Recreational Access and Conservation - Conservation and Public Service Activities Short Cuts
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Dedicated to conservation and multiple use of public lands for recreation opportunities.

Edited by: John Stewart

The Wildlands Project

By Larry Thompson

I offer a quote from the Wilderness Society web site, "Conservationists estimate that there are five to six million acres of unprotected federal land in California that qualify as potential Wilderness. Protecting these remaining wildlands will add to the long wilderness tradition in the state, which currently has 14 million acres of designated Wilderness and the largest percentage of land designated as Wilderness of any state in the lower 48." Talk about it in the Forums

Let's see, the area of the state is 101,534,720 acres so at 14,000,000 acres of designated wilderness that is 13.78% of the state is already designated wilderness. Now, let's add 6,000,000 acres more wilderness which is then 19.69% of the state as wilderness. Then, if one adds in all the National Parks, Monuments and Wildlife Reserves at 7.9 million acres, we have 27.9 million acres which is 27.5% of the state. I have left out the State Parks, private "land conservation" groups and the military reservations in calculating this number.

I offer another quote, this one from the Sierra Club web site: "That's why the Sierra Club is calling for our nation to protect, ACQUIRE (HR701), and RESTORE (the Wildlands Project) an additional 100 million acres of wildlands by 2006, beginning with six threatened national treasures; Wild Alaska, Utah Wilderness, the Northern Rockies ecosystem (HR488), the Maine Woods, the Everglades and the forests of the Sierra Nevada (Citizens' Wilderness Proposal)". (I’have inserted the items in parentheses in order to explain their statement.)

What is happening here is not an isolated "Citizens' Wilderness Proposal", but is part of a national movement that is driving everything environmental today - The Wildlands Project. I will provide copies of the following material to anyone interested in becoming knowledgeable about the current direction of land use in this country - just bring your own printer paper:

1. HR488 - establishes the 25 million acre Northern Rockies Bioregion and the Wildlands Recovery Corps.

2. HR701 - designates federal funds ($1.3 billion yearly) for acquiring private property and allows "any person" to apply for funds to enhance, restore or acquire private property for threatened and endangered species habitat.

3. "The Ecological Effects of Roads" by Reed Noss, one of the cofounders of the Wildlands Project. In this publication, he calls the non-believers, "...the slothful and ignorant populace...".

4. The "Roadless Area Conservation Rule" as originally promulgated.

5. The writings of Michael Vandeman on "creating roadless areas" and "pure habitat" where man is not allowed.

6. "The Wildlands Project Land Conservation Strategy" by Reed Noss. This is the bible and Holy Grail of the Wildlands Project movement.

7. "Rewilding and Diversity" by Michael Soule (another cofounder of the Wildlands Project) and Reed Noss. This publication discusses "rewilding" the entire country.

8. The Wild Earth mission statement.

9. The Wilderness Society mission statement.

10. The Sierra Club mission statement.

11. The Wildlands Project mission statement.

12. The Nature Conservancy land holdings in California alone are one million acres (this number is from their web site). Nationwide, they own or control 11 million acres (also from their web site). These lands are no longer taxable as they are educational/non-profit 501(C)(3).

I could go on and on, but I won't. Suffice it to say, I have an extensive collection of verifiable factual information concerning the activities of this "citizens" group. I have information on the recruiting events put on by the Wilderness Society in various "wild" areas of the state. I tried signing up for the June 23-30 White Mountains recruiting event and spoke by email with Ilysia Shattuck of the Wilderness Society. She informed me that the event was fully booked but she had forwarded my name and phone number to their local representative who would contact me concerning their activities. The local representative for the Wilderness Society never did contact me nor send me any information. Another interesting fact is the 1998-99 salary for William Meadows, the president of the Wilderness Society is $204,591 (IRS Form 990 tax returns, Chronicle of Philanthropy).

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