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Re: NFC: Fw: Heritage_Forests alert: The Forests Need Your Voice!

robert a rice wrote:
> You can take action on this alert either on the web or by email.

Action, OK, but which way? See my response, below.

> Here's what this alert is about:
> The Forests Need Your Voice!
> ----------------------
> Dear Friend,
> We need your help again!  Thanks to your previous action,
> President Clinton is proposing protection for America's last
> wild and scenic forests.
> If this historic opportunity is to become reality, the Forest
> Service needs to hear from you.  Hit REPLY and send an email to
> the Forest Service right now.
> Our forests continue to be threatened by roads and logging trucks.
> As expected, the timber industry and their allies in Congress
> will be fighting hard to stop this proposal.


Whoa, now! There's another, carefully hidden, side to this agenda, and we
are confronting it daily in the West.

Probably nowhere have usually-conflicting groups like Ducks Unlimited and
the Sierra Club gotten together with the state wildlife agency as they have
in Nevada to do the job right. Cooperation in conservation is being fought
tooth and toenail by none other than, you guessed it, the US Forest Service.
[Some few individuals in BLM and even one or two in F&WL Service seem close
behind, BTW. ;-)]

I suggest you read carefully the thoughtful editorial/column by a Las Vegas
journalist, yesterday, about the disruption caused by the Forest Service
folks in their greedy grab for control of land before you urge even *more*
of this kind of behaviour.

Begin copy________________________________________

    THE LIBERTARIAN, By Vin Suprynowicz
    Forest chief quits in protest over questioning

    Saying she's fed up with the "anti-federal fervor" in Northern Nevada,
Gloria Flora of the U.S. Forest Service has stepped down as head of the
Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, largest federally-managed tract in the
Lower 48.

  Why the fuss?

  For years, residents of northeastern Nevada had been asking when flood
damage to the gravel road which runs up canyon along the Jarbidge River
would be repaired, restoring long-standing public access for fishing,
hunting, and camping.

  The Forest Service stalled. Finally, they announced the road wouldn't be
repaired at all. It turned out the federals had just used the time to
scramble around and devise the fig leaf of an argument that allowing humans
to resume using this century-old road might somehow harm the "endangered"
native bull trout.

  Local activists responded by announcing plans to repair the road by hand
on Oct. 9. The Forest Service won a temporary restraining order from a
federal judge, ordering residents not to repair the road. The residents

  Stymied from any other avenue for redress, Nevada Congressman Jim Gibbons
invited fellow member of Congress Helen Chenoweth-Hage, R-Idaho and chair
of the House Resources subcommittee on forests, to schedule hearings on the
matter for Nov. 13, in Elko.

  That seems to have been the last straw for Ms. Flora. Having to testify
before such a hearing would constitute a "public inquisition of federal
employees" far too demeaning to be tolerated, she said in her letter of

  Ms. Flora's letter protests an atmosphere of "hostility and distrust"
toward federal employees. In a companion letter to those employees, she
contends the boys and girls in green have been "shunned in your
communities, refused service in restaurants, kicked out of motels." Forest
service workers in northern Nevada "are compared to collaborators with the
Vichy government in Nazi-controlled France," she shrilled, accusing elected
officials -- presumably Mr. Gibbons and Ms. Chenoweth-Hage -- of "actively
supporting these offenders."

  Ah. So that's what we now call someone who peaceably speaks out against
high-handed federal policies: an "offender"?

  In fact, violence or threats of violence against federal employees cannot
be condoned, except in cases where the federals, themselves, escalate
things to that level (as in the unanimous jury acquittals, on all major
charges, of Randy Weaver and the Branch Davidian survivors, in the deaths
of attacking federal agents.)

  But Ms. Flora is typical of many federal workers in willfully ignoring
the role of an arrogant and expansive federal bureaucracy in generating
this bad blood.

  The talk is always soothingly of "riparian study areas," "archaeological
study areas," and "protecting" the little desert tortoises. (Of course, the
desert tortoises can be shown to thrive better in land grazed by cattle --
especially during droughts. But why let facts get in the way? They still
had to be "protected" by shutting down Southern Nevada's entire cattle

  Ranchers, miners, loggers, and cattlemen would have to be blind not to
conclude these are a mere grab bag of pretexts for the real agenda. It's
now obvious to all that federal "land managers" are involved in an
organized campaign to systematically sweep the rural West free of humans,
as though these lands were the "king's forests" in the times of Robin Hood.

  Yet Ms. Flora protests even peaceful public hearings, and finds it
intolerable that she might be called before her employers -- the people and
their elected representatives -- to explain herself?

  Ms. Flora alleges violence and threats of violence, but the Elko Daily
Free Press reports no such recent incidents can be documented.

  If the people of Northern Nevada have restricted themselves to telling
the greenshirts they're not welcome -- and refusing to invite their wives
back to the local quilting bee -- I call that an admirable example of
restraint, and a good start.

  "She don't own the forests," says ever succinct state Assemblyman John
Carpenter, R-Elko.

  Perhaps Ms. Flora will use her newfound leisure to re-read the Federalist
Papers. She might learn that Americans were promised a republican form of
government in each sovereign state, and a tiny federal government of
sharply limited powers.

  It was never contemplated that distant Washington bureaucrats should
manage -- let alone claim outright "ownership" thanks to some ancient
Mexican treaty -- of 87 percent of any sovereign state. In fact, the
Constitution grants the federals the right to acquire and administer within
the several states only such "places purchased by the consent of the
(state) Legislature, for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals,
dockyards, and other needful buildings."

  Is the Navy now building frigates on little Jarbidge Creek? Can any
federal agency show a bill of sale for these lands, OK'd by Nevada's state
(not territorial) Legislature?

  Of course not.

  So good riddance to Ms. Flora -- and here's hoping she has room for a few
more in her van.

Vin Suprynowicz is assistant editorial page editor of the Las Vegas

END COPY____________________

At risk of repeating myself, I urge communicating *disapproval* of the
Forest Service attempts to extend their thoughtless and incompetent hands
even further into our affairs. 

I'm not a cattleman or miner. I do spend a *lot* of hard hours working on
habitat to protect some *really* threatened native Nevada fishes.

The only thing unique about this particular population of Bull Trout, AFAIK,
is that it is about the most southerly habitat of an otherwise spread out
species -- pure smokescreen, in other words. "Just enough to fool the


Wright Huntley, Fremont CA, USA, 510 494-8679  huntleyone at home dot com

         "DEMOCRACY" is two wolves and a lamb voting on lunch.
     "LIBERTY" is a well-armed lamb denying enforcement of the vote.
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