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Ford Foundation gives Audubon $5 million and Earthwatch $5 million. Toyota gives Audubon $500,000. The Nature Conservancy (TNC) runs on an annual budget of about $400 million (including $37 million of your tax dollars thanks to generous feds). According to Tom Knudson of the Sacramento Bee, federal support of environmental groups is substantial and growing. Last year, he writes, about $137 million flowed to 20 major environmental nonprofit groupsan average of $377,000 a day.
While much of that money is used to destroy resource users and American self- sufficiency, TNC brags about protecting The Last Great Places. The places they covet are often western ranches belonging to families that have worked the land for generations. American Land Conservancy offers to buy Klamath Basin farms in Oregon and Californiadestroyed by enviros like themselves, federal rules and a suckerfishto put them out of production.
Audubon wants to make sure government continues to finance enviros through the Dept. of Education budget to help with curricula. When ABC-TVs John Stossell interviewed young schoolchildren about the environment, the propaganda they parroted was so shockingly biased the embarrassed green groups lobbied the parents to withdraw consent for their childrens interviews. Then they put pressure on ABC to fire Stossell.
Safeway stores made a deal with a foreign government and will only sell subsidized imported lamb. No U.S. lamb will be offered and U.S. sheep ranchers are in jeopardy.
Ranchers on the Idaho/Oregon line are fighting for survival. Relentless pressure is being put upon good stewards of the land by a mean-spirited enviro, a lazy judge and, once again, feds (see Aloha page 66). An Owyhee rancher says, Last summer a member of the Sierra Club in a fancy red sports car flagged me down needing directions. He was lost and said they were camping and striving to save the Owyhees. I gave him a few facts, pointed to the knee-high grass my horse was standing in and the hills waving in grass all around and asked him just exactly what needed to be saved. He sheepishly agreed and said, More people need to hear the real facts.
I drove through Idaho in September. The National Forest north of Salmon was a tight-packed checkerboard, dark green and orange, with half of the trees dead or dying. This is typical of western forests, many of which are dangerously close to annihilation. Too-dense forests are rotting. Dont use forests, enviros and former Forest Service Chief Mike Dombeck say proudly. Let em burn.
The facts are simple. Cattlemen are being forced off lands they have worked and earned with generations of muscle and blood (see Trespasser page 73). Ranch families have been pressured by Park Service regulations that make no sense (see Unwilling Sellers page 22). Unregulated, cheaper, less-safe food arrives at our borders daily while our farmers and ranchers comply with strict rules and regulations that are expensive and unfair. U.S. regs do not apply to foreign products that are filling U.S. supermarket shelves and putting our own food producers out of business.
America has always been the symbol of freedom. Problems around the globe (see p.84) caused us to leave what we couldnt tolerate at home. My sister lives in Australia. Soon after the 9-11 horrors she forwarded a rash of anti-U.S. prose, written by Americans. She enjoyed it. She is a pacifist, a socialist and a member of Australias Green Party. She calls George W. Bush un-Christian. With the exception of a few weddings and funerals I cannot recall her ever going inside a church.
She ignores all positive words about us, including a letter from a U.S. sailor which said the German warship, Lutjens, recently saluted the USS Winston Churchill (our only warship bearing the name of a foreign national). The Germans passed the U.S. ship near Plymouth, England, their entire crew manning the rails, a U.S. flag flying at half mast and the sign, We are with you.
Freedom is intoxicating, which is why so many have fought, for centuries, to get to these shores. In England, when I was 15, my headmistress wrote to my parents. Caroline is uneducable, she said. Please remove her from school. Soon after that I came to America, which promised opportunity I was previously denied. If you want to try, well let you, was the attitude I discovered in New York City back in the late 50s. I was willing to learn, worked hard, so I was taught, with no jealousy or reservation. I love this country.
I have learned to admire (and with Range to be an advocate for) all real producersfarmers, ranchers, loggers and miners. They grow food and supply products for homes, computers, cars, musical instruments, watercolor, oil paint, medicine, movies, chocolate and ice cream. They all make our lives better.
Because of Americas natural resources, she is rich. Because of her natural resource providers, she is strong. If resources are used wisely and our most productive citizens are encouraged instead of abused, we will be self-sufficient again. Foundations, feds and guilty corporations should rethink where they are sending their money.
More people need to hear the real facts.
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last page update: 04.03.05