20 Mar 2008, 4:44pm
Federal forest policy
by admin

Spring Devolution

by Bear Bait

I’d be lying if I said I was sitting here contemplating my navel. I am too fat to see it and too dumb to contemplate it.

What I am really doing is reading my American Art Review Magazine [here] that came today. I like to look at art. Even went to a chichi art auction this week. Saw some truely beautiful works.

Here on the Left Coast we see California plein aire paintings all the time. The dudes and dudettes that went out into the country erected their easels and went about painting what they saw. Sort of like photography but with paint brushes and palette knives. In both media the artistes collected visions of a place in a time.

It would be a damned interesting art show that could put a collection of early 20th century paintings together with photos of the same places at that time in California, Oregon, and the rest of the West, and contrast them with photos of the same places today.

My guess is that the vegetative conditions pictured today would not be the one that drew artists and photographers to those spots so long ago. And therein would lie my argument that “preservation” is a charade. I don’t think even art is “preserved” but instead “conserved” for the long haul. Old oils need periodic attention to keep their luster, clarity, and brightness.

I would also say that about forests, but that would draw lots of loud opposition. The very idea that forests need “conservation” to keep their luster, functions, clarity, and brightness is anathema to many. Or at least enough so that our forests continue to decline, even in their “preserved” state (sort of like pickles in Grandma’s pantry).


These days the official position, entirely determined in-house by bureaucrats under the bureaucratic auditor’s gun (dueling bureaucracies), is the lovely policy that we allow fires to burn. Fire is allegedly natural. So is smallpox. And the two serve the same purpose. They reorder the landscape of life. Nothing is more effective than a pandemic or a holocaust to be an instrument of change, if change is what you want. The people who want the US to increase its fight against AIDS are the very same who don’t want the Feds to fight fire at all.

If it is to be the way of humans to let natural things be natural, then why go the expense of fighting disease, urban expansion, population growth, and resource depletion? What could be more natural than a human Rube Goldberg-ing his own little slice of life? Isn’t that what we do as human animals? We mess around with stuff. Doing nothing is also a very pro(non)active stance.

And a hard way to pass on DNA. All the pacifist animals are extinct. The no-defense animals are gone. And more are hurrying along the same garden path.

So to the USFS arsonists and apologists for moonscape management, I wish you all well on your way to active self-extinction management practices, hatched in your secret offices hidden from the view of the public, and I hope that you don’t find yourselves personally responsible for outcomes that damage yourselves as well as public resources and lives. Laws are only guidelines for humans to act or not act. It takes a person to make the decision. And Nature has a way of punishing bad decisions. Darwin realized that.

So Mike, I just have to wonder what really does make the majority tick. I see today that Obama blew it with his faithful support of his family preacher, a man known for and recorded spewing hate and vitriol in the most vicious manner. Obama is going through “changes” and invites us to tag along. The doe in the head lights is Hillary. And the person gaining from all this is Silent John McCain, no doubt one of the voyeurs of the Democrat incest festival where they do it to each other again and again. As the economy tanks the tax-and-grafters are sinking with it. Not to mention that the price of a decent prostitute is going through the roof.

I read in the Economist that we were using 60 billion board of lumber per year in the U.S. before housing went tits up (that’s not counting the newspaper industry). The projected use this year is 40 billion board feet. Today Stimson announced the shutdown of mills in Bonner, MT, and Coeur d’Alene, ID, giving 60 days notice to their employees. Permanent shut downs. And more on the horizon. I have heard Roseburg Lumber stories, just rumors really, but this deal of sawing assets for zero profits is not going to last for long. Another sawmill blood bath is coming, although it will be a smaller one than 15 years ago, since there isn’t much blood left.

Meanwhile, the big timberland owners are gearing up to export logs again. Cheap dollars allow for that. Keep the rotation age the same and export all the sawlogs the overseas market will take. Chip the rest to keep their domestic pulp mills going. The market freefall is probably the reason Whorehouser is cutting loose their packaging package. They will supply the raw material from their Canadian concessions and try to avoid the wholesale and retail hit on manufactured products.

One out of 5 people is Chinese, Red Chinese living in Asia. They currently consume half the world output of cement, a third of all steel (new and recycled), and a quarter of the aluminum. They are building two new coal-fired power plants every week. Their log source is Africa, and underneath those forests is a long list of ores that will be exploited and sold to China. Australia can’t develop infrastructure for resource sales to China fast enough. There are not enough excavators, huge tires, mining conveyors, and industrial equipment parts and supplies being manufactured to keep up with demand. At times over 70 bulk haul ships are hanging on the hook in Aussie ports waiting to be loaded with coal alone.

So as the Asian demand for raw materials continues to climb, and our timber deal is in the tank, you know where our economy is headed at some impending point in time. We will be shipping logs to China. They will use their energy, steel, and labor force to convert the logs to usable products and byproducts. I have to wonder how many generations it will take for us to becone people with machetes hacking each other in the streets of poverty. As Africa tries to evolve to something better, we are devolving into a natural resource exporting, import consuming country. Hey, we are becoming Africa!

Maybe the Federal forest managers know this and their resource management practices are really just a scorched earth policy to keep the wood from going to China. That was the Russian model in their wars with Napoleon and Hitler. It make sense because the government types vote for lefty communist style regulation and policies. We will be a scorched earth Marxist state on our devolving way back to tribal warfare and natural resource welfare. Or so the pendulum appears to swing.

Maybe I am just pissed because the neighborhood avian bully Scrub Jays took out the hummingbird nest I was watching as the mother hummer incubated the eggs. Or possibly a protein-hungry squirrel got to it first. Either way, no nest to monitor anymore. Probably Mother Nature’s punishment for nesting before the leaves bud out. It’s been a long, cold winter.

I did see a ladybug yesterday, the first of the season. The box elder bugs are everywhere. Every once in a while, a bumble bee. And when I took the time to look, on dandelions, daffodils, and other early flowers I saw the mason bees are busy. New leaves are out on the snowberries. I spied a trillium and am expecting trout lilies soon. Poplar leaves now popping.

Spring!!! And not a day too soon. If we get some sunshine too, it might warm up to normal. — bear bait

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