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Preservation of the Wilderness (Patagonia)

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by townsend, Nov 18, 2016.

  1. townsend

    townsend

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    This is an inspiring article about the late Douglas Tompkins, founder of North Face, and his efforts to preserve thousands of acres of Patagonia. During his life, he bought up large tracts of overgrazed farmland and wilderness. His foundation is approaching the governments of Chili and Argentine to contribute adjacent parcels to create larger parks. Note: the overgrazed farmland he purchased was protected from further abuse, and gradually it has and will recover.

    All this sharply contrasts with what the Republican party is doing in the U.S. -- selling government lands to private enterprise so they can be exploited for natural resources. The lands will then be closed to the public, and they will be degraded by being grazed on, spoiled by being drilled into (fossil fuel industry, with attendant oil spills, release of toxic vapors, etc.), and its cover (crucial to erosion prevention) strip mined for mineral harvesting and selling.

    We must fight, both through active non-violent resistance and protest, and by electing candidates who respect the fragility of the natural world.

    http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20161115-the-man-who-spent-his-fortune-on-a-park
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2016
  2. digby

    digby

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    Whoa cowboy. Firstly, I'm sure we can all support expansion of wildlands conservation and in fact the majority of the first US Nat Park lands were donated by Republicans (Rockefeller et al) and the USFS was founded by R's. There has not been widespread "selling [of] government lands" but lease land use via the BLM for grazing, drilling and mining which I'm sure you know, all regulated by Washington controlled by D's for the majority of the last 25yrs. My state's land is more than 80% owned by the feds who have done little to improve land utilization through: energy production by not building green solar in the desert, wasting billions on, then abandoning Yucca Mountain to store nuclear waste and failing to optimally manage water rights and grazing fees. The oil spills (from pipelines and rail cars) have mainly occurred on private, not government lands and methane venting has dramatically decreased as producers recognize a new profit center.

    While I recognize everyone has a political take on environmental issues and we all suffer from past mistakes, IMHO the real issue is competence to manage public lands. I agree we must fight to respect the "fragility of the natural world" but the elected are not the doers, the appointed bureaucrats are, and they have pointedly ignored the "wise-use" arguments and continue to prosecute the stewards of the rangeland.

    Although I anticipate many reading this will see it as a political rant I hope all can agree that the competence exhibited by NGO groups like the Nature Conservatory, Sierra Club and many others including private industry (the caribou still migrate along the North Slope and the Permian Basin/Big Thicket still has some of the best hunting) is sorely needed in Washington be they D's or R's.

    Do I need to double-check my belay the next time I'm on rope?
    Kuenn likes this.
  3. robert kyslovsky

    robert kyslovsky

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    Really this simple, the Dems are not perfect at protecting wilderness, but the GOP is ridiculous. Pure and simple. So if you care about wilderness in any shape or form, you dont vote GOP. Pure and simple. Its not about management, its about decency, philosophy and vision. When the president elect selects anti science mongers to run the dept of the interior and dept of energy its time to be very afraid for our wilderness and our planet and our kids's kids, and their kids too. I have said this all before and told this was not the forum. Of course its the forum, we care about canyons thats whey we are at this site, and canyons are fragile and fragile is gone with the sweep of a pen when in bed with fossil fuels. Green is the future. Fossils are the doom. Pure and simple.
    Deagol likes this.
  4. digby

    digby

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    I can certainly respect your opinions but really "it's not about management"? BLM. I don't believe anyone has been selected yet to head Interior/Energy so I for one will wait to judge. "Green" is the future and fossil fuel is doomed, I agree, but without nuclear (or revolutionary new battery technology) not for another 20-40 yrs and is already being pioneered by private industry not the government.

    I hope that we, as outdoor enthusiasts, can lead the debate as we get past the hyperbole that R's are in bed with robber barons and D's are the only true environmentalists.
    runner4065 likes this.
  5. AW~

    AW~

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    Not if you are on the eco-terrorist designed trip....either a) the route will be closed if its not collective approved, or b) the nanny state will take care of you.
    OK, excuse me, "eco-tourist" designed trip....the road to mighty,etc. The party that has already started officially here...http://www.denverpost.com/2016/09/28/forest-service-cultural-shift-access-public-lands/
  6. digby

    digby

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    I'm not sure I'd be entirely comfortable on either of those trips :)
  7. townsend

    townsend

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    I am up for discussing this issue, but I would appreciate it if you would not begin your post by with a personal attack. I am not a cowboy and I don't need to be told to "whoa."

    If you had been on this board longer, you might recall another thread discussing a vote in Congress to sell BLM land. The article that was referenced in that thread (or at least the one I found by Googling) can be found here: http://gizmodo.com/ok-1697218401

    1) By government lands, I am talking about public lands. Yes, these include the national parks as well as lands managed by the BLM. What the Republicans did in the past is not relevant to the present situation. Republicans and Democrats, and I am neither, are not static political parties that never change. You seem to blame Democrats since, you state, they have controlled BLM lands for "the majority of the last 25 years." If your point is that they too are guilty of selling BLM lands in the past, then I would object to that to.

    But I am talking about the present, where Republicans control all three branches of government at the federal level, the legislatures of thirty states, and the governorships of twenty-three of those states (I may be off here, but only slightly, depending on what happened in some state elections).

    The rest of that paragraph is not on point and would take us far afield on the discussion. I am discussing the selling of public lands, and the Republicans role in this.

    2) In the article cited above, here was the role call, listing yeas and nays on selling BLM land (please refer to article)

    Yeas -- 51--all Republicans
    Nays -- 49--45 Democrats + 1 Independent + 3 Republicans

    These individuals were all elected to public office, to serve the American public, and they are doers. When I single out Republicans for opprobrium on this matter, they deserve it.

