Public lands and YOU! Why you should give a shit. (1 Viewer)

Coywolf

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Hey all, just wanted to put my 2 cents in about the current public land debate in the country, and how it relates to us.

As some may know, I work for a land management agency, and it pains me greatly to see what the bastards in Washington are doing to one of the greatest legacies this country has ever created: PUBLIC (meaning owned by the taxpyers) land.

Just as a background for some folks who dont know much about the issue, ill start with the history of land in America and how the public land idea came about.

History:

As the US was in the throws of westward expansion, the government sent out groups of army officers to explore and map the huge blank spot on the map that was the western United States. What these men found astonished them: vast expanses of old growth forest, fertile plains, endless mountain ranges, powerful rivers, pristine lakes.....

The officers reported back to Washington, and the word was soon spread throughout the East coast of the endless possibility for anyone to "make it" in the West.

The US government enacted the "Homstead Act" in 1862 which was created to expand our country and economy, by creating an infrastructure in the west. This act essentially would give 160 acres of federally owned land west of the Mississippi to any man who could build a structure and create "improvents" (farm land, mining, livestock grazing, ect.).

As one could imagine, this sent thousands of families packing across plains in search of their own little slice of American Apple pie.


The idea worked and many families settled. Too many families settled. This brought about the first land conservation movement in the US. Names like John Wesley Powell, Gifford Pinchot, and John Muir started to dot the newspapers. These men were in love with the environment, and wanted to protect some of the land before every last foot was under private ownership.

In 1872 Yellowstone national park was created by President Ulysses Grant. This was the first of its kind in the entire world. An area, protected under federal law, for the sole purpose of the enjoyment of the people.

Can you fucking imagine how much of an incredibly amazing idea that was in that time period?

The national park service was created, and to be run under the US Army. Actual soldiers patrolled Yellowstone and Yosemite until 1906 when the NPS was made into a separate government agency. Thats how important these areas were at the time. The millitary patrolled it.

Soon the Forest service was created in 1905 and protected millions of acres forest. This agency was originally created to oversee logging operations, and ensure the companies were paying taxes back to the government. However, they have turned into a for front in the land conservation movement.

In 1946 the Bureau of Land Management was created, to oversee all other federal land not controlled by the FS or NPS, and also to oversee mineral extraction from those lands.

The Opposition:

The whole "conservation" idea did not sit well with everyone. Some have even called it communism over the decades.

There have been many conservative politicians that have tried to get the Fed to turn the land back over to the states, citing executive overreach.

They essentially argue that the land owned by the Fed's should be turned over to the states because it should have become state land after the creation of state boundaries.

Figures like Rob Bishop (R-UT), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), and Ted Cruz (R-TX) have been prominent figures in the anit-public lands movement.

Notice all that Utah in there? There is allot of public land in Utah, and back in the day when Joseph Smith and Brigham Young though they could turn Utah into their own personal Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints "country", they were not happy to hear the federal government stand their ground in land ownership. The Army was eventually sent into Utah and forced Brigham out of state government, but that is a history lesson for another day. Point being, the Morman Church is not a friend of public lands.

The Sagebrush Rebellion:

Anyone remember the Malhuer Wildlife refuge incident in Oregon last year? The one where an armed group of protestors occupied a wildlife refuge for a month? Those were members of the sagebrush rebellion.

Although the moment had the most steam in the 70s-80s, it has been making a comeback. This is a group that does not recognize the power of the us government to own ANY land, and have used violent protest actions to prove their point many times. They are a borderline domestic terrorism group, and have been involved in murders, arson, destruction of property, and public official kidnapping. Think of them as the polar opposite of the ELF.

Ok, that was great and all, but why the fuck do I care?

Public lands and traveling, why you should give a shit:

When was the last time you made camp in a forest? Hit up the slabs? Thought about how beautiful that scenery was, while speeding through it at 60 mph on an IM?

All of this is made (partially) possible by public land. These are areas open to you, whether you like the government or not. Pay taxes or not. Follow politics or not.

Privatization of land will affect the way you travel, whether it be camping, accessing a yard, hitchhiking, getting to a creek for water, or finding a place to exist while houseless.

Trump, Zinke, and their cronies are going to fuck up everything our country has worked towards regarding public lands for the last century and a half.

I am calling on all of you to get involved with helping, in any way you can, even If it is just educating others, In protecting our public lands. They are in danger of mineral extraction, oil and gas exploration, over logging, and real estate.

