E.P.I.C. (Egos)


In 1991 I first wrote then talked my way into becoming an environmental consultant for Pacific Lumber Co., the hated timber company and target for over a decade of environmental wrath with literally over a dozen environmental organizations using Pacific Lumber as the arch-villain in their efforts to protest old growth logging and paint themselves as Timber Warriors fighting the Evil Empire monster. Because I never listened to Timber War rhetoric because I knew there was Another Side of the Story not being told, certainly not being addressed, which was the god-awful eco-damage homesteaders were doing in the virtually environmentally unregulated homestead subdivision developments in Humboldt County, those homesteaders being the primary economic support for organizations like Earth First! and EPIC, the Environmental Protection Information Center leader in lawsuits against Pacific Lumber Co and other environmentalist targeted timber corporations.

It wasn't until this year, 2021, that I came to recognize what on earth compelled environmental activists to be so blind to any eco-damaging done that could not be blamed on timber companies. It took me 20 years, twenty years! to get EPIC to wake up to that homesteader subdivision damage and they only did it when the US Environmental Protection Agency did a stream sediment study on the South Fork of the Eel River that runs through Humboldt County. That study showed what I had known for decades as a former homesteader myself. Putting in subdivision dirt roads, putting in ponds, and clearing land for homesites was doing tremendous damage to all the streams that flowed out of homestead subdivisions. Because homestead subdivisions were attracting lots of homesteaders as well as the illegal pot business, thousands of homesites were created along with hundreds of access roads, all of them dirt, all of them bleeding mud and sllt into local streams and ruining salmonide spawning grounds, keystone species causing ecological disruption all down the line. But these hypocrite enviros could not bring themselves to face their own money and ego status supply, so they ignored all my many letters to the editor to get them off their phony Timber War mode and do some real environmental protection of old growth trees. Like I was doing working at PL.

I had successfully presented PL and the parent company, Maxxam, what I called a "Climax Corridor" protection plan for setting aside wide corridors along all the permanent creeks throughout all of PL's 200,000+ acres of forests. These stream corridors were where most of the old growth redwoods existed. My boss, PL CEO John Campbell, since deceased, showed me a new large map his staff had created showing the stream corridor set-aside areas and with that in mind I was charged with getting EPIC to recognize this actually amazing environmental protection effort by PL to get environmentalists to cooperate on a long term forest protection planning. PL offered to take EPIC in house as their environmental protection advisor but EPIC, sticking with the Timber War pathological grandiose narcissistic behavior pattern, refused to even talk about PL's stream corridor protection plan.

And that's what grandiose narcissists do to critics or anyone who questions their authority. They ignore them and if they persist, they attack them, anything to make sure their reputations aren't tarnished. And this EPIC did. By ignoring PL's most generous environmental protection offer we all, everyone one of us in California, lost literally thousands of old growth trees that PL did log in the years following EPIC's refusal to cooperate. I have elsewhere pointed to this problem of what I call collective pathological grandiose narcissism as it is the persistent key problem in every form of male territorial aggression. It starts wars, it ruins government plans, it certainly has no place being in the environmental protection movement. But it was everywhere in the Timber War and hopefully future environmental protection activists will not go there in the future and mess up real protection negotiations because they don't know how to deal with people without creating "us" vs. "them" scenarios that don't solve anything.