Broken promise land

By Diane Alden
web posted February 5, 2001

Everyone has a story to tell. Some stories are more compelling than others, especially stories about injustices inflicted by government. Universally those who have such a story to tell believe that their fellow Americans would be outraged if they knew all the details.

But that may be a misunderstanding about what we are and who we have become. If there was no outrage in the general population about Bill and Hillary's activities during eight years in office, why should there be any about the injustices done by federal government or certain special interests to struggling Americans in flyover country?

Why should Easterners, urbanites or suburbanites, care about what is happening to the rural folks in the great wide somewhere?

Unfortunately, passions and outrage are wasted on Hillary and Bill Clinton. Their latest scam or scandal will be just another episode in our national soap opera, "The Clintons: Upstairs, Downstairs, All Around the Town."

There are far more worthy channels for that passion called outrage, as injustice exists in heaps and bunches in the United States of America - just as it did a hundred or two hundred years ago.

Where is the outrage today?

The Covenant

Roget's Thesaurus defines a covenant as a solemn oath or promise, a treaty, contract, bond or pact. It is an important agreement setting up terms between two or more parties. History tells us that the government of the United States is one of the more consistent covenant, or promise, breakers.

In our own age the names of the promise breakers are not Presidents Jackson, Polk, Grant, Hayes, McKinley et al. Long gone are names of the soldiers of the covenant breakers like generals Miles, Sheridan, Terry and Crook, who implemented treaty breaking during the Indian Wars of the 19th century.

There is a new roster of conquerors and treaty breakers. This time the names include Hollywood millionaires like Harrison Ford and Whoopi Goldberg. There are also the billion-dollar environmental groups such as The Nature Conservancy and Pew Charitable Trusts. Add them to the agents of the Department of the Interior and Agriculture. The list has grown longer the last 40 years or so, and it includes the executive branch and Congress. From Presidents Nixon to Clinton the covenant between rural America and government has been replaced by ones imposed by the powerful and the uncaring.

In rural areas, roads used by locals for a hundred years are now closed, part of the environmentalist wet dream called the 'roadless initiative' that was jammed down the throat of rural America by the Clinton cabal and the dim bulbs in Congress who let it happen. All they had to do to stop these efforts was to de-fund the agencies trying to implement them, but that won't happen as long as there is a George Miller, D-Calif., or a Tom Daschle, D-S.D., or even Republicans like Chafee of Rhode Island, Peter King of New York or Chris Shays of Connecticut. And throw in the spineless leadership of Trent Lott and Orrin Hatch, who supply the funds for all this treaty breaking.

Rural types might as well be whistling Dixie on the 5th of July for all the good their protests do. The other promise breakers now also include corporate America, the trillion-dollar foundations, along with international and foreign interests. American 'manifest destiny' continues and it is still ugly and thoughtless. Nothing has been learned from the past.

In the 19th century the federal government made it impossible for the Indians to comply with the treaties they signed - after all, the government knew those treaties would be broken. The Indians are still getting screwed. So it is in the American West today. The reasons are basically the same as they were in the 19th century, and they are because someone else covets what the Westerner has.

Unraveling of a Fairy Tale in Broken Promise Land

You can hear it in their voices and see it in their eyes. The question that resonates with anyone who has done their best and things still don't work out no matter what they do or say or how hard they try to comply with the rules. The question is always and forever "Why?!"

City girl moves to country, meets rancher, marries rancher and they live happily ever after. Right? A movie-type happy ending to the great Western fairy tale. Well, not this side of heaven, it would seem.

Billie Jean Rodemeyer was a writer in San Francisco, until she met and married fifth-generation rancher Wally Roney of the Roney Cattle Company in northern California. Unfortunately for the Roneys, their base ranch of 8,000 acres is adjacent to the Caribou Wilderness area and the Lassen National Forest in northern California.

