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Taking the high road(less)

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The political campaign that was used to accomplish the Clinton roadless rule seemed open to serious criticism on the grounds that it was intentionally insensitive to the voice of many Western constituencies that would have (and subsequently have) objected (HCN, 11/9/09). A narrowly targeted minority of activists was mobilized to win the day while most of the population remained in the dark.

Ring brings up the question of whether the ends justifies the means in this case, and whether success in protecting the roadless forests could have been achieved by alternative methods, such as giving the states more of a say.

I don't think that the end justifies the means. But when those who see forests as resources for extraction and as playgrounds for destructive recreation have their way, the resulting damage is irrevocable. When those who see the forests as a part of the ecosystem that sustains us have their way, there is some displacement economically. It sounds elitist, but not all stakeholders are equal in this scenario.

Avram Chetron
Ashland, Oregon

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