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In a tricky way to leverage a lot of conservation dollars Ken Salazar has teamed up with mega gazillionaire Louis Bacon who if you don't remember gave the US Govt the largest gift of private land from an individual that we've ever received.


Ken mostly wears a white hat, don't try to talk to him about feral horses though

The good part isn't just that the PAC has a generous person to finance it, after all ALEC and the Koch brothers also have lots of money, what's tricky is that Ken and Mr. Bacon are targeting the $20 billion dollars that has been "borrowed" and diverted from the Land and Water Conservation Fund. In other words if you are a legislator, and you support full funding of the Land Water Fund, you get some moolah. As it now stands we'd be able to put $900 million per year back into the fund.

I'll assume you don't know what the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) is, it's manna from heaven. In a deal struck long ago big oil pays to drill off shore. The money goes to a fund to promote mostly land conservation but congress has always been stealing the money and using it elsewhere, and we want that money.

Twenty billion is a lot of money for conservation. Right now we are dependent on taxes on amo and duck stamps to buy pieces of land here and there. We could really really use that money. It's ours, it was part of a deal. One thought I've heard batted around was to use the $ to gain access to all the land locked pieces of federal land scattered around the west. Conservation money is measured in millions, not billions. This is a huge amount of money.

Estimates are that there are four million acres that are not accessible due to either being surrounded or due to checker boarding which amounts to the same thing. I'd like to be able to get to these pieces of land, and I'd like you to too.

I don't know what restrictions there are on the land and water conservation fund. I'd also just like to see National Forests more accessible. Half the time I have trouble getting at a piece of land because the road has no places to pull off to park.

A lot of people know very little about Ken Salazar. A middle of the road kind of senator, he used to drive many to no end of distraction trying to make friends with Republicans in this gang of eight or the that bipartisan committee to do nothing. And then when he became Sec of Interior the howling could be heard all the way from the Marin Chapter of the Sierra club to the DC offices of Defenders of Big Time Lobbying for Certain Kinds of Wildlife. Music to my ears truth be told. Now that Ken Salazar has the time and the inclination it's possible he could continue to do a lot of good.

http://blogs.denverpost.com/...


Above Jon Tester is a Democratic Senator from Montana, Randy Newberg is a Montana Conservationist who sits on the Board of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF). The RMEF is famous for buying crucial pieces of habitat and giving them to the people of the US to become part of a larger piece of National Forest, BLM, or Wilderness.

I'm hopeful that with a little bit of money pushing this thing via our legal corruption of political PACs something might possibly get done.

Update: Thanks for the spotlight, I'm hoping this helps to shine a light on the Land and Water Conservation Fund. As noted in the comments Loise Bacon the very wealthy donor behind this PAC gave generously to Republican (and less generously to Democratic) candidates in 2012. He also donated a 90,000 very prime acres to the US Fish and Wildlife Service, a gift that dwarfs his political contributions when measured in pure dollar terms. Lets hope that Democrats receive his largess in it's entirety. You too could help by calling your legislators no matter if they are blue or red and asking them to Fully Fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The money comes from the oil companies.

Headed out to pour concrete while the temps are warm, will be away for a while.

Originally posted to ban nock at DKos on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 03:53 AM PST.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Seems like things are moving the other direction (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ban nock, Jakkalbessie

    restricting access to public land rather than increasing it.  

    Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

    by benamery21 on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 04:43:11 AM PST

  •  If a bunch of land on Earth is made (8+ / 0-)

    less accessible by man, that is an absolutely fabulous thing from an environmental perspective. We are the destroyers of everything. Hooray for the plants and animals that share that land.

    So I wouldn't myself be upset if that is what Bacon accomplishes here. It's not like we're running low on land we humans can visit.

    •  actually the idea is to make public lands (13+ / 0-)

      accessible to the public.

      Conservation does not mean locking land away from use, just the opposite, it means the wise use so to preserve for future generations.

      “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

      by ban nock on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 06:04:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have doubts as to our ability (4+ / 0-)

        to make any use "wise". Eventually humans find a way to corrupt the process. I think that the very best thing we can do to "preserve" land is to stay as far away from it as possible.

        •  We have a different word for that kind of land use (8+ / 3-)

          it's called preservation or more accurately Deep Ecology, think Earth First and the Unabomber. More a reflection on the degree of removal from reality of the proponents than the delusional ideas themselves.

          “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

          by ban nock on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 06:26:30 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Deep Ecology and Earth First have nothing (14+ / 0-)

            to do with the Unabomber. Your conflation in this comment of conservationists who believe in the preservation of biodiversity and wilderness (e.g., Deep Ecologists and Earth Firsters) with terrorists (e.g., Unabomber) is totally baseless. It is nothing but a smear of a lot of good people who care about the land at least as much as you do. Making this kind of statement comment seriously undermines your credibility.

            •  When Earth First renounces violent direct action (5+ / 0-)

              I'll think of them differently, until then they and the ALF, ELF, etc are law breakers. I read a pamphlet they put out just this year advocating violent direct action against hunters. Earth First first became associated with Deep Ecology sometime in the 80s as I remember. The Unabomber took violent direct action in targeting humans rather than just property in his advocacy of environmental issues.

              The right has militia groups, we have green groups that cross the line into lawlessness.

              If you know good people associated with Earth First you should urge them to join law abiding groups. We have an open political process and the first amendment here in the US, there's no reason to go outside the law.

              “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

              by ban nock on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 06:45:01 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  You Equate Them (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                corvo, Willinois

                Just because there are (or have been - Unabomber has been jailed for nearly 20 years) Deep Ecology terrorists doesn't mean all Deep Ecology activists are terrorists. Indeed there are many notable proponets of Deep Ecology.

                I will not endorse methods of violence against hunters you claim (but don't cite) some are publishing. But I will also point at the irreparable destruction of our environment within, and often mandated by, US law, to disagree with your flat certainty that "We have an open political process and the first amendment here in the US, there's no reason to go outside the law."

                You have an agenda to villify some Deep Ecology activists, perhaps justifiably. But to equate Deep Ecology with terrorism is in fact the terrorism: threatening Deep Ecology advocates, regardless of their methods, with the brutal and indiscriminate US "counter-terrorism" machine.

