Just Between You, Me and the Gatepost: Caribou and Environmental Posers

This blog regards a local issue that is the topic of much backyard discussion, but one that may concern citizens everywhere who are facing unreasonable demands to lock up public lands on the pretext of protecting endangered species.  For more background on this issue one may go to press releases found here:  http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2011/nov/29/feds-propose-critical-caribou-habitat-idaho-washin/ and here: http://www.spokesman.com/blogs/outdoors/2013/jan/31/environmental-groups-sue-feds-over-caribou-habitat/

The following letter to the Editor was posted in the Bonners Ferry Herald Newspaper. I have next included a reply from a representative of one of the environmental groups discussed in the first letter.  After that you may find my comments.

Caribou issue rears its head again
•Posted: Friday, March 15, 2013 12:00 pm

Just when everyone thought the mountain caribou habitat controversy was solved and done with, here come the usual suspects muddling up the issue again.

The United Fish and Wildlife Service had trimmed the caribou habitat proposal on the Westside from 375,562 acres down to a more sensible 30,010 acres, so-called critical habitat to be set aside for the caribou.But that is not enough for several radical, hardcore environmentalist organizations, so they filed a formal notice of intent to sue to get their way. According to the under-reported story in the Herald, these groups include the Center for Biological Diversity, Conservation Northwest, Selkirk Conservation Alliance, The Lands Council, Idaho Conservation League and Defenders of Wildlife.

By the way, the weak-kneed Herald called these organizations “conservation groups,” instead of labeling them as radical, hardcore environmentalist outfits.

Of course, after reading the insert “Sustainable Living” in the Herald, published by Sandpoint’s Daily Bee, I wasn’t surprised.
Talk about your new-age, hippie, tree-hugger bunch of propaganda; “Sustainable Living” makes Mother Earth News look like a right-wing shooting and hunting publication.

As usual, these despicable environmentalist organizations pull their hippie lawyers out and make a sneak-attack and outright ambush on common sense and reason. Any acres set aside for caribou habitat, even one road closed, and any other restrictions on the use of our national forests for a handful of Canadian caribou is ridiculous.

How much money will it cost the taxpayers to fight this frivolous, downright insane, lawsuit? Why are these groups so intent on locking us out of our own forests? Who are the members and supporters of these nefarious groups? Why are they so secretive and cowardly?There are so many questions that need to be answered on this subject. Had the Herald actually accomplished a complete and thorough reporting job, we would know the answers. However, our local so-called newspaper has become a joke, totally incapable of actually covering a story in-depth and intelligently.

I don’t know what is worse: radical environmental hippie organizations bent on locking up all of our land, or a so-called community newspaper that doesn’t report the news.

Remember, mountain caribou is the other white meat. We need more of them to feed the wolves, grizzly bears, lynx and wolverines. Too bad sturgeon, ling-cod and bull trout don’t eat caribou as well, then we would have the perfect remedy for all of this nonsense.
Tom Emond
Boundary County

Posted in Letters on Friday, March 15, 2013 12:00 pm.

Here is the reply:

Emond lacks understanding
Posted: Friday, March 29, 2013 12:00 pm

I take exception to Mr. Edmond’s letter of March 14, casting judgment on the Idaho Conservation League and other so called “radical environmental hippie organizations.”

I don’t take exception to Mr. Edmond having his opinion, but he casts judgment on the organization that I represent without first taking the time know and understand what we are all about. Since open letters are an open invitation, I’ll take this opportunity to share some information about the Idaho Conservation League.

ICL is actively involved in the Kootenai Valley Resource Initiative, where community stakeholders are working on forest management projects that support local jobs and improve forest health. Through KVRI, we recently developed recommendations for a timber sale in Twentymile Creek that will reduce the threat of fire to municipal drinking water supplies and deliver logs to local mills. We have two other such projects in the hopper.

ICL is about managing the land, fish, and wildlife using the best available science. Boundary County is the last place where nearly all of northern Idaho’s native fish and wildlife are still present. It is our goal to conserve caribou and other native species for the benefit of present and future generations of Boundary County and the State of Idaho.

If these things make me a radical hippie, then I’m happy to be one. As for Mr. Edmond, it’s sad that he would likely take pleasure in the extinction of caribou, but since I don’t know him, I will withhold casting any judgment.
Brad Smith


Now here is an expanded version of my own letter which was too lengthy to qualify for the 250 word limit.  I have posted it here for the benefit of my local community.

Just Between You, Me and the Gatepost

I read with interest the two letters to the Herald from Tom Emond and Brad Smith regarding the critical caribou habitat debate .

I don’t know Brad Smith and perhaps he is a well-intentioned person, but I do know that the organization he speaks for, the Idaho Conservation League, has made common cause with the Defenders of Wildlife (DOW) and the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) in their suits over the caribou habitat.

