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!!FOREST PLAN ALERT!!!
What's at Stake Part IX: Tree Harvesting / Resource Recovery
July 27, 2004

"Human happiness, and certainly human fecundity, is not as important as a wild and healthy planets...Some of us can only hope for the right virus to come along."
-David Graber, biologist, National Park Service

"Allowing the Sierra Club and the Center for Biological Diversity to dictate our economic and political direction - through their environmental agenda - is like letting Micheal Jackson baby sit your 12 year old son."
-Chris Vargas "AKA" Dances with Hornets

To satisfy the "Green God," are you willing to give up the technology that has cleaned our air, cleaned our water and increased our lifespan and lowered infant mortality dramatically over the last 100 years? To satisfy the "Green God," are you willing to stop all resource recovery? As China rises in the east granting more and more freedom to its people and growing at an astounding rate as an economic and military power, is America's sunset before her as China's dawn as the future Leviathan rises?

As the Sierra Club, Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) and the rest of the environmental movement campaigns to remove access to our public lands through use of the Wilderness Act, Endangered Species Act, Forest Plans, Invasive Species legislation, lawsuits etc., what effect will this have our ability to get the raw materials that support our economy? Should we stop all resource recovery? Does the environmental movement support any resource recovery? Are they really stopping resource recovery or just moving the impact to other areas?

From our past mistakes and the resulting degradation, we understand that our public lands must be managed. We must conserve our public lands, they must be intelligently managed to provide for the needs of society, and for future generations. That is why we must not forget the economic importance of or public lands - or we will suffer the consequences.

As I mentioned in our last update, in their rush to lock up our public lands, do environmentalists support any resource recovery that will support our economic system? Have you ever read an article where they point out a mining, drilling or logging operation they support? Have they ever addressed how our economy will operate under their eco-socialist mandate of stopping all resource recovery? Raw materials must come from somewhere and as I mentioned in my last update are those raw materials coming from 3rd World Countries with no oversight?

In a November 8th 2003 Los Angeles Times article titled "Dead Trees Fail to Bring Life to Forest - Disappointing bids from loggers hamper efforts to replant and clear deadwood for fire safety," the decimation of our ability to harvest trees and address forest health i.e. thinning programs was examined.

How did the closing of the saw mills and the statement "California's timber industry has shrunk dramatically"(mentioned in article) come to be - thus making it uneconomical to harvest these trees?

Here are a few clues:

"For one thing, the commercial strategy assumes a vibrant logging economy that does not exist in California."

"California's timber industry has shrunk dramatically, forest economists say, hurt by cheap Canadian competition, A STEEP DROP IN TIMBER OUTPUT IN NATIONAL FORESTS IN THE 1990'S AND THE COST OF DOING BUSINESS IN THE STATE."

"The basic problem is that the industry in California, especially production in the Sierra Nevada, has just gone away in the last decade," observed Rich Thompson, a resource economics and management professor at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. "THE NUMBER OF MILL CLOSURES IS PHENOMENAL. They're gone.

"In 1992, there were 56 timber mills in California. TODAY THERE ARE 29."

"FEWER MILLS MEAN FEWER BIDS."

What part did the environmental movement have over the years in making it nearly impossible to harvest timber, resulting since 1992, in the reduction of mills from 56 to 29?

What part did the Sierra Club and their allies have in creating the conditions expressed in the following statements from the article:

"The basic problem is that the industry in California, especially production in the Sierra Nevada, has just gone away in the last decade,"

Has the Sierra Club's decimation of the logging industry helped to decrease or increase the cost to do fuel reductions? How much of these 19 millions of acres that burned since 2000 would not have burned so devastatingly if some of these areas had trees harvested to restore a mosaic pattern to the forest?

While recycling can provide some of these resources, can recycling provide all of the needed resources? A recent study showed that due to the Sierra Club's almost 30 year campaign to stop the harvesting of trees, California now imports 75 percent of its timber needs, and the environmental movement is campaigning to stop the remaining 25 percent we do harvest.

