14 Apr 2008, 10:27pm
Homo sapiens
by admin

Topsy Turvy

What is going on in the Environmental Movement? Most people think of the enviros as pro-wildlife, and maybe they once were, but that does not seem to be the case anymore.

When the Biscuit Fire roared through the Kalmiopsis Wilderness six years ago, it decimated wildlife and wildlife habitat. Some fifty spotted owl nesting stands were destroyed permanently. Did the wildlifers care? Not one bit. The 180,000 acre Kalmiopsis itself was almost entirely consumed by high-severity fire. Even today the effects are still extreme. From Wilderness.net [here]:

The nearly 500,000 acre Biscuit Fire of 2002 included the entire wilderness area. The environment has changed dramatically and provides a unique opportunity to observe a natural response to fire disturbance through plant succession, erosional and depositional occurrences and changed habitat for flora and fauna. While the lightning caused fire was a natural event for the wilderness it did provide damage to the nearly 160 miles of trails and trailhead facilities. Large areas of high fire severity occurred, killing much of the overstory trees in these areas, which will result in continued damaged to the trail system over time. The trails have always been challenging due to their steepness and narrow rocky surface. The impact from the fire includes added challenges, such as large numbers of downed trees, missing trail signs, holes and lose rock on the tread etc. For now and in the foreseeable future, wilderness users should recognize the need for increased safety awareness when traveling and camping.

A unique opportunity to observe erosion? That’s the value today? The Baby Foot Lake Botanical Preserve once held a stand of rare Brewers spruce. They all died in the Biscuit Fire and spruce is not returning. The recommendation from the USFS? Decommission the Preserve.

The vaunted Center for Biological Diversity obtained a Court Order forbidding Wildland Fire Use in the Mexican spotted owl habitat on the Kaibab NF. Less than a year a later Kaibab personnel allowed the Warm Fire to burn 40,000 acres of the off limits habitat. Did the CBD complain to the judge? Heck no. It turned out they really didn’t care about that habitat in the first place but were just playing legal games for fun and profit.

The Sierra Club is pro-wildlife right? Not really. They are happy to see wolves kill elk for sport. The more the merrier. Ditto the ten other enviro-litigant groups who sued to stop wolf delisting in the Northern Rockies. Wolves are in no way endangered there anymore, but plenty of other wildlife are. Do those enviro outfits care if the wolves drive elk, deer, antelope or bighorn sheep to extinction? Not on your life.

The Wilderness Society wants unrestrained fire to burn everywhere. Does that benefit wilderness, non-wilderness, streams, airsheds, wildlife, habitat, or any other wilderness value? Not hardly. But that’s their current trip.

Last summer the Murphy Fire alone destroyed sage grouse habitat across half a million acres. Do any wildlife groups give a golly gosh darn? No way, no day. Just peachy with them. Their attitude: let’s burn some more.

In December the WildEarth Guardians sued the USFS to force NEPA review of Fire Management Plans in four Region 3 National Forests [here]. Their real goal was to get the USFS to implement Let It Burn. Gail Kimbell pulled a fast one on them and waived fire planning on those forests altogether. Will the WEGs protest or appeal? Don’t count on it. They got what they wanted, Let It Burn. The NEPA process was just a means to get there.

Andy Stahl and the Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics are suing to ban the use of fire retardant. What’s ethical about that? Or more to the point, how will that benefit wildlife and wildlife habitat? It won’t, of course, but benefiting wildlife is not the goal. Burn, Baby, Burn is.

Is a charred wasteland your idea of a protected, preserved environment? Probably not, but then you’re most likely out of touch with the modern Environmental Movement. The trend is to incinerate environments, not to conserve or preserve them.

Did Aldo Leopold, John Muir, Henry Thoreau, or any of the original philosophers of Environmentalism yearn for scorched earth? I doubt it. They had greener ideas. Green is not the color of choice anymore; charcoal black is.

The quest to protect Mother Nature has turned into a rabid scramble to destroy nature, to make the planet unfit for all life, and especially human life. A darkness has descended on the Green Movement, and hatred has replaced whatever positive motives that once were. Make no mistake about it. It’s not your father’s Environmental Movement anymore. If, indeed, it ever was.



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