Thursday, May 29, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Hiking with Goodlatte; Hearing the Pitch

Goodlatte with the park ranger who accompanied us.
About 15 years ago, following one of my frequent criticisms of 6th District Congressman Bob Goodlatte, who (mis)represents me in Congress, he called and invited me to go with him on a hike to the Devil's Marbleyard. He wanted to explain in some detail how his "Healthy Forests Initiative" was set up to work. I already knew how it worked and that was the grounds for my criticisms, but I agreed.

At the time, Bob was head of the House Agriculture Committee and was involved in all kinds of legislation that basically turned over the country to industry and business.

Bob showed up for the hike with a forest ranger (whose name escapes me) in tow, ready to battle both the trail--which is suprisingly difficult--and me. He talked, I listened (and shook my head). His point was that if we took down all the big trees, allowing the lumber companies to clear them for us, the forest would just take off and be happy and healthy. That, of course, is bullshit--big trees are hard to burn and protect the forest in many, many ways. The point is to clear the underbrush.

Anyhow, Goodlatte was not in a position of much power at the time and took the time to explain himself, however inadequately, on a one-on-one basis. I appreciated that effort.

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