Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Civil Disobedience & the Bear

What if the bears rose up to defend their forest home? 
Protect Whistleblowers. Support the Bears.

The George Washington National Forest covers 960,000 acres in Virginia, with just over 100,000 acres in West Virginia. Water from this area provides drinking water for 4.75 million people downstream. Currently, there is a debate raging over whether the US Forest Service is going to institute a BAN on Fracking for the next 15 years in the George Washington National Forest. They are due to make a decision about it in June. 
Of the 53,000 public comments from around the nation received by the U.S. Forest Service, 95 percent support the ban. Yet the US Forest Service is showing signs of caving to the pressure by Gas & Oil Companies that cant see the forest for the oil.

Secretary of Agriculture at the USDA, Tom Vilsack, oversees the US Forest Service. Please drop him an email at and urge him to go ahead with the Ban on Fracking in the George Washington National Forest. Heck, tell him that we need a Permanent Ban on Fracking in ALL of our National Forests.
They need to protect our natural resources for the sake of all the forest creatures as well as their human friends who depend on access to clean water to continue living!

List of National Forests either currently being leased for Fracking or under threat:

Allegheny National Forest (PA)
George Washington National Forest (WV & VA)
Wayne National Forest (Ohio)
Talladega National Forest (Alabama)
Mesa-Uncompahgre-Gunnison National Forest (Colorado)
White River National Forest (Colorado)
The Bridger-Teton National Forest (Wyoming)

The Organic Act of 1897 provided the basis for the US Forest Service: 
It's main mission was established as: Timber production, watershed protection and forest protection.
Essentially, the US Forest Service's role is to manage and protect the forest resources for the people of the US. There is currently an alarming trend across the US of privatizing this publicly owned land.

Interestingly, much of the land which is presently under the stewardship of the US Forest Service was once private land. During the Great Depression, the government offered to buy up private land from people struggling to maintain their families. The govt wanted to stretch the budget they had so as to help as many people as possible, so they only bought the surface rights to the land. They did not purchase the mineral rights to save money and maximize the people they could send aid to.
Now the US Forest Service has jurisdiction over only the surface rights of the public lands. The Bureau of Land Management regulates the mineral rights. 

One solution to protecting the public good would be for the govt to declare eminent domain and to purchase all the mineral rights in order to keep the gas and oil in the ground. That is the best case scenario and really the healthiest choice for the future of our planet. 

From the FSEEE: Forest Service Employees with Environmental Ethics: 
"It is in Utah, however, that the movement to wrest control of public lands has progressed the furthest. Last year, the Transfer of Public Land Act was passed by the Utah legislature and signed into law by Governor Gary Herbert.
Like its brethren rebel states, Utah’s new law demands the federal government “extinguish” title to public lands by the end of 2013. But unlike similar legislation, the Utah law deputizes a newly-created state agency, the “Constitutional Defense Council,” to sue the federal government if the state’s demands are not met.
But the end game is not state ownership of our public lands. It is economic exploitation.
That goal can only be realized by selling off the public’s estate to the highest bidders. The reason is simple. These states simply can’t afford to manage federal lands—and they know it. The lawmakers promoting these bills want their states to be a pass-through for private interests to acquire this invaluable property.
Behind-the-scenes, the American Legislative Exchange Council, a think tank that is funded by corporate industries and promotes “free markets, limited government and constitutional division of powers between the federal and state governments” has drafted model legislation to remove National Forest lands from the federal domain.
ALEC’s corporate advisory council includes major energy companies, such as Exxon-Mobil and Peabody Energy, that believe states would provide greater access than the federal government to timber, minerals, and federal oil, gas and coal reserves.
The biggest pote
ntial payoffs are underground oil and gas reserves, especially the vast deposits made commercially viable with new hydrofracking and horizontal drilling technology. With forty-three percent of U.S. oil reserves located on federal lands, the incentives could not be bigger for corporate America."

read more about this here:
#nocompromise #makemyday

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