The Political Cleansing of the West
I thought, actually I hoped, that this story would be about four-legged
wolves and all the serious concerns along with established myths
that go along with a wild pack. But what is happening to Lost
Trail and the Cundall family, just as what is happening to dozens
of other families in dozens of other places across the West these
days, seldom comes down to just wild predators. In fact, the wolves
are as much the victims as are the ranchers from a far more voracious
and determined attack by roving and ubiquitous packs of overblown
environmentalists and arrogant bureaucrats.
The real threat in the West is not from an endangered or threatened
wild species, but from an incestuous and growing population of
human predators which seems to become more ignorant with every
George T. Frampton Jr., who, if you will, is part of the alpha
pair behind it all, probably knows that very well, just as does
his mate in the development of pack behavior, Interior Secretary
Bruce Babbitt. Together, these two have established a fiefdom
over the West that is intended not only to alter the regions
livestock-raising heritage, but to establish their own control
over the livelihoods and futures of hard-working people who have
lived there for generations.
If you are not familiar with Frampton, then you should at least
know that this Yale and Harvard-educated lawyer was president
of the Wilderness Society from 1986 until he moved up in the Clinton-Babbitt
administration to become assistant secretary of the Interior for
Fish, Wildlife and Parks. Frampton wrote the rules on how ranchers
in the U.S. would be allowed to defend themselves against wolves
intentionally reintroduced in their region. In a way, thats like
the greedy landlord telling you how to deal with the termites,
except that in this case, its the landlord who puts the termites
there in the first place. What Frampton cares about most isnt
saving wolves, its stealing the land.
Well, maybe stealing is too harsh a word, likely to trigger litigation.
Frampton and the feds would rather it be seen as purchase from
willing seller to willing buyer, a fair deal. Except, once the
wolves, or whatever other surrogate species is useful, can be
made to serve their purpose, the only willing buyer left will
be the federal government or some sham front for Frampton and
Babbitts own purpose like The Nature Conservancy. Ranchers targeted
by the Frampton-Babbitt pack dont sell out to new ranchers. Thats
not the way its meant to work.
From the time Frampton left the Wilderness Society in 1993 and
became a government big shot, the pattern has been established
again and again. Something always just gets too important to any
longer ignore or abuse. Its the spotted owl in the Northwest,
now accepted by many as a fraud on the endangered species list,
but too late to save 70,000 jobs lost in the timber industry.
Its the bull trout, currently the darling species of all who
claim to love cold running streams, but actually not a trout at
all and only a few years ago considered a trash fish that threatened
trout populations. Its the gray wolf, endangered and nearly extinct
in most of the lower 48, but supposedly so over-populated in Canada
where there is a season on them that the wolves have started recolonizing
parts of Montana, conveniently just where Frampton always thought
there should be a wilderness.
Is there any relationship between that and the persistant reports
of Babbitts belief in the so-called Wildlands Project of The
Nature Conservancy and other groups that envision half the lower
48 states being taken over by a wilderness network in which
human populations would be reduced to core islands amid the
vast wild? The native ecosystem and the collective needs of non-human
species must take precedence over the needs and desires of humans,
said the project report in 1994. Are we so stupid that we will
never add it all up?
I dont want to present personal resumes to this, but I spent
30 years in journalism covering the side of Black Panthers, student
radicals, Native Americans, and objectors to the war in Vietnam
like myself, all people who had problems with the government.
Ive got too many credentials on the left to be included in Hillary
Clintons right wing conspiracy, but Id have to be either a
damn fool or a world-class arrogant tyrant like they are not to
see that Frampton and Babbitt intend to drive honest people off
the land one way or another. And, dont kid yourself, they dont
care how many wolves die in the process.
This just isnt about four-legged wolves. The wolves are a species
that are being used, and sacrificed, in an attempt by our own
government that is closer to something we might call political
cleansing of the West than it is to the ethical preservation
of natural life there.
Am I just talking to the choir? Is the congregation so misled
by myths and lies about them that they cant recognize what is
truly endangered in the places where we all live? Its all in
how you define freedom.Tim Findley