Headwaters Forest Video Available

Don Baccus dhogaza at pacifier.com
Sat Oct 4 12:05:11 EST 1997


In article <3436659D.1B4F at livingston.net>,
Don Staples  <dstaples at livingston.net> wrote:
>catherine yronwode wrote:

>> Don Baccus wrote:

>Have you heard the expression "cant see the forest for the trees"?  Both
>of you are correct in your statements.  However, earlier statements were
>that EF! no longer spikes, yet both of you admit that they announce
>after spiking.

My use of the present tense was a slip of the tongue.  I have heard of no
spiking incidents in years, either announced by EF! or claimed by a mill,
here in Oregon.  Those days are long gone, and I never supported such
action when they were done.  However, though I didn't support spiking
(which was never very frequent, anyway), I can't support efforts to
discredit an organization over an event that they probably had nothing
to do with - in other words, the spiking incident under discussion.

>And are you saying that NO EF!er has spiked and gone on
>about their business without telling some one?

I can't say, one way or the other.  Do you have proof that any EF!er
has?

I don't think so.  Absent that proof, you seem to feel justified in
claiming that such action has most likely happened.  Absent that proof,
I only feel justified in saying ... I don't know for certain.

What I do know, though, is that spiking incidents are rare, that the
industry has sheepishly admitted in some cases that, yes, metal in
trees isn't all that uncommon in our forests and that this was true
before spiking by EF! began, etc.

>Nudds and others advocate resistance, as though this is an
>occupied territory and they are the defenders of the American Way.

It's public land and, hey, if I want to stand on our collective property
and bitch about its management I feel like I have every right to do so,
as long as I'm causing no harm to that property or to others making use
of it.

>I object to justification of illegal acts in the name of EF!, the
>church, the governement, the environment, etc.  There is enough measures
>in place to accomodate the differences in opinions through the courts
>and political system.

One doesn't need to label one's opponents as "terrorists" in order to
oppose possible illegal acts they've taken.  Not all illegal protest
acts are terrorism.  

>Any thing that creates hazard, or danger, or a threat, in the business
>of logging is terrorism, plan and simple.

Anything?  Since the very act of logging is extremely hazardous, then 
the federal government, by requiring tracts of land to be harvested
after timber rights have been won in open bidding, must be commiting
an act of terrorism.

You must watch yourself more carefully when making absolutist statements.

>You both seem to think that being "back east" (Texas, back east?) means
>ignorance on the timber, practices, problems, etc., of the west coast
>big timber.

I don't know if it's because you're from Texas, where I hear that everything
'cept your trees are Texas-sized, or for some other reason.  Yet, you do
seem pretty ignorant on these issues.

>One announced "scientist and forester" castigated me for
>not reading the literature on the problem.  I suggest that the view at a
>distant may be just as accurate as your view on the front lines, at it
>were.  But my interest is in the process, not in the goal.  I defend
>private property rights, the rights of the owners, the legitimate
>methods of change.  The weak statments "we don't do that anymore", "the
>wobblies still exist" (weren't they axxociated with the American
>Communist Party back in the '30"s?), "anybody could have spiked", etc.,
>indicate that the local picture you both created is shaded by your own
>interests.  In effect, a subjective commentary, rather than objective.

In other words, we shouldn't make subjective comments when responding to
your very subjective commentary.  What's wrong, afraid of a fair fight?

>Just a personal note.  I am from Utah.  My early education was there, I
>roamed that part of the world for years.  Part of my being as a forester
>is rooted in the big trees of the west.

Utah doesn't really have any...I've been there, plenty.  Growing season's
too short.  Hardly any dougies there at all, and certainly no Sitka
spruce, western hemlock, redwoods or other low-elevation, high precip,
mild winter loving big-growing trees.


>My formal forestry education
>was in the midwest.  That education included the Wobbly movement, all
>the laws of the west, management of the west timbers, etc.

When was that?  The NFMA, NEPA, and the ESA were all passed in the
early 1970s, and drastically changed the way our forests were supposed
to be managed.  Now that the NFMA is being enforced by the courts, Larry
Craig of Idaho is sponsoring legislation to set the clock back by declaring
timber production to be the dominant use of our National Forests, with
wildlife conservation and recreation to be tolerated if it doesn't interfere
with production goals.

Anyway, did you study the laws governing the management of our national
forests after the NFMA, NEPA and ESA were passed, or before?  It makes
a real difference in your understanding if the issues...

>Of course
>you can say that was all based on the Fat Cat, Big Government, Big
>Business, basis of forestry as taught in "the commercial schools" of
>yesteryear, and does not represent the "enlightened" education of todays
>forestry "environmental" schools.

I can also say that this view of our forests, as being primarily for
timber production, was explicitly rejected as the guiding principle
for our national forests when the NFMA was passed in the early 1970s.

>I submit that the forestry schools of
>today teach the same as yesterday, perhaps less of actual science due to
>the increase in requirment for touchy-feely course work required by the
>more socially and politically enlightened modern administrators (Sorry,
>two daughters in the University of Texas, Texas' answer to liberal
>schools "back east", and the required course work is a travesty of pop
>gender, political, cultural and educational pap).

Modern "touchy-feely" forestry schools don't teach less science, they 
simply require students to broaden their background in science.  If you
think that requiring forestry students to learn a little wildlife biology
and ecology (in the technical sense of the word) means they're learning
"less science", well, fuck you.

