by Jack Alan Brown Jr
Beavers are energetic, resourceful, creative, conservative and supportive of each other. Eager beavers use the raw materials at hand to change the landscape. They store up water for a rainless day. They work together and warn each other of approaching danger. Beavers are two things above all others. They are loggers and dam builders. They alter the wet lands wherever they go. This puts them in direct confrontation with the radical environmentalists of our day.
Regardless of our particular religious faith, those of us that honor the Bible as the Word of God find a mandate in the book of Genesis to manage the earth. It is our responsibility to provide order and produce improvements to the environment around us. For thousands of years, mankind has been shaping the earth, building dams, terracing the mountain sides, harvesting timber, and constructing homes, highways and bridges.
The radical environmentalists wish to return us to primitive conditions, using any manufactured excuse they think will be acceptable to public opinion. They want us to worship "Mother Earth," and they want to be the "witch doctors" that lead us in that worship. We must remember our heritage as the Beaver State. We must fight back against those who want us to sacrifice our own people in their worship of the environment, and we must resist the wolves that want to destroy our handiwork.
To the radical environmentalists that seek to tear down what we and our ancestors have built, I say: "Stop enjoying the fruits borne by the plant of progress you struggle to destroy. Go somewhere else to build your monuments of sticks and mud, and live on roots and berries. See if your children will stay behind the barricades you erect to progress, or if they will wish to join us in the land of the free and the home of the brave."
This land needs more dams, not less. We need to provide for flood control. We need to have reservoirs of water available for fire fighting. We need to expand our agricultural base, to prevent dependence on other regions and even foreign powers for our food supply. We need to conserve the rain that falls upon our land. We need to struggle against the forces of nature, not surrender to the relentless passage of time that erodes the land and carries everything into the Pacific.
All wealth ultimately comes from working the land and the sea. With the right to produce wealth and acquire property comes responsibility. I believe that we have a moral obligation to leave to our children a world as good as our parents left to us and to correct their mistakes where humanly possible, but we cannot roll back the clock and restore any particular point on the time-line. (The "old growth" forests were once young, too!)
We should not be selfish in the accumulation or distribution of the fruit of our labor, for we are accountable to One greater than any human beings or institutions in this regard. Those who believe in the Creator, are fully aware that this small part of the universe we humans call home was made for us. We have a special place in the scheme of things.
The Savage Rapids Dam is just one small battle field of a war that is raging around us in the name of environmentalism, but it is as critical as the proverbial nail in the horse's shoe that cost a shoe, horse, rider, battle, war and nation. Do not rest until you have won. Do not compromise with your sworn enemies. When the British were coming to take the arms of the colonists at Lexington and Concord, a shot was fired that was heard around the world. I will make sure that you are heard, when I am elected to the Oregon Legislature. Vote for me, so I can vote for you in Salem!
This speech was given at a protest at the Josephine County Fairgrounds in 1998. At that time I was a candidate for the State Legislature.
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