Photo by Ellen Miller

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Have Occupiers Missed Their Log…er Boat?

My friend, Certified Forester Greg Miller, raised a good point today: Where were the 99 per centers twenty years ago, when the federal government and radical environmentalists were shutting down the sustainable forest management of our federal forest lands and destroying the lives of rural, and some urban, hard working citizens in the Pacific Northwest? 

The war on the livelihood of hundreds of thousand’s of timber workers continues today as environmentalists continue to use the courts and the Obama Administration to frustrate both scientifically sound forest management and generate economic activity for depressed rural communities while nearly bankrupting local governments.

As federal County Payments come to an end, one hears squeals of “Broken Promises” from elected officials who think that the U. S. Treasury should continue to provide welfare payments to counties to ease the pain of shutting down the timber industry.  With the country deep in debt, this is unlikely to happen.

The Occupiers and 99 %’rs were nowhere to be found when the ultimate federal promises were broken.  After World War II the federal government encouraged the timber industry to build mills and provide family wage jobs throughout Oregon, Washington, and Northern California.

In fact, the promise of a sustained yield of timber was a distinctly non-capitalistic notion that one would think the current protesters would embrace.  Instead, we’ve tossed hundreds of thousands of jobs aside and watched rural communities struggle to stay intact as crime, hunger, and domestic problems explode.

Let’s call for the protesters to take up the struggle of the 99%’rs in the rural Pacific Northwest.  This would not only help citizens, but can also apply some much needed management to our critically ailing federal forests.

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