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Right-wing anti-environmentalists organizing in Oregon -- help needed ASAP!!

There was a large mob like crowd agitated by several Douglas County politicians at a Public meeting opposing a 70+ mile road decommissioning proposal. Will their intimidation tactics succeed in stopping this proposal? What sort of precedent will that set?

This is why, WE NEED YOU ALL to send comments of support for this rare Restoration proposal in the Umpqua.

Below is a first hand account of the tumultuous proceedings and below that are the particulars for comments.
Umqua National Forest
Umqua National Forest
There was a large mob like crowd agitated by several Douglas County politicians at a Public meeting opposing a 70+ mile road decommissioning proposal. This reminds me of the Gold Shovel movement in Nevada and Utah a few years back. Will their intimidation tactics succeed in stopping this proposal? What sort of precedent will that set?

This is why, WE NEED YOU ALL to send comments of support for this rare Restoration proposal in the Umpqua.

Below is a first hand account of the tumultuous proceedings and below that are the particulars for comments.

Tonight (Wednesday Dec. 1st) the Umpqua National Forest held a public meeting on the Steamboat Restoration Project. The proposed alternative will decommission 38 miles of drivable roads and another 34 miles of undrivable roads for a total of 72 miles of road decommissioning (as well as in-stream projects and road
improvement.).

The public meeting was held at the usual place, in a meeting room in the public library in Roseburg. But the crowd that came could not all fit - over 200 people showed up, mostly large-sized men with loud voices. There was also the right-wing state senator Bill Fisher, the super right-wing county commissioner Dan Van Slyke, the
just elected super super right-wing county commissioner Marilyn Kittleman.

The Forest Service started out by giving a presentation of why they are decommissioning roads -- LSR, Key Watershed, and virtually no money for road maintenance. They can only maintain 27% of existing roads. They did a good analysis of how many acres would have reduced fire protection and mitigated it by keeping some roads open for ATV for fire suppression only. There is another 4,800 miles of roads on the Umpqua NF they are not decommissioning. But the presenter was a young woman with a soft voice that sometimes had to talk over jeers and laughter.

The District Ranger, Carol Cushing, stepped in to counter shouts of "You have already made up your mind... You are leaving out the public... You have an attitude... This is public land, our land, let US make the decisions...". amid much applause.

Carol Cushing gave the floor to County Commissioner Van Slyke to address the crowd. He said he was most concerned with post-fire management. If we take out roads, "how are we going to get out there and cut down burned timber"? "Who owns this land?* The people of Douglas County own this land*". Very Loud Applause. (Later, it was quietly pointed out that most of this project is in Lane County).

Dan Van Slyke said "these roads were built with our blood. We don't want to decommission even little spur roads. All roads are important for the public to enjoy".

Commissioner Van Slyke then said the Northwest Forest Plan reasons for decommissioning roads were "subject to interpretation". "The decommissioning is supposed to improve water quality -- but a forest fire is far worse for water quality." He promised the crowd that these road would be needed "when the forest service got back to progressive forest management again".

He received a standing ovation when he finished.

Then the just elected (but not yet serving) county commissioner Marilyn Kittleman spoke. She said "These roads were put in when the county was rich. If we remove them we will never get be able to put them back".

Then the crowd were given an opportunity to speak in turn. They talked about the poor disabled people who can't walk and the horrible fire that will happen and the accidents where people will die because emergency personnel can't get to them.

Several people told the Forest Service personnel standing in the front of the room: "You people scare me"... "your a bunch of demagogs"...

Two people tried to speak for the project but one was laughed at and the other interrupted so loudly he couldn't be heard. As chaos periodically disrupted the meeting and the Forest Service could not control the outbursts, County Commissioner Dan Van Slyke stood by silently. Finally, someone asked him to intervene, so he said a word to quiet the crowd.

Penny Lind was one of the few who were able to speak up in favor of the project, but when she finished the crowd jeered at her and someone said that "we need to get rid of people like her because she's the one that is stopping all the logging." This reflected the tone -- it's hard to walk back to your car afterwards in the dark.

###############################################

The Umpqua National Forest really needs to hear your support for their own proposal to decommission over 70 miles of un-needed roads in the Steamboat drainage. If we don't they will win. Then we and the salmonids lose.

Here are the particulars to comment:

IMPORTANT COMMENT DEADLINE: _ DECEMBER 15, 2004

*PLEASE* join Umpqua Watersheds in their support of the Umpqua National Forests, Oregon, Douglas and Lane counties.

*Steamboat Creek Restoration Project.*

Steamboat Creek Restoration Project area is a wildlife reserve area that provides drinking water to Umpqua communities, is an important regional recreation area and supports diverse old growth dependent wildlife.