For generations the Roney Cattle Company had use of five grazing permits that came along with the base ranch. According to the IRS and various court cases, these are also included in the value of the ranch. Those permits allow them to graze a certain number of cattle on various allotments and pastures.

Over the years the Roney family has made improvements to the land where they held permits. That included building water resources such as a waterfall, cleaning or fixing waterways, building ponds and troughs, dredging out places that needed cleanup. All that hard work resulted in meadows and green areas where none were before.

Established in the 1850s, the Roney Cattle Company predates the U.S. Forest Service, which was created in the early 20th century. In the West that fact makes a difference. It is the good fortune of the Roney Cattle Company that Wally's grandfather had the sense to make an issue of the use of that land and its water in court in 1929. At that time water rights to the ranch were established with a treaty - a covenant - with both the federal government and the state of California, which has the actual rights to the water. Tell all this to the federal government today.

When I first talked to the Roneys they were awaiting a decision of the U.S. Forest Service on their grazing permits. Every 10 years or so the government rearranges the rules as conditions change on the range. In the last 15 years, no matter how good range conditions are, the government has been yanking, restricting, downsizing, and taking away permits that have been in families for generations. Most of the time it has nothing to do with the condition of the range but everything to do with decisions made years ago in faraway Washington, D.C.

Environmentalists and the foundations, like all good totalitarians, have managed to have undue influence on national environmental policy. They have also managed over the years to infiltrate many government agencies connected with environmental policies. Attitudes began to change during the '60s: God was now dead and new gods replaced Him. Environmentalism is one of the new gods.

No matter who was in office and how Congress was composed, bad laws and regulations destroyed entire communities and lives. Over the last 30 years, the worst environmental legislation was passed during Republican administrations. The idea of clean air and clean water is a great idea that needed to be implemented, but it has evolved into micromanaging every aspect of the environment and cleansing it of any human occupation or use.

The Roneys and others I have talked to universally agree that the problems between the federal government and the ranching community became critical around 1986. At that time federal agencies went from helpful and instructive agents concerned about wise use of the environment to green police. The attitude changed from one of cooperation to one of adversary and conflict. As more environmental legislation was passed, sound science was rarely part of the package but conflict, myth and junk science most certainly was.

Since the mid-'80s, the onslaught against multiple use of the land has nearly destroyed small to mid-sized ranching, logging and mining operations. Recreational use is the next target, as off-roaders, hunters, snowmobilers and others are finding out. It is also true that the territory to be controlled and off-limits to human interaction and activity is extending into the eastern United States as well.

In Nevada, which is 87 percent nationalized land, the number of cattle ranchers and miners has decreased exponentially since the mid-'80s. According to statistics compiled by USA Today, three of the poorest counties in the United States are now in Nevada. These counties were formerly home to cattle ranches. These ranches, because they were in a heavily government-controlled state, relied on grazing permits on federal lands. The number of these rural folks, along with ranching, has dropped by over 70 percent since 1986 in Nevada since the mid-'80s.

Dr. Tony Lesperance of Greater Basin Resource Management in Elko, Nevada, stated in a report about the decrease in cattle ranching in that state: "Properly managed, this resource [rangeland] has provided the necessary nutrition for hundreds of thousands of cattle for over 130 years." He further stated, "The majority of livestock losses can be directly attributed to changes in management philosophy by the federal land management agencies, including the BLM and the USFS."

When I spoke to Billie and Wally Roney on January 15th, the decision had been made as to how they could now use certain sections of the land they and Wally's forebears had developed over the last 100 years. The United States Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management had decided to deny them further use of the water resources they had refined.

The lush meadow that resulted from that development doesn't mean diddly-squat to the feds. Nor are they interested in the fact that without the kind of care the Roneys have given, the area will go back to scrub and weeds. Neither the environmental movement nor the federal land bureaucracies care very much that the Roneys have been good stewards; they want them off regardless of prior treaties or promises made.

