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The Nature Conservancy joins forces with the US Corps of Engineers
The Illinois Leader ^ | 6-23-2004 | Joyce Morrison

Posted on 06/26/2004 10:44:36 AM PDT by madfly

OPINION -- The Mighty Mississippi River is truly unique - it is the main artery dividing the East from the West. This magnificent river is multi-purpose.

The river supports habitat for all kinds of plant and animal species on its many islands and along the extensive shoreline. There are hundreds of little fingers and coves where recreation abounds, while co-existing with many species that call the river area their home.

Long overdue legislation has been introduced authorizing 1200 foot locks to be built on the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers to replace the outdated 600 foot locks. The shipping industry, commercial and agricultural businesses in Illinois, Missouri, Iowa and states bordering the rivers are looking with anticipation to the much-needed updates.

A major boost for the region’s economy will be the 48 million man-hours estimated to complete the 15 year project.

What is interesting about the legislation is half of the $2.4 billion in infrastructure improvements for the lock extensions would be paid for by the shipping industry through the Inland Waterway Trust Fund. The fund is made up of fees paid by shippers when they purchase their fuel.

The other half of the update cost, $1.2 billion, would be the government’s share which is actually an investment with an economic return.

The $5.3 billion needed for the ecosystem by the environmentalists would be funded primarily by the federal government. For years, environmentalists have blocked the updating of these badly-needed lock and dam improvements and it has cost the taxpayers millions of dollars for the delay. This project is now allowed to move forward, but with excessive ecosystem structures being demanded and an agreement that The Nature Conservancy be a partner.

It is not clear whether the shipping funds or the federal government will pay for fish passages, floodplain restoration, water level management, backwater restoration and wing dam and dike restoration. But what is clear is The Nature Conservancy has partnered with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to help maintain the Mississippi River’s ecosystem even though the Corps has their own environmentalists.

"That vision resulted in last month’s announcement that the corps’ Mississippi Valley Division and The Nature conservancy had signed a regional cooperative agreement to promote collaborative water management of the Mississippi," according to Alton Illinois' paper, The Telegraph.

People along the Illinois River need to keep watch on TNC’s participation because they come on board with an agenda.

The following story reports on how The Nature Conservancy restores Illinois River deals with the huge land acquisitions they have made along the Illinois River.

The Illinois chapter of the Nature Conservancy had gathered to begin charting the largest river-restoration project ever undertaken in the state. The non-profit environmental group wants to bring back the lakes, marshes and forests that once thrived in this area, reconnecting them to the Illinois River, which is now barricaded from the land by a 20-foot tall levee.

The Nature Conservancy calls its project key to restoring the Illinois a river that some have described as near death and habitat that has been disappearing at an alarming rate. By restoring the land and the way it interacts with the river, scientists hope to improve the river's water quality and re-establish homes for many species of plants and animals, some rare and threatened.

They also want to revive some semblance of the rhythm of flooding and recession that nature uses to control rivers more effectively than any levee ever built. The 7,600-acre swath of manicured farmland that the scientists eyed from their perch is a common example of how the modern world has transformed the Illinois and other large flood-plain rivers.

The Illinois River used to boast 400,000 acres of flood a plain-vast stretches of land that absorbed rising waters and spread them wide. It was a thriving system that diffused the river when it swelled too big and rejuvenated the land that had grown dry in its absence.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and to farmers, looking at 7600 acres of beautiful corn and beans the "scientists eyed from their perch" would be far more beautiful than swamps. Corn, beans and wheat taken from these fields would help to feed a hungry world.

A review of Genesis will show that Adam in his role as gardener had to tend the garden by the sweat of his brow. If this required building a levee or draining the land, I’m certain he did what was necessary along with removing the thistles and brush. No doubt he depended on this garden to produce food for Eve and the family.

What TNC fails to tell you about the 400,000 acres of floodplain that was a thriving system (and virtually of little use to mankind) has been farmed for well over a hundred years. And for over a hundred years land lying along the rivers has been some of the richest farmland in the nation and is still producing high quality products.

Malaria is known to have taken many lives in the wetland areas before the land was drained for production. Now we are faced with West Nile Virus. Do we want to add numbers to species like mosquitoes or should we be concerned about the lives of people and the food production that comes from the breadbasket of America?

With rare exceptions, areas of farmland along the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers have been safely protected behind the levees since the early 1900s. The Great Flood of 1993 was a 500 year flood.

