Lars Larson on Jasmine the tree-sitter

Let’s talk for just a moment about Jasmine the tree-sitter in Salem.

You may have heard on the radio news about Jasmine the tree-sitter. She’s a young college student sitting up in a tree in Salem. She’s unhappy and the group that she’s associated with is unhappy, too, because they believe Oregon logging should not increase.

There is a thing called WOPR, the Western Oregon Plan Revision, that they say would increase logging in Oregon on public lands by about 436%. Now, you say, “I think that would be a great idea, to increase logging in this state within sustained yield. That you can log at those levels indefinitely. Always growing more trees than you actually cut down.”

But, you see, Oregon has decided to follow the path of the environmental extremists who say “no logging is good logging.” Because of that, they are bound and determined to bankrupt this state, its counties, its schools, its roads and eventually its citizens.

Jasmine the tree-sitter is just a naïve part of that plan.

“For more Lars click here”

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Posted by at 09:00 | Posted in Measure 37 | 20 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Bob Clark

    Young and unexperienced is the Jasmine sitter I would say. I used to think her way for a short amount of time (college years) before I realized much of environmental movement and consumer movements (like OSPIRG) are really just rackets, selling a new brand of guilt and myth to unsuspecting yuppies. I still think the way to resolve externalities is through the common law system where you have to prove a direct material injury from someone else’s actions. The remedy might be some compensation rather than blunt extreme policies not capable of balancing economic well being with environmental well being.

  • Rupert in Springfield

    Ok – I have never seen Jasmine the tree sitter but I do vaguely remember the last notable one. Wasn’t her name Julia Butterfly something or other. She was sort of cute in this kind of half crazy demented way. I’m wondering if its the same with Jasmine. I’m also wondering why all these tree sitters somehow seem to have these kind of porny centerfold names.

    Does anyone know if their is a calendar coming out any time soon? The Crazy Girls of Tree Sitting?

    • dean

      The tree sitter girls I have known are gnarly and tough as nails. They poop in buckets, eat raw grits and endure pretty extreme weather conditions. Cute names or not they are usualy too furry and grimy to make modern centerfolds except for extreme tastes.

      I’m old and experienced, with many years in and around the tree business. I have had a harvest, a save, and even a *harvest to save* perspective. Both Lars and Bob over simplify. “Oregon” is most definitely not “following the path of extreme environmentalists.” “Sustained yield” is the Holy Grail of foresty, and is not a static number. How much we can cut from a particular place has shifted ever since the Germans invented mathematical forestry in the 15th century, known by the cute, easy to pronounce name of Schlagwaldwirtshaft (As Dave Barry would say, I’m not making that up!). The problem Lars, is that what society decides it wants to actually “sustain” from the forest shifts as values and scientific understanding shift. A given acre with given soil and climate can produce X amount of board of cubic feet measured over time, but at the expense of other things we care about, like water, fish, wildlife, scenery, carbon storage, and so forth. As values change, we adjust, usually downward, how much wood we can take out. As we learn more we might be able to ratchet that amount up again, or maybe not.

      For those who desire “certainty,” or a return to a mythical Paul Bunyon Oregon past, this is understandably frustrating. But its reality, so learn to adjust.

  • Anonymous

    “The tree sitter girls I have known are gnarly and tough as nails”

    Translation: typical butt-ugly “cause junkie” chicks.

    They’ve been a fixture on college campuses for decades. Not attractive or smart enough to fit into the mainstream and achieve self-actualization through achievement and with a desperate, pathalogical need for social acceptance, they latch onto the cause du jour like a demented barnacle.

    By the way, if you’ve never seen a tree sitter “camp” the area surrounding the base of the tree typically looks like a garbage dump/cesspile. For people who claim to be so wrought up over the environment thye sure don’t practice what they preach.

  • unduffern

    Отличный пост – слов нет. Спасибо.

  • Rupert in Springfield

    Well, you guys obviously never saw the Butterfly chick. She was undeniably attractive although something of a bimbo upstairs. Penn and Teller had her on their show “BS” when they took on wacky environmentalism. I think she was one of the first signers of their petition to ban Dihydrogenoxide ( water ). Clean her up after a few weeks tree sitting and we are good to go for the calendar shoot.

    I can see it now “Wacky Environmentalist Babes Gone Wild”

  • Rupert in Springfield

    You know what though, maybe we could all go break the news to her:

    “Hey, wacky environmentalist babe, NASA just got caught, yet again, fudging the number on global warming. October was not the the warmest on record. NASA didn’t have the numbers for October temperatures in Russia so they just reused the September numbers.”

    Then we could all laugh and watch her go kind of crazy and call us stupid.

