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Re: “'Overlooked'

To Scott G:

Scott, your astonishing response to my article strikes me as a classic example of the misunderstanding on the part of certain environmentalists that has been a problem in the past, to which I referred briefly in the article. You say that "Real environmentalists can see right through your bullshit". Ill forbear to respond to the second part of that sentence (or the rest of your comments) but with regard to the first:

As a card-carrying Gemini Ive been an activist in several areas over the years, one of which is certainly environmentalism. Soon after we arrived here in 1971 we became aware that the only private parcel of old growth fir in our neighborhood was going to be logged. Two or three of us got together with the landowner and to his credit, he agreed not to log it (we made a strong case).

Then the BLM planned to log Gilham Butte, which had over three hundred acres of virgin old growth fir and was also a part of our neighborhood. A number of us put a substantial amount of effort into preventing that from happening, and we succeeded.

But a new Area Manager opened it up for logging again and we had to do it all over again. This time we ensured its safety by putting it into ACEC (Area of Critical Environmental Concern). For good measure we also created the Old Growth Reserve System within the BLM, through which we saved four more old growth forests in addition to Gilham Butte.

As a result of those activities I served a term as Vice Chair of the Ukiah BLM Citizens Advisory Committee, which term was cut short by the James Watt gang (Reagan's Secretary of the Interior) when they purged advisory committees all over the country of environmentalists. But before I left I got the Committee to approve a strongly worded statement regarding the need for the BLM to protect all the old growth within their jurisdiction.

I was fairly deeply involved in the Timber Wars. I was hauled off in irons (well, plastic) twice; of the roughly fourteen hundred arrestees in the Headwaters Forest demonstrations, I was one of seven who eventually went to trial, where I got considerable satisfaction from entering into the record a plea of "moral necessity".

Then I served on the Board of Directors of Ancient Forest International, which was started by another hippie hill dweller who happened to be a park ranger in Chile during the Pinochet regime (a tale or two there, youd best believe!). We played a significant role in saving a substantial amount of virgin Chilean alerce forest, as well as some magnificent araucaria. I spent several unforgettable days hiking in the Andes in connection with that effort.

So I think I qualify as an environmentalist. As do you; I know that you care deeply about the natural world and that youre as horrified as I am by the way weve treated it, and by the urgent necessity for protecting it. We're on the same team, Scott. Wouldnt it be better all around if we just recognized that fact and treated each other with the respect we deserve?

15 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by PC on 09/18/2017 at 6:43 AM

Re: “This Column is Classified

In a democratic society the citizens run their government. In order to do so they have to know what their government is doing, right? Maybe, just maybe, those of us who care about actually practicing democracy in the United States of America should be just a little bit concerned when our government claims that it has the right to keep all its secrets (i.e. whatever they want) from us while we can keep none of ours (which they get to define) from them? I dunno; just a thought.

Posted by PC on 06/30/2013 at 9:50 AM

Re: “Meet the County's New Values

This article eloquently sets forth the concerns voiced by a substantial number of people in our community who are (quite rightly) concerned with the current condition of our environment and the need for its protection. But this near-hysterical presentation typifies the lack of balance that many members of the "liberal" community have displayed throughout the ludicrously extended process of the General Plan Update.

1) Last year it was the liberals screaming about the "right wing" Board "delaying" the GPU, as new Board members sought to understand the massive document they were expected to approve (they were accused of incompetence and foot-dragging). Now the liberals are insisting that the process be further delayed in order to allow adequate public input. Ironic, particularly in view of the fact that they've insisted all along that the GPU was formed with magnificently adequate input (which it certainly was not; that's what the whole Sec. 1500 flap was and continues to be about).

2) Yes, the Board has shifted since the recent elections to a more conservative stance. That happens in politics; get used to it. One of the reasons why the pendulum swung that way this time was the regrettable inability of the liberals to even try to understand what is real and important in the values of the conservatives; this intransigence caused quite a few people to vote for conservative candidates. The liberals would do well to learn a little humility and to open themselves up to the thinking of people with a different view. So, of course, would the conservatives, who also tend to cling to their view and to ignore anything that would seem to threaten it. Nobody's position here is without merit; we need to listen to each other, learn from each other, and work together in what we agree is the common interest.

3) The conservatives are basically saying that we should treasure our freedom to do what we please, that we need jobs, houses, and places for both. The liberals are saying that that freedom must be used responsibly; that the common good trumps individual desires, and that no more important common good exists than the natural environment. It is unarguable that in our pursuit of "free enterprise" we have terribly damaged the environment (logging in Humboldt County is a perfect example) to the point where it is now absolutely essential that we rein in the damage. How do we (how does the Board) balance these needs when they appear to conflict?

4) Do the changes that the Board has approved in the Guiding Principles really represent a headlong rush from environmental sanity? I don't think so; although environmentalists are understandably concerned with the conservative shift on the Board, I think that much of that concern is overdrawn.

5. Give the Board a break. When they take up the GPU they are not expected to rubber stamp it; they are supposed to consider it and to make whatever changes they feel are appropriate. Which means, does it not, that they have the power to do so, with or without additional public input (of which there supposedly has already been plenty). So let's be fair here. While we stay on the case.

0 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by PC on 06/13/2013 at 10:14 AM

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