Americans eat the safest and cheapest food in the world. As land is taken out of production for conservation easements, wetlands, endangered species and all the other reasons, will we become dependent on third world countries for our food?

FEMA no longer permits building in floodplain areas and brings counties into compliance with the threat they will lose their flood insurance program if they do not abide. Could the next step be that this land can no longer be farmed?

To promote the concept of urban sprawl, they say that sprawl is taking all the farmland. While it is true that some is taken, it is not taken in nearly the proportion than it is through other programs.

The Nature Conservancy has a vision for the Refuge Complex area, a joint venture among several states, to preserve 9,118,884 acres of habitat capable of supporting an annual breeding duck population of 1,542,000 by year 2013. That is just a tiny piece of The Nature Conservancy’s vision. They also want 532,7ll acres of habitat on migration focus areas and to protect and/or increase habitats for wetland and associated upland wildlife species in the Joint Venture.....and that is still a beginning.

Holding about $3 billion in assets, The Nature Conservancy is often referred to as the real estate agent of the Federal Government. TNC owns millions of acres . . . much of which has been purchased with the help of government grants.

It should make landowners along the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers very uncomfortable to know TNC, acting as a real estate agent, partnering with the U.S. Corps of Engineers on such an important project, have their scientists "sitting on perches" eyeing their land.

Jim Beers, well known writer and former biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife writes,

TNC buys land to stop land uses by private owners from ranchers to home builders. While couched in terms of preservation, the result is always less privately owned land and more Federally owned land since TNC resells (at a profit) millions of acres to the Federal government. Say what you will, this also means less use of our environment from natural resources and recreation to the raising of families and strengthening of communities. Given the current scale of such acquisitions, this means a weaker United States of America.

TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Extended News; Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: conservancy; environment; mississippiriver; natureconservancy; propertyrights; rivers; transportation; usarmy
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1 posted on 06/26/2004 10:44:37 AM PDT by madfly
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To: farmfriend; Carry_Okie; backhoe; Grampa Dave; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Libertarianize the GOP; ...


2 posted on 06/26/2004 10:47:50 AM PDT by madfly
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To: madfly
TNC buys land to stop land uses by private owners from ranchers to home builders. While couched in terms of preservation, the result is always less privately owned land and more Federally owned land since TNC resells (at a profit) millions of acres to the Federal government. Say what you will, this also means less use of our environment from natural resources and recreation to the raising of families and strengthening of communities. Given the current scale of such acquisitions, this means a weaker United States of America.

This is their Agenda!!! Government Control!!!

3 posted on 06/26/2004 10:53:11 AM PDT by Don Corleone (Leave the gun..take the cannoli)
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To: Willie Green

I don't know if you are on Madfly's list but I have seen you post a few articles about this.

4 posted on 06/26/2004 11:10:16 AM PDT by Libertarianize the GOP (Ideas have consequences)
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To: Libertarianize the GOP
I lost my list in one of the "crashes"!

I rely on the kindness of farmfriend to ping her grange list.

5 posted on 06/26/2004 11:12:12 AM PDT by madfly
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To: madfly
farmfriend has not been very active lately, we don't have anyone pinging environmental threads on a regular basis.
6 posted on 06/26/2004 11:14:50 AM PDT by Libertarianize the GOP (Ideas have consequences)
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To: madfly

The Nature Conservancy are the good guys.

They carefully survey the country and then buy, as in raising money and purchasing, land with some natural resource worth saving. They do it without fanfare or publicity.

Their agenda is real and worthwhile. They are a political and don't intend to save the world. They concentrate on relatively small parcels of great significance.

7 posted on 06/26/2004 11:16:29 AM PDT by bert (Don't Panic !)
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To: Libertarianize the GOP
Thank you.
Yes, I have been quite concerned about the lack of maintenance of locks and dams on our inland waterways. River transportation infrastructure is vital for our economy. I am glad that modern designs and upgrades can take environmental factors into consideration. Afterall, our rivers serve a multitude of purposes, including recreational boating, swimming and fishing. Nevertheless, I am wary of participation in these endeavors by The Nature Conservancy. Rather than advocating viable alternatives, they have too often engaged in cost-increasing obstructionism.
8 posted on 06/26/2004 11:23:39 AM PDT by Willie Green (Go Pat Go!!!)
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To: bert
Sadly, you are mistaken. As was I and many people before becoming informed. I have a stack of their lovely magazines and used to donate because I believed in theory, that they were one of the "good guys".