>You can sit there at the keyboard and assume a lot about my goals, your
>goals, the goals of EF!, and the knowledge of each.  

Well, you certainly make gross assumptions about the goals of EF!, my
goals, and the goals of conservation organizations such as those I
volunteer for.  

>I commented on the crime involved in spiking

And you ignore postings of evidence that EF! probably wasn't involved
at all.  You simply assume they were because industry flacks jumped
on the incident in order to gain political ground for their cause.

It reminds me of the public outcry against photographers when Di died,
before it was found out that the driver was hitting 120 mph while
blowing just under a 0.20.  The photographers were an easy target,
even if it appears they were trailing 100 yards behind.

Likewise, a spike's found in a tree, and despite the fact that spiking
is a technique picked up by EF! from others, that isolated spiking by
digruntled workers, neighbors, and the like incidents predate EF! here
on the west coast, you choose to presume that they're guilty simply
because the management of the mill involved proclaimed, with no supporting
evidence, that the incident was caused by EF!

Allow me to comment briefly on your chosing to ignore the principle that
our legal system is built on the principle that innocence is presumed
until guilt is proven.  Your insistence on presuming the group's guilty
of this crime because the industry says so is un-American, pure and simple.

>I commented on the dangers of the logging milling
>industry and the EF!ers ability to make it more dangerous, not your
>right to disagree with the management of a corporation.

And EF! has renounced the group.

Look, the timber industry used to hire thugs to beat up, and occasionally
shoot, their workers who chose to strike.  Were they terrorists?

More importantly, the industry has given up those tactics.  Does the
fact that the industry used to practice them make today's leaders
within the industry terrorists, too?

>I never used ALWAYS, since always never happens.  Nudds and perhaps you
>have said nothing criminal has been done, yet EF!ers were tried and
>fined.  You jumped off on hunting camps as a source of metal in trees,
>after I have already stated all the metal in trees is not spiking. 

More pertinent, there was a period of time when every time a mill sawed
through a chunk of metal resulted in a call to the press claiming the mill
was the victim of a spiking incident.  The press, in Oregon at least, soon
got wise to this and it was sort of fun to see follow-up stories reporting
that, uh, it wasn't really spiking at all but rather metal from another
source that caused the accident.  "it wasn't spiking, and no one was
hurt regardless" was the typical followup.

>I would suggest both of you should work in the logging and milling trade
>for a year or two to understand the true dangers involved.  Don B. may
>have, I have.

I haven't, but plenty of friends have.  It is dangerous, hard work.  So
dangerous, in fact, that I suspect you'd have a very difficult time
quantifying any additional danger due to spiking incidents.  At their
height, in Oregon there were perhaps a 1/2 dozen a year, well publicized,
and the USFS/industry response was to simply remove them.  The whole
spiking era was short-lived, never widespread, inneffective, and as far
as I know never harmed a single worker in Oregon.

I think this is the real reason folks are so eager to ignore the evidence
in the No Cal case that EF! was not involved.  Since incidents of injury
due to metal in trees are so scarce, folks jump on this one incident hoping
that EF! really was involved in order to further their own agenda, rather
than caring about finding out the truth.

>This is not a novel, it is real life, and EF!ers use
>terror, sedition, political deviciveness, all the true tools of
>terrorist to push their goal.

The Republican Party uses political divisiveness as a tool, does this
make them terrorists, too?

>You say they have stopped terror, yet I ask, Can you guarentee that all
>have stopped?

They never practiced terror.  I can't guarantee that all spiking has stopped,
but if they're doing it it's damned ineffective because the industry hasn't
complaining about it.  If the industry isn't seeing spiking, then I think it's
safe to say spiking isn't occuring.

Can you guarantee that loggers are no longer practicing terror, beating up
people they presume to be environmentalists, trashing their cars, etc?

(I don't have any proof of such activity, but since you don't require proof
in order to label EF! members terrorists, I feel free to take the same liberty
with loggers.  I do have proof of such actions on the part of ranchers against
their opponents, but I don't label them "terrorists" because I think the
term's misleading, just as it is when applied to EF!)

>I have no problem with metal ten foot up a tree.  Could have been done
>in heavy snow, raising the level of the spiker.

Let's see, the tree was spiked by an EF!er in an area that wasn't even
being protested, in winter long before harvest...see, you're really
reaching.

>Get real.  Your legitimate protests may change the way the big trees are
>managed, if so, it will have been done in the legal methods, not through
>spiking and silting.  Stop protecting the illegal methods as being
>justified.

What I hear is people telling you that your proof that spiking has harmed
people is ... suspect.  That's hardly the same as endorsing the activity.
I don't.  Never have.  But I'm not going to sit here and listen to you
label an event a "terrorist act" when we have absolutely no evidence that
the "terrorists" you despise had anything whatsoever to do with it.

>if the workers unions are united against the companies, where are the
>union strikes to shut them down for illegal or hazardous operations?

Industry broke the unions back in the 20s, using terrorist tactics, as
I mentioned above.  

In many timber-dependent towns, there is no other alternative to employment.
Many loggers and mill workers quietly are willing to discuss problems in
the industry, but the only ones who seem to talk publicly about them
seem to be those who are retired, or those who've moved away.

I wonder why?

>My Ego Stroke:  http://www.livingston.net/dstaples/



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