Friday, April 11, 2008


Here is a story my grandfather told me about in Arkansas. A neighbor of his worked for a logging company for 12 years. And I will begin by telling you how they sort trees. First of all, they do not normally ‘clear cut’ unless it is new land and they need all the different types of trees cleared to make way for a single or sectional tree type (like a farmer tills the ground disturbing the grass to plant corn).

Normally they have a group of people go through the area, and find the trees most ready to be harvested. If there is a group close together they pick one, and leave the rest. If one tree is picked, the ones on either side are spared. They wrap a colored plastic wrap around the trees to be cut. Once they are removed, they plant 2 trees at least in different areas around the place the tree was, and put down a layer of topsoil (usually over the whole area, but sometimes only over part that needs it). Somewhere between monthly and quarterly the areas underbrush is cleared away, leaving the ground, and grass clean and preventing forest fires. The whole area is maintained, and wildlife is left to flourish. Hunting is prohibited in their private land, because a bullet in the wood could damage a high power saw used to cut the tree when the time comes. Still land nearby is highly sought after for hunting due to large amounts of game.

At some point in the 80s, I am not sure the exact date, since my Grandfather has now passed, I can not exactly ask him. Greenpeace came to town to protest the cutting of trees by the lumber companies. They had a little march, a small protest, and are salads at the all “you can eat” Catfish Dinner at the local joint. Everyone laughed, had a good time, and they left. No one had a second thought.

Two weeks later they began cutting the trees, and after a couple of trees were complete without error, a blade on a high power saw broke mid chain, and whipped around nearly severing a mans arm. If it hit a little higher it would have killed him. After weeks of therapy he was finally able to do normal things around the house, but would never be able to lift anything heavy again.

That sort of thing doesn’t happen, so all the saws were inspected, and new blades put on all of them. This took a couple weeks, in the mean time all these guys were without work, and had been waiting for this season to open so they can earn a living for the year.

They started up again, and after a few trees, a chain breaks again. This time it hits a guy in the side and back. Less damaging to him, but still no picnic. This man recovered fine, but the investigation found the problem. A long staple made of tungsten carbide in the tree. Just below the surface, under the bark, so it was just a month or so old. (about the time Greenpeace was there).

So now they stop work again, and X-Ray all the trees, this takes more than a month. More than half the trees in the area are found to have these staples. The company has no choice. They can not risk mens lives. They bring in heavy equipment and clearcut the whole forrest. Because the staples would damage saw blades at the mill, they can not be used for lumber. So some of the best lumber Pine in the world is crushed and turned into paper. So much the company can’t sell all of it before it drys out, so the rest they grind up and dump in a landfill.

In the meantime Several hundred people lost their jobs for 20 years while the trees grow. Several hundred more at the mill lost their jobs since they had nothing to cut. Greenpeace went on, and a community suffers.

Do I think Greenpeace meant to do this? No. It was eco-terrorists in their ranks.

The problem with Greenpeace is if you preach hate toward a group, (business) then that feeds the hate of the extremists. See the Moslem faith. They are not all terrorists, or even a small percentage are. Problem is when you tell people to hate, that is all they know.

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