Monkeywrenching is the illegal sabotage of industrial development equipment. One method of doing so is tree spiking, hammering long nails into and around the trunks of trees to mangle saws and blades in the deforesting area or mill. While most monkeywrenchers do not possess deadly intent, tree spiking has caused logger fatalities in the past. If monkeywrenchers fail to warn loggers of tree spikes, tools hitting the spikes cause flying fragments. Monkeywrenchers can also "go in" as in a stealth mission and directly destroy machinery by "monkeywrenching", or hacking cranes and other equipment using their own tools.

Monkeywrenching's is used as a final step in ecological defense when other measures have failed. Monkeywrenchers believe that in the long run, by destroying machinery, contracting companies will have a greater tendency to invest in security and insurance premiums, making wilderness development unprofitable. Monkeywrenching is also a delaying tactic against wilderness development. As contractors deal with damaged equipment, injunctions may be obtained, laws may be passed, and public awareness may be raised.

While the term may sound silly, monkeywrenchers take their beliefs seriously. They are willing to work on their own, pay fines and get arrested and imprisoned for their belief in ecological defense. Ecodefense; A Field Guide to Monkeywrenching by Dave Foreman and Bill Haywood is an entertaining and comprehensive manual for sabotaging machinery.

The actual question of cost in any exploitation of a natural resource is an interesting one.

Are the expenses the exploiter pays, for equipment and workers wages the only costs?

In recent years there was a controvercy, not in Canada, but in the United States, over the issue of stumpage fees, fees paid to the Canadian goverment, for the priviledge of making stumps. America used its economic power to open up this market. And then, when Canadian shingles and shakes were cheaper than American ones, the U. S. slapped an import tariff on them.

But in general, is the real cost of the loss to the environment of the trees, especially old growth trees actually paid? And who bears it? The exploiter, rather like a miner takes out the tress, sometimes in clear-cut--taking out every tree in sight, leaving nothing left growing. Maybe he will replace them, maybe not.

The ground becomes unstable, and is washed away when it rains, filling the waterways with mud--not good for fish, and other aquatic life. There is the loss of the CO2 sink.

If the exploiter is to make a profit, isn't he motivated to clear-cut, and not replant trees? And where would he put his hard-earned money to fix the waterways, or CO2 sink?

And if it's no longer permissible for the government, the Canadian government, because the American would never do anything impermissible, to collect fees to apply to fixing the environment despoiled by capitalism, can one not admire the passion and commitment of monkeywrenchers?

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