Sunday, January 9, 2011

Casualties of Mismanaged Forests

By most peoples standards, I am a young man. Yet when I try telling my son how the forests I grew up in used to be green, or how thousands of people were employed and making healthy livings off renewable resources, I feel old.

 I feel like my grandpa must have felt when he would tell me stories about the great depression and how he went to work for the Civilian Conservation Corps clearing timber and building park benches by hand, to get our nation back to work.

Click Here for Photo of Now Extinct Sawmill Once Located at Cascade, ID

For today, as you are reading this: The forest I grew up in, once thriving with logging and mining companies desperate to find employees, at whatever wage they were willing to accept, are gone. The great depression is at our doorsteps once more. Only this time, it has a new ally against the American people: Bureaucrats and all their red tape!

If the great depression were to happen today, and Franklin Roosevelt were still alive, it would be over 40 years before the Hoover dam could be built. There would be all the environmental impact studies to deal with, NEPA, DEQ, USFWS, NMF, OSHA, Planning and Zoning, USFS, BLM, Dept. of the Inferior (Interior, I always get those mixed up!).

I offer you exhibit A: $350 million of your and my tax dollars being spent to REMOVE hydro-electric dams, similar to the Hoover.

The Associated Press

LAKE MILLS, Wash. — An army of excavators has started ripping out a 37-acre grove of alder trees on the Olympic Peninsula's Elwha River in the first stage of what's being billed as the largest dam removal project in the nation's history.

So not only are no dams being installed, which produce the cheapest electricity known to man and that contribute to our nation's prosperity: but in fact, the enviro-litigious groups have won out and our prosperity is getting flushed down the river along with the dams.

If Franklin Roosevelt Tried to Build the Hoover Dam Today
There would be 20 or more enviro-litigious groups looking to make a profit from the Equal Access to Justice Act. Forest plans would be evaluated and re-evaluated. Plans of Operations would be submitted, rejected, re-submitted, approved, then fought in court by the zombie-like Sierra Club and similar groups who make millions every time the government moves or breathes, or allows others to move or breathe.

Meanwhile, the soup lines would continue to grow. WWII would have come and gone (our nation would have lost the war, of course), the post-war 50s boom would never have occurred, our ability to put a man on the moon in the 1960s would still be a far-off dream, especially if some biologist's "study" suggested a hole might form in the ozone layer.

And you would not be reading this post right now, because the internet would never have happened.

Falling below communist economic levels

Next, the Chinese or Russians would step in. You would be put into slave camps. They would have you clear cut all our forests, mine all our minerals, and ship them to China and Russia. No environmental studies would be done. Your health would be the least of a foreign government's concern. Our nation would never have known the joys of making a reasonable living from a renewable resource.

Where to find a job?

You can't choose where to put a mine or logging operation. Minerals and timber occur where they want, when they want. If a wilderness is put into place where those occur, then it will be punishable by fines and imprisonment for anyone who wishes to extract them. Hence why CHINA is the only country in the world currently operating rare earth mineral mines and processing facilities. You can thank Jimmy Carter, Ken Salazar, Obama, Mike Crapo and Mike Simpson for ensuring the most economical resources are off limits in recreation and wilderness areas.

They're why billions of board feet of our nation's timber is turned into air polluting forest fires or bark beetle food. While countries in central America clearcut the rain forests and sell them to us to build and repair our houses.

Along with plastics, paper, synthetics made from wood, the average American consumes about 14 pounds of wood each day. The U.S. imports  most of it's forestry dependent products from Canada, Japan, and Mexico.

Example of Waste

In one mega-fire in 2007, the Payette and Boise National Forest destroyed estimated $4 BILLION in timber and over 800,000 acres of prime endangered species habitat. All remaining dead trees are left in place to rot and produce more greenhouse gases such as CO2, Methane and CO.

Much of the burn had been previously logged and replanted for future harvests. In 1993, all logging ceased under the false pretense of preserving salmon critical or spotted owl habitat. Even though NO spotted owls were ever "spotted" on the Payette or Boise National Forests.


Spotted owls have never been known to reside in Idaho, yet tens of thousands of Idaho workers lost their jobs to set the forests aside for spotted owl. According to some radical Payette National Forest employees,  to be burned to the ground in mega-fires is better than having our forests selectively harvested and thinned. Makes their paychecks easier when the forests they manage are turned into range land by bug, fungus infestations and out of control wildfires.

No comments:

Post a Comment