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David_Parker

Arlo and fee demo

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I think Arlo Guthrie should be the spokesman AGAINST fee demo. Last night while you were drinking at Pube Club, I was at Benaroya Hall to see Arlo Guthrie and the Seattle Symphony. Great show, Arlo's really funny. Anyway, he did play one of his Dad's (Woody) songs which we all know and should be the theme song for anti fee demo. He told a story how when he was young and was made to change schools how the first day at the new school they all sang "This Land is my Land" and he didn't know the words. So he went home and asked his Dad to teach him the words and his Dad taught him a different verse to take back to school:

 

This Land is my Land

This Land is your Land

From California

To the New York Islands

From the Redwood Forests

To the Gulf Stream Waters

This Land was made for You and Me

 

As I was walking

In the (insert "national") forest

I saw a sign

that said "No Tresspassing" (insert Fee Demo area)

But on the other side of the sign

It didn't say anything

That side was made for you and me!

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I worked for the FS for a few years and my father was career FS. He was label a "malcontent" after complaining about waste in road planning and offering alternative plans. They forced him into early retirement under Reagan's initiative to cut costs in the buerocracy.

My experience with the FS was similar and yet more satisfying. In the same two week period I met with the Region 1 forester twice. The first time was to deliver the final blow to his plan to open the Bob Marshall wilderness to oil and gas drilling. wave.gif The second time was to have him present myself and seven other guys with the "Primitive Skills Award" which is the highest award a seasonal rec person can recieve. My position was not funded the following year. cry.gif

The sum of my experience can be summed up thusly: The FS is a very conservative, pro big business, good ole boy network that knows how to lie, does lie, and comes up with incredibly creative new ways to lie in order to justify and promote the policies of the president. Professionalism in any scientific discipline has no place in that organization's management.

Expect the worst.

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Excellent point of view Bug. Personally this is my take. Washington doesn't give a rats ass about what we think about paying to use public llands. They don't want to help with trails or other facilities and in their budget meetings they find it really easy to cut funds for such in favor of more "important" issues. "Just make them pay for it themselves". So they come up with fee demo and force everyone to buy trail passes and such. After a few years they say that the people "support" it so they cut funds further because the public now pays for it. A self fullfilling prophecy.

 

I don't get why they continue to link the National Forest with National Parks. They should just separate the 2. Personally, I don't really object to paying to visit or use the National Parks because I know (for the most part) that thet are protected in perpetuity. Our parks aren't going to get raped for wood, oil, ore, gas or other resources. But I refuse to subsidize the National Forest and their mismanagement of resources AND funds. Once the fee demo becomes law, what will be next, BLM land.

 

In the mean time Bush wants to further rape the land and collect $87 BILLION to fight terrorism. The terrorism is right here at home folks. We are being terrorized by our own government. Don't you see it? Why do you buy a pass (you passive, weak fuck!)?

 

I only see the other side of all those signs!

 

 

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Bug said:

The FS is a very conservative, pro big business, good ole boy network that knows how to lie, does lie, and comes up with incredibly creative new ways to lie in order to justify and promote the policies of the president. Professionalism in any scientific discipline has no place in that organization's management.

Expect the worst.

 

I don't have any direct experience working for the FS but this has been my impression as well. My only thing to add is that I have heard young people who work for the FS say there is a big generation gap effect going on in the FS where the older career types are as described above (pro big biz good ole boy types trying to keep their jobs till retirement) and the younger types who work for the FS because they like being outside and care about conservation. Obviously these are big generalizations but you get the idea.

 

Some of these younger folks seemed to think things would change eventually with the new blood and different attitudes. I guess I'm a little more cynical. I think any organization is ultimately run by the money that funds it and the assholes that climb to the top of the pile. In the long run working for the FS is probably a POS job an idealistic person wouldn't stick with their whole career, or get pushed out of (see above post). So I'm guessing the next generation will be more of the same. Way of the world I guess.

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I have some mixed emotions about the demo fee. I have friends that work in the Mt. Baker - Snoqualmie office and it has made a difference in the funds available for trail work.

 

On the other hand there's the logging and grazing programs that bleed money and cause more trouble than what they're worth. WTF - why not make those items profitable before hitting up the recreation folks that are causing little problem.