Billie's voice shook as she explained how beautiful the area they had developed was, relating how the family had created something out of nothing, including a habitat that has attracted sand hill cranes. The cranes have left adjacent poorly managed federal property, deciding they preferred the digs at the Roney base ranch better. But the meadow and water resources, which the Roneys have nurtured and developed, are off-limits to them and their cattle.

The Roneys are not the cattle barons of Texas. They do not have thousands of head and they don't drive new Cadillacs with steer horns on the hood. Like a majority of federal or private land ranchers they own 500 head of cattle or less. They must transport these cattle by truck as they rotate from pasture to pasture in three different counties.

But the Forest Service does not really care about how well Wally takes care of his land or how many head he runs or that he rotates pastures. Nor do they care much about the improvements he has made - except that they want them. They also want Wally and Billie off the land. As Wally stated, "the Forest Service guys keep telling me I need to get out, give up, it isn't worth it. But they don't know about the land, not like we do. We love this land; we take care of it. We do the best we can by it. Those guys come and go and have no stake in how the land is cared for or what it needs."

The Roneys are not alone in their frustration. The feds and environmental movement with billion-dollar foundation funding are doing it all over the West. This is the case especially in areas they want to add to federal domain. Their strategy is to divide and conquer.

They make rules that are both inconsistent and impossible to abide by. They pick a target - a rancher who has prominence and a number of grazing permits. Often times they offer a specific rancher's grazing permits or allotments to other ranchers in the area or to absentee cattle ranchers and thereby get cooperation through a subtle intimidation.Meanwhile, the bureaucrats regulate and harass the targeted rancher into oblivion as they change the rules at every turn.

Most of the time the federal lands rancher is forced out of business. Only a few have the resources or the will to fight back. The plan is to divide and conquer, turn neighbor against neighbor, and unfortunately, human nature being what it is, the neighbor often has no loyalty to anything but his own self-interest. It happens in all states where the government controls a majority of the landmass and where it wants more.

So it was in the Old West, where the federal government used the animosity between tribes to divide and conquer. They used the conflict and competition between, say, the Crows and the Sioux and pitted one against the other, encouraging arguments and fights between the Blackfeet, the Nez Perce and the Flatheads.

Nothing has changed. The Great White Father in D.C. continues to divide and conquer and create impossible rules for everyone and then wonders why it is hated and resented. The federal government seems clueless that federal lands it controls are usually in rotten shape, while adjacent private property is usually of superior quality.

In Wally's case the water rights in his area are what the feds are after. The federal government has been grabbing water rights throughout the West for a number of years while the purists in the environmental movement pile on, since many of them think any human use of land and water is unnatural and therefore evil.

In the end it is a struggle for power. Wally and Billie and thousands of others are caught up in that struggle. They have learned, as others have to their misfortune, that water and the land are for fighting.

Federal agencies egged on and totally infiltrated and influenced by environmental groups set standards on rangelands and federal lands. The problem is that many times these standards have nothing to do with sound land management.

Not all grasslands are supposed to look like your front lawn. But enviros have managed to create an impression that they know how things should be and how they should look and what constitutes range health. Usually these notions are not grounded in sound range or ecosystem health concerns. As a matter of fact, so-called public land is usually not adequately cared for. The result of environmental fundamentalism over the years is that the health of land, forests and water in the public domain is in trouble.

In many areas in the West and elsewhere, the U.S. Forest Service has given us summers of fires as millions of acres burned and animals and species were obliterated along with their habitats. Yet these incompetents and the uninformed are still making policy and still setting the rules. Then, to add insult to injury, as Wally says, "they micromanage and litigate you out of business."

Several years ago Dr. Wayne Burkhardt, a range management specialist, stated in a report to Congress: "In the 1980s, environmentalists, citing land degradation and lack of significant contribution to society, launched a serious political campaign against livestock grazing on public lands, which put it at the center of a major land use struggle. This puts the future of rangeland grazing in question. Sadly, their propaganda does not include many facts and is much at odds with documentation showing stable and improving range conditions."