                And to fail to understand that Deep Ecologists are working to protect you and your mutual interests in conservation - even if not for exploitation of all places by humans.

                "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

                by DocGonzo on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 07:43:34 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  All it takes is a simple google search (0+ / 0-)

                  Deep Ecology is a belief system, it's hard to discuss someone's religion.

                  “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

                  by ban nock on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 10:57:24 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You Find It Easy (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Willinois, corvo

                    It's a philosophy. Philosophies are entirely appropriate for discussion.

                    But you found it easy to "discuss" it by equating it with terrorists. You're indulging in a lazy copout.

                    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

                    by DocGonzo on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 01:06:24 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  No I'm just sick of talking to you, you're looking (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Kasoru

                      for an argument. I read your comment at the end. You have no idea what the entire diary I posted is about. You think somehow this land is not accessible to the owners of private land that surrounds when actually they are the only ones that can access it, to mostly ranch but they can also lease it out to drillers or anyone else and because no one can even get on it anyway no one cares.

                      If you would kindly just read and understand the diary, then maybe we can discuss wacked out illegal green groups. Or maybe not. I don't hold much truck with fundamentalists.

                      “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

                      by ban nock on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 01:41:56 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Wacked Out Illegal Green Groups (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        corvo, Willinois

                        You've really got some projecting going on, lecturing me about not reading or understanding your diary when it's you who refuses to comprehend that Deep Ecology does not equal terrorism or violence even if some people who associate themselves with it are violent - because lots of people aren't, and violence is not part of Deep Ecology itself.

                        I don't want to talk about wacked out illegal green groups either, rather the others who are Deep Ecology activists. But you don't.

                        You're sick of talking to me because you don't want to think past your preconceived self-serving notion. You want to ignore Deep Ecology because you think your version, that all land should be used by humans, is correct and superior to it. So you've decided to discredit it. You're sick of talking to me because you want to be unchallenged, not disagreed with.

                        Of course, you're sick of talking with me because this is not the first time I've challenged you. And it's always the same: you don't bother to think about what I present; you're on your high horse and can't be distracted from it. Well, you posted a diary, and I disagree with some of it. You have to accept that people who disagree will post in your diary. You don't have to respond, but when you do you have to expect they will also respond.

                        Your best bet it to try opening your mind.

                        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

                        by DocGonzo on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 07:47:24 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                •  It's the new red baiting. (8+ / 0-)

                  Calling environmentalists terrorists because they disagree with you is the new form of red baiting. It's a Limbaugh style attack that clearly violates community standards here.

                  •  Community standards? (7+ / 0-)

                    To thine ownself be true

                    by Agathena on Mon Dec 16, 2013 at 11:38:41 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  no, sorry, the Admins agree (5+ / 0-)

                    with the diarist.  To their eternal shame.

                  •  Agreed. n/t (4+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    quill, PhilJD, CenPhx, Willinois

                    Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

                    by Meteor Blades on Mon Dec 16, 2013 at 04:23:23 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Corvo noted elsewhere he received a warning (4+ / 0-)

                    for his HR of the Unabomber comment. I assume you and Agathena received them also? If I had seen that comment in time, I absolutely would've joined the three of you in HRing it. It's a textbook example of a comment that SHOULD be removed from public view... or it used to be.

                    It's been a bad few weeks for erratic DKos admin behavior, but this really is a new low. If there's anything I can do, let me know, either via Kosmail or a response here.

                    When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

                    by PhilJD on Mon Dec 16, 2013 at 05:44:52 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  You should probably read Kos' community guidlines (0+ / 0-)

                      ordinarily I don't hr people and I for sure don't report silly behavior. Corvo's and Agathena's donuts convinced me that I should report it. Elfling has lots of work to do that is much more important that moderating. Meteor Blades cranks out two or more well written articles a day. I have no wish to distract them from their day.

                      You're free to disagree in my diaries and I even encourage lively discussion. Dropping donuts for disagreement and otherwise being a dick I do not appreciate. I'll put up with it to a certain extent but watch out, I can and will sometimes report it.

                      “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

                      by ban nock on Mon Dec 16, 2013 at 06:51:30 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Oh, I understand the policies of this site (6+ / 0-)

                        just fine... what they used to be anyway. The standards are now so protean as to be meaningless, amounting to nothing more than the personal opinions of someone who happens to have the power to elevate their shallow and ill-informed personal views into "law."

                        Your comment was an absolutely classic example of a deeply offensive post that SHOULD be hidden. If you make a similar equation of parts of the environmental movement and the Unabomber again, I absolutely WILL HR it myself. If I'm warned for that, you and your ilk will be rid of me, because there is no chance at all I'll ever acknowledge a warning for a reason like that.

                        When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

                        by PhilJD on Mon Dec 16, 2013 at 07:07:40 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  you, and others, tried to make my comment into (0+ / 0-)

                          something it wasn't. Read Kos' community guidelines. Maybe this web site isn't for you.

                          “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

                          by ban nock on Mon Dec 16, 2013 at 07:23:05 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                    •  I received a warning (5+ / 0-)

                      which absurdly accused me of HRing the comment simply because I disagreed with it. I absolutely do not accept that misinterpretation and I'm shocked the message was sent. Equating someone with the unabomber and ecoterrorist groups simply because they expressed a benign environmental viewpoint is completely unacceptable. I will HR any similar ugly attacks as that in the future without hesitation.

                      •  if you hr comments for disagreement in posts I (0+ / 0-)

                        make whether the comment is mine or anyone else's I'll send it to moderation.

                        At Daily Kos, any gray area will be decided in favor of the commenter. So if you're not sure that something should be HR'd, then don't. Because if the situation is that iffy, chances are that it'll be you who gets burned. HRs are for clear and obvious violations.
                        Hr-ing because you disagree when combined with the thread jacking you did up and down the comments section of this post were two very serious violations of the rules of this site,,, but I ignored them, until two more jumped on who weren't even participating just to leave donuts. That type of behaviour is just not appreciated.

