Thursday, September 19, 2013

Africa Comes To The Olympic Peninsula

First of all, this page is why I used that title for this post. This has been going on a long time. Newspapers are slow on stories up here, especially any that may blame the logging industry. But the younger generation is beginning to ask: "Why are you destroying our future?" as an out-of-state logging company rips up the area of the upper west end of the Olympic Peninsula. Newspapers are making buggy whips badly enough as it is - they need to be talking to the younger generation, not going to lunch with old farts from the '50's (I'm an old fart from the '50's, but I know why what my generation built is such a growing catastrophe).

The book Tall Timber, very popular up here, is a kind of Mein Kampf  for what logging industries intended to do to our forests - turning them from carbon sinks, oxygen pumps and wildlife homes, among a few of their many purposes, into something on the level of GMO corn - but without fertilizer, care or concern. The science is antique, the ideas utterly out of date, the results toxic on so many levels.

My letter to the Washington State Fish and Game:

"Good morning.

Forks Outfitters makes all my arguments for me.
To let you know some background, ASPCA directed me to the local humane society, who directed me to you.

From rough observation and experience, may I ask this question: are hunters who work in the logging industry using clearcuts to have access to displaced, hungry and confused predators?

In Africa, logging operations often work illegally in conjunction with bushmeat operations to harvest as many homeless wild animals as possible.

After living here for ten years, I'm very much aware of a local predator-hunting culture based on a 19th-century tradition of extermination, coupled with the trophy mentality (as opposed to basic, proper food needs). Mountain lions, especially, are seen as something to be wiped out, along with wolves, and displayed as mere trophies. Local newspapers support this culture, without reference to modern understanding of territorial predator behavior.

Note about me: I'm a writer, but as a commercial sideline, I'm the West End North Correspondent for the Forks Forum. In the course of covering stories, I must say that I've noticed a correlation between clearcuts near neighborhoods and almost immediate lethal (for the predator) interaction between frightened humans and a disoriented animal whose prey source has been driven away. It's hard to mistake the chain of events. Recently, when hearing loggers talk about "killing cats," the evidence became clearer.

I will continue to address this question, whether locally or internationally. To quote a local woman with whom I was discussing the situation, "State Trust Lands, my ass."

Thank you for your attention.

Donna Barr"

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