When the rules according to the bureaucrats are broken, whether they make scientific sense or not, whether they are true or not does not matter. Riparian area health is now the red herring for the greens and green bureaucrats. It is also a catch-22 for ranchers.

The feds set the standards, for instance, to no more than 25 percent cow hoof prints around a water hole. Then overnight they may drop it to 15 percent. No warning and no talking it over with the locals, just do it whether or not it makes sense for the riparian area or not. They inform without discussion and thus create an adversarial situation. They continually act like the little green despots they have become.

Most range management specialists say that they rarely ask the right questions about conditions of the land and forests and waterways. Moreover, rarely do they bring in outside management specialists. When Forest Service personnel are caught acting despotic they have even refused to honor grand jury subpoenas. One prominent case involved a group of forest rangers in Nevada who, when asked to testify, refused. (Apparently federal bureaucrats join Bill Clinton in being above the law.) Finally, federal hearings were held so that the locals could air their grievances.

Wally says, "When you ask them what you can do, they won't tell you and just shrug their shoulders and say, 'That's up to you.' "

In other words, as every public and some private lands ranchers can tell you, it is a world where no one gives a straight answer. It is world where the rules are like smoke: You can smell it but you can't get a handle on it. It is a world of the politburo and Kafkaesque clique. As rules are constantly changed, as standards disappear overnight, and where appeals to common sense or higher authority go in circles, the little guy is always the loser.

The first response of the bureaucrat seems to be to issue rules they know are impossible to comply with. When the natural resource user doesn't comply, the bureaucrat sends out a 'show cause' letter or trespass notice.

The ultimate result, however, is that there is absolutely no attempt at cooperation with the persons who have been targeted for extinction as they are denied the use federal lands. All that is offered is a labyrinth of administrative appeals that usually lead nowhere. But they do cost big bucks to address. Cooperation among bureaucrats, environmentalists and natural resource users is not the prime directive, however. Extinction of the rancher, logger, miner is. As one environmentalist stated to an assembled group of his fellows, "You take them down one at a time, wait them out, litigate them out."

Environmental litigation, which the government often promotes, is a replay of the travesty conducted against the Indian tribes. More rules, fewer options, with the full weight and force of the federal government as the hammer and sword. Bury them in a blizzard of paperwork and impossible regulations, and in your heart you know you don't mean a thing you say - after all, federal promises are made to be broken.

The federal bureaucrats and the environmental movement usually leave the corporate, the cartel, farmer or rancher alone. They will not go after ADM or Cargill or cattle operations that are backed by lots of money. Larger entities have the resources to fight court battles. In addition, the corporations have gotten smart and pay the environmental movement off by giving them large contributions through foundation grants or by corporate sponsorship. ("Buying In," Mother Jones magazine, April 1990, and the NewsMax commentary "Funding the War on the American West.")

An environmentalist challenged me on the issue of where funds for the environmental movement are coming from. He finally got around to admitting, "I don't suppose the $800 000.000 assets of the Nature Conservancy come from $15 contributions, do they."

Those who have private ranches are not as badly off as the federal lands rancher. The federal lands rancher depends on reasonable policies and consistent policies in order to survive - it used to be called the rule of law. As has happened in the past, no matter how hard the Indian fought, no matter how hard the public lands rancher fights, or the logger or the miner, the decision to end their way of life has been made.

As Mrs. Roney stated, "By doing all this they make it harder for people to stay on the land even when they take care of it. The bigger issue is I wonder where the American people think their food is coming from. They think it appears magically wrapped in plastic at the grocery store?"

Billie and Wally Roney plan to continue their fight against the USFS and its arbitrary rules. They will also continue to diversify their operation and do what they have always done, take care of the land as they have for five generations of Roneys.

