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mikeolichney

Wall Street Journal vs the Greens

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"saw this article in the Wall Street Journal Opinion Page. Tuesday, July 2,

2002

Greens Go Up in Smoke

Will sensible forest policies rise from the ashes?

Fires continue to roar through the West, aided by drought and allegedly in

some cases by arson. But as the damage stretches into a million acres and

billions of dollars, other culprits are coming in focus--especially the

high-powered environmental groups that have dominated U.S. forest policy for

at least a decade.

"The policies that are coming from the East Coast, that are coming from the

environmentalists, that say we don't need to log, we don't need to thin our

forests are absolutely ridiculous," Arizona Governor Jane Dee Hull said

recently. "Nobody on the East Coast knows how to manage these fires and I

for one have had it."

Her frustration is shared by many Westerners, who have now seen far too

closely the consequences of environmentalist policy. If there's been any

benefit to these awful fires, it's the education they're providing to

suburban voters. Their anger is spilling over into this year's election

campaigns, and is causing the greens to deny their own handiwork. As

Colorado Governor Bill Owens told us recently regarding the need for more

forest management: "The debate is largely over."

What the fires have exposed is just how extreme even today's "mainstream"

environmental activists have become. Once upon a time the Sierra Club and

Wilderness Society were concerned with the wise human stewardship of natural

resources and wilderness. But in recent decades a view has taken hold among

these groups that often sees human beings as the scourge of pristine Mother

Earth.

This no-human philosophy lies behind the Big Green litigation and lobbying

that opposed the very thinning and road-building that would clean up forests

to protect them from fire. The result is that this fire year is now shaping

up as the worst on record: Some 2.7 million acres have already burned,

nearly three times the average acreage for this time of year.

All of this has put the leading environmental groups, accustomed to a free

media ride, on the defensive for the first time in decades. The Sierra

Club's Carl Pope has called any criticism a "disturbing display of cynical

politics," which is of course a way of changing the subject. Governor Hull,

by the way, is term limited and not running for re-election.

But for the most part, the Big Green groups have been retreating faster than

the Italian Africacorps. After these columns recently pointed out the "Fires

Are Good" headline on the National Wildlife Federation Web site, we went

back to the site for another look, but the words had ysteriously

disappeared. The Sierra Club, which used to praise the uses of fire, now has

a "guide" for homeowners to protect themselves from fire.

But none of this absolves the groups from their previous agitation. Only

last summer, for instance, residents of the Black Hills in South Dakota met

with the U.S. Forest Service to discuss protecting their homes from fire.

The contribution at the time from Brad Brademeyer, a local Sierra Club

official, was that "If [people]don't want to live with the forest or be with

the forest, then they should move."

Then there's the "science" the groups continue to ply on their Web sites to

justify opposition to forest management. The Sierra Club says that "the only

real environmental damage associated with forest fires comes from human

attempts to extinguish and prevent them." The Center for Biological

Diversity and the National Forest Protection Alliance inform us,

counter-intuitively to say the least, that logging is responsible for the

fires. And the National Wildlife Federation says that "In fact, many animals

and plants not only survive, but thrive, after fire." They don't manage to

explain how

thinning "destroys habitat," while burning it down in its entirety makes

animals "thrive."

Clinton-era Forest Chief Mike Dombeck recently sent us a letter objecting to

our editorial on this subject, but in the process he made our very point.

His letter said forest management would lead to "intensely managed

industrial forest plantations," as if this was the only alternative to

catastrophic fire. Mr. Dombeck spent his time at the Forest Service

insisting he was a moderate, but his letter shows otherwise.

Even worse are the continuing appeals and litigation. Environmental groups

swamp the Forest Service and other agencies with appeals and lawsuits each

year, in an attempt to block even modest cleanup efforts. Readers can visit

the Forest Service site <http://www.fs.fed.us/forests> to see for

themselves.

Last week, Mark Rey, Undersecretary of Natural Resources and Environment at

the Agriculture Department, requested that the Forest Service conduct a

detailed report of the environmental groups' role in big fires. It will look

not just at the legal appeals, but also at the money and time the Service

spends attempting to guard its plans from legal action in the first place.

Based on their track record, the people who should pay for that study are

the environmental groups that created the problem."

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Thanks for the posting of this article. If there is a bright side to all of this maybe people will start seeing what the greenies are all about and instead support responsible forest policy.

