Skip to comments.EcoFreaks
Posted on 07/17/2002 12:13:42 PM PDT by Jean S
One of the good things about traveling across the country is being able to pick up newspapers in small towns, which often cover issues not seen in the national press. In the West, these issues often concern the clash between private property rights and an aggressive environmental lobby which often appears both dogmatic and nonsensical.
In Montana, for example, the U.S. Forest Service is fighting a battle with local and imported "tree huggers" over the dispensation of firewood in the areas horribly burned during the catastrophic Yellowstone fires of a few years ago. The Forest Services position is that the burned areas should be thinned and made more fire safe by allowing logging of the burned out trees and underbrush. The Ecos, crying foul motives promulgated by "Big Lumber", want the areas left alone. One pony-tailed Earth Shoe wearer was quoted as equating the logging of fire areas with, "mugging a burn victim."
The Ecos say that even fallen torched logs "absorb water during rains", and serve as "habitat" for small and furry woodland creatures. What they dont tell you is that ALL logs absorb water during rains. During dry spells they ALL subsequently dry out, adding potential fuel to any future forest fire. Also conveniently left out is the fact that fires laden with this highly combustible and dried-out fuel burn hundreds of degrees hotter than normal forest fires. These "super fires" destroy an exponentially greater number of plants and animals and can permanently render an area uninhabitable and deforested for many years. A logical person would thus conclude that, by their actions prohibiting the logging of burned areas, the Ecos are actually promoting that which they supposedly decry - the destruction of habitat, plants and animal life.
In Wyoming, a fierce debate is being conducted between snowmobile enthusiasts and those who would like to leave the trails solely to the moose and caribou. The Park Service conducted a series of meetings between the local townspeople, the snowmobilists and the Ecocrats - most of whom were out of towners. The townspeople, looking to the winter revenue that they now enjoy because of the snowmobilists, were looking for an equitable compromise that would allow some snowmobiling while closing some trails deemed to be at the most risk of environmental or wildlife damage.
The Ecos were having none of it. Declaring that the townsfolk and the Park Service were both at the mercy of (all together now) Big Snowmobile, they were insistent upon closing all trails to motorized vehicles permanently. This, despite the lack of scientific evidence showing that snowmobiling in any way disrupts the wildlife. This, despite the fact that these actions will make the trails inaccessible to the elderly, infirm, families with young children or any others lacking the time, money or fortitude necessary in order to backpack into the wilderness.
In California, extremist Eco Senator Barbara Boxer has put forth a bill which would add 2.5 million acres to the National Wilderness Preservation System. The acreage - 336,938 acres in the Mojave Desert and an additional 54,080 acres in the San Bernardino National Forest - would be closed to motorized or mechanical recreation, including all types of off road vehicles and even bicycles. Detractors - who point out that a 1994 bill has already put 3.5 million acres off limits in the Mojave - include miners, horseback riding enthusiasts, mountain bikers and offroaders.
Senator Boxer, in response to a protest which brought several dozen protesters to her office in San Bernardino bearing petitions signed by 9,500 more, issued a statement saying that these recreation users - although banned from these local areas - nevertheless have "an estimated 100,000 miles of trails and roads available elsewhere throughout the state." In other words, "too bad if you dont like it, just go somewhere else". No word from Senator Boxer on the environmental impact of hundreds of SUVs trailering bikes, four wheelers and horses on their way to "somewhere else" within the state.
Back in Montana, those who would like to return to the imagined Eden of the past have fostered the "return" of the wolf in areas around Yellowstone. However, the reintroduced wolf has refused to play by the environmentalists imposed rules and have routinely ventured beyond the areas set aside for them within the park. The tasty and docile livestock readily available right outside the boundaries have often proved irresistible to the wolves. "Predatory" wolves which establish a record of recidivism have had to be shot - often by the very people who reintroduced them in the first place. Therefore, the wolves, domestic livestock and ranchers have all suffered - for the sake of a pipe dream of some neo-Luddite who has probably never been West of the Mississippi.
Again, it appears that the environmental lobbyists in Washington have a total disconnect with the reality of life in the West. The ranchers, loggers and cowboys who actually work the land and have an economic stake in preserving the health of the flora and fauna are the real environmentalists. For decades, these folks have had to balance the needs of man with that of nature. And, therein lies the conundrum.
The dirty little secret is that the pony-tailed, Earth Shoe wearing, tofu-berry shake drinking neo-Luddites dont wish to balance the needs of man and nature. They simply want man out, and nature left to its own, "natural" devices. They wont often say so publicly, but the true extremists would like nothing better than to remove all traces of man. Theyd love to tear down the dams which tamed the rivers and made the land inhabitable, along with allowing "natural" fires to burn unchecked and reintroducing predatory wildlife (including the grizzly bear) into inhabited areas. If the farmer goes broke, the rancher lose his herd, or if homes burn down in a "superfire" they secretly applaud while putting on a Janus face in public.
At heart, the EcoFreaks are elitists with an unreasonably high regard for their own intellect and very little for anyone elses. If the great unwashed are forced off the land, it just means more for them to enjoy - in their expensive kayaks, top of the line backpacks and custom made- hiking boots. If thats too physically taxing, they can go on a trip with "Club Sierra", and for a few thousand dollars take the Clubs private jet into the forbidden wilderness and camp in splendid isolation and luxury in the furnished huts.
Remember, whether the restrictive laws are passed by the merely misinformed or the deliberately misanthropic - those laws are meant for you - theyre never meant for them. ***
This secret is comming out, albeit slowly.
A few days ago I was watching one of these pointy-heads on FNC talking about the fires: "We have never opposed controlled thinning. We just want guarantees that no one can make a profit at it"
Oh yeah, and if someone could make a profit and improve the forests, you'ld rather just let them burn.
A few days ago I was listening to one of these pointy-heads on FNC talking about the fires: "We have never opposed controlled thinning. We just want quarantees that no one can make a profit at it"
Oh yeah, and if someone can make a profit and improve the forests, you'd rather just let them burn.
Someone should tell these jerks that, unlike the viewers of ABCNBCPBSCBSPMSNBC, the people who watch FNC are actually listening.
Even if they can't compose a reply :-)
Gee, I wonder how the writer really feels about these folks. :=)
Gee, I wonder how the writer really feels about these folks. :=)
There are huge fires in the west caused directly by poor management. Logging is vital to keeping the fuel load down in the west. If there is no logging, there WILL be huge wildfires (which roast many endangered species).
The ranchers, loggers, farmers and hunters spend much more time in the forests than these city dwelling pantywastes. Enviro-weenies should stay in the city and leave the rest of us alone.
Belief is the enemy!
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