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(en) EF! journal U.S - Healthy Forest Militia Gives Forest Service the Boot

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Thu, 2 Oct 2003 11:17:52 +0200 (CEST)

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> From: dr.woooo <dr.woooo-A-nomasters.org>
We are a group of self-organized, anti-authoritarian, unpaid workers, calling
ourselves the Healthy Forest Militia.
In July, while the Healthy Forests Restoration Act loomed in the Senate, we
implemented small diameter fuels reduction projects in the Klamath National
Forestís Knob Timber Sale.
The area was selected because of its close proximity to residential homes in
Sawyers Bar, California. Our intention was to show that local volunteer workers
could do a better job at promoting forest health than the US Forest Service

Armed with loppers and handsaws, we removed branches and young, overcrowded
trees. Through guerrilla restoration, debris was utilized to provide stability
on slopes where there was a potential for landslides. Brush was collected and
piled on the road to be chipped or burned when the conditions permitted. Our
objective in these tasks was to reduce the fuel loads on the ground. Most of
the trees marked to be cut in the Knob Timber Sale were the largest and
healthiest, while areas of dense brush would remain. When we left the site, the
understory of the forest was much more open, but the overstory was intact.

Much of the logging that the USFS justifies in the proposed Healthy Forest
Restoration Act actually increases the risk of high-intensity forest fires.
Industrial logging generates an abundance of flammable forest debris on the
ground and the dense growth of small trees and bushes. It creates the right
conditions for catastrophic wildfires that burn hotter and for longer periods
of time than healthy, frequent and natural fires.

The federal government has made a mess of public lands management. Past old-
growth liquidation logging practices and extensive road building have attempted
to turn the forest into an industrial factory. It is clear to us that local
restoration forestry crews are needed, not machine-intensive logging that takes
the biggest trees, increases fire hazards and makes a few people wealthier.

We seek to form bonds within our communities to build sustainable and self-
sufficient relationships, both with each other and the environment. We
challenge ourselves to find healthy ways to work for our communities and the
ecosystems on which we depend, separate from the commands of Washington, DC.

The Healthy Forest Militia believes in the revolutionary strategy of building
dual powers. This strategy focuses simultaneously on opposition and
reconstruction, seeking to combine these forces into a counterweight to erode
the dominant power structure. We wish to help with developing popular power at
the grassroots level and with the dismantling of top-down institutions.

We contest the legitimacy of the state in general and the USFS in particular,
as well as other centralized systems of power. We are sending out a call to
challenge hierarchical systems of power and to create popular self-government.
We feel that all community members should have the opportunity to participate
directly in making democratic decisions on all matters that effect their life,
community and the ecosystem. The USFS and the Bush administrationís lack of
ecological sustainability threatens all.

This article is an excerpt from a July 12 posting on www.portlandindymedia.org.

- http://www.weareeverywhere.org

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