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Environmentalists fail to prove their case

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Environmentalists fail to prove their case

Postby hikerduane » Sat Jan 21, 2006 9:17 am

Where I live on/in the Plumas NF in Northern CA, plans can continue to reduce fuel loads (log, thin) trees after a fight by environmentalists. The project was to reduce fuel loads, and reduce threat of fire to the Meadow Valley area by logging selected trees and thinning and burning brush and slash. According to the radio report I was listening to this morning on KJDX, a judge determined that a plan put forth by the Forest Service and the Quincy Library Group (QLG) would be allowed to proceed without further fear of being stopped by the courts. Environmentalists failed to prove the plan would do damage, would not reduce fuel loading. They also failed to prove any accumulative damage to spotted owl habitat. The reporter went on to report that the Forest Service had done a very good job of proving there case (my words) and the environmental group could not prove their case.

This work was started a couple years ago by the Forest Service doing some thinning of small trees and burning brush. The logging could not start until this was resolved. The work is and will be close to where I live (within a 1/4 mile). From what I have seen so far, the effect is a very park like look. You can actually see for aways now. This greatly reduces the threat of a catastrophic fire where I live so they say. I guess it would be what you could call an urban interface. From talking with customers and Forest Service employees from my old job, they say there are more spotted owls out there than was previously thought. An old logger said there were even some in a building at a sawmill up by Happy Camp or someplace up there in that area. I've seen one a couple times close to where I live, but it has been a number of years now.
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Postby mountaineer » Sat Jan 21, 2006 11:03 am

Please name one case environmentalists DID prove.

Their judgement is clouded by their tunnel vision and inability to look at the big picture.
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Postby hikerduane » Sat Jan 21, 2006 12:55 pm

I missed part of the story before my ears picked up on it. In the Fall a couple years ago, I ran across a FS employee I knew who was supervising a controlled burn and he blamed the environmentalists back east for holding up further work.

Years ago when I joined the Friends of Plumas Wilderness and not having my eyes all the way open, I found out quickly that quite a few environmentalists don't want any activity on the forests, public or private. Some grab at anything to stop logging, they don't need a reason or evidence. A balance should be found, whether it be financial feasibility or environmentally related.

The pilot project that the QLG had gotten passed by Congress has been held up for years. It was only going to last for 5 years. Locals started the group and what is funny is that the lawyer on it is a member of the Sierra Club, who disagrees with the views from the main organization.
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Postby BSquared » Sat Jan 21, 2006 6:45 pm

mountaineer wrote:Please name one case environmentalists DID prove.

Their judgement is clouded by their tunnel vision and inability to look at the big picture.


Um let's see: Telico Dam, Northern Spotted Owl vs. Washington old-growth logging, DDT fouls up osprey and pelican reproduction... I think there's a pretty long list, actually. No doubt there are some environmentalists who prefer power to truth, but it's certainly not true of all of them. Of all of us, I should say.

-B2
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Postby gdurkee » Sat Jan 21, 2006 9:05 pm

"Please name one case environmentalists DID prove.
Their judgement is clouded by their tunnel vision and inability to look at the big picture."


Faint the bugle's call; far off, an ancient but still spry ranger unlimbers from the Yoga: "Guards the Frontier from Dumb Shi#ts" and assumes the Stance of: "Geez, they can't be serious."

To BSquared's list he adds:

1) The Ozone Hole: remember that? Models predicted that if Chlorofluorocarbons were reduced, it would begin to get smaller. Amidst much grumbling that those pointy-head scientists didn't know what they were talking about, laws were passed to do just that. Shazzam! The Ozone hole is getting smaller.

2) As BSquared: You youngsters may not remember the intense hand wringing and cries of "bad science" when it was proposed to ban DDT because of it's effect on (among other things -- including humans) the Brown Pelican and the Peregrine Falcon. Laws were passed and Shazzam! both started recovering immediately! DDT levels in mother's milk were reduced and eliminated.

