Hope?

The government had long been a major force in the destruction of the very society it has been set up to govern and protect. Requiring property taxes instead of only income tax and import taxes has ruined many a poor farmer or homeowner. Decades of misbegotten farm policies and agriculture schools and extension agents trying to get farmers to use more machinery, new chemicals, and new techniques has killed many a farm and ruined much land. Forestry schools do the same thing, sitting on the knees of corporate logging, and our forests are a mess as a result of it. Then, more misbegotten education about the “healthiness” of forest fires is causing even more damage to our forests and forest resources!
I’d like to quote Janisse Ray, a writer and activist. Someone asked her how she stayed hopeful. After thinking about it, she realized that hope is not necessary. She says, ” Hope is important to me, but I want to stress that I do not act because I have hope. I act whether I have hope or not. It is useless to reply on hope as motivation to do what’s necessary and just and right. ” So, people, just do it! Just speak out, buy organic, buy less stuff, don’t use tree paper, don’t support the people who are destroying our natural world! Don’t support non-sustainable forestry. Don’t drive as much, etc., etc. You all know what to do! So, forget hope and just live right. Don’t wait any longer!
(Quote by Janisse Ray in her book, The Seed Underground)

Property Tax is Theft!

Property tax is theft! It is income tax that should pay for our society, government, and community; not the tax on people’s homes, farms, or small businesses. Only a tax on the income people make is fair enough to ensure that small businesses won’t fail, and that people will not lose their homes or land to corporate and government greed. It is not that people don’t want to work, it is that they have been driven into huge debt by inflation caused by corporations trying to monopolize everything from land to labor to products, and many have become scared of the risks, so they can’t even start.

An act of Compassion

There is a meditation center that states on their website that not using fragrance is an act of compassion for the few people who are sensitive, allergic, or bothered by it, and, hence, have few options and many places unavailable to them. More people should practice this act of compassion in towns, stores, work places, etc., so those who are made ill by others’ choice of products are not limited to isolation and poverty. More people should practice acts of compassion in their lifestyle regarding use of resources, recycling, reducing, re-using, etc., so that other creatures do not have their homes and habitat destroyed by greedy, gratuitous human “needs”. Thank you, those who do practice these acts of compassion!

People don’t care

People don’t care about the forest. It doesn’t even affect their life (now, but when all is deforested, then it will). People can look down from a plane or from across the valley and it looks fine. It still looks like a forest. But, if you get down in it and walk, you can see how damaging it was and how ugly it is. Moister slopes were burned, because the forest service says they “aren’t supposed to be there”!! In those moister areas, small creatures like frogs and salamanders have been killed off. It has taken 5 years for birds to nest in this area again. The first to come back are the bugs and the rodents. Even the elk have not fully returned. They are staying in denser areas, more remote, or along the edge of large ranches. Yes, they like open meadows, but only if it is safe. Of course, public forest is not safe from humans for them, especially if it is completely open with no cover.
Not only has what the forest service done been damaging to wildlife, it is damaging psychologically to humans. It’s ugly, quite frankly. It’s like someone has borrowed your favorite blanket and put several cigarette holes in it and then returned it, saying ” It’s still good. It’s still usable! ” And the forest IS our blanket, not theirs! They are paid government employees, so they sacrifice their right to ownership, and they damaged our forest. They are ruining and changing mid-level forests into something else (I still don’t understand their animosity towards Douglas firs!)

This will break your heart if you love forests

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This is the 9-mile area before the USFS started burning it. All other photos of my Forest Service pictures are of the same area, burned and ruined by just plain stupidity and greed for a government paycheck!

The Usual USFS practices

I came back into the western forests this spring to the area of the old “planned” USFS burn, and even more mature and adult (40-60 years old) trees have died and fallen. All were in the heavily burned areas (using “napalm” balls), but were not killed immediately by the fire — it’s been seven years. Some of these were scorched at the base; others were not, however, trees within 10 feet of them had been completely burned — some where the roots had burned out, leaving huge holes, and others where the roots were killed but seemingly intact, yet uprooted when the trees fell. Conifers that close to each other must intertwine their root system, since conifers send out a wide but shallow root structure in, basically, a circle from the trunk. This is like having a wide base on the end of a wineglass stem so it will stand upright. Now, this underground base was partially damaged due to the killing of trees within it’s circle and the destruction of their roots (break off half of the wineglass base and see how well it stands, especially if you blow on it, like the wind).
It truly amazes me that people in the USFS could do this kind of “forest management”. How can they be so clueless and stupid? The answer is that everyone in the higher positions of the bureaucracy are just political and are servants to corporations. They’re after keeping their paycheck. Everyone at the bottom is young, like in the military — too young to know better, too young to have any experience or knowledge. All textbooks are written with a slant towards logging rather than forest habitat or forest ecosystem. And anyone with true knowledge is not hired,  or is fired, harassed, ostracized, pressured and outcast. People are pressured to leave or pressured to agree.
Apparently, they are done with this area — over 10 years of systematic forest destruction, the entire area ruined — but they plan to move on to Petty Creek with their destruction.
One more note — they never posted, nor closed the areas they burned. I was, once, a mile or two away from an area they began burning and had to drive through it the next day to get out. It was like a war zone, still smoking and burning (no one ever there monitoring it), and all the good browsing was burned (it was an area that didn’t even need burning –grouse huckleberry, kinnikinic, sedges and grass all destroyed for no reason!). And, people who live in the area are seasonally subjected to the pollution and subsequent health problems. Petty Creek is also a populated area.
And, why is it that people who claim to “love nature” only destroy it and use it? They hunt, shoot, kill, cut live trees, dig up the soil and destroy the undergrowth, drive noisy polluting ATVs off road, etc., etc., etc.

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Worse than ever due to Forest Service burning!

Aside

A friend of mine, Don, who owns Earth Oven Breads and sells his bread at the Farmer’s market, said that he and his wife have generated almost no garbage over the last 15 years — every time they buy something, they think of how they are going to dispose of it and it’s packaging, whether it is recycling, re-using, or going to the landfill. This is something we all can do to reduce our environmental impact!