Hogwash and balderdash
May 17, 2004
By Julie Kay Smithson
Hogwash and balderdash! "A Modest Wilderness Proposal" -- http://www.tonydean.com/issues.html?sectionid=5082 -- there's no such thing. There's nothing "modest" about what Tony Dean would have you believe is a human user-friendly "wilderness proposal." He's no naive kid, and for all his suave talk about hunters, gem hunters, etc., ad nauseam, he knows full well about The Wildlands Project, and deserves his comeuppance for daring to ill-define "modest wilderness proposal". As he well knows, much "wide open space" is ranchland and farmland, and not all of it -- or even most of it -- is plowed. This is far from being the first time that Mr. Dean has penned such a Trojan Horse of language deception, all the while lulling his readers into the idea that he thinks they will continue to have access to areas that are daily being gated/locked away from human access. The Official Policy of all National Wildlife Refuges, for example, is Closed Until Open. That's not poppycock; I have it right here in a hard copy of a "Draft Environmental Assessment" for the area of rural Ohio in which I live. Here, the recreating and hunting/fishing members of the public were promised access, even when they could read the documents that said all lands and waters that were "critical habitat" or "possible habitat" for "threatened" or "endangered" species -- one of which, the Scioto Madtom prehistoric fish, is EXTINCT -- were to be closed because of the "human threat" to remaining "population segments" of whatever "endangered" or "threatened" species was the current "Poster Species of the Month" at USFWS. The major muzzled media continued to talk about our Amish and Mennonite farmers, here for 200 years, "plowing" up to the streambanks, when the Truth is that we have the highest percentage of "no-till" acreage in Ohio, AND our farmers don't make money with the "Conservation Reserve Program" or "Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program" because the only way to make money from that is to be using land that's already too close to the stream. Our farmers know that all land is not cropland. They also know when a "false prophet" is in town. What's the difference between that arm of the Department of the Interior, its other agencies and The Wildlands Project? Nothing, except their scope. The Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, now taking up eleven million acres in both Alaska and Canada, is also -- coincidentally? -- a United Nations Biosphere Reserve. The National Park Service is busily terrorizing those private landowners and homeowners -- known as inholders -- that dare stay within the "wilderness boundaries"! http://www.WildlandsProjectRevealed.org and http://www.cowboysandcattlecountry.0catch.com -- both these websites provide the truth about such buzzwords and language deceptions as "threatened," "endangered," "at risk," "critical habitat," or those famous nebulous button-pusher words like: "could," "may," "might," and that phrase known for its ability to fool people: "Studies show." Tony Dean knows what he is doing. He cares about Tony Dean, but not about those rural folk that provide homes and healthy "habitat" for both domestic and wildlife, human and plant life, and the REAL diversity that "The Wildlands Project" scorns. He is not trying to make readers feel "warm and fuzzy" without having his agenda firmly in place and the ink dry on his "conservation" partners and their arrangements. He is not trying to tell his readers the truth -- that these lands he so blithely seeks "wilderness status" on are already "protected" Federal lands. There is a Plan here that has nothing to do with the suave tones of surface talk, and everything to do with the cessation of cattle and sheep-raising. It has nothing to do with having a place for hunters to go where they need not "fear" encountering an ATV -- and everything to do with gutting America of her responsible resource providers. How often does Tony Dean tell folks how wonderful cattle and sheep are for reducing the very real risk of fire? Right now there is a Plan afoot to remove all sheep -- by not renewing the grazing permits -- on lands of the Absaroka/Beartooth now-known-as "Wilderness Area" Beartooth sheep kills won't be paid: Defenders of Wildlife stops paying ranchers is the title of the article, but it's about removing all domestic grazing -- and thus, all farming and ranching.
http://www.billingsgazette.com/index.php?display=rednews/2004/05/17/build/local/34-sheep-kills.inc There can only be two sides in this issue: either you're a REAL environmentalist, also known as a responsible resource provider/farmer/fisherman/logger/miner/rancher, or you're a self-proclaimed "environmentalist" or "conservationalist" -- whichever is currently better perceived by the public. The second category would define for the public what it wants the public to think a "modest proposal for wilderness" is. I leave it for the reader to arrive at which of these two categories Mr. Dean falls into.