The whole point of free speech is not to make ideas exempt from criticism but to expose them to it.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Johnson Supports Limiting Access to Your Land

Sen. Tim (where do I live anyway) Johnson is supporting designating 40,000 acres of grassland as wilderness. See it in the Rapid City Journal here.

There is no part of this area that has not been trod upon by man. It does not need a wilderness designation and will prevent taxpayers from enjoying this unique part of our ground. If multiple use has proven to be misuse, then change the management, not the designation. If it's over-grazed (and in the past, it has been) then change the grazing permit process.

But a wilderness designation severely limits access, and the grassland does not fit the legal definition of wilderness.

This has extremely little support among those who would be impacted. It's a feel-good tree-hugger bill that makes Californians happy. It's just dumb. Which is why I'm not surprised Johnson supports it.

This kind of Sierra Club nonsense is what has caused the overgrowth and subsequent bug kill devastation of the Black Hills National Forest and destroyed a thriving timber industry. The natural way to manage a forest is to let it burn. Those who live in the trees (like my friend Mr. Fleming) may disagree that its the best way to manage a forest.

The same goes for the grassland. Managing those 40,000 acres can be done better. A successful negotiation (an attorney friend once told me) is one where everyone involved thinks they got screwed. More needs to be negotiated here.


larry kurtz said...

Mr. Sanborn, you just about lost me from this site (maybe you want that); most of my bitch with the debacle that is South Dakota is slammed into the end of this thread:

Non-point pollution is a red herring configured by industrial ag to lay further waste to an already decimated environment.
Wilderness designations attempt to rehabilitate scorched earth by throwing out the offenders.

That's why ground must lie fallow for five years before it can be certified safe for organically-raised crops!

Bovine sulfa drugs are killing the entire region's mycology; then Pfizer and Monsanto will sell you enzymes so you can digest your GMO-laden gruel.

Michael Sanborn said...

I don't think stockgrowers have a right to decimate our natural resources. I don't believe they should be allowed on the national forest...period. The notion that they don't eat young trees is baloney...I have pictures of them stripping Aspen saplings bare.

That said, a wilderness designation is forever. I've no issue with allowing the grasslands to heal from abuse if it is there.

Then, manage it for people. Setting aside 40,000 acres forever is excessive. My objection is not to sensible management; it is to excessive management.

And, no, we do not want you to leave. We want the Decorum Forum to be a place where people of differing views can make their cases. The resulting debate almost always leads to some common ground.

The greatest work the government has ever done has begun its journey from ideas to law from such common ground.

Michael Sanborn said...

Also, Larry:

"Wilderness designations attempt to rehabilitate scorched earth by throwing out the offenders."

Of course, "the offenders" argue that they have as much right to public land as you do.

The problem with wilderness designations is that they throw out "the offenders" and unfortunately many more who are not offenders.

larry kurtz said...

Mr. Sanborn, 40,000 acres is less than Rapid City's footprint; forever would hardly be long enough.

Your next two threads turn my stomach; you and Sibson should hook up.


I'm sorry, Bob; this ain't the place. The Three Cups of Tea story was good, though.

aaron said...

Michael... Is it really true that 'a wilderness designation is forever'? What makes a wilderness designation more permanent than any other action in a democracy? Conservatives want to open lands in Alaska and off our shores for oil drilling... What makes these areas any less permanently protected than a few thousand acres of prairie?

For the record, I don't necessarily disagree with you. But I do think your posts are becoming very dogmatic. In this sense, I don't necessarily disagree with Larry Kurtz.

Michael Sanborn said...

The Republicans haven't succeeded in drilling wilderness areas.

I'm a huge supporter of wilderness areas where they make sense.

This one doesn't, in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

The problem with this wilderness proposal is that it's too small. It should be 2 to 4 times larger - but that was already compromised away.