Friday, April 13, 2012

Earth haters won't fix the Black Hills

Update, 14 April, 20:32 MDT. LawCo uses jail labor for one thing. Aaron Orlowski tells readers of the Rapid City Journal that invasive species funds are being used to fight a species that evolved in the Black Hills.




Drove CO, NE, SD 71 its entire length from near La Junta to Hot Springs: all greening but dry. A brief downpour mixed with soft hail splattered the rig near Brush. Spent the night at the border just south of Ardmore. Many coal trains kept me awake for about ten seconds.

This morning, while Charles Michael Ray briefed listeners about the large turnout at the chemical toilet's Congressional delegation the previous night in Fall River County, one traveler on Cascade Road learned that Hat Creek and the Cheyenne River look nothing like they did last year at this time.

It wasn't until a skim of the Rapid City Journal revealed the Woster story on the Thune/Noem schmooz-fest at the new Republican-owned Game, Fish, and Extirpate West "Campus" where they unveiled Earth Haters' Delight:
They said the legislation, which they expect to be attached to the 2012 farm bill, will slice through restrictions in the National Environmental Policy Act and other potential delays, speeding up projects aimed at fighting a beetle proliferation that Thune labeled a “slow-moving disaster.”
"Slice through:" coulda been the lede. State control over feds: sound familiar?

Beetle-killed Ponderosa pine is substantially lighter than green timber, for one thing. That the youngest trees need to go is number two. Logging companies want the legacy trees that need to stay: number three. The Forest Service is broken: four.

It's not a beetle problem or even a money problem: it's a water problem. Preserve the legacy pine, select cut everything else, convert it to fuel, and burn to encourage aspen to begin the process of healing the living water/rock that is the Black Hills.

Only We, the People can prevent wildfires...if we're lucky.

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