Sean Finnegan, who reported regularly from Klamath Falls for The Sierra Times, will be providing exclusive coverage of the Sawgrass Rebellion - the convoy headed toward Florida. As expected, The Sierra Times will provide regular coverage of this event. Finnegan begins his series on the battles in the Western States.
· In the early morning of October 18, 1998, fire destroyed five buildings and four ski lifts in Vail, Colorado. Two days later an underground terrorist group known as the Earth Liberation Front claimed responsibility for the arson that caused an estimated $12 million in damages.
· Grand Jury Indicts Four Accused Eco-terrorists in Firebombing of Log Trucks; Three Suspects Arrested, One Remains At-large
· The deceased firefighters, all members of the Naches Ranger District Crew on the Wenatchee National Forest, are:
Tom L. Craven, age 30, of Ellensburg, WA
Karen L. Fitzpatrick, age 18, of Yakima, WA
Devin A. Weaver, age 21, of Yakima, WA
Jessica L. Johnson, age 19, of Yakima, WA
· Lawmakers want an investigation into whether government wildlife biologists reported finding lynx fur in two national forests to keep people out of the areas.
· Forest Service Worker Charged in Colorado Fire.
· A Mexican spotted owl survey taker employed by the Mescalero Apache Tribes natural resources agency was arrested Wednesday for arson.
· The man charged with starting one of the blazes that has blackened a huge swath of Arizona forest and destroyed hundreds of homes was a part-time firefighter.
· Environmental Activists Claim Wildfires Sparked by Global Warming
· Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell castigated environmentalists Thursday for advocating land-management policies he said have left Western lands more vulnerable to wildfires.
· The nation has 812 million acres of federal forests, and a devastating fire could break out in just about any state.
· Request to fight fire was denied
· "Now that land we were on, was not a park, it was not a roadless area, it was not a wilderness area. It was a multiple use forest service property. In other words, YOUR PROPERTY!" [Carson Helicopter pilot, Or.]
· Defiant firefighters snub feds: 'Renegades' broke law to save homes
· The National Forest Service has withdrawn a plan to log part of the White Mountain National Forest because of a successful challenge by an environmental group.
· Nearly half the projects designed to reduce fire risks in national forests since 2001 were stalled by appeals, usually by environmentalists seeking to stop logging, an internal Forest Service report says.
· With nearly 769,000 acres burned so far this year in Oregon, both groups [Environmentalists and Timber industry representatives] are already pressuring land management agencies to commit, one way or the other, to take a stand of salvage logging.
· "I know this country and I have never seen anything like this fire," [Arizona Gov. Jane] Hull said on Sunday. "Mother Nature is saying to Arizona, to the West, that we have to clean up these forests."
· As of mid-August, according to the National Interagency Fire Center, 5,766,158 acres have been affected by fires.
· It could be all dark on the western front if a small group of Loudon County [Va.] activists gets its way and forces residents and businesses to shut off their lights as early as 9 p.m. to preserve the night sky.
· The Army Corps of Engineers' dumping of toxic sludge into the Potomac River protects fish by forcing them to flee the polluted area and escape fishermen, according to an internal Environmental Protection Agency document.
· Nearly half of America is now owned by the government. How can free enterprise exist if government owns the land and the resources?
[Various press clippings]
PROBLEMS ARE ASSETS:
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
In his book "Natural Process: That Environmental Laws May Serve the Laws of Nature" Mark Edward Vande Pol takes on the myth of public land or "the commons" and exposes the true intent of environmentalists while providing a practical way to deal with land ownership and management.
The key to understanding his logic is the simple matter of acknowledging who truly is the best steward of the land. Is it the environmentalists? Is it the government? Or is it you, the person who spends more time there than anyone? That is unless it's a "commons" like the national forests when they aren't burning.
The book is broken up in to five parts and deals primarily with a firsthand case study in the rural-suburban forest interface in Santa Cruz County, California, but it could be any county, especially yours. The principles and experience Mark dealt with could be applied anywhere.
The story is told from the antithesis/thesis logic.
