Lack of compass


But in recent decades, local Boy Scout councils around the nation have ordered clear-cutting or other high-impact logging on tens of thousands of acres of forestland they own, often in a quest for a different kind of green: cash.

A Hearst Newspapers investigation has found dozens of cases in which the scouts ordered the logging of prime woodlands or sold them to big timber interests and developers, turning quick money instead of seeking ways to save the trees.

My internal cynic smartass’s immediate thought a mere two paragraphs into this well-worth-the-read article in today’s San Francisco Chronicle / was: “well, it’s nice to see that at least they don’t discriminate regarding which trees to hack down.”

It didn’t even enter my mind that BSofA representatives would deflect responsibility for an apparent pattern of poor environmental stewardship choices by blaming teh gay. I nearly fell off my chair a couple more mere paragraphs into today’s article:

At times, the scout councils have logged or sold wild properties that had been bequeathed specifically for use as scout camps.

In some cases, councils have sought revenues from logging or land sales to make up for funding lost because of the organization’s controversial bans on gays and atheists.

“The Boy Scouts had to suffer the consequences for sticking by their moral values,” said Eugene Grant, president of the Portland, Ore., Cascade Pacific Council’s board of directors. “There’s no question” that the Scouts’ anti-gay, anti-atheist stance has cost the organization money, he said. As a result, he said, “every council has looked at ways to generate funds … and logging is one of them.”

Catch that? The poor victim has to resort to irresponsible land management at odds with best practices and with its own stated conservation-minded values because of teh gay.

Unbelievable. No whiff of recognition that the organization alone and itself chose the path toward just rewards as a result of its discriminatory policies, and that it is alone responsible for loss of support. And on top of that, it’s apparently because of teh gay that it chooses to barter away its stated conservation principles in exchange for cold, hard cash.

Discrimination is fine, and values are fungible. That’s some nice behavior modeling, fellas.

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About dave bois

Freelance writer with a strong pull towards environmental matters (water issues especially) that remains fueled by my study of and early-career practice in geology and hydrology. Music, food, dogs, current/political events, and visual arts combine to command much of the portion of attention not ceded to ecological concerns. Also Monty Python. I've sold a few pieces of original art and have made cab fare home playing saxophone. Native Mainah

One thought on “Lack of compass

  1. Fucking A.

    My kid’s in Cub Scouts. I put him in it to learn some survival skills and meet friends and do something Daddy did when he was a boy. it’s a bonding thing for them. BUT you know how I am. My kid knows I’m bi- and we are a very open and liberal family. I was hoping that it would innoculate him against outside bigotry and hatred. But, now I have to re-think giving money to the Boy Scouts of America. I can’t friggin’ believe they blamed their clear-cutting on their “moral stance” against gays and atheists. Shit, they’re supposed to be pro-environment.

    I’ll stop ranting now. Thanks for the news though. Eye-opener.

    [dmb edit: honestly, i’d love to see the scouts figure out a way to evolve and prosper and join the 21st century. my scouting career was a brief one—a bit too regimented and proto-military for my annoyingly precocious 8 year old tastes—but i’m generally down with the development of leadership and teamwork and practical / outdoors skills. laudable stuff, truly.

    what fully frosts my cheese are which “values” are set in stone, and which they’ll flex on. probably don’t need to elaborate on why i think it sucks truckloads of ass that they’ll act as irresponsible natural resource stewards for cash in opposition to their stated mission, but they’re an immovable object on the matter of religious freedom and sexual orientation, and, on top of it, attempt to justify the former by being big babies about the latter. ]

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