                        “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

                        by ban nock on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 05:18:34 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  You can keep repeating that spin (5+ / 0-)

                          and tattle to your friend all you like. You know the HR is not in response to a disagreement in views and that's clear to everyone else posting here. It looks like you'll rightly get more than 3 HRs next time you play Rush Limbaugh's eco-terrorist card.

                          •  I submit inapropriate hrs to moderation, the site (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Kasoru

                            has a process for that. I've no idea who sent you a notification, there are at least 3 people who moderate. I'm sorry it wasn't Kos, if it was we might not be discussing it right now. Participants in the thread uprated that comment 8 times to your one hr. Calling me Rush Limbaugh does nothing for your argument.

                            I'll tell you again. Do not be disruptive. Do not post inappropriate hrs. You have been notified by the admins not to do so. People who continue to break rules and be disruptive get banned.

                            “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

                            by ban nock on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 08:45:53 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  In addition (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Kasoru

                            I'm not responding to this thread anymore. You are skirting very close to calling me Rush Limbaugh and in general being a dick. This entire post has scrolled off the recent list. If it was still visible I'd be sending it to mods for being a dick. Read Kos' rules carefully. I'll remember your username and if you enter the comments of a post again simply to disrupt and be a dick I'll send it to mods. You add nothing. Same for your posse that only showed up after the fact. They've no interest in conservation, only pie fighting.

                            “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

                            by ban nock on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 08:57:51 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                      •  It truly IS shocking. We're all familiar with the (4+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Willinois, CenPhx, ZenTrainer, RainyDay

                        notion of "HR abuse," but this is the most blatant and reprehensible example of "warning abuse" I've ever seen here.

                        If I'm made aware of similar comments in the future, I promise to join you in HRing them. I'll let the chips fall where they may.

                        When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

                        by PhilJD on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 08:02:22 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                •  not just the diarist (7+ / 0-)
                  You have an agenda to villify some Deep Ecology activists,
                  but our Admins as well.  I just got a warning for HRing the equation Deep Ecology = Unabomber.
            •  Not Quite Nothing (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              IndieGuy, corvo

              While it is a deeply disingenuous mistake to equate Deep Ecology with terrorists or violence, it is also a mistake to totally disconnect them. While some Deep Ecology advocates might be (or have been) terrorists or violent, certainly not all of them are. By the same token, not none of them are.

              Deep Ecology is not defined by violence, but by ecology. However, while violent advocates of it are defined by their violence, they are also defined by Deep Ecology - at least their interpretation of it.

              Defending Deep Ecology from charges of terrorist ideology requires either repudiating the violence sometimes associated with it, or perhaps explaining how you validate it. Flatly disassociating them isn't accurate, nor credible, and so not a convincing argument.

              "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

              by DocGonzo on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 07:48:32 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  I believe Cheney was a Wise User (7+ / 0-)

          Hear me you business blackmailers
          When I see what you've done to the wild
          I feel like a man standing over
          The corpse of his murdered child

          Use it wisely
          Use it wisely ... go on
          Reap your harvest, Wise Users
          'Til everything is gone

          Haul the last fish from the ocean
          Poison the beds where they spawn
          Drag the last tiger to market
          So some prick can stand tall in Taiwan

          Use it wisely
          Use it wisely ... go on
          Reap your harvest, Wise Users
          'Til everything is gone

          And if you lay drunk in your wasteland
          I'd take your wallet and spit right in your eye
          No point in explaining this action
          You'll never get it 'til the day that you die

          Use it wisely
          Use it wisely ... go on
          Reap your harvest, Wise Users
          'Til everything is gone

          If I gave you a gun with one bullet
          For the honor left so far behind
          Would you think what you've willed to your offspring
          For nothing unto nothing consigned

          Use it wisely
          Use it wisely ... go on
          Reap your harvest, Wise Users
          'Til everything is gone

          And yes, I believe there is beauty
          And yes, I believe in truth
          And in the seemingly infinite hunger
          Of humans for destroying them both
          Use it wisely
          Use it wisely ... go on
          Reap your harvest, Wise Users
          'Til everything is gone

          Bruce Cockburn

          •  Anti-environmentalists like Gail Norton (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ban nock, RosyFinch, unfangus, Black Mare

            under Bush perverted the "wise use" label and dragged it through the mud, as they worked to privatize public lands and resources.

            I don't think that's how ban nock means to use the term, though.

            •  Gifford Pinchot and Teddy Roosevelt are the people (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              marina, salmo, Black Mare

              who first used the term, it means conservation. They and Leopold won out over the Preservationists.

              While his eye for beauty and his love of Nature for Nature's sake helped to drive Roosevelt's conservation efforts, they were motivated by practicality as well. Influenced by early wise-use advocates such as Gifford Pinchot, Roosevelt believed that Nature existed to benefit mankind. In a conserved wilderness, timber could be harvested, sport could be had, water could be taken to irrigate farmland.
              http://www.pbs.org/...

              “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

              by ban nock on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 02:37:26 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  I believe this is the poster (4+ / 0-)

          who argued to me that fracking actually improved national forest land in Pennsylvania so I think you're right to question whether we'll see wise use of federal lands.

      •  I really hope that you are using the phrase (8+ / 0-)

        "wise use" simply based on its ordinary English-language definition, and not as a nod to the so-called "Wise Use Movement", an extraction-industry and timber-industry-funded organization that reflects James Watt's and Gale Norton's "dominionist" (anti)-environmental policies!

        You seem to be very knowledgeable on conservation issues, so I'd be surprised if you weren't familiar with the "radioactive" nature of the phrase "wise use" in environmental circles. I am quite an advocate for public access to virtually all public lands, but I've certainly been conditioned to avoid use of that phrase.

        "Bernie Madoff's mistake was stealing from the rich. If he'd stolen from the poor he'd have a cabinet position." -OPOL

        by blue in NC on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 12:24:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Promising (7+ / 0-)

    I got the impression Salazar was more than a bit self-serving when head of Interior and was just positioning himself for a run at governor. But this sounds like it might actually do some good.

    And yes, it's been incredibly frustrating to not have access to the LWCF money. About time someone did something about it.

    Refuge Watch -- news from America's national wildlife refuges

    by Naturegal on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 05:45:42 AM PST

  •  Land and Water Conservation Fund is a great thing (7+ / 0-)

    and it's criminal that it hasn't been fully funded over the years. Salazar's PAC though could very well end up helping elect Republicans, since Louis Bacon is a big time GOP donor.

    He donated $500,000 to Restore Our Future, the super PAC that supported 2012 Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney and has funded moderate Republicans including Rep. Dave Reichert of Washington and former Sens. Olympia Snowe of Maine and Scott Brown of Massachusetts.
    (Energy & Environment News)

    According to Open Secrets Bacon gave almost $1.7 million from 1990-2008 almost exclusively to Republican candidates, some of the not moderate at all. For the 2010/12/14 cycle he has done the same thing.

    Resist much, obey little. ~~Edward Abbey, via Walt Whitman

    by willyr on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 06:56:23 AM PST

    •  The PAC will support Republicans! (6+ / 0-)
      America’s Conservation PAC will support leaders, no matter their political party, who believe it’s time for Congress to get to work again to protect those special places we want our children and grandchildren to enjoy,” Salazar said.
      Bacon has supported Republican candidates, including 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
      This is BS.  We've seen how Republicans support conservation with the sequester, and shutting down National Parks...  The next step will be to sell off our children's heritage.
      •  Yup, Democrats better be more supportive of (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        salmo

        conservation than Republicans, doesn't sound too difficult to me. They could start right now in the senate and the house.

        PS National Parks such eggs. Disneyland of public lands.

        “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

        by ban nock on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 07:53:03 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  National Parks suck eggs?! (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          conniptionfit, corvo, Agathena, raatz

          Obviously you're not interested in true conservation, or at least an effort to restore lands to an ecological balance.

          I know why you're trying to hide behind a "conservation" banner, it's deceptive, but I understand.  You couldn't very well title your diary;

          Salazar and billionaire Republican start PAC to make more public land available for hunting blood sports.

          It's ok, I'm not a single issue Democrat, but don't try and hide it.

          •  There's no such thing as "ecological balance" (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Wordsinthewind, salmo

            I think conservation should above all be science based. Balance of nature is no longer taught in University ecology courses, hasn't been for quite some time. Discredited. In the dustbin of ideas.

            I'm always happy to talk conservation, and I'm not a big fan of how our National Parks are operated, but until you drop the blood sport stuff we have little common ground on which to discuss.

            “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

            by ban nock on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 09:05:51 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I just saw 50 Elk go by (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Jakkalbessie, corvo, Agathena

              Seriously.  Just looked out my window and saw 50 Elk come out of the forest, go through my land, and continue down the valley.  These aren't National Park Elk, these are as wild as it gets.  I'm guessing you'd like that.

              Ecological balance is no longer taught?  Where in the world did you pull that out of?  It's the, "we've got to manage the game" philosophy that is so far in the past that it's laughed at at any credible University, including the CU Geography Dept.

              •  ecology and evolutionary biology is just SW of (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Kasoru

                Folsom Field, go ask someone there about "Balance of Nature". Disney is not real life, the Lion King is just a story.

                “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

                by ban nock on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 10:30:02 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  National Parks are nothing like Disneyland (9+ / 0-)

          They are the most protected of public lands. More than 50 percent of parklands are designated as wilderness and more than 99 percent are roadless backcountry.

          I don't think Secretary Salazar would react favorably to your gratuitous criticism of parks. He is a big supporter of national parks, and has been actively involved in the creation or expansion of several parks.

          Again, you seriously undermine your credibility when you make glib, fact-free statements like this.

          •  national parks are the second highest level (5+ / 0-)

            of protection you can give an area- only wilderness is higher. the truth is we could easily have hundreds more areas set aside as parks or monuments- verbiages gets confusing when you use seashore or lakeshore. just call i psark and or monument and to dintunguish where on the total pole in lies. parks are the crowl jewel, theres 59 of them. as for the park services management, well they have been operating on shoestring budgets, elative to the amount they need to properly mange them, since reagan.right now the park service has a budget of 2.2 billion, the four environmental agencies have a combined budget under 20 billion. if i was president  would i  create a department of conservation. and i would move the parks and fws out of interior, and forests out  of agriculture into conservation. i would move epa into it and revive the ccc. i would give conservation 100 billion a year spread out evenly among the 5 agencies. 20 billion for the parks annually would be enough to get rid of all backlog, and would allow proper staffing and maintainence. basically the money would be enough to greatly increase the amount of protected lands, and moving most public lands out of blm and into conservation, where obviously conservation is the priority instead of development.

    •  Louis Bacon just bought Taos ski resort (6+ / 0-)

      http://mobile.nytimes.com/...

      The ski areas of the American West are a familiar stomping ground for Wall Street titans, and a house in Aspen or Vail can be a prized asset.

      But one billionaire financier, Louis M. Bacon, has bought an entire ski resort.

      Mr. Bacon, the founder of the hedge fund Moore Capital Management, has agreed to buy Taos Ski Valley, a family-owned ski area near Taos, N.M. The deal, announced on Wednesday, would provide capital for needed improvements to the resort. The price was not disclosed.

      Resist much, obey little. ~~Edward Abbey, via Walt Whitman

      by willyr on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 08:08:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Maybe it's a holiday gift for someone he knows (0+ / 0-)

        “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

        by ban nock on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 08:29:44 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Resorts on National Forest Land is "conservation"? (6+ / 0-)

        Many ski resorts live off the public tax dollar by getting cheap access to National Forest land.  A typical Republican move to hide behind a broad term like "conservation" when you've got something else in mind completely.

        To Salizar and Bacon, conservation is Resorts, cattle ranches, mining, and lumber.

        •  and above all else shooting wolves. Happy? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Wordsinthewind, RainyDay

          He didn't make the resort, maybe he's buying it to turn over to the FWS. Every silver lining has a cloud eh?

          “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

          by ban nock on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 09:07:43 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  It would be nice if "needed improvements to (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Agathena

        the resort" consisted of removing the lift hardware, closing the ski slopes, allowing them to re-forest naturally, and re-opening the former resort to free public access for hiking and the like.

        I won't hold my breath, but it's nice to dream!