The first part of the book begins with the principles justifying existing environmental management:
1. People abuse resources for which they don't have to pay, and
2. Regulations prevent harmful behavior.
While redefining a number of principles, namely what the "commons" or community property are, it exposes several logical fallacies in the existing management system and opens the opportunity for an alternative.
One option of management is the "proposal of preservation with the goal of producing conditions approximating those 500 years ago, [which] is a passive restoration of an infected body with altered genetic composition to a moving target of poorly understood properties, operating under unprecedented conditions while still subject to human interference." In other words, no people.
How do we preserve and how will we know if it's working? Essentially, the concept is called "deep ecology" and it involves subjective inference and is based on the logical fallacy known as a Type II error or "if we don't do anything to nature it will get better." Take the land, fence it, off and keep the people out.
The second and third parts of the book show the alternative to preservation which is regulation and this is the area that most of us deal with on a more personal level and where the practical knowledge of the author kicks in. Santa Cruz County contains every aspect of environmental regulation from forests to rivers to the ocean and everything in between. There's neighbors who sue for a view, there's a forester trying to make a living while being manipulated by city, county, state and federal regulations enhanced by the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act, there's environmental NGO's (non-governmental organizations) pushing junk-science and unproven data to support even more regulation taken directly from UN Agenda 21, there's greedy developers who manipulate zoning laws to get favorable lot sizes fully supported by county officials hungry for increased property taxes. It's bad.
To see it in one county is to see it as a whole. Which begs the question: Is there an alternative? Yes.
PROBLEMS ARE OPPORTUNITIES:
"The first person that any dishonest person lies to is oneself. It is an essential step in the justification of any unethical act."
The current environmental management system is inherently flawed and corrupt at every level. As Mark says, "To restate the current system: NGO's accept grants from foundations to foist regulations on the landowners reducing asset value and adding both liabilities and overhead. They and the colluding bureaucrats of the acquiring agency harass the owner with fines for failure to comply with ambiguous and conflicting requirements until they sell or die. The inheritors (who wisely chose another source of income) have to choose between and ongoing fight or estate taxes. Sellers of conservation easements (financed by foundations) circle overhead with briefcases offering a way out."
The information or data to create or augment regulations is based on "science" from established sources like academics living off of grants from either NGO's or governments or both, or from NGO's themselves. This is the acorn that grows in to the mighty oak of certain wholly tyrannical "laws" that are the ESA, Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act and other "weapons" used by environmental useful idiots to steal land for other uses. Whether it's "preservation" by groups like the Nature Conservancy (12 million acres), or confiscation, by regulation, to local or federal government the use is determined by the real value of the land.
The real value, of course, is the reason the original owner purchased the land. It could be water "rights", it could be a view, it could be access to a body of water or any number of reasons the property is attractive. However, just because the land is now protected doesn't mean it won't be exploited at the hands of its new benevolent environmentally conscience owners. In most cases of land taken at the state level the use becomes development of homes or businesses to increase property taxes. In the case of land taken at the federal level the land is set aside for preservation and possibly selected for "use" contracts to be determined later.
The only way to break through this system is to prove that the individual property owner, not only understands and manages his environment, but can prove it. That means compiling data to support a claim that not only is your way sound but better for the environment than the current system. Can one person do this?
Mark did. Over ten years he took his own property in Santa Cruz and converted it from an overgrown tangle of forest in to a viable and vibrant home. Using proven forestry methods and his own developed understanding and skill he systematically brought the land back to life.
This meant clearing out exotic and predatory species of plants that were choking the ground and trees and either burned them or sprayed them with pesticides (cutting them just spreads the seeds). He cut down sick and dying trees to give the healthy ones space to grow. Naturally the benefit of the clearing and select cutting was that the fuel load was decreased to a manageable level should a fire occur. The by-product of the cutting was wood that could have been sold were it not for regulations on the sale of redwoods.
In the process of restoring the forest floor to optimum conditions he discovered that the threat of landslides from over-logging hillsides (as maintained by environmentalists) was wrong. In fact, select cutting of dying or sick trees at the ground level promotes better runoff and if trees are left to die and fall they pull more soil and hillside in to the riparian tributaries. This is the kind of information that is invaluable.
So if you have the data compiled through exhaustive effort of stewardship can you change the current system? Yes. It's simply a matter of getting insurance companies to certify combined systems under the guise of collective understanding and management. What would you call it? InsCert is the name and it circumvents government measures with proven techniques.
Simply put, get a community, no matter how large, to agree to a standard that is more rigorous than government or NGO standards and prove they are wrong. I know it sounds complicated but it's actually quite simple. People, landowners, compile data at the most basic level and submit their findings to a representative group who is willing to put cash behind results and insure, at their peril, to support a system that is unproven by current standards.
Once these measured standards are compiled they are presented as data or fact in defiance to the normal standards, academia, and presented to support a free market system that not only proves the failure of current systems but also proves that another system, outside of current regulation is more productive and beneficial to the environment. And then watch the heads roll.
In short, you the landowner, takes the time out of your day to compile evidence to support a position that the current standards are flawed and sue the current power structure for evidence of damages and failure to perform its prescribed duties.
Still too convoluted?
If you own a farm, ranch, riparian property, or coastal land prove that your practices are sound and use the regulations, laws, and measures that have been used against you to take your land are flawed and destructive. This means that you the individual will have to take the time out of your day to gather evidence of you sound practices. It's not like it will take more time. Simply a matter of writing down data and conditions to support what you already know.
That's all they are using against you. Evidence based on data to get regulations to enforce the taking of your land. Do you have anything to lose for the time? You know the answer.
The model doesn't excuse the smallest property owner. If you can, as a property owner, prove that you have a better way to manage your small plot, do it. And then use existing associations or form a new association. Form an alliance. These alliances can start from small affiliations and grow to a consensus based upon individual observation and failure of the current system. It takes work but not much. How much time does it take to take measurements of conditions and factors that you are working with day in and day out?
Here's the program: Gather evidence or data to support your claim that your are doing better than the current system, gather support for your program based on certified inspectors who validate your claims and are supported by insurance companies who believe in the most efficient system. Present your findings, as a whole, to the current power structure and provide an alternative to the status quo. And when they laugh at you sue them.
That's right. Use the laws that the environmentalists have shackled us with and turn them on their heads. For years they have sued the federal government and won based on "settlements" and gained control of land. Every time the government loses it wins. In control, taxes and land grabs. Talk about a swindle.
Here's how to change it. Prove them wrong. Take it to court. Gain stewardship and shut down the money machine and put the power back in to the hands of the people who spend the most time on the land. Take the data to support a claim of proper stewardship of the land. Make the power structure submit to your claim for authority over the land.
Environmentalists (based on the Sierra Club claims) have decided that it's better to claim that the forest is better served to burn in the event of a fire. Free market property owners prove that reducing fuels diminishes the possibility of fires and protects, not only homes, but endangered species and the forest. Most wildlands firefighters already know this. Get them to support your claims and back your underwriters.
The Everglades is not better served being flooded to preserve its former state under
Everglades Restoration. Free market property owners can prove that the swallow mentioned to preserve the region under the ESA is better protected by those who would rather see the land support the birds, by individual conservation rather than state sponsored efforts that will drive out land owners.
Citizens of the Delmarva Peninsula can prove that corridors established under the Wildlands Act don't conform to nature's norms of migratory patterns and ecological systems understood by farmers and property owners. Watermen can prove that nitrate runoff from corporate poultry farms do in fact affect the bay and their harvest.
The people of New River, WV. can prove that a highway will have significant impact on the environment and that county planning and zoning acts to provide a view are unsound.
The Sawgrass Rebellion would could be a good time and place to begin to form these alliances and come up with a plan that not only addresses the problems but provides a solution by the people.
If the environment is everything between a blade of grass to an ecosystem, streams, lakes, mountains, forests, farms, ranches, etc., it's up to us to show our knowledge of stewardship as proof of the so called environmentalist's failures and show them how it should be done.
This book is our Walden Pond. It's dangerous.
Samuel Adams said, "It does not take a majority to prevail..but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men"
Light the spark. And foster it.
To learn more about the book go to: http://www.naturalprocess.net
And to buy a copy go to: