Western Lands Project monitors public land privatization
Privatization does not always happen directly. Western Lands Project looks at the sneaky ways-
Wilderness Dedux. From the Goat Blog in High Country News.
In recent years we have seen the emergence of “quid pro quo” Wilderness, where Wilderness is designated only if some developors are authorized to do something bad in exchange. This was not the way Wilderness designation used to take place. It was done simply top protect a pristine place. Conflicts were worked out. If they could not be, the Wilderness proposal died.
Now proposals are made with the intent of weakening the act itself in exchange or facilitating some unrelated project. Western Public Lands has a free book (as a download). This book ($10 if you want a printed version) looks at the details of five of these wilderness proposals so to “illustrate the elaborate machinations and distortions” that we find in them. A number of these involve privatization in exchange for Wilderness designation.
Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan's Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of "Hiking Idaho." He also wrote "Beyond the Tetons" and "Backpacking Wyoming's Teton and Washakie Wilderness." He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.
2 Responses to Western Lands Project monitors public land privatization
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ironically & sadly, in many instances – it seems “W“ilderness has become a vehicle of extractive industry.
we hear of “wilderness purists” in a negative light — to that i can only say – i guess i thought that’s what this thing we call wilderness was supposed to be all about …
Thanks for letting people know about our book, Ralph. I want to note that while it does cover quid pro quo “wilderness” legislation, it also looks at the many other ways Congress privatizes public land through sales, trades, and outright giveaways. History, process, key congressional land dealers are also covered, as well as advice on how citizens can monitor and weigh in on these bills.
Carving up the Commons (pdf)