Anyone who wants it now has a clear view of what America’s “environmentalists” consider stewardship of our forests. Here in the western states, the view is a picture-perfect rendition of the chants of the ’60s radicals who tossed the first match: “Burn, baby, burn!”
Armies of firefighters are camped in key staging locations near several major fires in Oregon, trying to control the fires paths to keep them from destroying homes, schools and businesses. The photo below show the view from Crater Lake National Park over the past weekend.
Many western states with timber resources have been dependent on the revenue generated from selling some of those trees every year to help fund their public education systems. It’s a system that made perfect sense. Coupled with modern forestry techniques (often developed at land-grant colleges here in the West), it still does. The land can yield consistent and perpetual timber harvests and provide the funding it was designed to provide for public schools.
But there’s one major problem: America’s “environmentalists” don’t like to see trees cut down and used to build houses. They’d rather see them burn. Thus they disrupt the Forest Service’s plans to thin the undergrowth that provides so much fuel for forest fires, and when the fire has done its devastating work they disrupt the sales of charred trees that could still be salvaged from the fire area. It’s a win-win, if you like to see the nation’s resources go up in smoke every summer.
America’s “environmentalists,” as the mainline press dubs them, will tell you these Spotted Owl roasts are “natural” fires caused by lightening and should simply be allowed to “burn themselves out.”
The view in rural America, where these fires are burning, is rather different. Here the fires are viewed as a waste of precious public resources that the region can ill-afford. These environmentalist-sponsored Spotted Owl roasts drain public school funding, cause high unemployment and devastate the local tax base, pushing communities into state and federal dependency.
Of course, professional “environmentalist” fund-raisers don’t live in rural areas. Like Willie Sutton, who when asked why he robbed banks replied, “Because that’s where the money is,” these fund-raisers live in urban areas. Their livelihood is not dependent upon wise stewardship of natural resources, but on fear mongering to motivate their fund-raising base to dig ever deeper into their pockets, and on a court system that guarantees that even when they lose – they win.
Why? Because when “environmental” fund-raising groups do win in court, they feed off the same pork barrel the ACLU has grown fat at: Attorneys fees are awarded by the court to the winner. So not only does the Forest Service have to pay staff attorneys to defend the case in court, if they lose the case because the assigned government attorney hasn’t been around long enough to learn environmental law, the Forest Service has to pay the environmental group’s attorneys fees, too. That would be the U.S. Forest Service, as in the U.S. taxpayer.
But even when “environmental” fund-raising groups do lose in court, they most often win anyway. Why? Because through delays, motions and additional studies (which frequently support the Forest Service’s position when they are eventually completed), these groups are able to drag out the court action long enough to make the burned trees in fire cleanup area unprofitable for even small logging companies and sawmills. Rot and insect infestation take their toll. All it cost the “environmental” fund-raising group was a staff attorney’s time. All it cost rural America is its children’s education, its livelihood and its dignity.
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