        "Bernie Madoff's mistake was stealing from the rich. If he'd stolen from the poor he'd have a cabinet position." -OPOL

        by blue in NC on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 12:27:24 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Here's hoping... (9+ / 0-)

    that some good comes out of this.  I have watched the careers of the Salazar bros with interest (and sometimes frustration) for many years now.  Blue Dogs that they are, or always seemed to me to be, I still would infinitely prefer John Salazar as the rep for the Western Slope than Scott Tipton.  

    And in the rural West, Democrats do have to lie down with Republicans, pollwatcher.  We do have to make common cause with ranchers, miners, timber people. And hunters. And ATV wheelers. That's our reality. You don't get to have a political career as a Democrat if you can't speak the language, and address the interests, of the good old boys and girls. Not An Option. Maybe in a generation or two, but not now.

    For what is the crime of robbing a bank, compared to the crime of owning one? BBrecht, Happy End

    by Miss Bianca on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 09:39:59 AM PST

    •  Should we lie down on Social Security, Medicare... (4+ / 0-)

      I understand the resources of the west, and the multiple uses that are needed.  And there are ways to use those resources that don't severely impact the ecology and wildlife.  I have never said we should ban any of the things you mention above.  But I've yet to meet a single Republican who respects the land enough to apply renewable, non polluting, wildlife (ALL wildlife) preservation techniques to our public lands.  The Republican party is in the back pockets of the Oligarchs and has repeatedly tried to turn over our national heritage to resource extraction companies that don't give a damn about our children's future.

      Any PAC that supports Republican candidates doesn't deserve to be supported by people who support Democratic principles.

      •  I can't say... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Maverick80229

        ...that I disagree with you, at least on an emotional level.  But on a practical level...sometimes, we must cut our coats to fit our cloth. I have little respect for most Republicans, and none at all for Doug Lamborn, in whose district I reside, but the best I can say about most Democrats out here is that they are usually only marginally better, and on top of that, stand almost no chance of getting elected.

        Who knows? Maybe an environmental PAC could start a trend for primarying Republican candidates from the left, instead of the right. And never forget that all things have cycles.  Richard Nixon, pretty much the arch-Republican, gave us the Clean Air Act and the EPA. And I ha

        For what is the crime of robbing a bank, compared to the crime of owning one? BBrecht, Happy End

        by Miss Bianca on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 01:07:40 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Okay but... (13+ / 0-)

    Improving "access" to public land is not in itself beneficial. Increased roads in public parks lead to more traffic congestion, overcrowding, and pollution, which are really obvious in some of the larger parks. AAA is always pushing for more roads on public land if I recall, since they want people driving everywhere.

    They also provide an infrastructure with which to plunder the resources. I doubt that Bacon and Salazar are entirely motivated by the public interest, and in any case they are not so accountable to it.

    I'm glad that there will be "some" way to get to the land, but minimal roads and more hiking paths are the things to be pushing for.

    •  This! ^^^ (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo

      "Bernie Madoff's mistake was stealing from the rich. If he'd stolen from the poor he'd have a cabinet position." -OPOL

      by blue in NC on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 12:28:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  In many cases, "access" does not mean (9+ / 0-)

      building roads or otherwise opening the land to be trampled by tourists or turned into strip mines.

      The scale of our public ownership is incredibly vast. There are 193 million acres in our National Forests. The Bureau of Land Management oversees 247 million acres. By comparison, our national parks are mere specks on the maps.

      Across much of the West, the valleys are privately owned (and that is where most of the major roads are), while the more rugged land is in the public domain. It is very common to drive in the valleys within sight of public land, but there is no way to get to much of it.

      Case in point: here is a portion of a map that I randomly chose from a stack of Forest Service maps that I have. This is in the Roosevelt National Forest northwest of Fort Collins, Colorado, and east of Red Feather Lakes.

      Each numbered square is a section, which is one square mile. Let's say that you wanted to get into that green colored land in Section 14, 15, 16, or 20. Perhaps you want to hunt, or fish, or hike, or just enjoy the land that belongs to all of us.

      Guess what...the roads are tantalizingly close, but you would be trespassing on private property if you parked on the road and hiked to USFS land. Your only legal access is by the road running through Sections 26 and 27. It's a two mile cross-country slog from Section 27 to Section 15. And with this being Colorado, there could be mountains and canyons in the way.

      The Land and Water Conservation Fund could be used to purchase small strips of land to make the USFS lands accessible, or to purchase easements from private landowners to allow road or foot traffic across their property.

      •  Thanks, I should have posted something like that (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        foresterbob, salmo, unfangus

        the thread seems to have gotten bogged down and somehow lost sight of what the PAC and the Land and Water Conservation Fund is all about.

        “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

        by ban nock on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 02:58:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I worked one year in Colorado, (5+ / 0-)

          taking forest inventory plots on the White River National Forest. There were several times that I had to plead with property owners for permission to park at their house or ranch, so that I could hike a half mile or so to do my work.

          The alternative usually involved many miles of rugged roads, followed by a very long hike through unforgiving terrain. All that just to begin the day's work, and then there would not be enough daylight to get it all done.

          In every case, the property owners eventually let me in, but about half of them regaled me with stories about how the Forest Service had given them grief. For instance, the USFS map mistakenly showed a rancher's drainage ditch as a public road, and the rancher sometimes had to deal with bewildered tourists showing up in his driveway.

          One or two of the property owners only allowed safe passage after I explained that I was a contractor, not a federal employee, and that I would not get paid unless I was able to get to the USFS land.

          By the way, I meant to write "Sections 28 and 27" for the road location in my above comment. I misread the small print.

      •  national parks aren't specks several of them such (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        foresterbob

        as Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon cover 1 million acres or more . Wrangell St Ellias Covers over 8 million acres, nearly 13 million if you include the preserves.. if you had parks like the dry tortugas in FL or Hot Springs in AR in mind when you thought of  national parks, you'd be right, but the biggest parks are not specks. they are big in their own right. many of the grasslands and forests are divided into pieces and are not contiguous Dixie NF has 4 or 5 large chunks of forest next to each other but are not connected, as they should be. basically if public land is being drilled on and used for grazing, let it be blm land and be on relatively small areas.  and let the best lands be parks and monuments, in thier own department.

