While Mason County residents pause in anticipation of the next downward spiral toward becoming an industrial slum, consider…these signs used to be everywhere: Hoquiam and Forks, Port Angeles and Montesano. The plywood placards were hand made and haphazardly stenciled. Sometimes the wording would be slightly different, but most were roughly the same. Little yellow rectangles hung in windows or on the sides of homes and businesses…an in-your-face gesture aimed at environmentalist punks and big-city know-nothings seen as trying to change the rules of the game.
Spotted owl? Marbled murrelet? These were convenient critters for the environmeddlers, stupid fowl nobody even knew about until the ‘Sahara Club’ and the other ‘greenies’ started to rave about them…got the city folk all riled up. If you ask some people, all that nature noise was a calculated plan to shut down the timber business.
Today, with the economy in the dumps, our forestland heritage squandered, and the housing bubble showing no signs of being pumped up again, the Pacific NorthWest region is beset with parasitic corporations like Adage and Simpson intent on destruction for profit of what environment remains…even to the extent of privatizing/polluting the very air we breath, along with our health, our children, our community, and our quality of life. It would seem 3rd world status is now our lot with a new kind of Jim Crow slated for local residents. The failure of our elected officials to acknowledge the critical need for social justice has seldom been more apparent.
The people with those little, yellow signs on their houses, what was going through their heads as they took those signs down? Were the scraps of wood burned for fuel or simply discarded? Like the spotted owl, they are rarely seen anymore, and the timber dollars they speak of are long spent and gone. -Ken Campbell-