FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Ecological Costs of Environmentalist Collaboration

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.
April 26, 2018
Patrick Cockburn
As Trump Berates Iran, His Options are Limited
Daniel Warner
From May 1968 to May 2018: Politics and Student Strikes
Simone Chun – Kevin Martin
Diplomacy in Korea and the Hope It Inspires
George Wuerthner
The Attack on Wilderness From Environmentalists
CJ Hopkins
The League of Assad-Loving Conspiracy Theorists
Richard Schuberth
“MeToo” and the Liberation of Sex
Barbara Nimri Aziz
Sacred Assemblies in Baghdad
Dean Baker
Exonerating Bad Economic Policy for Trump’s Win
Vern Loomis
The 17 Gun Salute
Gary Leupp
What It Means When the U.S. President Conspicuously and Publicly Removes a Speck of Dandruff from the French President’s Lapel
Robby Sherwin
The Hat
April 25, 2018
Stanley L. Cohen
Selective Outrage
Dan Kovalik
The Empire Turns Its Sights on Nicaragua – Again!
Joseph Essertier
The Abductees of Japan and Korea
Ramzy Baroud
The Ghost of Herut: Einstein on Israel, 70 Years Ago
W. T. Whitney
Imprisoned FARC Leader Faces Extradition: Still No Peace in Colombia
Manuel E. Yepe
Washington’s Attack on Syria Was a Mockery of the World
John White
My Silent Pain for Toronto and the World
Dean Baker
Bad Projections: the Federal Reserve, the IMF and Unemployment
David Schultz
Why Donald Trump Should Not be Allowed to Pardon Michael Cohen, His Friends, or Family Members
Mel Gurtov
Will Abe Shinzo “Make Japan Great Again”?
Binoy Kampmark
Enoch Powell: Blood Speeches and Anniversaries
Frank Scott
Weapons and Walls
April 24, 2018
Carl Boggs
Russia and the War Party
William A. Cohn
Carnage Unleashed: the Pentagon and the AUMF
Nathan Kalman-Lamb
The Racist Culture of Canadian Hockey
María Julia Bertomeu
On Angers, Disgusts and Nauseas
Nick Pemberton
How To Buy A Seat In Congress 101
Ron Jacobs
Resisting the Military-Now More Than Ever
Paul Bentley
A Velvet Revolution Turns Bloody? Ten Dead in Toronto
Sonali Kolhatkar
The Left, Syria and Fake News
Manuel E. Yepe
The Confirmation of Democracy in Cuba
Peter Montgomery
Christian Nationalism: Good for Politicians, Bad for America and the World
Ted Rall
Bad Drones
Jill Richardson
The Latest Attack on Food Stamps
Andrew Stewart
What Kind of Unionism is This?
Ellen Brown
Fox in the Hen House: Why Interest Rates Are Rising
April 23, 2018
Patrick Cockburn
In Middle East Wars It Pays to be Skeptical
Thomas Knapp
Just When You Thought “Russiagate” Couldn’t Get Any Sillier …
Gregory Barrett
The Moral Mask
Robert Hunziker
Chemical Madness!
David Swanson
Senator Tim Kaine’s Brief Run-In With the Law
Dave Lindorff
Starbucks Has a Racism Problem
Uri Avnery
The Great Day
Nyla Ali Khan
Girls Reduced to Being Repositories of Communal and Religious Identities in Kashmir
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail