We would like to respond to an article in your April 3 special issue on the Great Basin which included comments about Holistic Resource Management made by rancher Tony Tipton. We are concerned that readers may be left with the impression that Holistic Resource Management is some sort of "religion" when, in fact, it is not. No one from this organization has ever pushed anything on the Tiptons.
Less than two years ago, the couple's relative who, according to the article, "works as a facilitator with consensus groups' wrote an article for our newsletter highlighting the work at the Tipton's ranch as very successful and as very much designed using Holistic Resource Management. If there is now a feeling of "disillusionment" with whatever process it is that they have been using, that is no reason to lash out at Holistic Resource Management and paint a picture that is not in any way justified. Whatever the challenges, they are not the result of some sort of religious fanatics tied to Holistic Resource Management forcing the family to do something they did not want to do.
Additionally, we are concerned that readers will be left with the impression that it "costs more" to practice Holistic Resource Management. There are, in fact, numerous documented cases where this process has resulted not only in improving the biological resources, but also in greatly increasing the families' financial stability overall. Because we have not been directly involved with the Tiptons and the work with the Toiyabe group, we would not even attempt to guess what the management challenges are there. We simply wish to clarify what we feel are misleading comments about Holistic Resource Management.
Shannon A. Horst
Albuquerque, New Mexico
The writer is executive director of the Center for Holistic Managment.