        •  My point was not to denigrate the parks, (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Odysseus, ban nock, high uintas

          which I truly appreciate and have done diaries on, but instead to demonstrate the vastness of the access problem with our sprawling public lands.

          These out-of-the-way places which few tourists ever see, or are even aware that they are public land, frequently have longstanding access issues. In the whole scheme of things, the cost to improve access would be relatively low.

          •   much of the acess problems is due to lack of (0+ / 0-)

            connection, much of our public holdins are in farflung pieces, the more disconnected the easier it is to argue its not needed, so some idiot republican claimed we have too much protected land, when the opposite is true, not enough is protected. there will always be areas that need protection.

            •  Even when the lands are connected, (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ban nock, unfangus

              as in my map above, much of the land is still logistically difficult to reach. That is why I favor spending money to gain access.

              On a broader landscape scale, the ownerships need to be connected in order to let animal populations to roam over large areas, instead of being fragmented into small communities that lack enough genetic diversity to reproduce over the long term. This can be done by buying or trading land, or with conservation easements.

        •  I'd disagree, no land is worth throwing away to (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          foresterbob, high uintas

          drilling and grazing. That's what this effort is about. I can accept drilling and grazing as we need to eat and drive but I'm in no way going to abandon public land because it's not in Parks. We own those lands, and whether you watch birds or like to go camping or paint pictures or whatever those uses are valuable too.

          “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

          by ban nock on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 07:17:30 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Salazar's group is a pro-hunting PAC (7+ / 0-)

    And the diarist attacks environmental groups many of us support:

    And then when he became Sec of Interior the howling could be heard all the way from the Marin Chapter of the Sierra club to the DC offices of Defenders of Big Time Lobbying for Certain Kinds of Wildlife. Music to my ears truth be told.
    I'm surprised there wasn't a "San Francisco values" thrown in for good measure.

    I don't get why this diary is being spotlighted.

    A liberal is a conservative who's been hugged.

    by raatz on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 10:26:18 AM PST

    •  Sadly there is no way to get westerners (0+ / 0-)

      on the side of conserving more public land unless hunting is protected. If you try to shut them out of the land, they will just spend countless hours telling you that Duck Stamps and taxes on firearms, etc. make hunters better conservationists than most tree huggers.

      Refuge Watch -- news from America's national wildlife refuges

      by Naturegal on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 10:36:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hunting is fine. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NE2, corvo

        But, we're not just talking about hunting, are we? And unfortunately, many hunter groups are too often on board with supporting logging and drilling practices that reduce hunting land.

        •  Logging does not reduce hunting land (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ban nock, marina, salmo, unfangus

          unless you're talking about converting land from forest to other uses. Different game species benefit from different successionial ecosystems. Hunters generally prefer a variety of tree ages and sizes rather than a solid undisturbed forest.

          In the Southeastern states where I have more of a chance to interact with hunters than in the West, hunters understand that land will be clearcut and replanted. They pay good money for hunting leases where timber is actively managed. I personally do not know of any hunters who have terminated a lease because the land was logged, though it might occasionally happen.

          Drilling and mining, on the other hand, eliminate some habitat, and fragment even more of it.

        •  I'm not aware of any hunting groups that support (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          salmo, foresterbob, Odysseus

          drilling. We might understand that extractive industries are a reality of our public land but we certainly don't welcome them as they scare game and make roads etc. Do you have a link to that?

          Logging is entirely different in that it mimics the natural disturbance needed for diversity, especially the way I've seen it done with more than half the land uncut and the portions that are cut have pockets of remnant forests.

          “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

          by ban nock on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 03:02:29 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  People who worked under Salazar (5+ / 0-)

      in his early years of public office in Colorado are quite disillusioned with him and believe he has changed greatly as he climbed the ladder.  And those changes haven't been towards more conservation.

      •  I just don't know, that was last year wasn't it (0+ / 0-)

        that he arranged for Bacon to either give or give easments for 165,000 acres. Can't think of anyone who has done more for conservation lately. People like Salazar they don't change much, ask that guy that asked him about horses at the campaign party. Same ol Ken.

        “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

        by ban nock on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 03:30:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  And then called environmentalists terrorists (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      raatz, corvo, Agathena, blue in NC

      in a comment responding to someone who expressed a very mainstream view about whether to build more roads to public lands. I'm really surprised I'm the only one who HR'd that deeply offensive ad hominem.

      •  Do you have a link or block quote to where I (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        salmo, buddabelly, Wordsinthewind

        called environmentalists terrorists? If not perhaps you should remove your hr which you placed for disagreement, which by the way is against site rules.

        Perhaps you should also consider not being a dick, it's kind of offensive. You're not welcome here with your beligerence and hrs.

        Thank you.

        “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

        by ban nock on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 03:06:24 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You associated someone with a terrorist (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NE2, floydgrant, corvo, blue in NC

          who mailed bombs to people because the commenter expressed a common view that they don't want more access to public lands. It's extremely offensive and an absurd leap in logic. Since you already referenced my HR, you don't need a link. You should apologize to that commenter.

          •  elfling has work to do or I'd just report you (0+ / 0-)

            looked at your site enjoy your life in Illinois.

            “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

            by ban nock on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 03:37:45 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Please do. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              floydgrant, corvo, blue in NC

              I would like for you to explain to the admin of this site why you think its acceptable to compare people with mainstream environmental views to the unabomber.

              •  earthfirst and the ALF are not "mainstream" by (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Wordsinthewind, ban nock

                sabotage and vandalism is not mainstream or anything this party should tolerate.

                straight from the horses mouth

                Fracking Saboteur Sentenced to 6 Months. 13 Feb

                Tanner J. Long of Lycoming County, Pennsylvania As far as we can tell, there’s been no clear reason expressed about why he did it. But does there really need to be? Anyone who risks their freedom to attack a fracking site in the Marcellus Shale, and in one evening succeeds at delaying operations for three months, is a hero to all who drink water and hate energy corporations.

