Time to Fight Back

by bear bait

I read today in the paper that a tree fell and killed a USFS employee near Baker City, Oregon, who was involved in pulling marijuana plants from a grow on the Wallowa-Whitman NF. Sad deal. Not what forest protectors and nurturers had in mind when they signed on. The family has my sincerest regrets and sympathy.

It appears this fire deal, burning up our public forests, is part of a plan to expand the Mexican Dope Cartel’s drug plantations. Get rid of the canopy, keep people out, and it all goes to dope growing. In Western Oregon, in the Coast Range, we have had two opium poppy fields discovered and pulled this summer in Yamhill county. The Trout Creek mountains of far southeastern Oregon saw a dope bust with over 30,000 plants and 8 people arrested and now indicted in Federal court in Eugene, Oregon.

The minders of the Federal Estate have become overwhelmed by their job requirements and red tape, due to extensive congressional nit-picking, poorly written law, and excessive “human resource” systems, and the local areas bear the burden of poor Congressional oversight and the disinterest of a distant absentee landlord as a matter of course.

The national enviro lobby has local shrills to keep disorder the way they want it, and willingly pay themselves well enough to warrant limousines and gracious benefits fit for kings. The Environmental Cartel is in tight control. Burning off our national forest heritage is a mindless goal, but when oligarchs of the environment are in control, it is about power, not good sense, and it is about the money they make, as per Al Gore, the newly coined billionaire of selling carbon credits, akin to trading in seines full of flatulence. Ethereal. Hard to grasp. But you know it is there by the smell.

These United States and we the people, especially states where liberal local politics rule, have lost control of our public lands. They have been systematically closed to the public by taking out roads, banning logging, and allowing fires to rage unchecked - managing to burn all too much of their charge in a mindless exercise of benign neglect.

I have heard the stories, seen the film, of equipment and war machines being pushed over the sides of ships after WWII and Viet Nam in the systematic destruction of capital items for whatever reason the Washington DC powers had in mind. Well, we are twenty years into pushing our heritage forests, our National Forest Treasures, over the side of the carrier into the deep, off the fantail of the transport, out the hatch of the Flying Boxcar.

Paved roads going to goat trails, culverts and bridges washing out due to extreme sedimentation following fire, loss of water quality and quantity, no grazing now allowing the grasses and other fine fuels to build to once again, fresh fuels carrying fire across a sea of snags to make sure the reburn will have maximum destructive effect. It’s a hell of a way to run a railroad. When you put the Left in charge of the railroads, they just melt into economic puddles of decay. The US has that experience and the t-shirt to prove it. Today we struggle to regain functional, affordable rail service, an exercise in reinventing the wheel.

Mindlessness in government is a given. It killed the railroads. It killed the auto industry. It killed public education K-12 and now is killing the public university system. And it is killing our forests. Our public works are borne by taxpayers paying Davis Bacon labor rates to make sure public works cost twice or more what private works of the same size and quality cost. We don’t have an American merchant marine of substance because of the Jones Act. Little Denmark had more merchant ship tonnage being built two years ago than the US has flagged and sailing in its entire existance. Denmark, 4 million people, has over 800 merchant ships just in the Baltic trade, an almost landlocked sea in northern Europe.

Fatheadedness is killing our democracy, our health care system, our ability to survive in the world, and now our forests.

At the present pace of things, given our pathetic “protection” of national assets, the National Forests are doomed to become to trees what Cambodia was to human beings. The Killing Fields of Wildland Fire Use, Appropriate Management Response, Fire for Resource Benefit, all have the same ending for trees and forests that the Khmer Rouge had for people — death and destruction. Deliberate, directed, genocidal death for the forests “in order to save them” ala the Viet Nam War policies of the late Sec of Defense Robert McNamara. It is another national disgrace.

