Get rid of the people!
By Henry Lamb
web posted January 20, 2003
Florida's Senator Bob Graham wasted no time launching another
attempt to flood the families who live in the now-infamous 8.5
Square-Mile-Area, at the edge of Florida's Everglades. A
similar effort was quashed during the closing days of the
107th Congress. Now, before the new members of Congress
even find the restrooms, Graham has re-instituted his devious
plan to force several hundred families from their homes,
ostensibly, to "protect the Everglades."
In 1989, after vigorous debate, Congress instructed the Corps of
Engineers to protect the people in the 8.5 SMA, by building
flood control structures. It never happened. Environmental
organizations wanted the people out, not protected. Their vision
of the Wildlands Project did not include human life in the area
they thought should be a buffer zone around the core wilderness
area - as prescribed by the Wildlands Project.
Graham, who wants to be your president, would have you
believe that it is just a coincidence that UNESCO's Seville
Strategy for managing U.N. Biosphere Reserves, requires a
buffer zone around core wilderness areas, as does the U.N.'s
Global Biodiversity Assessment. The Everglades is one
of 47 U.N. Biosphere Reserves in the United States. It is also
just a coincidence that UNESCO requires World Heritage Sites
which are declared to be "in danger," to be protected beyond the
borders of the site. UNESCO has declared the Everglades to be
a World Heritage Site "in danger."
There are two problems here: the end, and the means. The "end,
" - flooding people out of their homes - is definitely a problem.
Environmentalists would have you believe that getting rid of the
people is essential to saving the Everglades.
Jan Jacobson, Director of the Everglades Institute, a scientist,
and a long-time resident and student of the Everglades, is among
several scientists and engineers who can demonstrate that the
flooding plan so far, has done more harm than good to the
The "means," is another horror story. Rather than put the
question to Congress in the form of a substantive legislative
proposal, so members can study, debate, and vote, Graham,
once again, is attempting to attach a rider to the Department of
Interior appropriations bill, and get it adopted by unanimous
The language of the rider seeks to "clarify" the 1989 legislation,
by saying it was the intent of Congress to flood the area, when
the clear language of the 1989 law, says to protect the people
from flooding. Moreover, he wants to sneak this language into an
appropriations bill without any discussion or debate. And this
man wants to be our president?
Washington is awash with environmental organization lobbyists
and spin doctors who are trying to divert attention from the real
issue, by demonizing those who disagree with them. They dredge
up the "anti-environment" label to pin on anyone who questions
their wisdom, or has the audacity to oppose them.
Senator James Inhofe, chair of the Environment and Public
Works Committee, and Richard Pombo, chair of the House
Resources Committee, already targets of the environmentalists'
demonization campaign, will likely be singled out for more
attacks, if they disallow the devious process Senator Graham is
trying to pursue.
Graham's effort to flood the landowners who live near the
Everglades should be stopped. The entire Everglades
Restoration Plan should be put on hold, until there is a better
plan that instills some level of confidence that the plan will
actually benefit the Everglades.
Advocates of the Wildlands Project contend that simply
removing the people, will benefit the Everglades. This same anti-
human thinking is what shut off the water to the Klamath Basin
farmers; is shutting down logging across the country; and is
forcing ranchers and miners off the land.
For eight long years, environmentalists had their way, as Bill
Clinton and Al Gore danced like puppets at the end of a green
string. Now, as Republicans begin to retrieve the pendulum from
the far left, and return some semblance of common sense to the
environmental agenda, whining and demonizing by the greens is
being ratcheted up a few notches.
It is bad enough that for 13 years, green organizations have been
able to prevent the Corps of Engineers from complying with the
1989 Congressional instruction. It is unconscionable for Senator
Graham to now attempt to rewrite the law, without debate or
recorded vote - to get rid of the people - in order to appease the
anti-human influence that apparently permeates Florida politics.
Henry Lamb is the executive vice president of the Environmental
Conservation Organization, and chairman of Sovereignty
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