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I'm absolutly sure if you gothrough all of what was once rampart you will find many of these thrived carcasses burned to crisps. F**k the Sierra Club and the morons in it.oldasdirt :D:):D

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If we could only get these Forest Service workers from starting these fires.

:)

Brandon

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It look like the Sierra Club is beginning to reap what it has sown.

Thanks for posting. We should get "Sierra Club destroys forests" T-shirts made up.

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"the only real environmental damage associated with forest fires comes from human

attempts to extinguish and prevent them."

WHAT!!....oh oh yeah, yup, that's right, I forgot, it's all our fault........we shouldn't be in the forests if we don't want to get burned up, oh excuse me, we shouldn't "be with the forests" if we don't want to get burned up........ what a bunch of fricken morons!!!

Sorry, this whole topic just set's me off.....

Dodger :D:)

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Bravo Bravo!!! I can only hope this is just the begining :)

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Great article, the greens are master spin doctors but this one is going to be hard for them to run from.

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Typical greenie tactic, duck and cover when the heat is headed back your way. I love the way the greenies defend their positions by saying that its all our fault that the forests are burning.

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I personally would like to wear a shirt that says the Sierra Club destroys forests, or the Sierra Club is a lie, or perhaps Hang Carl Pope,

Now before any soft hearted individuals get all sensative on the 3rd part, remember this is a joke. I would not advocate harm to people, but maybe we could pull him behind our motorcycles with a buddy tow.

But the not the the first part, get the shirt made and I'll buy one.

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FINALLY!!! Some mainstream media types are finally getting the point! We need to take advantage of this. The greenies would.

Consider me for one XL.

Dan

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Oh Oh Oh........no seriousely........I live in the heartland of greenies.......I need one of these shirts just for laughs on Pearl Street.......!!!!!!!

Dodger :D:)

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This is a religion to the greens. They follow the teachings of Carl Pope as if he WERE the Pope!

They speak reverently about being "with the forests" as a taliban soldier speaks of being with the 70-odd virgins.

They pursue their agenda with the commitment and fervor of Osama bin Laden does his agenda.

Come to think of it, the greens are a lot like the radical fundamentalists that want to bring down the tried and true institutions of the United States. They have many things in common.

The most obvious of which is a "by any means necessary" policy (remind me.....what exactly is the difference between eco-terrorism and islamic fundamentalist terrorism?). That is dangerous, and our mainstream media needs to see them in that light! Keep up the pressure. I'll buy one of those t-shirts. Especially if it refers to them as the ENVIRO-TALIBAN.

Dan

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On a rather interesting side note, I was riding up a long North Fork/South Fork/Middle Fork this weekend, just north of Breckenridge with some buddies of mine. We ended up on Georgia Pass later in the day, and found ourselves amongst 2 national guard personel in a Hummer, and 2 forest service personel in a forest service truck. They were up on the pass to keep an eye on the forest for fires, and to make sure people stayed out of Pike National forest.

Out of the 4 of us, two of us had our 2003 OHV stickers on our bikes. All of us have our bikes Colorado street legal, and all are paid up on our registration dues. One of the forest service guys was hassling my buddy about not having his OHV stickers (in a friendly way). Now, Matt was pretty sure that he didn't need to purchase the OHV stickers if the bike was registered in the state, and my other buddy Brian was under the same impression. So, does anyone from CO know if this is true or not?? BTW, after the Forest service folks headed off, we were joking with the National Guard guys about this particular debate. Matt chimed in that he should have given them a little crap about how the Forest service personnel should be more worried about keeping their own from setting fires than about weather or not OHV stickers are required if the vehicle is registered in the state. We were promply told by the National Guard guys that that would probably been a bad idea..........beside poor taste, we asked why..........turns out that the lady that started the Hayman fire was out of their office :):D !

Good thing we know enough to keep our mouths shut :D .

Dodger :D:D

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You and your buddies are right, you do NOT need an OHV sticker/registration if the bike is already licensed for street legal riding. While a remark like what you had in mind might not have been the best thing to do, I would still give you all high fives. Because of what a Forest Service employee did, about 3/4 of my favorite riding area has burnt. What are the odds that some bogus excuse will be used to keep that area closed? ie- concern about erosion damage. Makes me want to come up short on a jump over 20 greenies laid head to toe, waaay short.

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