 

The Sierra Nevada NF Plan is a good example of not listening to folks. After about ten years of public input and lots of work between the environmental camp and the forestry camp a plan was carved out. When the Bushies came in they nixed it! Same goes for the national Roadless Area Plan - nationwide public input, overwhelming input to set aside more roadless areas. The Bushies came in and said it was not valid - luckily on that one they got dragged into court and lost.

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This Land is my Land

This Land is your Land

From California

To the New York Islands

From the Redwood Forests

To the Gulf Stream Waters

This Land was made for You and Me

 

Later, Arlo went on to say how his mom went to China in the Nixon era and they were singing the song over there. At first it didn't make sence to him but then the light went off. You don't have to go the short way to get from California to New York.

 

It seems our government is more interested in going the long way. madgo_ron.gif They are more interested in everything between California and New York the long way through Asia and Europe and across 2 oceans. It's like everything BUT America is important!

 

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lI1|1! said:

Some of these younger folks seemed to think things would change eventually with the new blood and different attitudes. I guess I'm a little more cynical. I think any organization is ultimately run by the money that funds it and the assholes that climb to the top of the pile. In the long run working for the FS is probably a POS job an idealistic person wouldn't stick with their whole career, or get pushed out of (see above post). So I'm guessing the next generation will be more of the same. Way of the world I guess.

The next generation was supposed to come along "soon" when I was in the FS 20 years ago. Your last few sentences are seem more realistic. I used to think that I wanted my secret spots to stay secret. Now it is obvious that Big Gov and Big Business are in a partnership to keep the masses out of the wilds so they will not have any particular interest in it. Case in point; fee demo.

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I worked under for the Olympic NF over this summer. I had an internship with the SCA and worked under the rec 'office.' Here are some impressions:

 

We busted ass to please every possible group of trail users. There were two full-time workers under the rec department, and two or more fulltime 'volunteers,' myself included. Along with a variety of groups not directly affliated with the FS, we handled all the trail-related work that came through our office. Every time some user group complained about the condition of the trail, we were right on it. The backcountry horsemen seemed to bitch more than anyone else. We would always go out there and try to improve the condition of the trail, however in some cases the erosion that happens is unavoidable, and a few years down the line someone else will be there doing the same thing over again. Alot of solutions are temporary. That's to say that we were just working to shut up the user groups, even if it's just for a moment. We always had one hand busy trying to jerk off the public. Some trails aren't meant for the type of use they see.

 

The FS is stuck in an identity crisis. There didn't seem to be a big goal we were all collectively working for. Maintaining the forest yes, but for what? Recreation? Agriculture? A little of each, yes, but where do we stand in the sprectrum of things? Nobody has a big picture of what they want the forest to look like in 10, 20, 50 years. Maybe some man at the top of the chain of things has some idea what he wants, but if that's the case it doesn't seem to trickel down through the ranks to those who actually take the action. There is also very little communications between different offices. Everyone was working towards there own little aspect.

 

Working in recreation, I dealt very little with the ecological side of things, but I was suprised to find out that very little focused is placed on things like removal of exotic weeds. Why? I can only guess to say it's because not very many people understand there impact, and even fewer complain, especially compared to the number of complaints they get when a road is damaged or a trail needs maintanence.

 

In the end you really feel like you're working for a big inefficient beurocracy. One hand is jerking off the public, the other's jerking off your boss, and noone really knows what's going on. I don't have all the answers, actually very few, but I know that someone needs to come along with some bright new plan for the FS.

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David_Parker said:

In the mean time Bush wants to further rape the land and collect $87 BILLION to fight terrorism. The terrorism is right here at home folks. We are being terrorized by our own government. Don't you see it? Why do you buy a pass (you passive, weak fuck!)?

 

I only see the other side of all those signs!

 

Yep. And remember, when you write that check, "Halliberton" is spelled with two "l's". I stole that one from Yahoo.

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i thought the restructuring of the us government to operate under the homeland security agency already allowed haliburton principals to buy stock in the soon to be released "terrorist futures index AND natural resources trading grid" for the good of the nation.

 

but the pay to play will go away if we can tell the 100th monkey, i believe?

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