True Graft, or Where Is John Wayne When We Need Him?

The Roneys' problems with the federal government and the greens are not just a single anecdote. Their problems are only part of the bigger problem. Uncovering the lies and double-dealing in government is the trick. Even when corruption is discovered, however, very little is done about it. Usually if a citizen or group wants any justice they have to take the federal government to court.

The search for justice can become a dead end or a merry-go-round of government stalling and environmental litigation. Bureaucracies and the environmental movement have unlimited funds and can stall and litigate forever.

They have a way of keeping their kingdoms and fiefdoms safe from scrutiny and most of all from commonsense reforms. Decisions on what is supposed to happen on nationalized lands were made years ago. Not even Congress seems able to get it under control.

Behind the Clinton Administration's Lies and Rhetoric

Before he left office, Bill Clinton rammed the roadless initiative down everyone's throats through an executive order. That means that only the hardy and the fit will ever see all that wonderful country, which will be inaccessible to anyone but special-interest groups, federal green bureaucrats, and the rich. Why do they do this, one might ask.

The Forest Service held one of its first public meetings on the issue at the Hyatt Hotel in Arlington, Va., in 1999. They invited environmentalists and had a lavish hospitality suite with drinks and food. So much money was spent by the Forest Service on this meeting that a House subcommittee investigation ensued.

The House subcommittee investigation was headed by the subcommittee's chief of staff, Doug Crandall. It was determined that the meeting was not an illegal meeting, but the problem lies with how policy is determined. Who pays for what and how much influence peddling is going on?

Apparently, part of the Clinton legacy was to corrupt the way federal agencies are doing business. Bill sold the Lincoln bedroom to the highest bidder along with our national secrets; the agencies are selling policy to the highest bidder as well. It is widely understood that the agencies in all of government have one basic motive and that is to stay in business.

Many individuals in government do a wonderful job, are honest and smart, but the way bureaucracies have worked since the dawn of civilization is that a bureaucracy is an organism that needs funding and it usually does what it must to get money and to expand its power.

On October 28, 1999, the House Committee on Resources requested documents from the Forest Service and the White House concerning the president's initiative to restrict use on 40 to 60 million acres of "roadless areas" in the National Forests. After conducting a preliminary review of thousands of pages of documents provided by the Clinton administration, the review showed that the administration's decision was made improperly. These actions were in apparent violation of the due process rights of affected parties, as well as applicable statutes enacted by Congress to protect those rights, such as the Administrative Procedures Act (APA) and the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA).

The report states, "Information received in response to the document request indicates that the Administration's roadless area initiative was developed in an environmental vacuum - with virtually all input coming from a select few in the environmentalist community, primarily: Ken Rait of the Heritage Forest Campaign; Mike Francis, Bill Meadows and Charles Wilkinson of The Wilderness Society; Neil Lawrence of the Natural Resources Defense Council; Gene Karpinski of USPIRG; Marty Hayden of the Earth Justice Legal Defense Fund; Dan Beard of the Audubon Society; and Carl Pope of the Sierra Club."

These individuals had continuous communication with, and access to, the federal employees directly involved in the creation of the rule-making, primarily Chris Wood of the Forest Service, Jim Lyons and Anne Kennedy of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Dinah Bear and George Frampton of the Council on Environmental Quality, and John Podesta, chief of staff to the president.

This access was not limited to meetings, which were numerous, but included the providing of draft language, legal memoranda, and survey research data to the administration, which was then used to justify and frame the roadless area rules. For example, Neil Lawrence provided an extensive legal analysis on the "Executive Branch's Authority to Protect National Forest Roadless Areas," and Charles Wilkinson provided George Frampton a memo, "Roadless Area Policy - What's Feasible."

