Skip to comments.National Park Service has new land-grabbing tool
Posted on 12/30/2011 5:22:06 AM PST by markomalley
Big Green has an unlikely new sales pitch to convince Congress to fund ever-expanding land grabs by the National Park Service -- save wildlife migration. A map overlay showing all the U.S. wildlife migration paths would blot out nearly half the nation -- a very clever diagram for empire-building bureaucrats. The obscure but well-heeled Wildlife Conservation Society (2010 assets $764 million) unveiled the idea last week in "Spectacular Migrations in the Western U.S.," a 45-page report on the purportedly urgent need for a widespread network of wildlife migration corridors to avert countless extinctions.
The WCS is a consortium of zoos ("urban wildlife parks") and global conservation programs that uses science, according to its mission statement, to "change attitudes towards nature." Its Spectacular Migrations report looks suspiciously like the expansion agenda of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, the NPS's boss.
There's a good reason: WCS staff recently conducted a migration workshop for the NPS, which produced a new framework for conserving migrations in or near national parks.
The Hewlett Foundation has already funded demonstration corridors using the NPS framework in the U.S. Southwest and Mexico.
National parks can legally swallow up federal lands as well as private property. You can find national parks that contain wilderness, recreation areas, historic sites, scenic highways and many more, all within one big boundary.
"Connectivity corridors" such as migration paths are the perfect instrument for drawing lines between a number of protected areas, then drawing a single boundary line around the whole group -- Big Park.
Property owners and avid hunters are already taking to the email grapevine with alarms over the WCS report. The NPS management culture is notoriously hostile to both groups, which are ready to gird for battle.
The New York Times reported on Spectacular Migrations in lockstep with its debut, rhapsodizing over the dazzling beauty of a hummingbird "which weighs about as much as a penny, braves high winds and bad weather" to migrate from Canada to Mexico and back each year.
One of the report's authors, Keith Aune, a Montana-based WCS scientist, evoked the bison to make the point, "Long-distance migrations as a whole are rapidly disappearing," But there is no mention that his employer promotes programs that could cost property owners their land and hunters their access.
Aune said of spreading the migration gospel, "We have to have something the public can grasp. Spectacular migrations have great storytelling power." The story of dispossession and exclusion would be just as easy to grasp, but not as dreamy as a tiny bird that migrates 4,000 miles each year. His whole focus for the Times readership was how to frame the debate to be a more compelling sales pitch.
Although Spectacular Migrations covers only the West, the idea would be perfectly at home on the eastern seaboard. Its related concept -- land bundling -- is already at work in West Virginia.
A local green group is campaigning to create a High Allegheny National Park by bundling pieces of a national forest, two wilderness areas, several civil war sites, portions of a national scenic byway and a substantial amount of private property - Big Park. Migration corridors would easily fit in.
The High Allegheny idea gained traction when Sen. Joe Manchin, D-WVa, asked the NPS to perform a reconnaissance survey and report back to him on its feasibility.
Instantly, the West Virginia Outdoors News took him to task for spearheading "a potential threat to thousands of acres of hunting land and hundreds of miles of fishing streams."
Manchin responded last week that as an avid hunter himself he would never support anything that might impair the hunting and fishing tradition in West Virginia.
Emphasizing the economic benefits of national park tourism, he promised he would block any High Allegheny park bill without "ironclad protections" for hunting and fishing.
Outdoorsmen were not impressed. They've seen too many places put off limits. And it's still possible that wildlife migration corridors will creep into the High Allegheny proposal.
BTW, here we have a problem with beavers. They live along the Potomac just 2 miles away. They cross two 16 lane Interstate highways to get here.
There is no need for a corridor.
We also shut down the BEAR corridor through the simple expedient of having every homeowner in Northern Virginia build a fence. Even bears get tired of tearing through enough fences.
These migration corridors will not cost the govt one stinking penny. They will simply place so many land use restrictions on the private property they covet that it will become useless to the owner. Govt does it all of the time. No reason to think that they won’t do it for this project.