    I do agree with you that the Nature Conservatory and the Sierra Club need to play a greater role in managing these lands, but once these lands are sold (if this goes through), they will have no role. Private industry will have free reign to "develop" and "utilize" the land -- terms that are often euphemisms for activities that are not in the best interests of preserving the wilderness as it is.
    Deagol likes this.
  8. Kuenn

    Kuenn

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    So...
    I'm not campaigning for forum Nazi (pun intended), nor do I have a political burr in my saddle, but I believe this topic has gone far beyond focus interests, better for another place and time. Most of us have had a belly-full of politicians in the past many weeks/months...forever...

    Let's rant about rock, rope and canyoning devices. The acceptable Rs and Ds.
    hank moon likes this.
  9. digby

    digby

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    Townsend
    I certainly did not mean offense but as a lifelong Cowboys fan after 25 hrs in Dallas I couldn't resist, sorry
  10. townsend

    townsend

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    That's okay. I misunderstood your use of the term "cowboy". My apology back to you for my misunderstanding.:cool:

    Kuenn,
    I deeply respect you and your contributions on this forum. In all the political hoopla of late, neither of the major candidates, nor the moderators of the debates, ever raised the issue of global warming even once. According to the World Meteorological Organization, 2016 is likely to be the hottest year on record, beating out the previous hottest year on record -- 2015: https://weather.com/news/climate/news/warmest-year-on-record-earth-2016

    There is indeed an overwhelming consensus among climatologists that global warming is indeed taking place, and that human activities (esp. the burning of fossil fuels) play the predominant role (see esp. http://www.csicop.org/si/show/a_skeptical_response_to_science_denial).

    So I am tired of politics too, but the issues of climate and public land use do have a direct impact on the sport of canyoneering. If one were to count the threads on Canyon Collective that discuss these topics, I think the number would be in the single digits (2-4?), in contrast to hundreds of other threads.

    I certainly didn't mean for this thread to become a lightning rod. I was deeply moved by Tompkins and the work of his foundation in preserving the wilderness of Patagonia. Surely we need more John Muirs and Edward Abbeys today. (And I am not worthy to be compared to such extraordinary men.)
    Deagol and digby like this.
  11. digby

    digby

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    Speaking to the specific issue of selling public land the "bill" in question was a non-binding amendment to a budget bill that authorized returning the public lands to the states (where I too would object to a sale). I would opine that were that to occur we would all have a better chance to oppose in our own states with legislators more responsive to constituents than the bureaucrats in DC.
    As an aside, I do still believe (maybe misguidedly) that polite respectful political discussion can be had on the issues that concern us all.
    Kuenn and townsend like this.
  12. townsend

    townsend

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    As a result of the recent election, in 2017 the GOP will control both legislative chambers in 32 states (for us desert southwest fans, this applies to Nevada, Utah, and Arizona at least). At least as far as Texas is concerned -- the Republican state legislators are not responsive to the voters. The voters of Denton banned hydraulic fracking within city limits (59% of voters supported the ban). However, Governor Abbott signed legislation that would "pre-empt local efforts to regulate a wide variety of drilling-related activities" (https://www.texastribune.org/2015/05/18/abbott-signs-denton-fracking-bill/).

    You are not misguided and I appreciate the discussion. (BTW, I grew up in Houston, and for many years was an Oiler fan. BTW2 -- I would be extremely attentive in belaying you, to ensure your safety and well being.)
  13. Kuenn

    Kuenn

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    Then by all means discuss away for the sake of the lands and the environment; just leave the political manure - this party craps a 50 foot well while that party craps a 100 footer - the classic lipstick on a pig argument.

    And for the record, I respect your opinion also, so long as it's focused ([Edit for clarity: because I'm a repeat offender] ouch, that's hypocritical of me to say).
    I'm done here.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2016
  14. digby

    digby

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    Thanks for the belay. And right on cue, not to belabor your Oiler fan comment, check this from USA Today http://news.google.com/news/url?sr=...004752055451492&sid=toptop&ssid=h&st=1&at=dt0 where the feds will ignore the opinion of 70% of the residents (including the AK Native population). The vote in Denton, where I went to school for awhile, was pre-empted because the regulation of the states oil/gas drilling is the purview of the state not individual municipalities. The exact same issue is being litigated in New York!
  15. hank moon

    hank moon lovely ligatures

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    I agree with this. When a topic turns to blanket statements about the governmental Ds and Rs, then that is too much politics for this forum. We have had the discussion about discussion before. See HERE for that - no need to repeat it. There are plenty of places online where this kind of talk is welcome and encouraged. Please use those places to express your party preferences, etc.

    Thank you

    hank
    Sandstone Addiction likes this.
  16. robert kyslovsky

    robert kyslovsky

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    Place or chop a bolt, loads of conversation, discourse, debate.
    Bring up the sate of affairs environmentally speaking about canyon country...silenced.
    Makes no sense to me from people who are supposed to be enamored with canyons.
    Now... back to our regularly scheduled conversation about...well, absolutely nothing really meaningful at all in the bigger picture.
    Bobby
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  17. Rapterman

    Rapterman

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    Agree that the COLLECTIVE is perhaps not the best place for politics.
    HOWEVER
    Reality has a way of biting us all on the bum, so to speak.
    This year was the hottest year on record in Las Vegas, hotter than the last year which set a new record
    which was hotter than the year before that, which set a new record.
    We are having to face the fact that Las Vegas is becoming unlivable in the summer.
    We bought a house in the mountains to escape, but the distressed forest burned (right up to our property line)
    and wiped out our favorite trails.
    As heat, drought, fires, increase the world over there just isn't any place left unaffected to run to.
    townsend and Deagol like this.
  18. digby

    digby

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    Well said
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