If we do not resist, even places like the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone will have "NO TRESSPASSING" signs hanging from the front doors.

If you have any questions, I'll be happy to answer them.

Let's get this debate started.
 
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Coywolf

Coywolf

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Many different ways. I am trying to get the hearts and minds here. Talking to your representative and letting them know how important public lands are to you.

-Volunteering in a park or forest
-volunteering for agencies such as The Sierra Club, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, Old Broads for Wilderness, ect
-attending protests related to public land issues

There are even less obvious things that help in a big way:

-don't litter
-reduce your carbon footprint
-reduce oil and gas consumption
-Practice Leave No trace while you are camping or hiking

And most importantly, get out there and enjoy the millions of acres of awesomeness we have in this country, and encourage others to do the same!
 
G

Grubblin

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Great post and the history was sound. The only thing I disagree with is that Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon won't have no trespassing signs instead they'll have signs saying something like $250 per day, per vehicle unless you're staying at one of our $1500 a night resorts. Same effect for everyone but the ultra rich.
 

sd40chef

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Nature is king. All we need to survive is food,shelter,water...love,trust,friendship helps a lot as well. most of this cost nothing. The idea of generating stronger economies by manipulating/displacing/destroying all other life in the world to be able to purchase materialistic goods and chase more, more, more until we die is a sad illusion controlled by our ego and will lead to anger/confusion/depression. The spirit of this planet is being lost, we need POSITIVE change. We MUST protect what is left and work on HEALING what has been polluted. Intention is very important. Eternal gratitude for posting this thread, and to pachamama for giving us food, and all the resources we use to live. You speak the truth. Lets show our love for this planet we share that supports all of us and keeps giving us what we need despite how we treat it!!
 

somn

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your history ignores that there were people living in the west before manifest destiny. indigenous groups were displaced or worse because of the homestead act and creation of national parks. your notion that national parks were created to counter the privatization of land under the homestead act was not really the case. as you said national parks were controlled/patrolled by the military, basically furthering the occupation of indigenous lands by the united states. not only could indigenous groups not exist freely on land that was being homesteaded, they couldn't exist freely on land that was intentionally not homesteaded, because it was supposed to be a pristine recreational park. fs and blm displaced natives further and did more damage to their homelands by logging and mining on a large scale. it was basically cultural genocide to benefit the united states expansion.

it seems to me the fear you have about destructive privatization of public land is actually what public land in the united states was founded on. if there are resources that the government or a powerful corporation wants, they take them. they don't yeild to protesters or conservation organizations. look at keystone, dakota access or sabal trail pipelines. the government treats public land as a liquid asset.

fortunately public lands are rather large and for now, regardless of policy or development, its not that difficult to walk into the woods or desert somewhere without the authorities noticing, if thats what you want to do.
 
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Coywolf

Coywolf

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I was not around for manifest Destiny, or the destruction of Native American homelands. I could do nothing about that.

I am around now. And I will continue to fight for equal public access to land in this country.

National parks were created to save some of the amazing places in this country before they were privatized/commercialized. I'm not sure why you think other wise.

Unless we can start to get private companies to start buying land, and not charge us to use it (which is never going to happen), government owned public land is the only option for now. And I urge people to rally and protest the abuse and sale of such land, as in what is happening right now with the Trump administration.

Sorry @somn But I believe you have missed my point entirely, and would like to start a separate discussion on the Displacement of Native Americans, and how government control of land was used to do so. Although I agree with You, that is not even close to why I posted this. And I'm not going to go down that road unless another person would like to post a separate thread.

Furthermore, the fact that public land is being abused, and treated as a liquid assets is the reason for my post in the first place. These are lands we must protect. Because like it or not, these are our sacred homelands as well.
 
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Coywolf

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Another thing to mention, is that Native Americans had a truly amazing way of looking at land and the earth.

They did not have any idea that man could "own" land, they were one with it, aside from tribal territory, that is.

Every person was a steward, and all were connected to the earth. The White man changed that.

The mere idea of land ownership sickens me, I dispise it. However, nothing short of a nuclear war/environment disaster and reset of the human population is going to change the fact that some people think they must "own" land.

So, the public land idea is still the best option in my book. We do have control over what happens to it. We just have to make the government listen to us. One way or another.
 

dumpster harpy

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Your willingness to label political dissidents as terrorists makes me not trust you or anything you said.

