Teams lined up for the kickoff
Spring is in the air. With that comes another logging season and another round of anti-forest management protests from the environmental community. The competition is fierce once again. On one side are the Rimbys (Resources In My Back Yard); people involved in providing the least polluting and only renewable commodity used for thousands of years for shelter, heat, cooking, and more recently, paper used by environmental attorneys to write appeal documents. On the opposing side are Nimbys (Not In My Back Yard), people who use this commodity, but want it conjured out of thin air.
Comparing this to two opposing sports teams, the Nimbys hold the edge over the past years. Scoring is based on government timber sales planned and executed on time. If not executed, or if delays caused by appeals result in cancellation of the sale, the Nimbys receive a score.
Successful appeals of fire salvage score extra points for the Nimbys. The trees are dead and convincing the fans that they all need to stay requires skillful distortion of relevant science and common sense. A winning appeal is rewarded handsomely in cash bonuses to the team captain (environmental attorney), creating incentive to do even better in the next “game.”
Three big fire salvage games lie ahead this season, the Star, the Gap, and the Storie, which is a carry-over from last season. If the Nimbys win, it will mean a resource gone to waste, future brush fields, and future larger, hotter fires.
If the Rimbys win, it will mean revenue from the retrieval of a commodity can be returned as watershed restoration, replanting of native species, and enhancement of wildlife habitat. Fans of the future will enjoy a forest on these presently charred landscapes.
While the Nimbys may be upset by the loss, the Rimbys, the fans, and even other Nimbys elsewhere in the world will be thankful, as dead trees turned into a commodity give the green trees extra time to develop into that renewable and recyclable item that we all share together, if not in principle, at least in practice.
Let the games begin.
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