You may want to read this thread from last May when the Washington Post ran a series of articles exposing their agenda.

BIG GREEN : Inside the Nature Conservancy Nonprofit Land Bank Amasses Billions
Washington Post ^ | May 4, 2003 | By David B. Ottaway and Joe Stephens

Posted on 05/05/2003 3:05:11 PM PDT by Ethan_Allen

BIG GREEN : Inside the Nature Conservancy Nonprofit Land Bank Amasses Billions Charity Builds Assets on Corporate Partnerships

___ The Nature Conservancy ___ SPECIAL REPORT

Documents on the organization's transformation from a grassroots group to a corporate juggernaut.

Read Today's Documents:Internal Conservancy ReportConservancy Letter to The PostFocus Group ResearchConservancy Opinion SurveyGraphic: Expanding CompanyGraphic: Corporate Friends

_____More Stories_____

• How a Bid to Save a Species Came to Grief (The Washington Post, May 5, 2003) • On Eastern Shore, For-Profit 'Flagship' Hits Shoals (The Washington Post, May 5, 2003) • The Beef About the Brand (The Washington Post, May 5, 2003) • $420,000 a Year and No-Strings Fund (The Washington Post, May 4, 2003) • Image Is a Sensitive Issue (The Washington Post, May 4, 2003)

By David B. Ottaway and Joe Stephens Washington Post Staff Writers Sunday, May 4, 2003; Page A01

First of three articles

"The Arlington-based Nature Conservancy has blossomed into the world's richest environmental group, amassing $3 billion in assets by pledging to save precious places. Known for its advertisements decorated with forests, streams and the soothing voice of actor Paul Newman, the 52-year-old charity preserves millions of acres across the nation.

Yet the Conservancy has logged forests, engineered a $64 million deal paving the way for opulent houses on fragile grasslands and drilled for natural gas under the last breeding ground of an endangered bird species...."

Cover page for all articles is here:
Excerpted - click for full article ^

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Click to Add Topic
9 posted on 06/26/2004 11:34:27 AM PDT by madfly
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To: Libertarianize the GOP
we don't have anyone pinging environmental threads on a regular basis.

Say it isn't so! When I first stopped lurking here and began posting, it was to a series of lenghty "Extreme Environmentalists Exposed" threads. I learned so much from so many freepers then. Here's a list I gleaned today from another TNC thread.

Anyone wanting on or off please freepmail me.

Farmfriend, Carry_Okie, backhoe, GrampaDave, Ernest_at_the_Beach, Libertarianize the GOP, John H K, TUX, VOA,BeforeISleep, Jesse, Free the USA, MadIvan, ATOMIC_PUNK, BADROTOFINGER, Amelia, Finalapproach29er, PrincessB, beckett, okie01, Dave in Eugene of all places, c-b 1, F-117A, an amused spectator, There's millions of em, spunkets, Jack Black, NEWwoman, Numbers Guy, holdonnow, SierraWasp, Tailback, dalereed, TonyRo76, George Frm Br00klyn Park, ArGee, yoe, Willie Green,

10 posted on 06/26/2004 11:51:39 AM PDT by madfly
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11 posted on 06/26/2004 11:52:36 AM PDT by madfly
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To: Willie Green

well said!

12 posted on 06/26/2004 11:53:28 AM PDT by madfly
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To: bert

Yeh, they're the good guys if you want to see the government own more land, pay higher property taxes, and see you and your family locked out of land so you can't hike it, fish it, and hunt it. They're also good guys if you like to see elderly landowners scammed out of their land, see productive land turned into mosquito infested swamps and see in-holder private property stolen.

TNC is under new leadership, so I'm hoping it will become more responsible and less of a pain in the ass.

13 posted on 06/26/2004 11:55:15 AM PDT by sergeantdave (Gen. Custer wore an Arrowsmith shirt to his last property owner convention.)
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To: madfly; farmfriend; calcowgirl; Carry_Okie; Grampa Dave; marsh2; Issaquahking; AuntB; ...
I'm sorry! I can't get upset about Illinois where I was born and raised, when the Governor of my adopted CA is bound and determine to Socialize the Sierra-Nevada in a GOVERNMENT EMPLOYMENT GONE WILD, Socialistic Suffocation in the Sacramento Crapitol... THIS WEEK!!!

