The conference was February 22 and 23 at Klamath Community College,
with ‘freedom’ the focus of the event—freedom to own and protect our land
and natural resources. Several speakers from around the country explained
the motives behind the Endangered Species Act and many 'conservation'
facades. It was most educational. Quotes from 'environmentalists'
helped explain the stage of what and who we rural producers are dealing
"The only hope of the Earth is to withdraw huge areas as inviolate natural
sanctuaries from the depredations of modern industry and technology.
Move out the people and cars. Reclaim the roads and the plowed
lands.’ Dave Foreman, http:www.wildlandsprojectrevelaed.org
"Conservation Easements are the key to the Corridors. Once the
Easements are legally in place, we can impose habitat restrictions for
wildlife thus ending grazing and other agricultural practices. If the
landowner refuses, the easement management loophole will allow us to sue
the landowner and impose those restrictions." New Mexico Wilderness
Alliance meeting, 5/99
Andy Kerr, ONRC senior counselor, outlines the ESA and wildlands plans
Ric Frost, M.S. Agricultural Economics, from New Mexico State
University, spoke regarding the intent of the ESA: ESA 1973
Sec.4(b)(2) Basis for Determinations: "...The Secretary shall
designate critical habitat, and make revisions thereto, under subsection
(a)(3) and after taking into consideration the economic impact...
He went on to describe examples "of how not conducting a human
dimension study can negatively impact rural communities and the health of
the environment". Due to Mexican Spotted Owl restrictions, logging
in New Mexico has virtually ceased. 1.5 billion board feet of timber build
up in NM occurred (the subsequent fire burned up thousands of acres of
habitat for the owl).
"...Congress created the National Environmental Policy Act of
1969 (NEPA)....to create a structured evaluation system where federal
projects could be evaluated for environmental integrity and provide a
means whereby the citizens of the US could participate in providing
direction of the outcome.....The purposed of this Act are: '....to declare
a national policy which will encourage productive and enjoyable harmony
between man and his environment, to promote efforts which will
prevent or eliminate damage to the environment and biosphere and
stimulate the health and welfare of man:, ...."
Recent 'studies' have tried to portray the Klamath River
Basin as supporting more recreation than agriculture financial gain. In
Oregon, $11.4 billion comes from agriculture, with 152,748 jobs (in
2000). $794 million comes from recreation, 7%. Source: Statistical
abstract of the US, 1993, NWI, 1995, Bureau of Economic Analysis, 2000. In
his outline of dealing with federal agents and those trying to take your
land and your rights, document everything! Mail all documents
using certified mail. Record all activities and interactions.
And whatever happens, "DON'T EVER GIVE UP!"
John Williams, laid out how local people
on the county level cal make and implement environmental plans for
wildlife and resource management with people who will serve the
environment as well as the community stability.
Mark Vande Pol of Santa Cruz delivered an emotional
presentation federal environmental destruction in his area. He
showed photographs of how he and local landowners have care taken their
land and plants. Photos were shown of lands taken by conservancies
which were not chemically treated for noxious weeds. The results are
hundreds of acres of hemlock, which have crowded out entire areas of
threatened plant life, "Exotic species are the single greatest threat to
native habitat, greater even than development...."Many weeds are more
toxic than the herbicides used to treat them... Weeds rob streams of
critical late season water..."
The general theme of the conference was that, unless local
and private land ownership/management is regained, our environment will
continue to be destroyed by conservancies and governmental agencies whose
sole purpose is to get the rural folks off their lands. There were
several court cases of examples and processes of private citizens and
counties prevailing in defending their rights and caretaking their
environment and resources.