Logging Rally

mcready at northernnet.com mcready at northernnet.com
Sat Jan 17 23:21:27 EST 1998


Just returned from the logging rally in Orr, MN.  Close to a thousand
people attended the noon rally at the Orr Community Center.  Over three
hundred people were packed in the hall, and about twice that many people
stood outside and listened to supporter after supporter speak out in
favor of common sense forest management and allowing the harvesting of
red pines at the Little Alfie site near Orr.

Logging trucks and related industry trucks lined both sides of Hwy. 53
for over four miles.  Several snowmobilers rode to the rally to show
their support.

I attended the Little Alfie protest by EarthFirst! and Earth Protectors a
couple of weeks ago.  About 40 of their supporters attended.  An article
in the Mpls. Star Tribune reported that several dozen people rallied on
the steps of the Capitol in St. Paul earlier this week.  Several dozen? 
This is all the supporters they could round up in the Twin Cities area?

A handful of these vocal minority environmental groups also attended the
rally, sporting the pink ribbon as a sign of support for the loggers. 
One young man, who said his name was Samel Adams from Mpls. stood in the
packed hall tape recording the speakers.  He was recognized as one of
EarthFirsters! who has been camping out at the Little Alfie site.  When
another EarthFirster! saw that I recognized him and had a picture of him
at the Little Alfie site, she appeared a bit nervous and tried to get him
to leave.

Ray Fenner of Superior Wilderness Action Network stated in the above
mentioned Star Tribune article, "Unlike the timber industry, we don't
have bosses telling people to get down to our rally.  We're coming from
the heart and what people want; we're not being ordered to line the
highway."

Well Ray, evidently your people don't even have jobs!  People with jobs
can't afford to camp in the woods for days on end protesting something
they don't know much about.  For the record, no had to be told to attend
the logging rally.  Loggers showed up because this affects their
livelihood, their way of life, their families, their communities.  And,
steelworkers, construction workers, students, teachers, ministers, deer
hunters, snowmobilers, and people from all walks of life attended the
rally to show their support for the loggers and common sense management
of our forests.  People showed up because they know timber industry jobs
support families with high wages that buy homes, cars, trucks,
snowmobiles, clothes, etc.  Minimum wage jobs won't buy these things.

Anyone with a smattering of common sense knows that selective cutting is
NOT clear cutting, as Fenner proclaims is to take place at the Little
Alfie site. Again, from the Star Tribune article Fenner said, "Who are
the real extremists, those devastating our forests with clear-cuts or the
ones trying to stop them?"

So many of these EarthFirsters! are misinformed by people like Fenner. 
He has to constantly distort the facts to gain supporters.  First they
protested against the cutting of the white pines at the Little Alfie
site.  When the Forest Service removed the white pines from the harvest,
the protesters moved their sights to the red pines.  Now it is to all
trees.	All these people are interested in doing is preventing the Forest
Service from doing what they were formed to do - manage the forest.  They
are more concerned about below cost timber sales and putting a price of
$32.50 on each tree than about managing the forests for future
generations.

If all these EarthFirsters! want to see an unmanaged forest, all they
have to do is go into the Boundary Waters.  There you have dead, diseased
trees just waitng for a lightning strike.  The only healthy forests we
have are those that are managed by our foresters and loggers.

Fenner states that the Little Alfie forest is doing just fine.	That's
because it was thinned out about twenty years ago.  The additional
thinning of the red pines would allow the six foot tall white pine
standing beneath the red pines to grow.

The Little Alfie timber sale protest is just the tip of the iceberg. 
Many of the mainstream environmental groups have gone over the edge on
this one.  These EarthFirsters! Earth Protectors, SWAN, Sierra Club,
Wilderness Society, and other preservationist groups want to practice no
management in all our national forests and public lands.  The U.S. Forest
Service was founded on the principle of 'Wise Use' of our resources, not
'No Use'.

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