I'm sorry to be such a "Johnny One Note," but this is huge and EVERYONE in both parties is afraid to speak-out and divert the Governor and the Legislature from this mistake that is far worse than the Humane Society thingy!!!

This is a threat to freedom in the whole of eastern CA!!! It is a threat to all local government revenues and thus a FURTHER CONCENTRATION OF POWER IN SACRAMENTO!!! To say nothing of a threat to any industry other than Eco-Tourism and CA's economy at the worst possible time... NOW!!!

You may think I'm protesting too much and overstating the case, but EVEN DUFUS DAVIS VETOED THIS ABOMINATION!!!

What do you all think is driving the Governator to put his political capital behind this abomination and causing Assemblyman Leslie to sponsor a bill in futile self-defense of the people he represents that don't want it, don't need it, won't heed it with their local elected boards voting against it???

It's insidious, to say the least, that FReepers shy away from even discussing this, let alone support a movement building a resistance to it, just to keep from embarrassing Arnold. That's the only reason I can conjure up, as to why.

Until he turns away from this, I for one will do everything I can to see to it that it bear's his name in perpetual infamy, because, right now, only he can stop it!!! (and he started it in his campaign web-site)

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To: madfly

Thanks for the ping

15 posted on 06/26/2004 12:00:42 PM PDT by firewalk
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To: SierraWasp
I have been out of touch. Just found this.

Sierra Nevada Conservancy in the works

Gregory Crofton
June 11, 2004

The California Farm Bureau Federation is against it, but Gov. Schwarzenegger, business owners and Assemblyman Tim Leslie support it.

Two bills have been introduced, one by Leslie, R-Tahoe City, that would create a conservancy to dole out money for projects that protect the 400-mile stretch of pristine mountain country that is the Sierra Nevada.

The region encompasses a third of the state and supplies about 65 percent of its drinking water, according to The Sierra Fund, a nonprofit group in Nevada City fighting to establish the conservancy.

Tahoe has had its own conservancy since 1984. With funds generated through public bonds, California Tahoe Conservancy delivers about $20 million a year in grant money to local governments on the California side of the Lake Tahoe Basin. The money is spent to conserve land as open space, install drainage systems that will help protect Lake Tahoe, and improve recreation.

A bill to create a Sierra Nevada conservancy, which would not eliminate the California Tahoe Conservancy, failed two years ago after Gov. Davis vetoed it.

This time around, legislation to create the organization has momentum because Gov. Schwarzenegger has said he wants to see the conservancy, the state's ninth, established during the first year of his term. The bills were approved by the Assembly last month.

The Senate Natural Resource Committee is expected to act on one or both bills - Assemblyman John Laird, D-Santa Rosa, introduced the other bill - when it meets June 22.

Leslie has been working closely with the state Resources Agency to make sure all the spending power doesn't fall into the lap of the state, according to Jedd Medefind, Leslie's chief of staff.

"From Assemblyman Leslie's perspective, local communities need to have a strong voice not only to ensure they are not taken advantage of but also to ensure that most effective conservation is carried out," Medefind said. "Effective conservation is built on collaboration not imposition."

Medefind said that Leslie is not against combining his bill with Laird's, but if local communities fail to adequately be represented in whatever bill gets heard, Leslie will "fight actively against" the creation of a conservancy for the Sierra Nevada.

California Farm Bureau Federation opposes both bills because the conservancy would mean less privately owned land and deprive local government of property tax revenue.

"Over 70 percent of the Sierra Nevada is already owned by the government," said John Gamper, director of taxation and land use for the California Farm Bureau Federation. "If they continue to acquire private land it will eventually take its toll ... and mean a loss of tax base. We think it is not a good idea, especially during very difficult fiscal times, for the state to create another state bureaucracy."

Elizabeth Martin, of The Sierra Fund, has pushed for the creation of a Sierra Nevada Conservancy for almost five years and says she is confident the governor will approve the legislation this year.

"It has no regulatory authority," Martin said. "All it really does is give money away.

- Gregory Crofton can be reached at (530) 542-8045 or by e-mail at

16 posted on 06/26/2004 12:29:13 PM PDT by madfly (Native Californian in distress)
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To: bert
RE: "The Nature Conservancy are the good guys."