Furthermore, the committee concluded that this "structured relationship between the [Clinton] Administration and environmentalists is of serious concern, but more significant is the lack of any evidence of even a token effort by the Administration to involve other interested parties. This disregard for any balance in the advice being solicited is evidence of both the pretextual nature of the decision, which had clearly already been made, and of a lack of concern for any adverse consequences on the affected users of the forest lands in question."

Other documents reveal an additional, more casual coordinated effort between the environmentalists and the administration. For instance, Ken Rait shared many, if not all, of his communication plans with the administration before implementing them. The documents also show that Ken Rait and the administration may have collaborated on paid media campaigns.

The report disclosed that "it is now clear that while the Forest Service was receiving written comments on its proposals and holding public meetings on its proposals, it was meeting - in secret - with a small, select group of environmentalists with a direct interest in the outcome of the roadless area review and transportation policy. Yet, the public record for the rule-makings does not show that these ex parte communications ever occurred."

In a personal letter to me, one Forest Service employee stated, "I just read your article on 'Funding the War on the American West.' This is one of the best articles I have ever read. I live in the Dakotas and we have National Grasslands here, administered by Forest Service and BLM. As you may know, the ultimate goal is to get everyone off the federal lands and have a big playground for animals and the rich. The endangered species act is also being used to drive people off Federal Lands. ..."

This revelation is something many people have known for 20 years. But it has become a fait accompli under Bill Clinton and Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt. Investigative reporter John Stoessel of ABC tried to interview Bruce Babbitt recently. When questioned about double-dealing, Babbitt just got up and left the room and would not stay for the interview because he didn't like the questions asked.

It was Bruce Babbitt, after all, who said that enemies (anyone who uses public lands) should be driven into the ground. In the rural West he, the environmental movement, the bureaucrats, and the foundation connection have succeeded very well.

As Long As the Grass Shall Grow

On February 15, 2000, Diana White Horse Capp, Chairman of the Upper Columbia Resource Council and a member of the Colville Tribe of Indians, testified before Congress regarding what is happening to her tribe of Indians and the land in her area.

Ms. Capp related: "History shows the elite gain power by pitting the masses against each other. ... Elite foundations now funnel their wealth to environmental groups who pit the masses against each other. Rural Americans are condemned as savages just as natives once were. ... The environmental elite use native people. They preach tribal rights and promise to restore justice. Yet they do little for native people but use them as poster children to buy the clout of treaty rights in their lawsuits. These foundations use environmental groups to destroy rural cultures. Our county is crippled by their attacks on timber, mining and ranching. Jobs are scarce. ... Our children feel hopeless. The elite have raped their future.

She concluded, "Federal insiders reshape policy to destroy rural cultures. This map shows some of the plans to push us out. Colville National Forest's public affairs officer took vacation time to picket for more wilderness. Pacific Biodiversity Institute boasts that government agencies request their wilderness maps. This Wilderness Society map is part of a local Forest Service Plan. This environmental group's grant says their lynx study will be used by the Forest Service. This job notice even says Nature Conservancy biologists write policy on Indiantown Gap Military Reservation - adding salt to the wound."

But Ms. Capp's testimony discloses the continued efforts by the elite and the green bureaucracies to pit Indian tribes and subgroups against each other. That was the modus operandi of the federal government a hundred years ago and it is more so today. She also understands that native peoples are being used by government and green groups to further their agendas. Indian country is no better off than it was 100, 70, or 50 years ago, no matter what promises are made by various interest groups. Another case is that of the Timbisha Indians of Death Valley, California.

Antonio DeVargas is president of the La Compania Ocho, a for-profit, minority-owned business engaged in the logging and processing of timber, located in the small mountain village of Vallecitos, N.M. His small logging operation operates within the Carson National Forest. The unemployment rate in his community is 20 percent, but that small business, which has been around for years, has of course been skewered into the ground by the environmental group known as the Forest Guardians. Through litigation and obfuscation and telling the usual pack of environmental lies, it runs over the little guy with big-guy money.