The statistic of importing 75 percent of our lumber needs comes from a 2003 state report. This 1,400-page draft report by the California Department of Forestry is titled: "Changing California, Forest and Range 2003 Assessment."

"The more we don't produce here, the more it will come from other areas. We're just shuffling our environmental impacts somewhere else," William Stewart, chief of the state's Fire and Resource Assessment Program, told the Sacramento Bee.

Among the report's findings:

» California consumes nearly 15 percent of all of the wood and paper used in the United States, the most of any state.

» California's lumber production is at its lowest level in 20 years, while its timber harvests have fallen 60 percent since 1988. Nationally, logging on federal lands has fallen to its lowest level in half a century.

» The state imports about 75 percent of its wood and paper products from Oregon, the U.S. Southeast, Canada and Europe.

» The downturn means fewer jobs in counties such as Siskiyou and Del Norte, where a quarter of residents' income is from public assistance.

In reality the environmental movement is not stopping the harvesting of trees, mining and drilling they hate, they are just moving the impact elsewhere. Raw materials don't just appear out of nowhere, there is no spontaneous generation. Should we be seeking ways to sustainably provide for our own needs, especially in regards to harvesting timber, which is a renewable resource that grows back? Or should we accept their premise that these activities should be completely stopped and our sole focus should be on protecting endangered species with no thought to how this course of direction will affect us economically?

But we must "save" the Spotted Owl right? Read on:

"The Orange County Register Sunday, July 4, 2004

Spotted-owl 'science' is endangered

Ten years ago, an allegedly declining number of northern spotted owls in the Pacific Northwest was used by environmentalists and the Clinton administration to virtually shut down the cutting of so-called old growth forests on public lands across the region. The policy, not surprisingly, has been catastrophic for the area's economy and turned many once-thriving timber towns into rural ghettos, with high unemployment rates and increased reliance on government handouts, including federal "spotted owl payments."

But a decade later, what has resulted from of this costly effort to save the beloved spotted owl? Nothing much, as it turns out. The owl's numbers aren't rebounding, as expected, and this trend has less to do with the preservation of forests, scientists are now realizing, than with the predatory predilections of a winged rival, the barred owl.

The second owl, originally from Canada, has been involved in a century-long invasion of the spotted owl's habitat. And as invasive species are prone to do, it is wiping out the established animal.

Further complicating the situation is the fact that the two species evidently have interbred, raising questions about which of the owl variations, if any, merit continued federal protections under the Endangered Species Act.

But rather than admit that the reason for the owl's problems isn't really the harvesting of trees and reverse direction, or acknowledge that the mistake has needlessly cost thousands of people their livelihoods, owl advocates seem poised to execute a classic bait and switch. One expert on a panel currently advising the federal government about what to do next recently suggested that still more government actions would be needed to "save" an owl not being wiped out by man, but by another owl. "The spotted owl really taught us a lot about conservation in the last decade in terms of (preserving habitat)," the expert said. "Now it's going to teach us what kind of sacrifices we have to make to battle some of these new threats."

Another expert suggested that the only way to rebuild spotted owl populations was to begin killing off barred owls and see what happens.

But all this case really has "taught us" is the folly that ensues when the government acts based on flawed, biased or immature science. And we don't see what "sacrifices" owl experts or wildlife advocacy groups have made at all in this situation. All the sacrifices have been made by the thousands of people who have lost their livelihoods as a result of this debacle, and the taxpayers now paying to support them."

States such as Oregon that are stopping the harvesting or trees (once a primary job source) and economic development, either by policy or by lawsuits filed by environmentalists, are increasingly seeing their state economic status decline. But California, the 5th or 6th largest economy in the world, by federal taxation, is becoming the sugar daddy of states such as these, subsidizing them with the federal tax dollars of Californians. But as the eco-socialists attack the economy of California, currently in debt to tune of billions, can California continue to be the golden goose?

