Little wisdom in managing the land


Predators in the wild generally achieve a balance with their prey populations such that both persist. Not so with us humans, the superpredator; we kill all – a behavior that is unsustainable.

Homo sapiens (Latin: “wise person”), it turns out, are not wise at all. Soon we will be just a colorful (and toxic) stratum layer in the desert.

Deforestation causes extinction.

Regarding Linn County suing the state, the “greatest permanent value” depends on what you value. Short-term greed (clear cutting) or long-term well-thought-out sustainability.

Timber isn’t a growth industry (unless you can come up with a tree that grows at the speed of light).

Oregon and America chose greed. That’s where your jobs went.

Former director and forest economist Robert Cowlin, of the Pacific Northwest Forest and Range Experiment Station, back in 1935 along with other foresters in Oregon and Washington were saying don’t clear cut.

“The major forest problem in the Douglas-fir region is the necessity for instituting a system for managing old-growth forests for continuous production. This means that clear cutting over vast areas, which has resulted in large areas of non-stocked cutover land, must be halted.”

Humankind has entered/caused the Anthropocene epoch, the earth’s sixth major extinction.

A report by the Ellen Mac-Arthur Foundation says that by 2050 plastic trash will outweigh fish in the oceans – its sludge suffocating and choking everything in and around the oceans to death.

What would your god say to what you’ve done? I know if I were God and you trashed my creation, I wouldn’t include you in my next.

On a somewhat related topic, the Bureau of Land Management came into being after decades of livestock owners greedily exploiting the land to death, causing serious damage to soil, plants, streams, and springs and because of the increasing violence among cattlemen and sheepmen.

While providing recreation opportunities and protecting open-space is part of its mission, the BLM is mostly all about facilitating exploitation: mining, drilling, grazing… over preservation. Welfare queens the lot of ’em.

They rent dirt cheap (livestock $1.35/AUM vs private $20.10 per AUM), they take whatever from the land, they trash it/pollute it, they make huge profits (oil/gas/mining), then leave. All with none of the worries and responsibilities of actual ownership. No maintenance.

If it was up to me, I’d do away with grazing on public land altogether. It’s a loser all the way around. Totally ruins the land and streams, all the wildlife and costs the tax payers hundreds of million dollars in maintenance and services it never recoups from the rents. It’s a lose-lose for America, a big suck hole of funds.

Killing 100,000 native carnivores and removing wild horses and burros who compete for forage cost $75 million in 2015. Wildlife Services has spent nearly $300 million between 2009 and 2013 killing America’s wildlife on behalf of private interests.

USDA’s Wildlife Services killed 4 million animals in 2013: 75,326 coyotes, 866 bobcats, 528 river otters, 3,700 foxes, 12,186 prairie dogs, 973 red-tailed hawks, 419 black bears and at least three eagles, golden and bald.

If anyone should be up in arms it should be us.

Same with the fracking/oil industry. We need rules and regulations, such as requiring companies to disclose the myriad of toxic chemicals they use before fracking begins, requiring baseline water testing in order to determine if contamination has occurred, establishing the highest standards for well design and construction, and prohibiting the use of open air pits to store or dispose of toxic fracking waste.

But the industry is saying “No. “Trade secrets,” even when on public lands.

For generations, everyone from individual miners to multinational mining corporations have been able to dig up natural resources on federal land without having to pay a royalty to the federal government.

In California, BLM land hosts 595 different oil leases that produce about 500,000 barrels a day – over 182 million annually. The federal government, the landowner (you), gets only around 12 percent in royalties from oil and gas sales, a rate that hasn’t been updated since 1920.

Some of the wealthiest corporations in the world rent this land for as little as $1.50 an acre per year. That’s it. And because they are wealthy, we are scared of them.

The Utah legislature recently committed $12 million to hire lobbyists and lawyers in a coordinated campaign to seize control of millions of public acres that they intend to parcel off to the highest bidder.

Koch-backed ALEC Has pushed legislation for state control of public lands because it is easier for them to steal at the state level.

In Alaska it’s the same thing. Private industry wants everything to be in their possession. They are obsessed with hoarding it all. They have dang near everything now but they want more; they want it all and they’ll get if we don’t band together to stop them.

Sixty-two people have as much wealth as the world’s 3.6 billion poorest. Here in the USA it is 20. Just 20 people own more wealth than the bottom half of the American population combined, a total of 152 million people in 57 million households.

Diane Daiute

Sweet Home