If I had to give up a good private lake like that,
you can be guaranteed the “good fishing” would be a thing of the past before I turned it over.
Also, there is a recent set of rules deeming the Muscovy duck, a domesticated breed since the 1500’s, a “migratory bird”, and making it almost impossible to own them legally.
A migration corridor is a target rich environment
Much of my township (Norvell in the lower right corner) is already part of the Sharonville state recreation area. That in itself I don’t mind but our broke ass state is still buying land that will be removed from the tax base and further impoverish us. They’re looking at paying $2 million for another 2000 acres of farmland just south of me.
Another group in operation in this area is the Raisin Valley Land trust. They don’t buy land, instead they convince little old ladies to sign legally binding contracts that gives them control. The owner still pays taxes but can’t do anything with the land and if sold the contract still stands (which makes the land unsalable).
It never ends, I imagine that there is a whole lot of farmland that is effected too. They will use these ‘corridors’ to show the need to confiscate everything in them to protect Bambi and the Ducks.
This government favors politicians and other wildlife over human beings.
This is nothing new (surprise, surprise). The ganggreens have been working this for a long time with their “Earth Island” institute and using those wonderful ngo’s have already managed to grab up lots of “corridor” lands. They talk about the great turtle and how wonderful it will be to have land that is off limits to humans. Can’t find the maps they have out there but it basically herds us into population centers and they have buffer zones that some folks can go to but the vast majority of these corridors are totally off limits so as not to interfere with animal migration. Slippery slope stuff for sure aligned with Agenda 21 and the Bio-sphere projects. Sad that these few have managed to gain so much control while the rest of us work to support our families. Their “job” is to enact these goals of migratory paths probably controlled by blue helmets. I’m sure there will be plenty of money for those fences.
Great animals. Magnificent.
They'd get up with the Sun and fly around the neighborhood, then return home to eat, breed and lay incredible eggs.
Wild mallard ducks would land occasionally and try to edge out the alpha Pekin ~ which really didn't work because our ducks had a friend called a bantum rooster ~ who we also let fly around.
You have to keep at the pens ~ we didn't use cages ~ because ducks really generate tremendous quantities of guano.
With government allowing wild geese to fly all over the place they really ought to relent on their urban restrictions on keeping ducks and chickens.
Part of the problem is the geographic maldistribution of federal land holdings. In the east, beginning in the early federal period, federal lands were rapidly privatized to accommodate homesteaders. As settlement moved into the semi-arid western plains, it was found that larger and larger acreages were needed to support each farmer/rancher. By the time we reached the desert and mountain west, the land really wasn't suited to agriculture and the primary value was logging and mining. Congress eventually (the 1880's?) changed the law, and the feds kept title to most of the land. We are left with massive federal landholdings in the west and tiny bits and pieces in the east. Fast forward to the 21st century, and this is a very poor solution for national park needs.
The obvious solution is to privatize federal lands in the west and use the proceeds to expand park holdings in the east. (I'd also use proceeds from the closure of military bases for the same purposes, instead of just giving these often very valuable properties to local governments.) IMHO, this would be a good strategy for the park system. It would also help with the politics of land preservation by reducing the resentment factor in the west, where the feds too often are an abusive landlord, and by increasing park accessibility in the crowded east, where it is needed.
Last but not least, I would place an emphasis on urban and near-urban parks, and try to make these big enough to be a real respite from urban sprawl and suitable for mixed use. Historic sites and waterfronts are obvious places to begin. The total federal acreage doesn't need to increase if it were appropriately redistributed. This isn't something that can be done overnight, but if one drew appropriate boundaries for future parks, one could set about the long process of land accumulation as properties came onto the market.
I agree with public sewer systems. Some don’t.
I agree with public sewer systems. Some don’t.
Oops! I totally forgot about the “world heritage sites” that fall under Agenda 21. Once designated, under the guidelines, fall under UN oversight. Most folks think “how wonderful” that places like the everglades are placed in to this program. Biding their time to take over control if needed. WTF is wrong with us?????????