Saturday, July 19, 2014


It is an exciting thought to double your income in less than a year, like Red Emerson, the billionaire owner of vast tracts of timber land in the Sierra Mountain Counties like Calaveras, Alpine, Shasta. First you do a bit of Union Busting, so the employees in place of your operations have no one to report your shoddy practices that sometimes lethally ignore safe working conditions..

It helps to get a couple of politicians in your pocket before you go to Hildalgo, Mexico and hire by contract workers willing to sign on for forest tree trimming work, for two years, at 16.47 an hour. The Department of Homeland Security and Labor unearthed documents and evidence that these men were kept in the forest as virtual prisoners, working seven days a week, sleeping  in tents on the ground, eating rotting food with no refrigeration, for which they were individually charged $120 a week, and left to drink tainted water from a nearby creek. No sanitation facilities. In one affidavit, workers were threatened by men with guns to work harder or they would be shot in the head. Check the link from the Sacramento Bee below for details.

You can check out some of the details at the link below dealing with spotted owl habitat.

Sierra Pacific Industries has clear-cut large swaths of land in Calaveras County with local activists tracing and photographing the ugly patches from the air. What we have to offer here is tourism, natural beauty, lakes and rivers. But it costs us far more to repair the damage caused by SPI in dollars and lives, than we ever get from their operation in "good jobs" and wages. Run off from clear cuts clog streams and have caused mudslides, wiping out a bridge, and so on. WE pay to have it fixed, of course.

Just because it is called "private property" does not mean that someone should have carte blanche to destroy our infrastructure and environment. Everything should and could be done in moderation with care and respect for the land. When you go to the lumber store, don't buy boards stamped SPI. Ask your dealer where your lumber comes from and don't reward this obscenely rich, dirty handed owner of SPI, Red Emerson, who considers himself above the law. He should be fined every cent he made off those workers.

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