The Project's admirable goals are to reduce road density (especially in riparian reserves), improve fish habitat, decrease erosion, and reduce the road maintenance funding shortfalls. The agency's preferred alterative (Alternative 2) would decommission 72.3 miles of roads - nearly half of those roads are already unusable.

It's important that the Forest Service hear from you before * DECEMBER 15* on this restoration project as opposition to it is being led by the local county commissioners who are opposed to any road decommissioning. The fear factor!

Anti-enviros want alternative 1, no action, that would continue to harm streams, wildlife activity and recreation opportunities.

*Tell the Forest Service to consider these comments for the Steamboat Creek Watershed Restoration Project *

Steamboat Creek Watershed is important for water quality, recreation and wildlife
The road decommissioning and stream restoration goals for this project are admirable.
Alternative 3 which decommissions 80.5 miles of road, is the most beneficial to aquatic connectivity.
Doing nothing would continue to degrade this important watershed through increased road failure.
Road density post project is more than adequate for fire suppression and recreation in the watershed.
Where appropriate, decommissioned roads should be converted to hiking trails.
ATV trails converted from roads should be for fire suppression only.

Send your comments to:
Carol Cushing, District Ranger
North Umpqua Ranger District
Steamboat Creek Watershed Restoration ID Team
18782 North Umpqua Highway
Glide, OR 97443

To view the Environmental Assesment (EA) for this project go to:

 http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/umpqua/projects/steamboat/index.shtmlhttp://www.fs.fed.us/r6/umpqua/projects/steamboat/index.shtml

 http://www.umpqua-watersheds.org/ watches over this area and always needs our support!!

homepage: homepage: http://www.cascadiarising.org

Apocalypse Christians 06.Dec.2004 18:32

DP

To see where these people are coming from read this article from Common Dreams today.

"In public testimony he said, 'after the last tree is felled, Christ will come back.'"

If you can convince them to convert to Islam and die in battle they might have a better time in heaven (with 72 virgins).



 http://www.commondreams.org/views04/1206-10.htm
Excerpt;
"Remember James Watt, President Reagan's first Secretary of the Interior? My favorite online environmental journal, the ever engaging Grist, reminded us recently of how James Watt told the U.S. Congress that protecting natural resources was unimportant in light of the imminent return of Jesus Christ. In public testimony he said, 'after the last tree is felled, Christ will come back.'

Beltway elites snickered. The press corps didn't know what he was talking about. But James Watt was serious. So were his compatriots out across the country. They are the people who believe the bible is literally true - one-third of the American electorate, if a recent Gallup poll is accurate. In this past election several million good and decent citizens went to the polls believing in the rapture index. That's right - the rapture index. Google it and you will find that the best-selling books in America today are the twelve volumes of the left-behind series written by the Christian fundamentalist and religious right warrior, Timothy LaHaye. These true believers subscribe to a fantastical theology concocted in the 19th century by a couple of immigrant preachers who took disparate passages from the Bible and wove them into a narrative that has captivated the imagination of millions of America"..................................

Right wing clueless on Forest Management 06.Dec.2004 18:32

Dan S. anticapcon@yahoo.com

The right wing should know by now of solid scientific evidence which unequivocally states that road building and fire management are poor forest management strategies. Roads carve up existing biointegral areas of forest biodiversity while fire supression allows dead matter to accumulate, allowing for a massive burn up when the 50 or 100 yr drought finally happens. Liberals and other environmentally concerned folk should also read up on this as well.

Forest fire is a natural process and should be allowed to take place (as long as human domiciles are not directly threatened). Many species need fire to germinate and to alter the succession of ecosystems to increase biodiversity. Also, fire eliminates dead material and transforms organic matter, further benefiting the overall ecosystem.

Roads only aid fire supression, while further carving up forest regions.

Ecosystem disturbance, including disturbance induced by indigenous peoples living sustainably within an ecosystem, needs to be viewed as a good thing. As long as we can protect human lives, urban areas, and vital infrastructure - we need to realize that fires, cyclonic storms, floods, droughts, wind throws, blizzards, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and disease/pests are all part of the feedback and balancing performed by the biosphere in relation to other parts of the Eart system.

People who don't know about this should read about it before they open their mouth.

Maybe if the right wing paid more attention to the research regarding human environment dynamics in forest ecology - they would realize the road decommissioning is a good idea. Any resource management that views human decisions and actions as being superior to Earth's balancing mechanisms cannot be viewed as progressive.

question for cascadian secessionists 06.Dec.2004 19:25

White Lilac

How would you handle a situation like this? Let's assume that secession is possible and has occurred. (!) Presumably national forests now belong to the Cascadian Republic. What would you do when a majority of Cascadian voters want to increase the cut or keep roads open? Manhattan tree-huggers could presumably still comment, but their opinions, being from a foreign country, would have little weight. What happens when you are outvoted here in dear Cascadia?

To While Lilac 06.Dec.2004 20:17

Hmm...

> What happens when you are outvoted here in dear Cascadia?

Uh, you send in the cops to stomp the right-wingers?

And keep Roseburg under permament martial law...

The right is afraid... 06.Dec.2004 21:07

Pravda or Consequences

and so am I.

Is our destiny so pedicted as to make usless any effort by the right or progressives to alter our future?

Decommission The Roads 06.Dec.2004 22:50

Yourself

There are many ways to decommission the road without gov't activity. Clogging the culverts that drain the water so flooding will wash away the road is just one way to get rid of them. Not that I would condone this sort of thing, but do we really need the govt to take out unnecessary roads? This sounds like something fun, necessary and a less risky activity for the outdoorsy types to engage in.

Please... 06.Dec.2004 23:07

MattBatt

The hypocrisy of these people is breathtaking. They bark for elimation of the welfare state, yet when thier own economic logic is applied even handedly, and for a reason outside of naked greed, they stamp and rage. Here's a bit of advice, if look down on wards the state, figure out first if your one of them.
Neither the forest nor the federal government owes them anything, they have survived for too long on thier handouts. Cheers to anyone who helps decommission these roads, unofficially and officially.

The right wing should know by now of solid scientific evidence 07.Dec.2004 01:30

?

Who says they don't?

Right wingers have apparentley been organizing since colonization 07.Dec.2004 05:44

Zeus Son

or there might be more than 5% of ancient forest left.Whats differnt about this time author?

Outvoted in Cascadia? 07.Dec.2004 09:02

adili admin@reemergence.org

> What happens when you are outvoted here in dear Cascadia?

You're presuming the situation in Cascadia would mirror that in the US. In my conception it's entirely possible that the citizens of Roseburg could vote to denude their surroundings of trees. Such a Me First Now Today! attitude might not wash in Lane or Klamath Counties. What then? By cutting indiscriminately they would deny themselves a livelihood in their home municipality: the very definition of cutting off the nose to spite the face.

Top-down politics aren't going to work in the long-run. It never does. What's going to work ?what's going to have to work? is people taking a good look around them and managing what's within eyeshot with a mind toward long-term sustainability. If the citizens of Douglas County want to create a desert then desert it will be. It will not be the responsibility of the citizens of Benton County, King County, or Siskiyou County to bail them out by offering up their forest land for similar destruction.



We're discussing new ideas for governance at http://reemergence.org/. Any and all are welcome to visit and add their opinions to the mix.



STOP THE SLAUGHTER OF THE FOREST!!!!! 07.Dec.2004 13:26

LINDA SAFLEY lindasafley@hotmail.com

this is just the tip of the iceberg, the global climate change is getting worser & worser! besides the devastation of the land, and the dept. of the interior, this is going to be the last days of the planet, already the hurricanes and millions of dollars of destruction. after the election, i sent a message to mr. bush on the climate change to the white house, and never received an answer, oh well! i love oregan, and northern ca., and i pray when i get back there, some trees will be left, but who knows. between pacific lumber, and other companies, and the new rulings, where up aganist major obstacles. i feel sorry for the animals of this planet, their lives are in danger, and our lives, what about our food supply. we can make a difference, don't get frustrated, love the mother planet, as it loves us, and gives us our very souls, when we look upon nature. feel free in the forest, go to the oceans, and watch the waves. the forest is a very special place, with the tundra!

410-615-0796
1936 e. 30th st.

Cascadian Response 07.Dec.2004 16:28

(a)

A good post-secession response to the kind of sentiment expressed profusely in Roseburg (which is the archetype of a timber stronghold) might be to let them do whatever the hell they want, as suggested above.

If they can afford to maintain roads which are barely ever used, on steep slopes, with erosion and sedimentation problems exacerbated by logging (and presumably they would contribute to that field), then they can keep them. Otherwise, they will remove themselves.

exactly right 08.Dec.2004 18:05

cynic

above comment is right on. These redneck dipshits aren't in a position to maintain the roads themselves. They want "the gummint" to do it for them - the same people they were calling "demagogues" in the meeting. In a Cascadian future, tell them to keep their damn roads if they want, and if they have time, after smuggling contraband Budweiser over the pass, and after they finish their steak-and-eggs breakfast, and after they change the oil in the Ford, let 'em die of a heart attack behind the wheel of a grader when they come to a washout that used to lead to their favorite deer hunting spot - the one with the little shack with all the porn they kept so they could jack off after gut-shooting another spike mule deer.

Environmental protection gets a lot easier when the land-rapists have to do their own dirty work.