The PEW Charitable Trusts, for instance, have funneled money into the New Mexico Audubon Society, which was supposed to "help" the villages in the area. Instead, Potemkin-type (phony hollow-shell) organizations and "coalitions" of one or two people are created. The result is that they have successfully created the impression that there are massive organizations involved in 'saving" the forests and helping villagers. What has happened is far from help, unless you think destroying something is helping.

The Big Lie environmentalists have said for years that all logging involves clear-cutting. That is far from the truth, but it does not matter to these groups. Over the years the logging industry in the intermountain West has been put out of business, especially on federal lands.

The devastating forest fires that took place in the summer of 2000 were the result of unscientific and stupid government policy based on environmentalists' Puritan beliefs about the great woods and prairies. Studies in the case of the Ocho group indicated that a sustainable rate of cutting would be about 9 million board feet per year. Due to appeals and litigation by such groups as the Forest Guardians the board feet cut in the forests amounts to less than 1 million per year.

Mr. Vargas went on to beg Congress to act in this case of elites pursuing a political agenda using tax-free foundation money with the willing compliance of federal bureaucrats.

Shutting Down the Sierra Nevada

Rose Comstock is a pioneer, in a sense. She is a member of one of the few groups that have successfully combined the concerns of environmentalists and the natural resource user in an effort at "sustainable development."

The Quincy Library Group of Plumas County, Calif., even received an honor in 2000 from Congress. This group of area citizens, which included environmentalists, ranchers and loggers, spent years developing a plan for "sustainable development."
So everything is hunky-dory, right? Wrong!

Environmental groups from outside the area are preventing the implementation of the plan by taking it to court. After a lot of years of wrangling, compromise and tears, nothing mattered to the greens, because the Luddites in the environmental movement don't want cooperation. Neither do they want a workable solution to a plan that will accommodate both sides.

To the environmentalists, it is a lot like the mindset of the left and our current crop of Democrats in Congress: Compromise means you do it our way or you don't do it. Rose Comstock is disappointed in how Quincy's efforts have been railroaded. She has other concerns, however, besides the Quincy Library Group. Rose is also a consultant on federal land issues in the Northern Sierras and is involved in helping loggers formulate their case and practices as they try to stay in business against all odds.

Recently, she and the loggers have experienced the total shutdown of the Sierra Nevada to any logging at all, a perverse action inflicted on Plumas County by the U.S. Forest Service in the waning days of the Clinton administration.

Even though California is suffering severe electricity shortages and needs the 2 percent of energy provided by biomass fuels, loggers cannot recover the wood trash to provide the fuels. Biomass bales are created by using what is left over from cutting timber so that nothing is wasted. Biomass is used to generate electricity. However, plants that use this technology have had to close because of the forest shutdown.

The usual suspects are involved. Environmental groups like the Earth Island Institute and the Forest Guardians have litigated in California, Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee and the Carolinas. The shutdown of logging on federal lands, nationalized lands, is continuing apace and it has moved east. What that means is that Americans will pay more for foreign wood products while American jobs disappear to accommodate environmental puritans.

As Rose said to me, "These environmental groups are usually the same ones that come at you but often under different names." Like the others I spoke to, she said their efforts are funded by big money from foundations and government grants as well as by donations from the unsuspecting and uninformed.

Rose believes that far too many involved in the environmental movement do not want cooperation between the movement and the natural resource users and producers. They would prefer to see those efforts fail. That is why they thwart cooperative efforts such as those of the Quincy Library Group.

"Shutdown is what they want and it is what the Forest Service gave them when they stopped all logging in the Sierra Nevada," said Rose.

It is interesting to note that a county commissioner who is a rabid environmentalist told her, "We are going to go back to pre-industrial times if at all possible, and there is nothing that will stop it."

Rose Comstock shakes her head and wonders where these people are going to live, what they will eat, and if they will enjoy candles, whale oil and fireplaces to give light and heat rather than what they have now.

