rural residents
watch stands of trees die.
They talk about "protecting the earth" from the safety and comfort
of their homes, while the people who actually live in the effected areas
are blocked from doing anything productive.
So what's the point of all of this? We can no longer allow the
eco-movement to continue dictating how our forests are used. We are creating a mess of our
national forests, and simply moving the logging out of country. We need sane forest management,
not extremist policy. We need
to take back the land that environmentalists want to place out of
reach. Until we make our
voices heard, our forests will continue going to waste.
Let's take back our land, and return sanity
to our forests.