Let’s Implement a Clear Cut Ban!
Encouraged by reading about heroes who have taken direct action through non-violent resistance, I recently contacted the California’s North Coast chapter of Earth First! to volunteer my services. You can imagine my surprise when they explained to me that their top foe, the Maxxam Company, was recently taken over by the Humboldt Redwood Company and the Mendocino Redwood Company.[social_buttons]
In direct contrast to its predecessor, HRC has committed itself to preserving the remaining old growth forest on its property. Now, North Coast Earth First! is focusing on introducing a bill that will ban clear cutting in all of California.
Research quickly revealed assembly bill 2926, a bill proposed by Sally Lieber last April but killed in committee after heavy opposition from timber lobbyists.
I checked the Humboldt Redwood Company’s web page but the site was under construction under the some sections like forest management and issues & policies. I also checked Mendocino Redwood Company after hearing about positive reformation from them too from NCEF.
It turns out that the media is in a flare about this and many people seem convinced, much like election of Obama, that this is the chance for a positive change. However, I couldn’t help but remain similarly hesitant to resist skepticism, despite the obvious massive change in a more positive direction.
Greenwashing is ubiquitous in marketing our resources, and though there are many resources, such as greenwashingindex.com to sift through much of it, it’s still important to attend to how things pan out; preservation has progressed but still has a distance to go to. Greenwash abounds in stealth. Whether things swing forward towards more progress or backwards again remains to be seen.
I found an article in Mother Jones that details the struggle between Maxaam and the people who protected them – and the forests that the company destroyed. The article highlights a meeting between the head of the Environmental Protection Information Center and a forester from HRC. I was glad to see the shared terseness from the rep. from the EPIC. They are a northwestern California based activist center.
The push in an opposite direction is enacted for now, it appears, in a highly publicized and historical conflict between the forests and industrialists in a region of northwest California.
But why not keep this ball rolling and attempt to try to pass another bill similar to last April’s assembly bill 2926 – if it’s a good idea, that is, and not just greenwashing? Overall, I’m with NCEF. A statewide ban on clear cutting would be a strong wave initiated from a small ripple.
So I’m rattling away on how to write a bill like 2926. Anybody have an idea on how to get things like that through a committee? I’d suppose it wouldn’t matter if it were a statewide ballot. Ambitious, isn’t it? Do you think it would have a good chance – or any chance -at passing, despite lobbyists?
Photo credit: David Sifry at Flickr under Creative Commons license
Excellent post. I agree with the writer that now is the time to step up on combatting the devastating effects of clear cutting. Since persistance can pay off – and as we all know it can take many attempts to get this kind of legislation passed – I suggest contacting the sponsor of 2926. Find out what worked and what didn’t, in trying to get this passed. Learn what mistakes not to make, what tactics might work better in gaining support, etc.
We the upcoming change in administration we tend to focus on legislation at the national level. This article reminds us that much work can/should be done on the state or local level, as much of the environment is controlled by these governing bodies.