2 EcoDevelopment: Decolonizing Ourselves

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  • AlfiE THE STAKESIThe Planet Drum Review VOLUMEl,NUMBER


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    2. Proliferation of newforestry co-ops and a forestrymanagement cadre, makinglivings at present largely onfederal forest land.

    4. Government awareness-Huey Johnson s RenewableResources Investment Fund.Blue Ribbon State Committeereports to State Board ofForestry that $600 millionmust be spent in the next20 years to rebuildCalifornia's forests.

    1, Groundswell for repeal ofPeripheral Canal in northernCalifornia.

    3. Slow accretion ofknowledge and techniquesamounting to the art ofwatershed repair-to witENT Proiect in RedwooodPark-BLM and CCCstream rehabilitation work inMattole drainagelKing'sRange-development of smallscale hatchery techniquesin Alaska, B. C., etc.promising local rehabilitationof fish resources.

    of two decades during whichNorthern California's resourcebase can and hopefully will bereexamined and renewed. Thenature and need of the work arequite clear to many. The waysit's going to get done are less clear.But the following things arehappening:


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    place for new ideas and organiza-tions. There are a lot of groupsright now who are involved inecology, feminism, the anti-nuclear movement, but theydon't share a very sophisticatedpolitical analysis.

    PB: Separatism in Quebecdoesn't relate to any questionshaving to do with ecology or anti-nuclear activity?

    CL: No, in no way. It still hasa very strong nationalist aspect.I mean it is essentially a FrenchCanadian movement, and thereare other minority groups inQuebec who have not been ableto find their place in that move-ment. There are some English-speaking ethnic people that areseparatists, are members of PartiQuebecois, but I think that theymust be considered as petit bour-geois also.


    DearJudy, Peter and Michael,I am in this abject position,

    feeling pretty bad about nothaving been able to talkto you prior to the meetingover a week ago and onlynow getting to thiscommunication and doing soon this scuzzy paper withthis cheap ballpoint.A slipshod operation allaround, but I have myexcuses.

    Primarily, is more work thanI can possibly do, long exhaustingdays at the end of which thereis only bed-nor is there hereenough order to concentratereadily. Just too damn much todo and too many kids (we havetwo 3-year-old wards for themonth).

    Secondarily, and related to ithas been my lack of clarity aboutthe questions you posed in ourlong phone conversation-forinstance, what relevancy canPlanet Drum have in my life?What direction should PlanetDrum turn?

    My answers are just beginningto emerge, may indeed seemsimple-minded but, I suspect,will not be short-winded. I think,feel and hope that we are at theonset of a 20 year long work here,perhaps longer, which might belabeled a number of things-environmental repair, watershedrehabilitation, fishing enhance-ment, forestry renewal, rightagriculture, agricultural diversi-fication, etc. We are at the onset

    Peter Berg: Christian, is theseparatist sympathy in Quebecconnected to any bioregional,ecologic thinking? What wouldsecession for Quebec mean?

    Christian Lamontagne: Peo-ple are not expecting anythingvery new if Quebec succeeds insecession. Nobody is thinking thatthis will change the order ofthings. Most of us think that,"Yes, we will vote for the refer-endum, but it is only because wedon't have any other choice."Between two bad things, we willchoose the one that is less harm-ful. So, right now, many of thepeople who were activists in theSixties are looking for somethingelse, something new. I wouldsay that they are getting boredby the idea of separatism, as thisidea is articulated by the PartiQuebecois. The Parti Queboois isperceived as a petit bourgeoisparty. Which it is. So there is a



    Christian Lamontagneinterviewed by Peter Berg

    The Planet Drum Review

    Christian Lamontagne is an editor of Quebec's Le Temps Fou(The Crazy Times). This interview took place in February, 1980.Since then the autonomy referendum has been defeated andwhile Pierre Trudeau attempts to frame a new Canadian con-stitution to accommodate some degree of self-determinationfor the provinces, Quebec liberation forces are re-grouping forfuture struggles to gain total independence. Will the goals of theseparatists be the same as they were before the referendum?Christian was critical ofParti Quebecois' narrow vision especiallyin regard to environmental issues before the May vote, and hisview of what an independent Quebec could achieve instead mayprove prophetic for the next contest over, "Quebec libre,oui ou non?"

    I have been working 6 days aweek here at the hotel since Aprildoing cooking and maintenance,which hasn't left much time foranything else. I haven't been offlona except to the nearby Isle ofMull and a recent trip out to theTreshnesh Isles with a localcrofterto help him off-load sheep fromone of the islands where he hasgrazing rights. A wild, steep-cliffed place; some tumbled stone-work marking an 18th centuryvillage site. We manhandled 61sheep into his open boat; whenwe tried to leave, a stern-line gotwrapped around the propellorshaft and we took an icy plungeinto the Atlantic to cut it away;when we got off, it was blowingand the sea was rising and far-away lona had vanished in thefog. We made it back with thehelp of my compass; not withoutsome nervous moments for me.On Mull I've been tracking downstanding stones and other mega-lithic sites, using map and com-pass. I find myself fascinated bythese reminders of a culture tunedto the cosmos in both ritual" andpractical ways-perhaps instru-ments of a vast and highly scien-tific astronomical observatory?No similar inter-related system oflandmarks was laid on thecountryuntil the Ordinance Survey im-posed its network of triangulationacross the landscape in the 19thand 20th centuries A.D.

    Today a force 10 gale, a mas-sive swell rolling thru lQe sound,smashing in white fountains ofwater against the granite cliffsof Mull. Awesome and beautiful.

    The "season" comes to a closein mid-October, when Kathy andI plan to go to the Outer Hebridesand Orkney. During the wintermonths we will be caretaking thehotel: Kathy silversmithing andcarving, me exchanging main-tenance work for food and coaland electricity credits at the hotel.Next, perhaps another season inlona, or a move to the OrkneyIsles, or perhaps to Ireland?

    Enclosed is $10 to s~ure mystanding with Planet Drum.


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    The conquest of Mexico bythe Spanish in 1521 is a perfectbut tragic example of how hugemasses of earth which were oncefertile degenerated into deserts.The Spanish cut down the teem-ing fir forests; today, only sagebrush and cactus remain-lifeis impossible. Once the trees aregone then the rains go and thenmost life vanishes.

    ::::::::::. OREGON


    !'Ilb, +- MATTOlE RIVER ~The Trinity River is full of

    gravel because the bare, clearcut hillsides quickly erode intothe river and streams. Also, thegravel fills the waters quickerbecause there is already a lowlevel of water in the river. Withclear cutting comes roads for thegiant equipment needed for haul-ing out the timber. These roadsare improperly constructed andinadequately maintained by theForest Service. With increasedroads in an already fragile eco-system more gravel slides into therivers and streams. This meansless water which translates intoless fish population even if no fishare taken by humans..

    The managers of our publiclands have been putting out forestfires for many years. Currently,we are facing the possibility of a"fire storm" stretching from San

    Wilson (radical journalist), An-drew Currie (ecologist), and JohnMcGrath (playwright). The greatecologist of Scotland is J. FraserDarling, whose major work, WestHighland Survey: An Essay inHuman Ecology, was publishedin the 50's and provides a radicaland detailed prescription forre-inhabitation. John Mercerhas written a good review ofnaturalist issues called Scotland:The DevolutionofPower whereinhe asks; "can the Highlander ex-pect an assembly in Edinburghto take more account of his de-mands for radical reform, suchas that of landholding, than hasthe London parliament?" Scot-land, as a nation, has alwayssuffered internal divisions; be-tween Gael and Anglo-Scot,lowlander and highlander,Crown and clan. The Highlandshave also suffered from completedeforestation, 200 years of ex-tractive sheep farming and apolicy of deliberate genocide.Patterns of exploitation continuetoday in essentially extractivedevelopment schemes-oil, nu-clear waste dumping, EEC fish-eries rip-offs, etc. All very tragicand grim, really. Meanwhile anaturalist grouping petitionsthe UN to grant recognition tothe majority desire for devolutionas expressed in the 1976 referen-dum and since ignored by Par-liament.

    N0RTHERN CALIFORNIA REPORTso much energy toward com-petition for these renewable re-sources, the most fruitful futurewhich could promise an adequategeneration of these resourcesmust be seen with another visionin order to halt the increased ex-ploitation of these resources.

    Water-Life: Without waterno life is possible. Our watercomes from theclouds. The cloudsprovide us with rains because,as they come into our hills fromthe ocean, they are semi-saturat-ed; when they reach thecool moistair provided by the fir forests theclouds become fully saturatedand they empty themselves onthe hills as rain. The cool moistair occurs below the firs becausethey keep the forest floor shadedas well as hold the subterraneanwater close enough to the surfaceof the earth to sustain vegetation.The trees furnish an insulatinglayer of moist shade.

    The Forest Service and theBureau of