I'm I saying the sole purpose of our public lands should be resource recovery and recreation? - NO! But we must seek a balance that provides what John Stewart called the triangle of Forest Management: preservation, recreation and resource recovery. It is just as extreme to say our sole objective in the management of our public lands it to provide for resource recovery (or recreation) as it is to say our sole objective should be to protect endangered species. For the sake of the future of our country we must find solutions that provide for all three aspects of forest management in a balanced and reasoned way.

Are we capable of managing our pubic lands in a balanced and reasoned way? Should we accept the premise that the redemption of nature, the preservation of it in a "static" state is dependant on the decline of mankind, and preservation should be our sole purpose? Or should we place our faith in our ability to rise to the occasion, evolve and advance our civilization to overcome the conflicts that face us? To accept the premise of the environmental movement that mankind's survival is secondary to all else will certainly doom us to failure and result in the decline of our civilization, a condition many environmentalists have hoped for.

I for one will place my faith in mankind and our ability to advance and evolve to meet the challenges that we face, if not for my sake, for the sake of future generations; that is the legacy I want to leave.

We have the luxury of worrying about our environment, and as I stated in my last update, a luxury not shared by others in the undeveloped world that are more concerned with putting bread on the table and a roof over their heads.

As President and the father of our National Park system Teddy Roosevelt stated in a speech he made to foresters in 1903:

"And now, first and foremost, you can never afford to forget for a moment what is the object of our forest policy. That object is not to preserve forests because they are beautiful, though that is good in itself; nor because they are refuges for the wild creatures of the wilderness, though that, too, is good in itself; but the primary object of our forest policy -- as of the land policy of the United States -- is the making of prosperous homes. It is part of the traditional policy of home making in our country. Every other consideration comes as secondary.

You, yourselves, have got to keep this practical object before your minds; to remember that a forest which contributes nothing to the wealth, progress or safety of the country is of no interest to the government -- and should be of little interest to the forester. Your attention must be directed to the preservation of forests, not as an end in itself, but as the means of preserving and increasing the prosperity of the nation."

The environmental movement, which had its beginnings come about for good reason, has evolved into a morally bankrupt eco-socialist movement that discounts the good in mankind and seeks policies detrimental to our survival and freedom. They hide their ideology and agenda behind slogans such as "Protect and Restore our Forests!" fearful that if the public actually understands what they are advocating, such as in their Forest Plan Alternative 6, they will be defeated. Would we accept a government that operated in this way, deceiving the public and hiding from them the actions that will directly affect their freedom to access their public lands?

This elite attitude, that they know what is best for "the masses" is not new. It is an attitude shared by the worst regimes in history. Many of these regimes also believed they would create nirvana on earth. But as history has shown these regimes were relegated to the dustbins of history. China understood this and changed course over 30 years ago, reforming and allowing their people more and more personal and economic freedom, freedom that they had been denied in the past. During this 30 years China has become an economic miracle, and as America turns to adopt the socialist policies of China's past, China heads in the opposite direction continuing to reform and allowing more freedom.

As China grows in freedom and in economic and military power, will America, under the leadership and control of the environmental eco-socialists, abdicate its' position as the "Leviathan?"

"I know in my heart that man is good... and there is a purpose and worth to each and every life."
-Ronald Reagan

In our next update we will offer a challenge to the Press, the Sierra Club and the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD).

You are being given the opportunity to protect your freedom to access your public lands by commenting on the future of your forests; please take this responsibility seriously.

We will be evaluating and commenting on the forest plans before the comment period ends in August. We will be releasing these comments to our supporters to evaluate with an email address to the Forest Planning Team so you can comment too. Please do your part to protect your access by visiting our web site for this information or sign up on our email list to be kept informed on the forest plans.

If you missed our past Forest Plan Updates:

What's at Stake Part I (fire management)
What's at Stake Part II (roads/Access)
What's at Stake Part III (mountain biking)
What's at Stake Part IV (Vision)
What's at Stake Part V (The Wildlands Project)
What's at Stake Part VI (Ideology - Economic/Governmental)
What's at Stake Part VII (Ideology - Nature)
What's at Stake Part VIII (Ideology - 3rd World Development)

you can view them by clicking on the "view recent forest plan alerts" drop down list on the top of this page.


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