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Dismantling America: One park, one Bristol Bay, and one monument at a time

The amity that wisdom knits not, folly may easily untie – William Shakespeare

By Skip Clement, Contributor

Allowing the destruction of Bristol Bay, Boundary Waters and eradicating public lands as we have known them for over a century will be remembered as a politically motivated failure that will live in infamy.

Giving back the power over public lands to the chosen few is a recipe for returning to our European heritage of having all the water and all the land belonging to those who can afford to own it, usurp it, or have the privilege of ownership because of inheritance.

That idea stinks and flies in the face of the tradition under which we the people have come to believe it is our inalienable right to own public lands, and that we are all equal in that ownership

Every American should have the right to hunt on public lands, fish on them, and hike, camp, canoe, kayak, ski, bird watch, or photograph in them. And do so without fear of reprisal from county sheriffs, armed agents, criminals like the Bundy’s or No Trespassing signs ordained by agency bureaucrats.

Image courtesy of Conservation Colorado.org.

The following presidents of the United States impacted in great ways the establishment of some of our first, most significant, and most majestic parks and monuments

James Monroe (1817-1825), Andrew Jackson (1829-1837), Abraham Lincoln (1861-1865), Ulysses S. Grant (1869-1877), Benjamin Harrison (1889-1893), Grover Cleveland (1885-1889 and (1893-1897), Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909), Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921), Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1933-1945), John F. Kennedy (1961-1963), Jimmy Carter (1977-1981), Bill Clinton (1992-2000), George W. Bush (2001-2009), and Barack Obama (2009-2017)

There has been little resistance – negatives in presidential support of public lands, as they might have understood them had they been called that during earlier administrations, or much in the way of negatives ever mentioned about their being or a possibility of being – until Donald Trump (POTUS), the ignoble Mr. Zinke (Interior), lap dog Scott Pruitt (EPA), and the extremely limited Mr. Perry (Energy).

Mr. Trump’s attack on public ownership of lands is zealously supported by alternative practitioners who are vociferously opposed to long-held American values about public property. More interesting is that Trump’s proposed shuttering of public lands in favor of privatization, through the turnstile of states rights, is overwhelmingly opposed by the voting public.

Trump’s Sellout of American Heritage / New York Times / Tom Egan / October 13, 2017

“. . . For the U.S.A. has the greatest home for sockeye salmon on the planet in Alaska’s Bristol Bay. The Trump administration is putting it at risk in order to aid a foreign mining conglomerate.

This American carnage is led by a man whose job is to protect the natural world within our borders, the E.P.A. administrator, Scott Pruitt. As you may have heard, he has sealed himself off from the public with a $25,000 phone security system and an 18-member security detail. It took a court order to pry loose some of the details of his meetings. No surprise, he holds daily lap-dog sessions with the companies he is supposed to regulate.

Pruitt is the swamp, the only wetland the Trump administration wants to protect. He serves the oil, chemical and mining interests that propped him up when he was attorney general of Oklahoma. He now runs the oil, chemical and mining protection agency out of Washington, with our money. You would never guess that this toady in a suit works for us. . . .”

If the current administration has its way, you’ll soon see the last, greatest sockeye salmon run in the world. It’s worth 1.5 billion dollars to Alaskans. Protected spaces put money in the coffers of U.S. businesses, municipalities, families and individuals — and that these gains are sustained over time. The Outdoor Industry Association’s 2012 report noted that consumers spent $646 billion on outdoor recreation, an economic sector that supports more than 6 million jobs. This includes gear, travel, and costs associated with camping, snow sports, mountain biking and other activities, as well as professional guides for hunting, fishing and river trips. Photo YouTube / KNKX.FM.org – Seattle/Tacoma.

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