    “Hey, tree sitter chick, can you tell me again why you guys, you know the ones who sit in trees and kind of always seem to get caught making up numbers are the smart ones and us down here on the ground who are kind of skeptical and catch you making up numbers are stupid?”

    “Hey… want some KFC? We got an extra thigh here in the bucket?”

    “Awww…Come on don’t be like that, Ill tell you what, you can be Ms. January.”

  • Anonymous

    dean said,
    “As we learn more we might be able to ratchet that amount up again, or maybe not.”

    We alreader have “learned more” but enviromentalists like you stand in the way of ratcheting up the harvesting.
    If we use your measure of learning more we’ll never “learn” enough to harvest more.

    There is no refuting that we could increase logging in many part of the Oregon with very little or zero impact to other concerns.
    Environmentalist view any and all logging operations as having an unacceptable impact merely from the act of logging.
    It’s just a sweeping presumption to block all logging.
    Their approach is to aim at stopping all logging without regard for overreaching or the adverse impacts of their extremism.

    • dean

      Well…whoever you are you seem to pal around with different “environmentalists’ than I pal around with. My kind not only are not against logging, some of them actually are loggers. Logger environmentalists. Blows your little anonymous mind doesn’t it?

      Rupert…how you managed to conflate a tree sitter with NASA is truly a work of art. But just as a reminder, month to month temperature data is not telling us much one way or the other. Its the long term trend that matters.

      • Rupert in Springfield

        I didn’t conflate anything, obviously you don’t know the meaning of the word conflate.

        Also, equally obvious, is you do not know much about the recent admission by NASA as it had nothing to do with month to month temperatures.

        Seriously, stick to the racialism.

        • dean

          Maybe you are right. But one definition of “racialist” is: “Misconstruction of racist.” So maybe you are simply misconstructing a word?

  • Anonymous


    What kind of debating are you using?
    Ok so you and your environemtalist pals are not against some logging.
    What’s that supposed to mean?
    Are you trying to pretend I was talking about only you and your pals? Is that some debate stunt?
    No blown mind here.

    Environmentalist groups are forever filing suits to stop all logging.

    Even in burned out sites where salvaging could and should be allowed.
    But you play your games.

    • dean

      My debate technique is researched truth mixed with spontaneous humor. Let’s see….not being against some logging means supporting logging that has either (a) acceptable environmental impacts or (b) has positive environmental benefits. An example of (a) is a clearcut on gentle slopes followed by replanting. And example of (b) is thinning a fire prone forest to reduce density around older oaks and pines and help save them from overcrowding and fire.

      “Burned out” sites are an interesting issue. Forest ecologists will tell you that nature does not waste anything, the dead trees left behind provide important, and if we log them we deprive birds of habitat.

      As far as “environmentalists are forever filing suits to stop all logging”, well its just hyperbablog. “Some environmentalists file suits in some places sometimes to stop some logging” would be more accurate. The Siuslaw National forest has been logging consistently for the past 10 or more years without any lawsuits. The Nature Conservancy is pushing foresters in central Oregon to log more faster to help save pine forests. These are just 2 out of many examples.

  • Steve Plunk

    The unfortunate lesson being taught is one that undermines democracy, social contracts, and even the constitution itself.

    After not achieving set goals through the traditional political process environmentalists turned to the courts and used novel approaches to kill or delay logging sales. Even this tactic had it’s limitations so when something like WOPR comes up the environmentalists realize they will lose the debate and resort to forms of civil disobedience.

    Democracy is undermined in this way by ignoring the will of the majority. Before anyone counters with the tyranny of the majority we need to keep in mind this is not an issue that tramples the rights of anyone. This is merely a dissatisfied minority with the time to disrupt everyone else.

    We have a long standing social contract in this country of respecting the outcomes of our democratic process. For instance I have a new president named Barak Obama. I may not like it but I respect the results of the election. There are many laws I disagree with but work to change them through the legislative process. Simply put I play by the rules.

    The constitution pays for all of this nonsense by becoming less relevant. Why respect a constitution that is so easily ignored by some? Why trust it will protect your property rights when environmentalists can damage you through court actions? Due process is tossed out the window. The courts become tools of legislative action not judicial interpretation. The basic way of ruling our country is being undermined daily by these petulant, spoiled children who make up the environmental movement. The message being sent to our children is to not respect the law and undermine it if it doesn’t seem fair to you.

    The damage being done is more than just putting Oregonians out of work. The environmental movement is damaging the very fabric of our democracy.

    • dean

      Steve….the “environmental movement” is diverse and has different, sometimes competing objectives. It includes unconventional loggers and foresters who approach the woods differently than their more conventional tree farmer colleagues. It includes tree sitters, investors, and land owners.

      It seems that Lars and you and our anonymous friend and the profiled tree sitter are intent on re-fighting the timber wars of the 80s. Many of us have moved way past that. When you talk about political majority versus courts for example, consider that Congress, expressing the political majority, passed a series of laws governing public forest management back in the 70s, including; the Clean Water Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, The Forest Management Act, the Endangered Species Act, and prior to that the Wilderness Act. During the 80s and well into the 90s federal forest managers had to come to grips with how to work within this framework while still harvesting levels of timber appropriate to a previous era.

      They did the best they could, but often ended up ignoring or downplaying some laws in order to keep the cut high. This is why some environmentalists went to court, and by and large they won. They were not undermining the majority. They were insisting that forest managers follow laws passed by Congress.

      Tree sitters tend to be way outside the mainstream of environmentalists. But that does not make them wrong. Sometimes direct action is needed to stir things up, whether on the right or the left.

      • Steve Plunk


        The timber wars of the 80’s were never finished. The great NW compromise never fulfilled. The environmentalists never satisfied as they continue to wage war against Oregon working families. The tree sitters are continuing to push yet you act as if the battles are over and settled. I’ll quit fighting when they do.

        I’m tired of hearing how “diverse” the environmental movement is. Diversity is no substitute for intelligence. What few businessmen that are on the side of less logging have other business interests they are looking out for and they are doing it at the expense of others.

        Your excuse for direct action is no different than advocating vigilantes. We have a system in our society to solve problems and taking the law into your own hands is not one of them. It’s just plain immature.

  • Martha

    What is so public about “public” land if certain people get sweetheart deals to make copious amounts of money off from it but the rest of us do not? What people seem to forget is that logging on public lands is very lucrative business arrangement (often falling into corporate welfare) between government and industry at the expense of the much larger expanse of people who somehow still get stuck with footing the bill for maintaining public lands. There are very few free things I get to do in the forests for my tax money on something I supposedly own a part of, then I get taxed by way of poorer, less resilient environmental support system. What’s Oregon doing with the taxes and kickbacks they get from the logging industry? I suppose they would want us to think it pays for the healthcare of other peoples poor children.

    If popular sympathies are waking up to the reality of sustainable logging let the logging companies do it on their own private property. That way they have an interest in maintaining its value for the long run or for sale afterward. I think this would provide natural market limitations on growth and consuption(and ours), and take away one of government’s revenue temptations. I mean really, if those “public” lands are really more valuable to the community as business ventures in logging or grazing they don’t need to be public. The only reason land should be “public” is when preservation for environmental health and stability, education or general personal experience of nature, or scientific research is the priority. Get a spine, and maybe a brain, people. Governments are poor managers, you have to give them strict limitations and not allow them any room to wiggle or we end up having these stupid back and forth policies and debates that waste a lot of time and resources while we could be either happily logging our private property according to environmentally sound property laws and hiking through our gorgeous educational nature preserves filled with wildlife and partially funded by donations from scientific foundations that do research there.

    • Steve Plunk


      The term public land is a misnomer. It’s government land. Controlled by the government and eventually mismanaged by the government. Check out the theory of the commons or the tragedy of the commons as it is called. All government land should be given back to private owners who will manage it much better.

      Maybe we should poll Americans and those who wish their share to be logged let them sell it and those who want to preserve it pay the price for preservation. It’s more complicated than just taking nature hikes.

      The “copious” amounts of money you speak of are in reality a fair profit for the labor of harvesting and processing timber into useful products we all use. Without those profit seeking companies there would be no lumber for homes or paper for schools. The government doesn’t do the work, hard working Oregonians do. For that they deserve a reward. If it were some sort of inflated profit there would be many more getting into the business.

      • dean

        Hmmnnn….I have to respectfully disagree with both of you. For Martha, there are lots of very successful models of publicly owned land managed for multiple purposes including sale of products, whether wood, mushrooms, wild berries, or minerals. Economic value is not limited to private lands only. And in some cases selling some of the trees helps restore and improve the ecosystem. I’ve personally designed several projects where this has been the case.

        For Steve…it IS PUBLIC land, not Forest Service or BLM or State Forest land. It is owned by us and has been since our government took it (by force or treaty) away from the Indians. It is MANAGED by government staff under laws passed by OUR elected representatives. And many of those staff are in fact “hard working Oregonians.” If you don’t think so, go spend a day in the woods with a forester or biologist or ski lift inspector and see how you feel at the end of it. You might come to appreciate their skills and dedication. And if you still want to sell off your bit, then get a law passed allowing you to do so.

  • Jerry

    I applaud her brave efforts to stem the wanton destruction of our forest friends, the trees, who can not defend themselves.

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