Clearcutting is a Crime Against Nature

Clearcutting is a crime against nature. Many people believe wrongly that the U.S. Forest Service no longer clearcuts our public forest.

The Lolo National Forest has planned 114 acres of clear-cut logging in the proposed Soldier-Butler logging project in the Nine-Mile drainage just West of Missoula, Montana.

The forest in Nine-Mile is not “unhealthy.” Forests are sacred places.

Forest life goes in cycles at a superficial level. At a more fine-grained level exists a sequence of unique, non-repeatable events that seem almost too complex to comprehend. Faced with complexity and limited cognitive skills, bureaucrats, technicians and agency scientists reduce the living world to those features that are amenable to measurement and mechanistic manipulation.

Our favorite form of manipulation is, of course, killing things. Why are we killing the forest in Nine-Mile? For some statistically significant result that totally ignores the complexity of forest life. Why can’t we just marvel at the forest we’ve got?

What kind of spirit possesses people who commit such un-Godly acts against nature? Clearcutting can neither glorify nor perfect God’s creation. No, the spirit that possesses people who commit such atrocious must be a far lesser deity – a demon perhaps. We consent to evil at our peril.

Steve Kelly is a an artist and environmental activist. He lives in Bozeman, Montana.