3) Air pollution. Once again outright opposition in the 60s and 70s to reducing emissions from cars and industrial sources. "Fixing it will ruin the economy. Make us less competitive!" they cried. Guess what? It created an economy based on trying to do the right thing; reducing potential kids dying from asthma complications; reducing the number of adults dying or visiting hospitals from COPD complications. A long, long, long (!) way to go, but it's been absolutely proven to work and to be worth the cost.

4) The very lands some of you dinosaurs prattle on about how much you love to hike in: Do you think for a moment that Yosemite or Sequoia Kings, or the John Muir Wilderness would have been set aside for you to hike in, fish in, take photographs in, find peace in had it not been for a small but ferociously dedicated group of people -- of "environmentalists" -- fighting to set it aside against the lumber, mining, and real estate interests? It would not have happened and, had you been born a hundred years ago, you would have opposed and derided and sneered at even those efforts.

4) Unless you're living in a cave and fed only gruel by mute nuns: Global Warming due to human activity. The evidence is pretty close to irrefutable: rising global temperatures; melting ice caps; rising sea levels; huge changes in temperature and precipitation patterns throughout the world; changing crops and water sources -- to say nothing of its effect on pikas and forests and frogs and cougars. Much of the change is in the pipeline -- that is, unstoppable whatever we may be able to do now. But the effects may (!) be able to be mitigated by action starting now.

The "big picture" must, then, be favoring absolute profit over health; the short term and selfish interests of a bloated and corrupt oligarchy over the needs of a society, a country and a planet.

So could we, maybe, stop, here, now, the "them environmentalists" knee-jerk attitude and substitute thought and facts?


*************


Rheumy eyes face once more into the sun as he assumes the position of "Lone Ranger stares down the mutants." In school yards across the land, basketballs fall still; in bars conversation pauses; a hush falls as a cleansing wind of Truth sweeps across the land.


The Song of Finis

AT the edge of All the Ages
A Knight sate on his steed,
His armor red and thin with rust
His soul from sorrow freed;
And he lifted up his visor
From a face of skin and bone,
And his horse turned head and whinnied
As the twain stood there alone.

No bird above that steep of time
Sang of a livelong quest;
No wind breathed,
Rest:
"Lone for an end!" cried Knight to steed,
Loosed an eager rein--
Charged with his challenge into space:
And quiet did quiet remain.

Walter De La Mare


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Without the First Amendment, the others are just empty promises.
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Postby quentinc » Sat Jan 21, 2006 9:34 pm

Thank you, Mr. Durkee.
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Postby AldeFarte » Sat Jan 21, 2006 10:15 pm

OH MY GOSH! The zeal with which you attack ,with your religious dogma is breathtaking. We are both true believers on opposite sides. I am leary about posting my thoughts on these subjects, because I don't want to be mean and hurt feelings. A few or a lot of facts sprinkled in a study ,or argument does not make a conclusion true. We are in the middle of a long term warming trend and mankind is no more responsible for it than we were for the cataclysmic Bretz floods on the Columbia during the last ice age. There is a new study out that trees are a Major producer of methane gas. Ronald Reagan was right! Nature causes more "pollution" than we could even contemplate. The ozone hole myth is another conclusion gathered from a bunch of "facts". Yes there is a seasonal northern and southern thinning in the ozone layer. No ,mankind is not responsible. It is and will be ever thus. I could go on , but I reiterate that I mean no malice. So don't take it personal. I submit that we have our parks and other protected lands only because of our capitalist system. And the 1st amendment would be weak night water without the 2nd amendment to back it up. jls
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Postby Buck Forester » Sat Jan 21, 2006 10:32 pm

My completely total professional views on this subject, from my Christian perspective, is that God told us to care for creation, to take care of it in a responsible manner. There needs to be a balance between our human needs and preserving the wilderness, and we haven't done such a good job of it. John Muir is one of my "heroes", in that he saved such marvels of God's wondrous creation from the greed of individual men. But I also recognize that John Muir was much different than some of the whacky "environmentalists" of today, who do not look for balance. Take the Sierra Club he founded, for example. I used to belong to the Sierra Club and loved going on their outings, but they have become such a liberal political machine that delves into issues way beyond the environment that I no longer associate myself with them. It's really too bad and I think John Muir is rolling in his grave. And the Sierra Club is tame compared to some other orgs. But that said, there are some wonderful conservation organizations that still truly care about the environment in and of itself, and not making it part of a bigger, radical, left-wing agenda. It alienates so many people who would otherwise join the cause. It's all about common sense and balance and working together. I wish there was more of that from both sides.
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Postby JM21760 » Sun Jan 22, 2006 3:04 am

Makes you wonder what used to go on around the forests 200 years ago, before the Native Americans had chainsaws, fire arms, and the concept of money, and their "Home Range" was stolen from them. Boy, there was an opportunity wasted to get rich, and then die, huh? Well, I guess that happens when you are living on the land, in harmony with Nature. Obviously, everything is much better now. Cash is now the new God of Native Americans, and certain "other political" folks, who sing the praises of Money. It's a wonder, how Native humans were able to survive so long, without a paycheck to grab some Quarter Pounders, and a 40 of Mickey's. How did the forests survive hundreds of years, without man's intervention? Luck? It seems that Harmony within Nature, is not harmonic, between Man and Animal. The persuit of personal gain, overrides the concept. "It's all about me"! The underlying foment of this day and age, that I "Might be able to make a few bucks", on a Natural Concept is an all encompassing goal of an industrial life. It would be interesting if a Cat was able to "Pelt" a human. Is a human more deserving, to remove life from a cat? Or, should a Cat, be offfered the same chance? Is the Cat less deserving to defend it's self? Are Men, superior to any life form on this earth? Does the Creator set some Species up for Man to just Blast away at, for entertainment? Why is a Cat, one of God's creatures, in a balanced enviroment, any less than you? What is the reason, one must see fit, to kill one of God's animals? What is the egocentric plan, for someone to use a firearm, to "Snipe" a proud animal of God, from 200 yards away? The sport does not give an animal a chance. What, is the "Thrill", of killing an animal, just looking for some food? Why, do people like to kill God's creatures, while they are just trying to survive? Cannot you live in Harmony with God's creations?
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Postby BSquared » Sun Jan 22, 2006 5:32 am

Heheheh. This would be funny if it weren't so sad. I remember going to a potluck with a bunch of sailors and overhearing a guy talking about how "the environmentalists" had waited until he'd got his beautiful vacation home half built (on "his" wetland) before suing him (successfully) to get him to stop. I had to bite my tongue to avod saying, "Yeah, we just LOVE to do things like that! Har har, get 'em going and then shoot 'em down! Yee-har!" I guess I don't understand why so many people seem to view environmentalism this way.

There's no doubt that some environmentalists, in some times and in some places, have acted like a bunch of hysterical hyenas. But there's also no doubt that environmentalism, generally, has had real, positive effects on the world we live in, from preserving wetlands to bringing back the osprey, eagle, and pelican, to --as George so succinctly put it -- protecting the very lands we love to hike in and write about on High-Sierra Topix.

Sorry, but I have to respond to AldeFart: be careful what you read, and avoid the web in favor of printed, reviewed material. I WORK on (and teach about) stuff like the ozone hole and global warming. They're real, they're dangerous, and they're caused by human activities. There is simply no serious doubt among people who have studied the questions. And yes, plants probably do put out some methane (though the study is extremely recent and still controversial), but it's a drop in the bucket in terms of overall global warming: CO2 is the serious culprit here, and it's the SUVs and power-plants that, somehow, are going to have to change, one way or another.

-B2
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Postby hikerduane » Sun Jan 22, 2006 10:16 am

My memory is short term most of the time, but wasn't there something out recently about ice samples from thousands of years ago showing CO2 levels are higher now then they were then? Meaning there is global warming from the story. I was doubting the global warming thing but have some doubts now after that. Anyone else put a spin or further interpretation on the story?
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Postby AldeFarte » Sun Jan 22, 2006 10:17 am

Like I said. True believers..... Wonder how life goes on outside of park boundaries. If a little is good, then a lot is better. That is my fear about the conflict between the enviro's frog excuse and fishing in the sierra's as we know it today. That is just one more way to get us out of the backcountry and thereby "saving" the place for them. How sad so many have such a separate reality. Oh well, time to deal with my reality. Shovel snow . jls
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