Hold tight the reins
By Henry Lamb
web posted August 5, 2002
"When in the course of human events...," government gets too
uppity, the people have to jerk the reins, hold tight, and bring the
wayward creature under control.
During the Clinton/Gore era, agencies of our federal government
were infiltrated by former executives and operatives from some
of our most extreme environmental organizations. Bruce Babbitt,
former head of the League of Conservation Voters, took control
of the Department of Interior, and promptly hired Reed F. Noss
as a special consultant.
Noss is the primary author of the Wildlands Project,
the extremist's plan to transform "at least half" of the U.S. land
area to core wilderness, off limits to humans, connected by
corridors, and surrounded by government-managed buffer
George Frampton, former head of the Wilderness Society,
headed the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for a time. The
Wilderness Society advocated the nationalization of all forests
back in the 1930s, and has worked continuously to promote
policies to achieve this goal.
More than 20 leaders of environmental extremist organizations
held key positions in the Clinton/Gore administrations, and they
hired their favorite activists to fill many of the middle-
management and field positions in each agency.
While most of the top agency people were replaced - when the
people jerked the reins of government by electing George W.
Bush - not all of the underlings have been rooted out and
replaced. Many are still advancing the extreme green agenda at
every opportunity inside the government, while their extremely
green organizations promote the agenda on the outside.
For example, The Nature Conservancy and the Audubon
Society provided substantial funding to Reed Noss to write the
Wildlands Project plan, published in 1992. During the last five
years of the Clinton/Gore era, TNC received grants from the
federal government totaling $102, 846,284, and the Audubon
Society received $10, 458,184 - much of which was expressly
for use in Florida for wilderness and wildlife "restoration"
projects - consistent with the aims of the Wildlands Project.
These "restoration" projects are planned by so-called
"stakeholder" councils, which consist primarily of employees of
environmental organizations and employees of federal, state, and
local government. The people - land owners and business people
- are at work, and rarely have the opportunity, or the time, to
devote to the process.
Not until the result of the process is announced, and the
landowners begin to discover the consequences of these
restoration plans, do they get involved. They have to get
involved, because, often, they discover that these professionals
have made decisions that affect their property and their lives.
Such is the case in South Florida. For years, government-paid
officials, and government-paid environmental groups have been
meeting and planning the fate of thousands of landowners, many
of who had no idea the meetings were even underway. Now, the
consequences of the planning threatens to flood thousands of
acres, displace thousands of people, and destroy the investments
and dreams of land owners across the state.
Of course the Wildlands Project clearly states that the "...needs
of non-human species must take precedence over the needs and
desires of humans...."
The humans who own the land and live in South Florida may
have something to say about this. They have formed the Sawgrass Rebellion, a
coalition of organizations in South Florida, joined by other
grassroots organizations around the country, who are standing
together to once again, jerk the reins of government, to hold
tight, and bring government back under control of the people.
The people who own the land have a different vision of how their
land should be used. They are the real stewards of their own
land. They don't want others telling them where and how they
should live. They are not alone. People in California, in the
Klamath Basin, in New York, in Nevada, in Pennsylvania, and
all across the country, are experiencing similar constraints on the
use of private property.
Government-paid officials, supported by government-paid
environmental organizations are moving to "restore" wilderness
everywhere, to connect the wilderness areas with corridors,
sometimes called "greenways." Buffer zones along stream banks,
and viewsheds along highways, "heritage" corridors, "open
space," and critical habitat for questionably listed "endangered"
species - are all devices used to force people into compliance
with the vision of the Wildlands Project.
It's high time the people jerk the reins of government again, and
say loud and clear that the needs and desires of humans must
take priority over the utopian vision of American wilderness.
Henry Lamb is the executive vice president of the Environmental
Conservation Organization, and chairman of Sovereignty
Enter Stage Right - http://www.enterstageright.com