September 18, 2008

Ax Men Axing Salmon

Once upon a time I thought clearcutting had pretty much been abandoned. Maybe that's because, as early as elementary school, we were told all about the history of our local Adirondack Park. The potential impacts of stripping vegetation from forested hillsides and mountains was ingrained at an early age. At the age of 10 I had no reason not to assume that the rest of the country operated responsibly managed forestry industries. Then I saw the History Channel's Ax Men for the first time. Hard to believe that I had made it so far through my life without ever questioning my naive assumption. It's always enlightening to see the raping of our natural wonders glorified in HDTV.

Bacon's got some images of an otherwise picturesque landscape over at BWTF. The viewshed is the least of many issues related to clearcutting (and other irresponsible forestry practices). Who would have thought increasing the potential for erosion and landslides could ever possibly harm a species on the brink?

We present this as a reminder of the private, extraction industry’s intent on bending over a commonwealth public resource while that same public sits fat and complacent in front of their glowing 78″ flat-screen, putting their temporary pacification-disguised-as-comfort above our future generations’ right to walk their State Lands among big trees, drink clean water and fish over native fish.

It's important to point out our own role in this as poor citizens and stewards. Another thing I learned in elm. school was that, along with all it's privileges, American citizenship carries some hefty responsibilities. At the very least, we can educate ourselves about the impacts of what we are watching on that flat-screen.

And while I can't completely join in Bacon's sentiment of extractive industries as the evil empire, I will repeat the saying..."If you give them an inch...." Remember, it's our (and our legislators' and regulators') job to keep them in check.

1 comment:

Miss Margaret said...

yeppers, i was pretty sure that except for our neighbors, there was no clear cutting. spoiled adk kids. don't know the real world. i've never watched the show and did wonder when i saw that it was coming on...but then assumed they were cutting responsibly. i can't believe they aren't! ridiculous, especially with "green" being so trendy now.