Burn, baby, burn
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
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 –
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.