There is no doubt that the Defenders of Wildlife has ties to some of the most radical environmentalists currently active at the national and international levels.  Not only do they have science advisory members, now and in the past, who advocate for the expulsion of humans from over one-half the American land mass–a program called the Wildlands Project—but they have ties to the Big Green groups such as the World Wildlife Fund and other groups who are known to remove local peoples from their lands while allowing huge corporations to exploit natural resources.  These same groups have CEO’s and other board members with ties to the World Bank and other powerful interests.  Their brutal treatment of human populations in Africa and Latin America is due to their anti-human, neo-Malthusian theories blaming human population levels for the loss of critical habitat.

The Center for Biological Diversity makes the claim on their web site that they are deeply concerned for the welfare of humans and that their concerns for the environment are linked to that perspective.  However, their actions speak louder than their words.  An article written October 31, 2011 describes the Center for Biological Diversity’s campaign to reduce population, tying their campaign to  concerns that every human born displaces members of endangered species.  This campaign, of course, was greeted with approval by the United Nations Population fund and Joel E. Cohen, chief of the Laboratory of Populations at Rockefeller University and Columbia University.   This stance reveals that they share the neo-Malthusian theories of their environmental colleagues.  See the article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/01/science/earth/bringing-up-the-issue-of-population-growth.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

In addition, the CBD sues to eliminate the use of hunting ammunition containing lead (isn’t that all of it?).  And the CBD lost in a lawsuit brought against them by one Jim Chilton, an Arizona rancher who charged that the Center lied and distorted the truth when making claims that he was damaging the environment.  These do not sound like the actions of people who have a realistic and compassionate view of human beings.

Mr. Smith points to collaboration with the Kootenai Valley Resource Initiative (KVRI) as evidence of constructive actions on behalf of our community, and especially cites work done on the Twenty-Mile Creek timber sale.  If it weren’t for crying, I’d laugh.  The ostensible reason for removing these logs is that there was a lot of downed timber that rotted and created fuel for forest fire.  One longtime resident of Twenty Mile Creek area tells me that no one was allowed to go in and cut up this downed timber for firewood, and so it just rotted on the ground creating a fire hazard.  The decision to give this important watershed over to the US Forest Service to manage and give a timber sale to select corporations, while destroying access roads, fits the pattern noted by many commentators on current environmental practices: that of forming partnerships consisting of governments, green groups and crony capitalists which lock the common citizens out of public lands while increasing government power and granting wealth to all partners involved.  If that’s a service to the community, “Thanks, but no thanks.”

I notice that the Nature Conservancy also has a seat at the KVRI table.  The Nature Conservancy is the largest and richest U.S. green group of all according to sources.  They are fabulously wealthy from buying lands from well-meaning persons and then reselling them to the U.S. Federal Government at exorbitant profits.  Many of these people have protested this resale of their lands, but this has done them no good.  The Nature Conservancy also benefits by drilling for oil and other extractive industry from the lands that come into their possession.  Like all of the green groups, they are fully cognizant of peoples displaced by their activities and have board members and associates originating from within the bowels of the World Bank and Goldman Sachs.

Indeed, all of the larger green groups have become wealthy from their frivolous lawsuits, and associations with crony capitalists and governments.  I have to agree with Mr. Emond that, unless you are in favor of their activities, you do well to avoid contributing to them.

I do, however, disagree with Mr. Emond concerning his charge that these people are hippies.  The majority are from elite families and had elite educations, then moved into lucrative positions as soon as they presented themselves.  They are more accurately known as yuppies, those who co-opted the hippie movement and became upwardly mobile.  It’s time we residents of Boundary County stopped despising one another and came to the realization that, whether you are an old hippie with a little piece of the backwoods and an organic garden, or a born and bred gyppo operator, you mean little or nothing to these people.

I’m sure there are many idealistic and well-intentioned people in these local, small green groups, but it’s time they looked at the men behind the curtain.

Furthermore, it appears that the critical caribou habitat issue may be a distraction, for right now anyway.  While we have been reading and worrying about that, has anyone told Boundary County Residents that there is already a plan to lock up 2.2 million acres of grizzly habitat in Idaho, Montana and N.E. Washington?  This plan has been in the works for years and will have grave repercussions for land owners in these areas.  In future blogs I will give more information on this subject.

Sara Hall
Boundary County, Idaho

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2 Responses to Just Between You, Me and the Gatepost: Caribou and Environmental Posers

  1. Dianne Boothe says:

    Thank you for such an informative piece of writing. People must take warning to these groups. I also years ago donated to Defenders of Wildlife and nature Conservancy. This is not the good for our wildlife nor our enviroment, it is called taking control, Agenda 21. It takes people like you to get this information out so that people can be informed and I thank you for that. Blessings.

    • PoetHerbalist says:

      It’s a pleasure. I love my community and I love nature. I just can’t stand watching what is happening here without saying something.

Comments are closed.