Blind Man's Bluff
Bonnie McGuire

It was October 1, 1996 when friends Judy, Tony and I  chartered a plane at the Loma Rica Airpark to fly over the Sierra in order to see whether or not the loggers had cut down all the trees. A vocal Sierra Club member wrote about the devastation in the Union newspaper, and suggested that people charter a plane to see for themselves. Judy thought it would be nice to invite him to go with us since it was his idea, so she contacted him. We were going to pay for him too. Much to our surprise, the man declined to go with us because he said he was legally blind. Instead, Tony went with us, and all three of us wrote to the paper about our adventure and what we saw. The following pictures were taken on the flight. Later the wife of the man who declined our invitation, phoned Judy and chastised her for writing about the experience....because his self esteem suffered from our calling his bluff and reporting the truth.

I've often wondered about the suffering of hundreds of families who lost their livelihoods, who are discriminated against in courts, and regarded to be tree murderers because of the lies told about them. I recently read a story about a Junior High School student in Idaho winning first prize at a science fair by proving how gullible we are about the claims by junk scientists spreading fear about everything in our environment....Most non-profit activists are financed by mega-corporations and government grants to achieve specific agendas. The result was the destruction of small companies (eliminating competition), dependence on a few large corporate survivors, and imports from other countries. In other words, create scarcity and concentrated wealth for a few at the expense of the many. We even checked out mining claim misinformation being circulated by reputable sources.

 Most people don't know that the Organic Act of 1897 set aside National Forests to be improved and protected to secure favorable conditions of water flow, and to grow a continuous supply of timber for Americans. At the time of our flight, timber men and the forestry had improved the forests and our economy for almost 100 years.

You wonder how so many trees can grow on rocky mountains.
The Summit and highway 80.
The only tree clear cuts were ski resorts.
Lake Tahoe.
Many beetle killed trees.
Luckily, we saw a balloonist over the lake.
....And back again.
It was an exhilarating afternoon. Glad we called the blind man's bluff.