                Tanner Long, 21, from the Trout Run area of Lycoming County, PA, allegedly admitted to an ambitious act of vandalism on August 30, 2012, and was sentenced in late-January to six months of prison (in a “county pre-release center”) and five years probation.

                The story was not heavily reported outside the local area, but you can check out a short news clip here, which includes heart warming images of overturned bulldozers at a trashed fracking site on public land. You can also send him a letter here for the time being:

                http://earthfirst.org.uk/...

                I'll bet the spilled diesel and engine oil from the overturned dozers was very "heart warming" to the environment....

                For Ghu's sake they are a group that brags about their criminal idiocy and you call this mainstream?

                I agree with ban nock, please enjoy Illinois and avoid the West.......From the Sonoran Desert with amazement

                Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
                I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
                Emiliano Zapata

                by buddabelly on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 07:57:59 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  So? non sequitur (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  raatz, blue in NC, corvo

                  I never claimed Earth First or "ALF"? were mainstream. The only person who brought up Earth First was ban nock, and only because someone thought federal lands should be left alone. Whether or not more roads should be built to public lands is an ongoing debate within the mainstream conservation community. No one started talking about eco-terrorism other than ban nock. Calling someone a terrorist just because they disagree with your view on public land use is as a disgusting, dishonest Rush Limbaugh style attack. It has no place here.

                  •  actually the person immediately below proceeded (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    ban nock

                    to defend earth first, a group that cheers (at minimum) vandalism and carnage in the name of "nature" and got 11 recs for it so far...and looky there, the first rec defending a group that at minimum champions environmental terrorism is yours....

                    The only reason earth first or the elf/alf haven't killed or maimed someone yet with their idiotic stunts like burning down neighborhoods and blowing up cars at dealerships is sheer blind luck..... You know the old saying Ghu protects drunks and fools....

                    Not sure whether the numerous stories of animal release like free the minks etc from the farms are real or apocryphal but if real, even more stupid.

                    And it wasn't leave wilderness alone, it was the hoary trope of how humanity is unworthy and unclean and forever unable to not turn all wilderness into a strip mall..... which is bullshit and directly related to the groups and ideologies ban nock spoke of..... like the anti-hunters who refuse to even admit that a hunting group, Ducks Unlimited, has done more to preserve wetlands for everyone's use than any other organization in the country. Like those same groups that would rather see browsers like deer freeze to death or starve from lack of forage or even better, get eaten alive by 'yotes or if they're special wolves, than go quickly and relatively painlessly in comparison and feed a human family instead of a coyote pack...... PETA types who feel death is preferable to a companion animal's "slave" life like my galloping herd of terriers....I'm sure they'd be happier dead than snoring under my robe at the moment.....

                    and no, I don't hunt, I do enjoy getting the hell away from people though which is one thing accessible wilderness is great for.

                    Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
                    I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
                    Emiliano Zapata

                    by buddabelly on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 12:25:34 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  I guess the free the minks shit is real, poor mink (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    ban nock, high uintas

                    50k let loose to die of heat exhaustion in the Greek Summer....

                    These are the assholes you defend?

                    Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
                    I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
                    Emiliano Zapata

                    by buddabelly on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 12:30:37 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

    •  Do you have a link? That shows that Salazar's (0+ / 0-)

      group is pro hunting? I can't find any hunters at all associated with it, Will Shafrof who manages the PAC was a former deputy secretary at Fish and Wildife and ran for Udall's congressional seat as a Dem. I think he fishes but doesn't hunt.

      If you support the Sierra Club or Defenders yes, I don't like them, they are anti hunting and they can go rustle. I love hearing those folks crying, if I could I'd make a recording of their whining and use it to lullaby myself to sleep with.

      “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

      by ban nock on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 03:26:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hunting is Salazar's political raison d’être (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        corvo

        His record in Congress and at Interior clearly shows his tireless dedication to other "sportsmen." The very reason he supports conservation is because it provides recreational and cultural resources for hunters.

        You must know this.

        His billionaire pal is also a dedicated hunter:

        A ghost herd of animals–the heads of elk, mule deer, bison and bighorn sheep, a few of which he killed himself with a bow and arrow–silently watches over him from the surrounding walls.
        Sweet dreams.

        A liberal is a conservative who's been hugged.

        by raatz on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 09:20:37 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Nope. Salazar's raison d'etre is first his family (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          high uintas

          then second the people of the San Luis Valley "his people" and then there'd probably be the Democratic Party and the people of the US and the environment and a whole host of other things before hunters. I doubt he's had a license in decades. Every single person who is a guy and comes from where he did grew up outdoors and hunting. It just so happens that conservation and hunters go together.

          I'm glad Bacon hunts. Makes it understandable why he donated such a huge piece of land to the US Fish and Wildlife instead of the Sierra Club. Hunters protect wildlife.

          “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

          by ban nock on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 07:12:47 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  ...I hate to bring up this point ban nock... (5+ / 0-)

    ...but the truth is twofold:

    1) It's the GOP (let's be honest) that wants this money taken away from what it's for.

    2) This is the way they can keep these areas off limits for the vast majority of us. They aren't off limits to those who can fly small private planes into them.  In my home state of Colorado this has happened. This keeps these areas "private" for the very wealthy.

    This is really what it's about...keeping regular folks (the "riff-raff) out. There is an area of Colorado that the State of Texas bought...only Texas residents are allowed into that area. It is insane, but it happened. And only very wealthy Texans are there...

    Ignorance is bliss only for the ignorant. The rest of us must suffer the consequences. -7.38; -3.44

    by paradise50 on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 11:25:22 AM PST

    •  Where is the State of Texas land located? n/t (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      foresterbob, floydgrant
    •  Yes, if you look at the links that's exactly what (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      salmo, foresterbob

      many wish this money to be used to circumvent. Right now 4 million acres is locked up due to being surrounded by private land or by being checkerboarded from old railroad land which effectively removes it from public use. These funds would be used to make the land available to all.

      Salazar, and Bacon who is a big fan of the national Fish and Wildlife Service, and hunting advocacy groups would all like that land available to everyone be they bird watchers or hikers or X country skiers or anyone else.

      “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

      by ban nock on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 02:43:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Please tell us where that land is. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      salmo, floydgrant

      I did a search for "land in colorado owned by state of texas" and came up empty.

