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

David Deutsch (Gondwana Gardens) gondwana at
Thu Nov 20 02:15:21 EST 1997

Muskie wrote:
> To compare todays forest butchering to Indian land management prior
> to European settlement is absurd!
>  The Native Americans land management did not deplete native animal
> popultaions.  And when the settlers first came, the land
> WAS pristine wilderness.  All of the predators still roamed lands
> they are now gone from.

> [snip]   To equate Native american land management  with
> Euro-management is a complete fucking joke.

I strongly agree that the comparison is not a valid one due to the
degree of devastation the European settlers, compared to the impact of
smaller, more land-sensitive populations of Native Americans. However,
my 2-cents' worth is this:

1.) Paleontological and archaeological evidence suggests that the first
human occupiers of the Americas (the direct ancestors of Native
Americans) may have had a hand in the outright extinction of numerous
species that used to exist in the Americas until as recently as 10,000
years ago (or maybe even more recently). This included creatures like
the sabre-tooth cat, the mastodont, and perhaps even the horse (which
used to exist in North America long before the Europeans ever even
abandoned hunting and gathering, much less sent ships and re-introduce
it to the Americas). All humans, whoever they are and wherever they go,
are terribly destructive, selfish and short-sighted in the way they
interact with the natural environment, some more so, some less so. Even
cultures with less complex technology can create massive changes. For
example, I have read that the original settlers of Australia (not the
Europeans, obviously), understood the losing battle the wet rainforest
was having against the advance of sclerophyll forest, and the crucial
impact fire had on that battle. I also read that they helped the process
by setting fires to enhance their hunting. From what I've read,
Tasmanian rainforest, in particular, was impacted by Native Australian
fire-setting of this sort. But again, there simply is no comparison
whatsoever, between original cultures and European colonials: the latter
came in and left no stone unturned and completely changed the
invironment within less than two centuries, whereas the first's impact
was far more intermittent and took place over tens of thousands of

2.) You obviously have a valid point to make. But you weaken the
strength and validity of your assertions when you underscore them with
obscenity. Why use it? If what you say is true and worthwhile, it should
be enough to say it.

David Deutsch

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