Day 3 – 27 To Go.
A quick Google survey of citations related to the National Forest Service’s proposed sale of forest land reveals something really interesting: almost nobody’s talking about it. Sure, there are dozens of isolated newspaper articles, mostly on the west coast. A friend in Seattle says this story is the big time, while here in the east, most people yawn and move on.
This moment is what the Blogosphere is all about: millions of people, upset about the same thing, take action to fix it. Right now, the Eeeeeeeeeevil is so retcherously thick and omnipresent, you couldn’t be blamed for thinking, ‘It’s too much, screw it, I’m going back to the couch and reruns of Starting Over.‘ Sure, you can do that. In fact, go right ahead. Later today and tomorrow, you can pick up where we left off. I’ll wait.
Feelings…nothing more than feelings…trying to forget my…
Welcome back! Had a nice nap? Warm soup? Ready to rumble? Good. Let’s rumble!
Over at Blanton’s and Ashton’s, where I lie on the piano, nibble grapes and sing My Funny Valentine everytime Mr. Blackwell stares at Nicole Kidman and considers going straight, and at Running Scared, where I hope Georg will let me lick the bowl before Jazz and I close the bar, you may find a series of posts about the land sale. Cue the voiceover!
Previously on Tata’s mind: the Bush Administration tried funding its rural school program with logging money but the logging’s – begging your pardon – petered out so the National Forest Service is selling off 300,000 acres all over the country that belong to all of us to raise money for the rural schools. Funny thing: the sales will not pay for the schools program no matter how you slice it and we lose 300,000 acres of public forest land FOR ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. The kids deserve a real commitment to their schools from President No Child Left Behind, not this hollow, dangerous lie and our complicity in the theft of their natural resources.
…And we’re back in the present, where the public – that’s you – has 30 days from 28 February to comment on the tracts for sale and the sale itself. Yesterday, the above-mentioned friend in Seattle reminded me of a monstrous evil tucked inside this story. Yes, the National Forest Service has charted and mapped out parcels of forest land for you – the public – to give a good look-see, but the NFS has reserved the right to play bait-and-switch with this sale. In other words: suppose you look at the map and think, ‘This looks okay to me – a bit large, but okay. Perhaps Colorado could use twenty more WalMarts.’ Hey, it’s your brain. You’re entitled to think it. In this case, what it looks like doesn’t matter because the NFS may not be selling these particular lands at all – but other lands they haven’t told us about, possibly because we’d show up with court orders.
I’m not saying we can stop this sale. I’m not certain what’s actually possible, but we can’t sit here nursing our middle-aged spreads and telling our kids to clip coupons, avoid credit cards and save for retirement while our government sells off what truly belongs to our children and their children. Don’t have kids? It doesn’t matter. When was the last time you breathed? Did you just? Well, damn it, you can’t breathe without trees. Like it or not, you need that open space to remain open.
It would be easy to do nothing. Plenty of people are doing it right now. Once again, I’ll wait.
Michelle…ma belle…french french french french french french french french french…french french french french…
DATES: You should submit your comments by March 30, 2006 to be assured of consideration. Comments received after that date will be considered only to the extent practicable.
ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by e-mail to SRS_Land_Sales@fs.fed.us, by facsimile to (202) 205-1604, or by mail to USDA Forest Service, SRS Comments, Lands 4S, 1400 Independence Ave., SW., Mailstop 1124, Washington, DC 20250-0003. Electronic submission is preferred. If you submit your comments by e-mail or fax, you do not need to send a paper copy by mail.
Write the NSA. Call your congresscritters. We have 27 days.