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Enviros need some help with public relations

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Jim McCarthy’s comments relating to the end of power rate subsidies for farmers in the Klamath Basin illustrate clearly why conservationists are losing the battle for hearts and minds outside of our largely urban and/or liberal base of support (HCN, 2/7/05: Klamath farmers face new threat).

According to the story, Klamath Basin farmers are faced with losing an electrical rate subsidy that will likely result in river water being restored to the river for fish. When given the opportunity to frame this as an unfortunate turn of events for local farmers who have been lured into building their lives around an unsustainable, ill-conceived, and non-free market subsidy, Mr. McCarthy chooses instead to thumb his nose at the farmers, saying this will bring "everything back into balance."

Once again this reinforces the notion that conservationists always will put people (especially rural people) last.

Paul Brookshire
Seattle, Washington

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