Yelling Fire In A Crowded Forest

Rural Quality Man715This cartoon ran in The Union and a few other publications over ten years ago, during the height of the Natural Heritage 2020 debate. I can’t tell you how many times I heard the “evil logger” mantra from the left, and the case for clearcutting from supporters of Sierra Pacific Industries. The end result was a stalemate that has left the Sierra more vulnerable than ever from the threat of catastrophic fires, the King Fire in Placer and El Dorado Counties being the latest example.

Also, in recent years I’ve heard from many friends that their homeowners insurance has either been canceled or the rates have risen dramatically. Add in another $150 “fire tax” from the state and you have to wonder if there is a concerted effort to rid rural California of the human presence, except for those who can afford it.

Yeah, I know it sounds like tinfoil hat material; another reason to label me as some right wing lunatic because I refuse to toe the party line and I have been known to associate with suspicious Tea Party characters. My bad. And it doesn’t help when I mock my liberal friends when they tout such publications as The San Francisco Chronicle for noticing there’s a problem and that maybe we ought to do something about it. Ya think? We’ve been shouting it for thirty-odd years!

So right away there’s talk of studies and environmental impact reports and here we go again…How many more years will it take to reach a consensus? But then I knew that ten years ago. That’s why I ended the strip with the caveat; “to be continued.”

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1 Response to Yelling Fire In A Crowded Forest

  1. Chris Peterson says:

    Same battle up here in Oregon:
    The logging outfits, which are now mega-enterprises as opposed to the many local outfits that employed whole communities, are so efficient with their clear cut harvesting technologies that they need ever more acreage to sustain year-round operation. (Hence the battle over old growth stands.) They also export every stick of wood to either foreign countries or off-shore, foreign-owned production platforms which, likewise, cuts out the local mills and the communities that they supported. Then they turn around and blame regulation for those floundering towns and bergs. It’s a circle-jerk of logic.

    My biggest complaint is that where they have clear cut, they replace the downed trees with only one specie, which is their bio-engineered, fast grower. Bio-diversity be damned: forests are a business. Meanwhile, because neither side will compromise and return to selective harvesting, the smell of burnt spotted owls and wasted resources permeates the atmosphere every summer.

    Side note: the industry claims that clear cutting is only done on private land. This is accomplished by leasing BLM holdings, (our land), and claiming that it “belongs” to them. Our Senator has proposed a plan which gives them more access to unlogged areas in an attempt to help the small communities that depended on the industry, but all it really does is give the big operations what they want in exchange for a tax increase to subsidize out-of-work independents and their towns. Generational loggers and mill operators, and their communities, on welfare is not the answer.

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