The question becomes, how far down the path to pre-white man America do environmentalists want to go? They may realize that in reality they can't go all the way, but they will certainly try. Otherwise they would be actively seeking cooperation between groups of people and the resource user in the West and elsewhere.

They would attempt to be more than monkey wrenchers and Luddites bent on messing up the works. As of the moment they have effectively closed down logging in the Northwest, ranching in Nevada, and with Clinton's roadless initiative they are closing vast lands to fire fighting and recreation as well as logging.

"A dozen of the nation's wealthiest foundations gave $9.7 million to more than three dozen environmental groups seeking to influence President Clinton's proposals for protecting roadless areas and for the Forest Service's final policy on roadless lands." So states Michelle Cole in an analysis in The Oregonian. The newspaper has kept abreast of activities by the well-heeled greens and the foundation connection.

"At the forefront was the Pew Charitable Trusts. Established by the children of Sun Oil Co. founder Joseph N. Pew, the Pew trusts have influenced nearly every aspect of American culture. Through grants, Pew has helped the arts, education, religion, the press and the environmental movement."

However, Rose and others are heartened by the passage of Measure 7 in Oregon. Measure 7 effectively says that if county or state ordinances and regulations preclude that use (of your land) they must pay you for the de-valuation of your property. The measure means that the government will have to retroactively compensate anyone affected by environmental policies.

Congress Needs to Act and END This Game

Congress continues interminable investigations into questionable activities by the foundations and environmental groups - but does nothing. It has yet to have a serious investigation of foundations and their connections to government and the way they impact government policy.

Foundations are tax-free 501(c)(3) or (c)(4) organizations, and no serious investigation into their activities and tax-free status has been done since the '50s. Since that time they have had a tremendous amount of influence on all aspects of American life and culture, and most of it has not been good.

Just like the robber barons of yesteryear, they seek a monopoly in the production of goods and services, and they seek to have undue influence on policies that impact Americans who are paying taxes and trying to make a living. I suspect that too much of what they have done and will do in the future is neither idealistic nor good for the country, culture, OR the environment.

Perhaps it is past time Congress and the new administration look into their policies and actions. Since foundations have become involved, the United States is less free, has more regulation and more intrusive government. The foundations have a modern history of funding everything from radical feminism to radical environmentalism. As the spiritual descendants of the robber barons, they are still screwing the little guy.

Meanwhile, the environmentalists are the contemporary vestal virgins serving the new god, who is green. They have high priests called federal bureaucrats and followers who call themselves preservationists.

The current problem with the establishment environmental movement is the same problem with the civil rights movement: Both were good and just ideas that have run amok. The deal now is to continually create problems and crises that need solutions which only they have. That brings in donations oftentimes in the billions of dollars. So it is, whether with Jesse Jackson or the Nature Conservancy: Follow the money.


These stories from broken promise land, also known as the heartland, are in fact harbingers of the real end game. That includes an international effort by various elites to make the United States kowtow to a globalist agenda, which may help multinational corporations but do absolutely nothing for small business or the average citizen except to limit freedom.

Environmentalism is now also a secular religion with a hierarchy, kings and princes who fund it, and devoted followers. The weird thing is that it is the descendants of the robber barons who are the big bucks behind it.

To find out more, read "Funding the War on the American West," It explains more about how we have gotten to this point and who is paying the freight for the greens and why.

(Also check out to find out more about other stories including various broken treaties with the American Indian. Also learn how Hollywood plays a role in destroying livelihoods in rural America and why so much money comes from this source to fund leftist causes.)

Diane Alden is a research analyst with a background in political science and economics. Her work has appeared in the Washington Times as well as Enter Stage Right and the American Partisan and many other online publications. Her e-mail address is

Other related articles: (open in a new window)

Current Issue

Archive Main | 2001

E-mail ESR




1996-2023, Enter Stage Right and/or its creators. All rights reserved.