FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Idaho Timber Industry Leader Advocates Violence Against Green’s Mom

In the wake of Oregon State University’s recent findings that post-burn logging is not healthy for forests, a timber industry leader from Idaho, Brett Bennett of Bennett Lumber Products has responded with an intimidating message to Matt Koehler, director of Missoula-based conservation group Native Forest Network.

Koehler sent a copy of Oregon State’s study to a timber industry list-serve called Pulaski-project-list on January 5. Bennett responded directly to Koehler the next day with an off-topic email advocating violence against his mother.

“You just don’t get it, do you? Take away the timber industry and quit logging and what do you have? Someone should have slapped your mother for raising you so poorly,” Bennett said in his e-mail.

Bennett didn’t respond to calls to Lowbagger.org as of press time, though messages were left on his voice mail and with his secretary asking for an explanation of his intent.

Koehler’s response to the incident was that Bennett’s remarks were “sick and twisted”.

“My passing along new scientific information should not elicit the violent response that you sent me,” Koehler said in a response to Bennett. “How dare you say that someone should have slapped my mother for raising me so poorly. This violent language is completely unacceptable and I hope it doesn’t represent the position of Bennett Lumber Products.”

Koehler pointed out that his mother has been a registered nurse for 40 years, and a life-long GOP voter who is director of the church choir. In all, a wholesome American woman.

“If you want to have a rationale discussion about national forest policy and issues related to post-fire logging, restoration and fuel reduction that’s fine and I will willingly participate in such a discussion; however, when, as the owner of Bennett Lumber Products, you suggest that my mother should be slapped because I simply pass some new scientific information along, I seriously doubt that you are willing to have a rationale discussion,” Koehler continued.

The timber industry in Idaho and Montana has long since had a reputation of using violence and harassment to intimidate conservationists from objecting to logging operations that are at times illegal and examples of poor forestry.

In places like Montana’s Ravalli County this harassment is generally regarded as legitimate politics. Some highlights of the violence include the arson of Darby resident Stewart Brandborg’s family cabin in 1996. Over the course of several years, another Darby-area resident Larry Campbell has had shots fired at buildings on his property. Law enforcement in Ravalli County is a good-old boy network tied to the timber industry. Even arson and drive-by shootings are given little investigation or play in the local press.

Where do we draw the line between flippant threats against a conservationist’s mother and the violence that occurs against greens on the ground every year? One begets the other and that is why Brett Bennett’s comments are not only unacceptable but an infringement of a civil right that is the cornerstone of America’s political system, the right to voice a political opinion without fear.

Not to mention that the absence of a true and robust debate short-changes the American countryside.

Josh Mahan is the editor of Lowbagger.org.

 

More articles by:

Weekend Edition
February 15, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Matthew Hoh
Time for Peace in Afghanistan and an End to the Lies
Chris Floyd
Pence and the Benjamins: An Eternity of Anti-Semitism
Rob Urie
The Green New Deal, Capitalism and the State
Jim Kavanagh
The Siege of Venezuela and the Travails of Empire
Paul Street
Someone Needs to Teach These As$#oles a Lesson
Andrew Levine
World Historical Donald: Unwitting and Unwilling Author of The Green New Deal
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Third Rail-Roaded
Eric Draitser
Impacts of Exploding US Oil Production on Climate and Foreign Policy
Ron Jacobs
Maduro, Guaidó and American Exceptionalism
John Laforge
Nuclear Power Can’t Survive, Much Less Slow Climate Disruption
Joyce Nelson
Venezuela & The Mighty Wurlitzer
Jonathan Cook
In Hebron, Israel Removes the Last Restraint on Its Settlers’ Reign of Terror
Ramzy Baroud
Enough Western Meddling and Interventions: Let the Venezuelan People Decide
Robert Fantina
Congress, Israel and the Politics of “Righteous Indignation”
Dave Lindorff
Using Students, Teachers, Journalists and other Professionals as Spies Puts Everyone in Jeopardy
Kathy Kelly
What it Really Takes to Secure Peace in Afghanistan
Brian Cloughley
In Libya, “We Came, We Saw, He Died.” Now, Maduro?
Nicky Reid
The Councils Before Maduro!
Gary Leupp
“It’s All About the Benjamins, Baby”
Jon Rynn
What a Green New Deal Should Look Like: Filling in the Details
David Swanson
Will the U.S. Senate Let the People of Yemen Live?
Dana E. Abizaid
On Candace Owens’s Praise of Hitler
Raouf Halaby
‘Tiz Kosher for Elected Jewish U.S. Officials to Malign
Rev. William Alberts
Trump’s Deceitful God-Talk at the Annual National Prayer Breakfast
W. T. Whitney
Caribbean Crosswinds: Revolutionary Turmoil and Social Change 
ADRIAN KUZMINSKI
Avoiding Authoritarian Socialism
Howard Lisnoff
Anti-Semitism, Racism, and Anti-immigrant Hate
Ralph Nader
The Realized Temptations of NPR and PBS
Cindy Garcia
Trump Pledged to Protect Families, Then He Deported My Husband
Thomas Knapp
Judicial Secrecy: Where Justice Goes to Die
Louis Proyect
The Revolutionary Films of Raymundo Gleyzer
Sarah Anderson
If You Hate Campaign Season, Blame Money in Politics
Victor Grossman
Contrary Creatures
Tamara Pearson
Children Battling Unhealthy Body Images Need a Different Narrative About Beauty
Peter Knutson
The Salmon Wars in the Pacific Northwest: Banning the Rough Customer
Binoy Kampmark
Means of Control: Russia’s Attempt to Hive Off the Internet
Robert Koehler
The Music That’s in All of Us
Norah Vawter
The Kids Might Save Us
Tracey L. Rogers
Freedom for All Begins With Freedom for the Most Marginalized
Paul Armentano
Marijuana Can Help Fight Opioid Abuse
Tom Clifford
Britain’s Return to the South China Sea
Graham Peebles
Young People Lead the Charge to Change the World
Matthew Stevenson
A Pacific Odyssey: Around General MacArthur’s Manila Stage Set
B. R. Gowani
Starbucks Guy Comes Out to Preserve Billionaire Species
David Yearsley
Bogart Weather
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail