FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Ecological Costs of Environmentalist Collaboration

by MIKE GARRITY and CAROLE KING

If history has taught us anything, it’s that America is a much better place when environmental laws are enforced.   We need to make sure that people and organizations whose stated mission is to protect and enforce such laws remain fully committed to that mission.  But right now, especially in regard to those lauding collaboration, it’s very difficult to tell where some conservation groups stand.

Significant environmental compromises are being made by groups supporting national forest management legislation that negatively impacts wildlife habitat and old-growth forests and undermines the Wilderness Act of 1964.  Unfortunately, such compromises fail to take into account the vast number of compromises that have already been made over the past century.  As one friend put it recently, “They’ve cut the baby in half for so long they’re now down to the toenails.”

A number of Montana timber mills recently ran a statewide attack ad on the Alliance for the Wild Rockies, claiming “the Forest Service is being held hostage by a small group of professional obstructionists.”  Senator Tester, meanwhile, publicly had this to say about those who oppose his Forest Jobs and Recreation Act, “extremists are extremists and I don’t really care.”

We don’t see taking an active part in national forest management or participating in a public policy debate as falling under such derogatory labels.

What’s surprising is that while the Montana timber industry ads openly called for rolling back or eliminating public involvement in order to increase logging on public lands, the conservation groups with whom they’ve been collaborating have been strangely silent.

Do these groups agree with the timber industry’s demands?  If the “collaborative” groups believe we should eliminate the public appeals process and exempt many Montana timber sales from judicial review, they should say so openly to their members and the general public so everyone knows exactly where they stand.  If their goal is to protect land and wildlife in a meaningful way, they should speak up in defense of maintaining full public involvement and judicial review in public lands management.

The mission of the Alliance for the Wild Rockies is “to secure ecological integrity of the Wild Rockies bioregion through citizen empowerment and the application of conservation biology, sustainable economic models and environmental law.”  Enforcing the environmental laws of the United States that apply to public lands management is critical to maintaining ecological integrity.

When our government doesn’t follow the requirements of those laws, the Alliance turns to the courts to force federal agencies to follow the law.  Our record is clear.  Our success in the vast majority of our lawsuits proves beyond a doubt that our claims have merit.

It’s easy to see how a climate of silence from the “collaborative” groups might encourage the Forest Service to believe it can avoid full compliance with environmental laws. It’s more difficult to understand why, when a citizen group steps forward to see that our nation’s laws are enforced, the “collaborative” conservation groups go on a well-financed public relations campaign and their industry “partners” launch statewide attack ads against that group.

It’s clear that corporations want subsidized access to public lands unencumbered by environmental laws.  When the government follows the law, the Alliance supports its actions.  When it doesn’t, we go to court.  That’s how democracy works, and that’s where we stand.

Mike Garrity is a 5th generation Montanan and the Executive Director of the Alliance for the Wild Rockies.

Carole King is a singer, songwriter, author, longtime resident of Central Idaho, and a former Board member of the Alliance for the Wild Rockies. She has just published her memoirs: A Natural Woman.
June 27, 2016
Jason Holland
The Tragedy of Nothing
Jeffrey St. Clair
Revolution Reconsidered, Guest Starring Bernard Sanders in the Role of Robespierre
Weekend Edition
June 24, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
A Blow for Peace and Democracy: Why the British Said No to Europe
Pepe Escobar
Goodbye to All That: Why the UK Left the EU
Michael Hudson
Revolts of the Debtors: From Socrates to Ibn Khaldun
Andrew Levine
Summer Spectaculars: Prelude to a Tea Party?
Kshama Sawant
Beyond Bernie: Still Not With Her
Mike Whitney
¡Basta Ya, Brussels! British Voters Reject EU Corporate Slavestate
Tariq Ali
Panic in the House: Brexit as Revolt Against the Political Establishment
Paul Street
Miranda, Obama, and Hamilton: an Orwellian Ménage à Trois for the Neoliberal Age
Ellen Brown
The War on Weed is Winding Down, But Will Monsanto Emerge the Winner?
Gary Leupp
Why God Created the Two-Party System
Conn Hallinan
Brexit Vote: a Very British Affair (But Spain May Rock the Continent)
Ruth Fowler
England, My England
Jeffrey St. Clair
Lines Written on the Occasion of Bernie Sanders’ Announcement of His Intention to Vote for Hillary Clinton
Norman Pollack
Fissures in World Capitalism: the British Vote
Paul Bentley
Mercenary Logic: 12 Dead in Kabul
Binoy Kampmark
Parting Is Such Sweet Joy: Brexit Prevails!
Elliot Sperber
Show Me Your Papers: Supreme Court Legalizes Arbitrary Searches
Jan Oberg
The Brexit Shock: Now It’s All Up in the Air
Nauman Sadiq
Brexit: a Victory for Britain’s Working Class
Brian Cloughley
Murder by Drone: Killing Taxi Drivers in the Name of Freedom
Ramzy Baroud
How Israel Uses Water as a Weapon of War
Brad Evans – Henry Giroux
The Violence of Forgetting
Ben Debney
Homophobia and the Conservative Victim Complex
Margaret Kimberley
The Orlando Massacre and US Foreign Policy
David Rosen
Americans Work Too Long for Too Little
Murray Dobbin
Do We Really Want a War With Russia?
Kathy Kelly
What’s at Stake
Louis Yako
I Have Nothing “Newsworthy” to Report this Week
Pete Dolack
Killing Ourselves With Technology
David Krieger
The 10 Worst Acts of the Nuclear Age
Lamont Lilly
Movement for Black Lives Yields New Targets of the State
Martha Rosenberg
A Hated Industry Fights Back
Robert Fantina
Hillary, Gloria and Jill: a Brief Look at Alternatives
Chris Doyle
No Fireworks: Bicentennial Summer and the Decline of American Ideals
Michael Doliner
Beyond Dangerous: the Politics of Climate
Colin Todhunter
Modi, Monsanto, Bayer and Cargill: Doing Business or Corporate Imperialism?
Steve Church
Brexit: a Rush for the Exits!
Matthew Koehler
Mega Corporation Gobbles Up Slightly Less-Mega Corporation; Chops Jobs to Increase Profits; Blames Enviros. Film at 11.
David Green
Rape Culture, The Hunting Ground, and Amy Goodman: a Critical Perspective
Ed Kemmick
Truckin’: Pro Driver Dispenses Wisdom, Rules of the Road
Alessandro Bianchi
“China Will React if Provoked Again: You Risk the War”: Interview with Andre Vltchek
Christy Rodgers
Biophilia as Extreme Sport
Missy Comley Beattie
At Liberty
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail