Bill to end logging on federal lands introduced to congress HR 2789

Mary Malmros malmros at
Mon Nov 17 14:27:38 EST 1997

In article <01bcf09b$abb69cc0$54e4c9cf at s.-w.-anderson>,
Stephen Worley Anderson <nonesuch at> wrote:
>Larry Caldwell <larryc at> wrote in article
><xjia00O5IMyF091yn at>...
>> When you look back on what some of the pioneers did, you have to
>> conclude that a bunch of them weren't that bright.
>(Much good commentary about the state of agriculture was here.)
>As a matter of fact, you don't have to conclude that.  Many pioneers were
>liberty lovers escaping the rules, regimentation and crowded lands of long
>settled country.  They were willing to pay the price of fleeing to
>out-of-the-way places where they could claim their own property and live as
>they liked.  

I don't want to dissuade you in your admiration for the pioneers (by
which, I"m guessing from context, you mean the European pioneers in
North America).  However, there is pretty strong evidence that they
didn't _know_ what the price of their proposed settlement was.  They 
really didn't have any idea, and a lot of them died when things turned
out to be less than congenial.  Many, probably most, of them made their
choices in ignorance, and stuck with it only because they couldn't go
back.  Characterizing them as "willing to pay the price" seems a little
inaccurate.  Nor would I really give them props for persistence: if
you don't have a choice but to stick with it, is "persistence" really
the name for it?  There are plenty of things to admire them for --
personally, I think that the preservation of some degree of learning was
impressive -- but I think our image of the bold, principled, adventurous
pioneer is somewhat skewed.  

>Not even today's cesium clocked, ant hill society has destroyed that
>yearning.  We still feel it, urging us to shove off from the
>depersonalizing, air-conditioned, luxurious misery of our urban lives, if
>only for a little while.  The hunger for freedom is innate; I would say it
>is one of God's finest and most tormenting gifts to us.  One of the leading
>reasons I hike is to chase a taste of the freedom and self-reliance the
>pioneers lived.

Well...honestly, I don't think that taste is anything like what they
knew.  It's qualitatively different.  They were flying blind, and as for
seeking freedom, any number of them were simply moving on because they'd
raised such an obnoxious stink back home that folks wouldn't have 'em.
It's all in your filters, ya know?  I strongly suspect that if some of
my own Reformation Protestant ancestors were living next door to me, I'd
consider them a bunch of nosy, preachy, busybody fundamentalists, and
I'd wish 'em a hemisphere away from me too.

Mary Malmros		Very Small Being		 malmros at

	"They write books that contradict the rocks..."

More information about the Ag-forst mailing list