Dr. Zybach, Mr. Dubrasich, et al, have created a tool to begin to estimate the impacts, locally, of USFS and BLM fire policy — a simple way that allows anyone to list their estimates of the cost to them and their community of wildland fire, fought or unfought. The information gained will be the ONLY information developed on any fire, because the Feds don’t do those numbers. They don’t care. If you start (deliberately or through negligence) a fire on your private property, and it burns on the USFS or BLM, U.S. Atty Gen’l. Holder has three teams of prosecutors to sue for damages to the Public Estate. But in one of those strange turns of events our Congress has never addressed, if the Feds burn you out, you have NO recompense, no compensation, no ability or right to go to court to sue for damages. NONE. ZERO.

Of course, I have to wonder how the U.S. Atty Gen’l. develops his numbers in counting up damages. I did see that they have gotten paid $millions by the Union Pacific RR for “lost of the grandeur of the landscape.” Now how can that be? That “loss of grandeur of the landscape” is a compensable claim for them if UPRR starts the fire, but when they do it to themselves it is “fire is needed in the ecosystem” or “fire is being reintroduced for the good of the forests health” or some such nonsense.

It is now, under the Obama administration and the Bush administration before it, them against us. It is one set of values for U.S. public property, and no value at all for private property (except at tax time). That is SO WRONG!

And therein lies the beauty of the Wildland Fire Economics Project, the “one pager” damage report. Someday, somewhere, that fire damages appraisal information will be admissible in a court of law for some innocent victim because it cannot be ignored any longer, and it will become the evidence of record. The Feds cannot discount the method of gathering that information, since it is standard financial practice. The Feds cannot impeach that record because they do not collect the information themselves. The Feds cannot deny that record because legal precedent has been set, by the courts in response to the Feds suing private companies.

That is why it is so important for people to begin to create a record, for that is the only way to gain traction to change poor public forest policy. And it may be the only way to save millions of acres from intentional conflagration, which is the present public policy.

The finger is pointed at innocent private citizens who get run over by Federal fires. It their own fault because “they built too close to public lands — there should be no dwellings within 20 miles of the public lands”. That is not the American way as I was raised. Blame the victim? That is the present public policy fully supported by the Environmental Left. It is your fault the Fed fire burns your home and property. And then they go to court and prevail on you if your fire burns on them.

It is time to fight back. The Federal Government is now the bully on the forest playground. It is time to stand up to the bully or to capitulate and forever keep your silence.

22 Aug 2009, 9:58am
by John M.


22 Aug 2009, 5:37pm
by Foo Furb

Excellent posting by bear bait! Here are some short-cuts Tiny is using on other blogs and websites to make these same points:



Maybe something really can be done, before it is too late. Bear bait seems to be an optimist on this point, and offers a good strategy for others to become involved.

22 Aug 2009, 5:49pm
by Larry H.

I’m taking a different slant. It’s easy to “preach to the choir” but I like to venture into other areas to try and change public opinion using science and common sense.

In Facebook, I’ve joined the Smokey Bear “friends” page and an encountering “regular folks” who love forests. Some try to say the same old tired “fire is good” rhetoric but, it’s pretty easy to bring facts to debunk that way of thinking. Even some Forest Service folks on there try to promote that flawed concept. Luckily, politics isn’t so prevalent there and the message gets through… I think.

I also go to other sites where the “faithful” still cling to their idealistic dogma drama of preservationism, where THEIR Precautionary Principle has an “escape clause”. Often, they choose to ignore me, labeling me as a “troll”, and hoping I’ll go away.

23 Aug 2009, 1:41am
by Foo Furb

Larry H.:

Your strategy is a good one, but don’t forgo Tiny’s help with the links.

It’s one thing to preach to the choir, and another to be Daniel in the lion’s den, but it’s best to get all sides on the same page whenever possible.

I think that’s the crux of bear bait’s message, and his intent. He’s still using “science and common sense,” but expanding the audience to include local media and politicians, as well as the concerned citizens you are corresponding with.

The enviros will be last to go, and probably against their own will and best efforts. Kicking and screaming and threatening apocalypse on us “deniers.”



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