Am I missing one them nuance thingies?

Ask the people of Klamath Falls. They know about TNC and "rural cleansing," financial ruin, suicide, revolving doors between government and enviro-wacko pukes, activist federal judge pukes, sucker fish, Fish and Wildlife "scientists'" studies that have to be rewritten to remove grammatical errors before universities can peer review, thousands of people from all over the U.S. coming to help -- and, yes! damn near revolution.

Just one of may links there: "Large Klamath Basin Landowner--"protector of the US countryside' is in trouble: Wilderness bewilderment, "Nature Conservancy felled trees, allegedly drilled for gas beneath the last breeding-ground of an endangered bird and sold unspoiled land at discounted prices to its trustees so they could build luxury homes in some of America's most beautiful landscapes, according to the Washington Post, which spent two years investigating its activities," May 29, 2003, The Guardian."

17 posted on 06/26/2004 12:49:26 PM PDT by WilliamofCarmichael (Benedict Arnold was a hero for both sides in the same war, too!)
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To: bert

the nature conservancy fights for the government to shut down private property owners from utilizing privately owned land, declaring them as sensitive habitat areas without compensation...

they take parcels donated to them for preservation and sell them to developers for other more important tracts.

tnc is evil.

i know from personal experience


18 posted on 06/26/2004 12:50:13 PM PDT by teeman8r
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To: madfly
I keep adding the keyword environment and you can click on it to find the realated threads.
19 posted on 06/26/2004 1:12:41 PM PDT by Libertarianize the GOP (Ideas have consequences)
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To: SierraWasp; Carry_Okie; farmfriend; forester; hedgetrimmer; NormsRevenge; tubebender; Reagan Man; ..
I found some good reading material on this subject at the Property Rights Foundation of America, Inc.

(SierraWasp: quit apologizing! Anyone who thinks you are just ranting should read this material and Wake Up! IMHO. Keep using that ping list!)

This one goes through a short history of the "new environmentalism" concluding with:

"The message I want to leave you with is that for about 25 years we've had a long and very careful and very sophisticated effort by leading environmentalists and by national land-use planners to develop a blueprint for how they would take America's private lands and how they would circumvent the tricky little problem of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution."

This one hits the issues directly (written by a self-described bleeding heart liberal, no less):

"It is known that the founding fathers who wrote our Constitution and the Declaration of Independence suffered greatly for their wisdom and their long-sighted view. Most of them ended up losing what money they had, often losing their families, often losing their lives. The battle for freedom, the battle for individual rights is a never-ending battle and we are in the middle of a resurgence for socialism and central government control that wishes to eradicate all of your rights and in greater strength than we have seen in many a decade, in greater strength than Stalin had in Russia or Hitler had in Germany."

"I'm going to describe to you the state of the nation's environment. The marvelous job that our nation has done in righting wrongs of ignorance in fouling our environment and now thirty years later bringing it to its cleanest and safest condition in man's history. I'm going to describe to you a number of the unfounded theories. I'm going to close by describing just who we are battling and the nature of the enemy." (snip)

He closes by quoting from the book George G. Reisman, ”The Toxicity of Environmentalism,” Rational Readings on Environmental Concerns, ed. Jay H. Lehr (Van Nostrand Reinhold, NY 1992) p. 836:

"In my judgement, the ‘green’ movement of the environments is merely the old ‘red’ movement of the communists and socialists shorn of its veneer of science. The only difference I see between the greens and the reds is the superficial one of the specific reasons for which they want to violate individual freedom and the pursuit of happiness. The reds claimed that the individual could not be left free because the result would be such things as ‘exploitation’ and ‘monopoly.’ The greens claim that the individual can not be left free because the result will be such things as destruction of the ozone layer and global warming. Both claim that centralized government control over economic activity is essential. The reds wanted it for the alleged sake of achieving human prosperity. The greens want it for the alleged sake of avoiding environmental damage. In my view, environmentalism and ecology are nothing but the intellectual death rattle of socialism in the West, the final convulsion of a movement that only a few decades ago eagerly looked forward to the results of paralyzing the actions of individuals by means of ‘social engineering’ and now seeks to paralyze the actions of individuals by means of prohibiting engineering of any kind. The greens, I think, may be a cut below the reds, if that is possible."


20 posted on 06/26/2004 1:24:14 PM PDT by calcowgirl
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