The Environmental Movement is failing. Through analysis of environmental news, issues, campaigns, organizations, coalitions and events, this blog critically examines the Environmental Movement and, in particular, the Environmental Establishment which dominates the Movement. In this way I seek to create a conversation and ultimately a shared vision of the change we need in the Movement - and in the Establishment - to reverse the decline of the Earth and its habitats.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Why I'm writing this blog and what I hope to achieve


I'm Felice Pace; Bearitude in Black is my blog about the state of the Environmental Movement. By reporting and commenting on environmental issues, environmental history and the environmental establishment, this blog will examine where the Movement has been, where it is now and where it is going.

I'm writing the blog because I think the Environmental Movement is in trouble. Simply put, we are not getting the job done. The Earth and its habitats are in trouble and - in spite of the many "victories" proclaimed by the Environmental Establishment on a regular basis - we are losing ground. 

The fact that as a Movement we are failing demands deep examination and deep change. I don't see that least not very much. At its core, Bearitude in Black aims to advance a conversation about the change we need within the Environmental Movement in order to reverse the decline of the Earth and its habitats: What changes are needed in order for the Earth to begin to gain ground?    

My perspective is that of a veteran grassroots activist and campaigner. For many years, I was a grassroots environmental professional: founder, conservation director and executive director with the Klamath Forest Alliance. I am still a KFA volunteer activist and core group member. 

The blog name Bearitude in Black refers to my totem animal and to my history within the Environmental Movement. In a much read article on the Forest Protection Movement, I was referred to some time back as "Problem Bear". The description was apt then and remains so today; I am not about to go along with manipulated processes or with efforts not based in democratically derived strategy and tactics. I am, however, ready and eager to join with others to develop shared strategy, shared campaigns and shared action. 

These days I also work with the North Group of the Sierra Club Redwood Chapter where I am "water chair" and a member of the Executive Committee. I'm with the Sierra Club because it has a democratic structure and therefore can be changed by its grassroots members. It is difficult to change other Environmental Establishment organizations which are governed by independent and insulated boards comprised chiefly of "one percenters" (elite corporate insiders). 

I also currently coordinate a project for EPIC (the Environmental Protection Information Center), KFA and Wilderness Watch which aims to reform livestock grazing practices and management on public lands in Northern California. We are currently focused on grazing reform within designated and de facto wilderness on the Klamath National Forest.

I still help a bit  with forest watch (within the Klamath River Basin) and more broadly with forest policy, and I still study what I call "the natural and human history of large Klamath Mountains wildfires." 

I'm a Clean Water Activist too focusing on controlling agricultural pollution on California's Northcoast, the Klamath River Basin and especially within the Scott River Basin - a major Klamath tributary and my home for many years.  

As editor and chief writer for KlamBlog, I work to uncover and reveal to the people and press decisions being made behind closed doors which impact Klamath River Communities and Public Trust Resources (water, land and wildlife). KlamBlog also uncovers restoration boondoggles and other hidden misuses of taxpayer funds. 

Most of my work these days is unpaid; I survive on social security, a bit of substitute teaching and occasional paid environmental work. For the most part, I've foresworn foundation funding because these days many of the foundations funding environmental organizations seek in one way or another to control the work of those they fund. I prefer to be independent so that I can freely call the shots as I see them - including naming names when I believe that is needed. I do welcome financial support from foundations that do not meddle in the work...and from individuals.   

If you are someone who wants to reverse the decline of the Earth and its habitats I hope you will follow this blog and share your perspectives in comments on the posts. Through shared analysis and perspective we can build momentum - a flow and force which, when joined with other streams, will create the change we need within the Environmental Establishment and within the broader Environmental Movement.