Monday, June 7, 2010

The Misconception of Public Pressure

Remainder of the Forest  

By way of the crow it is roughly 4,274 miles from Art Coleman’s grave at Gold Butte Nevada to the Central Amazon Conservation Complex in Brazil. The physical geography of these two locations varies to the point of near absolute opposite. However despite these physical differences I believe that they do share some of the same land management challenges.

In an interesting book titled, “Break Through” the authors bring up an interesting point on conserving the Amazon Rain Forest in Brazil. The line of reasoning that they point out applies to Gold Butte and more specifically the recent trend in public lands management in the US overall.

But even if the government, the tribes, and the mangers of extractive reserves manage over the next several years to keep 40 percent of the forest that have been saved intact, what then?  The tighter Brazil’s protections on the first 40 percent of the forest are, the greater the pressure will be on the remainder of the forest.

The pressures of public use are increasing. This is not a bad thing! Greenies, Enviro’s, conservatives, liberals, whatever titles or names you want to throw around it doesn’t matter. People connecting with the land is the first step in building a generation that respects and understands the environments role in everyday life. The objective to which all ambitions should be focused is to create and environment for responsible use AND ALLOW IT TO TAKE PLACE. Relish in the fact that it does take place.

As we continue down the path of restricted access to public lands it is forcing more and more people to concentrate on smaller and smaller tracts of public lands. A path of common sense logic will lead you to the simple fact that more people concentrated in smaller areas will lead to degradation.

Limiting access, closing roads, and denying our public lands the proper management and stewardship that they require will only deepen the divide between common sense conservationists and radical environmentalists and the federal government. We need to ensure that the public lands that make up Gold Butte remain a place where responsible use, recreation and western cultural heritage exploration can take place.

Protection with access for our public lands.