Forests are sacred places. For millennia forests have been doing fine all by themselves.

The Lolo National Forest has planned 114 acres of clear-cut logging in the proposed Soldier-Butler logging project in the Nine-Mile drainage West of Missoula. The forest in Nine-Mile is not “unhealthy.”

As always, government sees only death and total annihilation as the preferred solution to any “problem.” Yet another example of the Hegelian Dialectic (problem, reaction, solution) playing out right before our very eyes, or in other words standard operating procedure for the criminal enterprise of “forest liquidation.”

Government has always existed to facilitate the extraction and distribution of stolen treasure to powerful imperial looters (oligarchs) at the expense of their victims (commoners and living landscapes). Looting Nine-Mile is nothing new. Scars from past mining, grazing and logging remain on the landscape.

Instead of bringing Montana’s “white-collar” financial criminals to justice, wealthy investors, corporations, paid collaborators and their government agency sponsors work feverishly to deregulate environmental laws and regulations and privatize public forests.

As Mother Nature puts another fire season to bed, many in the timber industry and private-finance industry are poised to exploit people’s fears and ignorance about native forest ecosystems for fun and profit – if the government keeps the subsidy spigot open full bore. Debt, what national debt?

Politicians who tout “smaller government and lower taxes” will never “fire-proof” forests or win their endless mechanized war against nature employing more costly government intervention. Nor will doling out bigger government subsidies to support bigger and bigger clearcuts protect communities from fire or boost rural economies.

It’s time to come to the realization that most events that occur in nature cannot be controlled by human intervention.

Among the various crimes modern man commits against nature, clearcutting is right at the top of the list. Don’t believe the propaganda, the U.S. Forest Service still clearcuts our public forests with reckless abandon. They never quit.

If one takes a hard look, forest life exists a in sequence of unique, non-repeatable, very complex, interrelated events. This makes it difficult for politicians, bureaucrats and technicians with limited cognitive skills to comprehend the forest’s inner workings. So, they opt to arbitrarily reduce the highly complex living world to those features that are amenable to measurement and mechanistic manipulation. Our favorite form of manipulation is, of course, killing things.

This is the best explanation I have for why we are killing the forest in Nine-Mile. Without thinking too very hard, it’s what we do. And for what? Usually, it boils down to some statistically significant result that totally ignores the complexity of forest life and unforeseen consequences. It may produce some inconsequential short-term alteration to natural processes.

We could just marvel at the forest we’ve got, but currently that is not who we are. We love our violence and killing too much to slow down and let nature heal our collective neurosis.

A certain type of spirit possesses people who commit such un-Godly acts against nature. Clearcutting and other mechanized forms of mass murder neither glorify nor perfect God’s creation. No, the spirit that possesses people who commit such atrocious acts has demonic qualities that have haunted man for millennia.

It seems to me that this is a perfect time to self-reflect, confront evil in its various forms, and begin the renewal process by heading in the opposite direction before all that remains is one massive unmarked graveyard.

Steve Kelly is a Bozeman resident, an artist and serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Alliance for the Wild Rockies.