Repeating history - politicians and public lands

Paul in Idaho

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Aug 9, 2012
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699
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Southwest Idaho
I am currently reading Last Stand by Michael Punke. It has been an interesting read that has increased my appreciation for what was done by early conservationists. I just read through a section that sounds so much like what current politicians are trying to do to public lands - in 1892 there was an effort to run a railroad through a section of Yellowstone National Park.

Senator John Berry of Arkansas, supporting the new railroad, said 'it was not for the government " to engage in the raising of wild animals," an enterprise that was not a "profitable industry" Berry said that his preferred alternative would be to cut the whole of Yellowstone into 160-acre lots and open it to homesteading, or better yet, to "sell it to the highest bidder and place the money in the Treasury."'

Theodore Roosevelt wrote on this issue, encouraging "all public spirited Americans [to] join with Forest and Stream in the effort to prevent the greed of a little group of speculators, careless of everything save their own selfish interests, from doing the damage they threaten to the whole people of the United States."

(The above is on pages 188-190.)

T.R.'s words seem to fit our current situation exactly.
 

hank4elk

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Jan 8, 2015
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4,503
Location
SW NM
I sure wished one candidate would have as much courage, compassion ,honesty and grit as Teddy did in his pinky..........well maybe one does have some.
 

Ben Long

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Aug 8, 2011
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1,168
Location
Kalispell, MT
Characters change, but not the script or the motivations. The forces that opposed national forests in TR's day are trying to dismantle them today. They called him a Bolshevik. They have more colorful names for us. That's all.
 

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