Patriots, the forests are fraught with skwerlien danger. A pleasant day in the woods can quickly turn into an ordeal of bushytail terror as slavering skwerlballs run amok devouring every nut in their path.
However, it isn't the obvious chitterbox dangers that create the worst peril. It's their covert plans to spread squirrel world domination that trouble us most.
So, it's with regret that we report on a newly discovered plot that's festered in the forest for years.
As many of you know, the U.S. Forest Service and the states' forestry departments maintain many fire lookout towers around the country. Their chief purpose is to provide first alert reports on wildfires.
It should be no surprise that many older towers have become part of the national heritage. There's even a national registry of historic lookouts and an effort to restore those that have fallen into disrepair (see links below). As a result, the lookouts are also tourist attractions with thousands trekking to them every year.
This should be a good thing. After all, if one is pursued by the bushytail horde, one might reasonably expect sanctuary at the lookouts. Unfortunately, sometime during the last century, things went horribly wrong at the towers...
It seems that early visitors to the lookouts wanted a momento to take away with them. Something to remind them of their often strenuous hike to the tower. Apparently, some of the lookouts were manned by covert advocates of skwerlhuggery. They concocted a scheme to recruit the inncocent and the ignorant to the skwerl-side with this...
The Ancient and Honorable Order of Squirrels: click cards for large versions; click skwerl for comment
Patriots, this so-called "honorable" order of skwerls is yet another example of skwerlian chicanery at it's worst. We can only guess at the number of card-carrying members out there. However, there are certainly tens of thousands. Moreover, the conspiracy snaked its way to the highest echelons of power. Consider this excerpt from the History of Aiton Fire Tower by By Ben Thoma, Park Naturalist. Itasca State Park, MN. 1987:
The last Division of Forestry employee to be assigned to Aiton Heights was Olaf Qualley who was a seasonal employee for many years at the Itasca District Forestry Station.
During periods of high visitor use, he would spend many hours in the tower telling the visitors about the various activities of the Division of Forestry and pointing out landmarks observable from the tower.
During his many sessions of service, he signed and passed out thousands of the now extinct 'Ancient and Honorable Order of Squirrels' cards.
One Sunday afternoon after presenting his brief program and passing out the squirrel cards, one visitor stayed to tell him that his presentation was very good and that he was doing an excellent job for the Conservation Department. As this visitor started down the stairway, he casually mentioned that his name was Chester Wilson... Chester Wilson was at that time the Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Conservation.
Patriots, the passage above is notable for two reasons: 1) as evidence of the conspiracy itself; and 2) as evidence of an attempted cover-up in 1987. Specifically, that the Ancient and Honorable Order of Squirrels is "extinct". However, a quick web search brought us to a page with the following recommendation:
"The hike to Devil's Head will take you to the last manned fire lookout tower in Colorado, about 11 miles from Camp Colorado on Rampart Range Road. Beginning elevation (at parking lot) 8,800 - elevation at tower 9,750 with a medium difficulty trail of 1.34 miles (one way). Be sure and join the order of the Ancient and Honorable Order of the Squirrels while you are there." Source: campcolorado.org
The quote above was written sometime in the last three years as per the age of the website. The page also includes irrefutable proof that Order was actively recruiting in 1997, ten years after Ben Thoma's claim that it was extinct...
There you have it, Patriots. Another skwerlball conspiracy exposed. Who's to say what devilish plans the clandestine Ancient and Honorable Order of Squirrels has for its many members? Will it simply throw a switch one day, lobotomizing its victims and turning them into helpless minions of squirrel world domination?
And what of the Order's present activities? Is it still recruiting at towers around the country? That's a question we hope to answer as we gather more evidence through on-site inspections and with the receipt of intelligence reports from Patriots around the country.
THERE'S MORE DISHONOR HERE
L-R: Needles Lookout, CA; Deadman Lookout, CO; Buck Rock Lookout, CA
NATIONAL HISTORIC LOOKOUT REGISTRY
REX'S FOREST FIRE LOOKOUT PAGE
bushytail horde graphic courtesy of Patriot Phlinger