You are here: home   Issues   The Greening of the Plains   Locals drive Arizona campaign

Locals drive Arizona campaign

Document Actions
I am responding to Felice Pace’s letter, in which he portrays the Arizona campaign to designate wilderness in the Tumacacori Highlands as the brainchild of the Pew Charitable Trusts, and the grassroots activists as Pew’s pawns (HCN, 6/21/04: What grassroots wilderness movement?). That perception couldn’t be further from the truth.

The decision to promote the Tumacacori Highlands was made by the board and staff of the Arizona Wilderness Coalition along with many other local conservationists, staff at Congressman Raúl Grijalva’s office and the congressman himself — without any communications or advice from Pew.

The Tumacacori Highlands certainly wasn’t chosen because it is non-controversial; we find ourselves constantly defending our rock-solid proposal from the typical misinformed, yet vocal, opposition to wilderness. This area was chosen because it is the largest unprotected U.S. Forest Service roadless area in Arizona, with tremendous recreational and ecological values.

We are advocating for the additional designation of about 7 million acres of wilderness, but when it comes to actually legislating new wilderness, we have chosen to expend our financial and emotional resources only where we perceive the opportunity to gain local political support.

Arizona activists have remained in control of this campaign, and we have never felt any pressure from Pew to move away from where our local knowledge and instincts direct us.

Don Hoffman
Alpine, Arizona

The writer is director of the Arizona Wilderness Coalition.

Email Newsletter

The West in your Inbox

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook! Follow us on Twitter! Follow our RSS feeds!
  1. Idaho’s sewer system is the Snake River | As Big Ag flourishes, this massive waterway suffer...
  2. Closure of federal sheep facility would be a victory for grizzlies |
  3. The Latest: Wild Mexican wolf pups born in Sierra Madre | The species still struggles on both sides of the b...
  4. Recreation-related death toll soars this summer |
  5. Summer swimming in a Washington lake | A writer takes the plunge in frigid water.
  1. The death of backpacking? | Younger people don’t seem interested in this out...
  2. Idaho’s sewer system is the Snake River | As Big Ag flourishes, this massive waterway suffer...
  3. A graceful gazelle becomes a pest | Inrroducing an African gazelle called the oryx for...
  4. Illegal immigrants take jobs from Americans | A native-born New Mexico Hispanic points out that ...
  5. Plains sense | Ten years after Frank and Deborah Popper first pro...
HCN Classifieds
Subscriber Alert
© 2014 High Country News, all rights reserved. | privacy policy | terms of use | powered by Plone