Edit: I do agree with you on some things, like protesting against misuse of the land. Like those protestors in Oregon.
 
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Beegod Santana

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BLM and FS are in no way the good guys, but just selling off all the public land to politically connected cronies so they can rape it further is also not a solution. The thing I find interesting about the sage brush rebellion is that all my life I've heard BLM referred to as the "Bureau of Logging and Mining" because they tend to issue permits to anyone in those industries who asks for em and have been repeatedly accused of violating their own policies when issuing said permits. The idea that they are oppressing people by refusing to allow them to operate is ridiculous. Cattle ranching without government subsidies is a guaranteed loss financially. These "political dissidents" want you to pay them to play cowboy on land they got for free that was stolen from natives in the first place. There's nothing noble about destroying the environment while you raise one of the most inefficient food sources on the tax payers dime. You wanna raise cattle, great, do it own your own land and on your own dime.
 
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Coywolf

Coywolf

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That is your choice. Believe what you want.

Sagebrush rebels can go and suck a literal and metaphorical dick.

They support privatization of all land in america.
 

dumpster harpy

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So do you think it's acceptable to charge them with terrorism and/or kill them? Is that the dick you'd like them to suck?

That's what the government did. And will continue to do more and more people. And as long as people are fed a reason to hate the victims (because they're terrorists/communists/criminals/conservatives/whoever) the government will get away with it.
 

EphemeralStick

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Oh, so that's what that stands for. I was wondering what the hell Black Lives Matter had to do with forests.
It actually stands for Bureau of Land Management. Bureau of Logging and Mining is a tongue in cheek way of saying that they're more interested in aiding those industries than conserving the land.
 

somn

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@Coywolf My post wasn't exactly on topic for sure. It was mainly a response to the History section of your post. Not mentioning indigenous groups when discussing westward expansion perpetuates manifest destiny propaganda.

I agree with alot of what you are saying, but am not really that informed on what the trump regime is specifically trying to do to public lands. The risks you identify "mineral extraction, oil exploration, over logging and real estate" have already been happening for a while on public lands with support of the federal government, right?
 

Caro

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Wow yes. This is super important. Another thing to note, is to examine where you buy your food and who you're supporting in the process. It's not unlikely that some brand you've been purchasing has been taking advantage of the resources in the States without your knowledge.
 
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Coywolf

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@somn yes it has been going on for ever. The thing Allot of people do not realize is that is just one part of those agencies. There is allot of people fighting for the protection of these lands that also work for the government. I work with some incredible individuals who care alot about our environment, its too bad trump I stifling their voices.

Let me just clear some things up about my prior comment. I DO NOT think all political dissidents are terrorists.

I don't like the word terrorist. My point was that the Sagebrush Rebels are labeled as such because of their actions, by the government.

I could respect their point of view alot more if they could come up with a legitiment explanation, without greed as backing.

I agreee with you @malaclypse the government has for too long labeled people with a different idea of hows things should happen, as "terrorists". I just dislike the Sagebrush rebels, and therefore, they can eat a certain phalice of mine.

And no. Government agencies are not perfect. But as I have said above, there are many people who work for them who are trying to change things from the inside out.
 

Brodiesel710

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This is a fantastic and educational topic. Theres no arguing with the folks who believe in de-colonization, which will never happen, human progress will prevail and we will be hopping freight trains in space with 0 gravity like it's fuckin' star wars. You were obviously just trying to share some info on how to respect and appreciate the land that has been made available to us, which I appreciate. I live next to 1000's of acres of BLM land in Pershing county Nevada, part of the Sonoma range. Regularly, I walk out into the wilderness, without a single soul around, and for that I'm grateful.

THEN RIGHT OFF THE TRAIL I SEE A BIG FLAT SCREEN TV SOMEONE BROUGHT OUT AND SHOT WITH A SHOTGUN, THEN I TELL MYSELF, WERE FUCKED!!!!
 
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Coywolf

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I would like to refresh this thread NOW, and see what members have to say about this. There are multiple Bill's in the Senate, currently challenging the legitimacy of Public Land.

One of them is a bill that Allows ATVs in National Parks in Utah, found Here.
 

Brodiesel710

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I'm all for motorized shit being on BLM land, whatever, but NOT National Parks, how stupid.
 

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