Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Public Lands- More Perspective on Don T

Ron Moody, a neighbor of Don's in Lewistown, has written on the subject of Public Lands and their loss before, notably in this article from  the Bull Moose Gazette he sent me last week:

"So is this dispute an isolated event? Or do other NGOs (non-government organizations) self-censor or suppress support for public access to obtain backing of wealthy donors who want more wildlife but also want exclusive private access to it?   My observation is that such suppression is widespread, even endemic, to the DU-type fundraising model employed by many habitat conservation groups.
"Thirteen years ago I wrote on this very subject in my old NIMROD'S TRACE column once published in the Montana Wildlife Newspaper of the Montana Wildlife Federation.  That column was about the challenges for hunters in the 21st Century as predictable at the end of the 20th Century.

"Judge for yourself whether the 20th Century has inflicted hard challenges on conservationists of the 21st Century."

RTWT!  As  Randy Newberg, interviewing Don on a Hunt Talk Radio podcast last week said, (Don agreed): both parties are out of touch with sportsmen, the majority of whom want to keep their guns AND their Public lands; only the very rich don't care. (HT Lucas  Machias for the podcast).


Chas Clifton said...

The erasure of Don Thomas from Ducks Unlimited is getting some ink (or electrons), and even the Outdoor Writers Association of America issued a lukewarm condemnation. People at DU may be noticing — someone with a Ducks Unlimited IP address finally read my little rant about it a few days ago.

But will they change? I doubt it. It seems the nature of nonprofits generally to start out lean and hungry (look at Backcountry Hunters and Anglers today) but then, if successful, to slowly become more sclerotic, clubby, and self-satisfied. (Consider how both PETA and Mother Theresa's organization have multi-millions in the bank but keep on asking for more.)

Anonymous said...

As an unapologetic and incorrigible trespasser for many decades, I have a WIDE perspective on various forms of LAND CONTROL, to say the least! I actually find conservation groups acquisition of lands a great thing for my own selfish nomadic roamings, as they rarely or only ineffectively patrol their acquisitions! And of course, the wild habitats ARE being preserved, at the very least. I used to live where there was LOTS of National Forest(N. C./Tenn. border), open to everyone, and no one could beg to differ about my presence legally--HOWEVER, it was still wise to AVOID ALL HUMANS at all costs--lots of marijuana planters nervous about their crops, moonshine makers who had no qualms protecting discovery of their trade, auto thieves and hackers who would not tolerate witnesses, and the greatest danger, DEA agents so DESPERATE for an arrest, that anyone in the area caught out in the woods was fair game! But luckily, all these folks were TERRIBLY OBVIOUS and NOISY in the woods, and pitifully easy to avoid(AND there was enough wild land there to make it EASY to avoid them!). Now, alas, I live in much more civilized territory, and most of what wild land is here is ANALLY controlled by organized Deer Hunting leases, who are more aggressively territorial than New Guinea headhunters! And they regularly and effectively patrol their territories, making me have to slip around like a persecuted coyote! The different Leases are hostile to each other, too! There is SOME National Forest and State Gamelands that I have as much right to traverse as anyone, but most are SURROUNDED by these anal deer leases! And they know this and want to prevent any public access to these areas too(as in their imaginations, EVERYONE is a deer poacher out to steal their trophy bucks! You CANNOT convince most of these fellows otherwise! And they shoot any dog they see--a real worry for me as I am almost always accompanied by my dogs!).Though I value the wild habitat being preserved by these Deer Leases too, local peasants who DO NOT PAY MONEY are forbidden to even walk across land where they live--VERY different from the permissive, neighborly country folk/land owners I grew up with in the South. Long, long ago(sigh). Most of the controllers of these Leases are Townfolk(a contemptuous term, in my view) who do not even live nearby--but they wish to deny access to the actual residents. This is as bad(actually WORSE, in my case) as the land-gobbling, but slack-arse conservation groups!.....L.B.