      This is news to me; I'd really like to know about it.

      •  I'm not sure but maybe paradise is talking about (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        salmo, foresterbob

        the High Lonesome Ranch which is actually privately owned by Texans and is the largest private ranch I know of in Colorado. With it's grazing permits etc it's pretty big, size of a county. The cattle are more for fun. They hired a famous conservation biologist to run the wildlife portion (she's of the University of Oregon persuasion) I don't think they have any restrictions on paying guests other than that they be rich.

        “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

        by ban nock on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 02:52:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Louis Bacon is heavily invested in natural gas (6+ / 0-)

    and other fossil fuel industry interests. He does some nice land conservation work but watch out for him using his efforts as a Trojan horse for expanding resource extraction on public lands.

  •  I fought for 15 years (8+ / 0-)

    to get public access to 4000 acres of "landlocked" BLM and Army Corps lands along the Yuba River north of Sacramento near Marysville, called the Yuba Goldfields.

    If the public doesn't get access, isolated federal lands don't usually stay "pristine," it means the mining and logging companies will get the land instead.

    “The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.” ― Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

    by 6412093 on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 12:29:02 PM PST

    •  With all the requirements (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ban nock, jessical, marina

      for environmental impact studies, plus court challenges, the logging companies won't get much these days. A simple proposal to thin trees to reduce fire danger will make several lawyers rich before the first tree gets cut, if any trees get cut at all.

      However, some of the islolated public lands get traded to individuals and companies who own adjacent lands. I've worked on several such exchanges over the years. Usually the state or federal agency gets other lands in return, and the deal is a net benefit to all parties.

      •  I've heard of a new method called the (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        foresterbob, jessical, Wordsinthewind

        collaborative process which is being tried particularly in the Clearwater. Eliminates a lot of hurdles before hand. Large extractors and national Environ groups don't like it. Locals including local conservation groups do.

        “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

        by ban nock on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 03:40:35 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  legally? (0+ / 0-)

        When I worked for the BLM, we eventually got permission to visit a quarter section of public land surrounded by a ranch.  Everything looked OK until we got to the top of a rise - he had planted ten acres of barley there.

        As far as I know, he got away with it.

        Politics means controlling the balance of economic and institutional power. Everything else is naming post offices.

        by happymisanthropy on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 12:22:54 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Well (7+ / 0-)

    Interesting argument and good spotlight issue.

    Is public access the only argument you want, though?  One of the best arguments for continuous tracts, and the buyback programs to support them, is habitat, since there are critters and entire ecosystems that go away if there isn't sufficient connectivity.  And this argument holds whether you are a hunter who values having game around or a person who thinks our species is a blight.  

    Fully funding acquisition seems like an issue which has potential appeal across the board.  I get from your comments that you are kind of spoiling for a fight on some environmental issues, but why make readers pick sides?  No matter where you are coming from, habitat continuity is a win.

    ...j'ai découvert que tout le malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos dans une chambre.

    by jessical on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 04:55:16 PM PST

    •  I got sidetracked over if this was an anti (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jessical, foresterbob, high uintas

      Democrat PAC or not. I'd thought when I posted that there were no sides.

      Most users, myself included, use public lands in multiple ways. I ride in my car powered by gasoline from public lands and use a smart phone with its' rare metals and as well as hunting I camp and hike and photograph, and often I just look. I too covet the use, currently they are de facto private because of lack of access.

      “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

      by ban nock on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 06:00:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Something about grown men wearing cowboy hats... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ban nock

    ..creeps me out. I don't trust them. Same with mustaches. :^)

    What is so unnerving about the candidacy of Sarah Palin is the degree to which she represents—and her supporters celebrate—the joyful marriage of confidence and ignorance. SAM HARRIS

    by Cpqemp on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 04:14:14 AM PST

  •  I Like Inaccessible Land (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, floydgrant
    Estimates are that there are four million acres that are not accessible due to either being surrounded or due to checker boarding which amounts to the same thing. I'd like to be able to get to these pieces of land, and I'd like you to too.

    I like the public keeping out of private hands land that cannot be accessed by people. That protects the ecology there better. If it checkerboards private lands to be more inaccessible to its private owners, that's a bonus.

    Not all of what the public owns should be exploited directly by the public. In fact, the majority of land should not be exploited by people, lest we destroy the ecosystem we're embedded in.

    I do like getting $20B spent on public lands conservation instead of practically anything else Congress has stolen it to spend on. I just don't need it the conserved lands to have any people in it.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 07:30:47 AM PST

    •  Perhaps you misunderstood. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      high uintas, floydgrant

      Checkerboarding makes public land accessible only to the private landowners that surround it. When land is only accessible to private owners they are free to do whatever they want with it, overgraze, dump, whatever they like. It also more likely to be drilled, mined, denuded, etc. if private landowners are the only ones with access.

      Checkerboarding in fact gives public lands to private owners to do with as they like.

      “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

      by ban nock on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 08:46:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The north slope of the High Uintas (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ban nock, foresterbob

        is checkerboarded, most of it owned by Painter and Sons logging company. They don't maintain their part of the north slope road, it only goes across one mile but it is so freakin bad that it takes forever to cross it. It just beats the shit out of your vehicle.

        There is a lake to the south of that portion of road, they own part of it and the only other access is by going miles out of your way. It sucks.

        And daddy won't you take me back to Muhlenberg County Down by the Green River where Paradise lay. Well, I'm sorry my son, but you're too late in asking Mister Peabody's coal train has hauled it away. John Prine

        by high uintas on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 06:21:53 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Inaccessible Land (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        corvo

        I agree with you that giving control of the public land locked behind the privatized land is wrong. It's obviously a scam when it's treated that way.

        But I still don't want all land open to access by humans. While the checkerboarded land might be badly abused by the people who own the parts that locks it all up, that's really different just in degree from land that isn't aggressively destroyed by commercial exploitation, but is just opened up for humans to invade. It disrupts the ecosystems there. While that might be OK for a lot of land, it's not OK for all of it, or even close to all of it.

        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

        by DocGonzo on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 07:51:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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