Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Go Big!

This morning, in our coffee hour review of the environmental news, we caught this sighing headline, "Conservation Group Files Another Suit against Utah's BLM."It's about Western Watersheds Project's recent suit over six BLM management plans in the beehive state.

Now, normally that isn't the kind of news that raises our eyebrows much (fists yes, eyebrows no) because isn't that what conservation groups do? But here's the thing: Listen to what Jon Marvel has to say about it:
"To bring litigation over a very large area of the West, as we've done, is an expression of the failure of our government, and we as people, to adjust ourselves to the capacity of the land to support life," Jon Marvel with the Western Watersheds Project said. "That's what it's about. It needs to be big, because it's about life."
Wow. We're inspired.

And he's right. In order to save anything more than postage stamps of habitat and token numbers of imperiled species, we need to reframe the public perception of what the west can be. It can be more than a playground for people- it can be an ecologically-functional playground, replete with wildlife and plants, rich in water and topsoil, dense with old trees and bunchgrasses.... We need to convert the land management agencies to a conservation ethic a la Leopold....perhaps we're still dreaming.

More coffee.

1 comment:

Rich McCrea said...

Concerning the land management agencies...you have to let them walk before they can run. The Aldo Leopold model is fine but first things first. The civilian federal agencies have been cut back 30 to 40% in funding the last 8 years and there is a real backlog of ..just about everything. It is also very hard to hire federal employees because of the way the system is setup and it is hard to retain them. The push for 8 years was to centralize power in DC and other power centers and there needs to be decentralization and a push to let land managers manage...within proper guidelines of course.

Rich McCrea