FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Somebody’s Going to Extremes

Getting between a politician and the politician’s promise of jobs can be about as risky as getting between the proverbial mother bear and her cubs. We’ve been seeing some of this in Montana politics, with one politician going so far as warning us all about environmental extremists who don’t want even one tree cut.

I don’t recall which one of them came up with that one, but our entire Congressional Delegation has been hitting the panic button lately, warning against the alleged extremists standing in the way of, ultimately, jobs.

It’s a tempest in a teapot, a needless and unfortunate attack. The Delegation can calm down any day now, because there will be logging, and it falls into the everybody-knows-it category. Never mind whether there should be logging, or must be logging, or Montanans who absolutely abhor logging, there’s  been logging all along, and there’s going to be more of it. Why?

A basic premise of logging is that businesses and families need shelter from the likes of wind and rain, and that premise is all it’s going to take to keep logging going for some while to come and, with the logging, jobs —  so long as there’s enough forest to support them.

There’s some necessary sorting out of how much, how fast, and over how much of the state’s forests at the same time, but we can all be very sure that there’s a lot more than one tree gonna get cut in Montana.

Meanwhile, wilderness. Here too, there’s been some talk of wilderness and extremists, in the same sentence.

Now, I’m not entirely sure how to define environmental extremism. But Montana may have its own best example of it.

When I open my copy of John Hutchens’ One Man’s Montana, and get to page 207,  I see none other than Charlie Russell  quoted, from an invited and presumably well attended public speech in Great Falls: “I have been called a pioneer. In my book a pioneer is a man who comes to virgin country, traps off all the fur, kills off all the wild meat, grazes off all the grass, plows the roots up, and strings ten million miles of wire. A pioneer destroys things and calls it civilization.”

Russell wasn’t done. He added, “I wish to God that this country was just like it was when I first saw it and none of you folks were here at all.’

Russell lost that one big. So had the tribes, before his day. To the extent this has been a losing streak, it’s had a pretty long run.

Because Montana has lost lots of wilderness even since Russell’s times,  it’s hard for me to think that there’s anything so extreme about wanting to keep the fragments we have left.

Let’s get the last of it designated. Life will go on. Logging will go on. The Delegation has apparently had a hard time admitting to anyone that they know it.

Lance Olsen was born in Great Falls, spent time on a cow-hay-grain outfit just west of the Highwood Mountains, hunted sharptail grouse and mule deer, taught brain physiology, took a turn in bear conservation, and currently runs a restricted climate listserv for scientists and staff of agencies and conservation groups.

More articles by:
September 18, 2018
Conn Hallinan
Britain: the Anti-Semitism Debate
Tamara Pearson
Why Mexico’s Next President is No Friend of Migrants
Richard Moser
Both the Commune and Revolution
Nick Pemberton
Serena 15, Tennis Love
Binoy Kampmark
Inconvenient Realities: Climate Change and the South Pacific
Martin Billheimer
La Grand’Route: Waiting for the Bus
John Kendall Hawkins
Seymour Hersh: a Life of Adversarial Democracy at Work
Faisal Khan
Is Israel a Democracy?
John Feffer
The GOP Wants Trumpism…Without Trump
Kim Ives
The Roots of Haiti’s Movement for PetroCaribe Transparency
Dave Lindorff
We Already Have a Fake Billionaire President; Why Would We want a Real One Running in 2020?
Gerry Brown
Is China Springing Debt Traps or Throwing a Lifeline to Countries in Distress?
Pete Tucker
The Washington Post Really Wants to Stop Ben Jealous
Dean Baker
Getting It Wrong Again: Consumer Spending and the Great Recession
September 17, 2018
Melvin Goodman
What is to be Done?
Rob Urie
American Fascism
Patrick Cockburn
The Adults in the White House Trying to Save the US From Trump Are Just as Dangerous as He Is
Jeffrey St. Clair - Alexander Cockburn
The Long Fall of Bob Woodward: From Nixon’s Nemesis to Cheney’s Savoir
Mairead Maguire
Demonization of Russia in a New Cold War Era
Dean Baker
The Bank Bailout of 2008 was Unnecessary
Wim Laven
Hurricane Trump, Season 2
Yves Engler
Smearing Dimitri Lascaris
Ron Jacobs
From ROTC to Revolution and Beyond
Clark T. Scott
The Cannibals of Horsepower
Binoy Kampmark
A Traditional Right: Jimmie Åkesson and the Sweden Democrats
Laura Flanders
History Markers
Weekend Edition
September 14, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Carl Boggs
Obama’s Imperial Presidency
Joshua Frank
From CO2 to Methane, Trump’s Hurricane of Destruction
Jeffrey St. Clair
Maria’s Missing Dead
Andrew Levine
A Bulwark Against the Idiocy of Conservatives Like Brett Kavanaugh
T.J. Coles
Neil deGrasse Tyson: A Celebrity Salesman for the Military-Industrial-Complex
Jeff Ballinger
Nike and Colin Kaepernick: Fronting the Bigots’ Team
David Rosen
Why Stop at Roe? How “Settled Law” Can be Overturned
Gary Olson
Pope Francis and the Battle Over Cultural Terrain
Nick Pemberton
Donald The Victim: A Product of Post-9/11 America
Ramzy Baroud
The Veiled Danger of the ‘Dead’ Oslo Accords
Kevin Martin
U.S. Support for the Bombing of Yemen to Continue
Robert Fisk
A Murder in Aleppo
Robert Hunziker
The Elite World Order in Jitters
Ben Dangl
After 9/11: The Staggering Economic and Human Cost of the War on Terror
Charles Pierson
Invade The Hague! Bolton vs. the ICC
Robert Fantina
Trump and Palestine
Daniel Warner
Hubris on and Off the Court
John Kendall Hawkins
Boning Up on Eternal Recurrence, Kubrick-style: “2001,” Revisited
Haydar Khan
Set Theory of the Left
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail