By Danny Dructor
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, ensure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
Perhaps the most powerful and meaningful 52 words ever put together, the Constitution of the United States of America is the supreme law of the United States. Empowered with the sovereign authority of the people by the framers and the consent of the legislatures of the states, it is the source of all government powers, and also provides important limitations on the government that protect the fundamental rights of United States citizens.
So why, as United States citizens, do we continue to blame the government for things that we can change that are within our power and authority granted in the Constitution of the United States of America? It is time that we accepted responsibility, accountability and ownership of what has become the partisan bickering in Washington, DC and quit complaining, blaming and making excuses for our failure to elect representatives that still value the wants and needs of the citizens of the United States that put them into office.
The mismanagement of our federal lands is a good example. Last year, while lives and property were being lost in Paradise, California, our “representatives” in Washington, DC spent their time bickering over language in the 2018 Farm bill that would have helped expedite the treatment of overgrown national forests, which could help reduce the number of catastrophic wildfires. The politicians spent more time debating the cause of the problems than considering real solutions to this crisis.
The blame game continued as usual as one party did not want to make it appear that the other party might actually be right when they called for active forest management to reduce forest fuels. If this is the new “norm” in Washington, then it is high time that “We the People” took back the sovereign power that is vested to us and fire those whose political interests take precedence over the needs of the people.
This also goes for the use of our federal interstate highway system to haul existing state legal loads along the safest route to the mills. We should not allow the federal government- or any federal agency- to hold states hostage by holding back highway funds if they do not comply with federal mandates. We the People should hold those same agencies accountable. We should call for the replacement of personnel as lives are lost due to regulations that only serve to force haulers onto secondary roads where they’re much more likely to be involved in an accident.
Members of the American Loggers Council will once again return to Washington, DC on April 4-6 to educate the 100+ new representatives on the Hill. We will give them the truth about our industry and the “who, where, why and how” of what we do to promote healthy, sustainable forests. Our strength is in our numbers and the contacts and relationships that we build during our visits. We need to tell our story before someone else tries to tell it for us. You are the expert in your field- no one else- and only you can convey the message that members of Congress need to hear. We ask that you please consider joining our ranks this year and help us, yes, We the People, chart the future and destiny of this profession that we call logging.