Rhetoric redefined

  Dear HCN,


Confused by the rhetoric of the "Wise Use" movement? Here's a handy translation:


Like the dinosaurs, it's a species that just can't adapt. The species in question can't leap over dams, thrive on freeways, or make a living in a cow pasture.


Playground for Easterners. Any place in the Western United States used for recreation by anyone from outside the county.


They're trying to take my property. I have a scheme that will harm your property and I don't want any government regulations to stop me.


Healthy forest. A tree farm.


Dirt bike trails are needed so that women, children, the disabled, and senior citizens can enjoy the outdoors. I'm a 30-year-old man and out of shape.


Rangelands of the West are in better condition today than in my grandpa's time. Things are better than during the dust bowl days.


Hippies on food stamps who don't know what it means to work. Environmentalists.


Rich newcomers who don't have to work for a living. Environmentalists.


Washington bureaucrats who don't understand local conditions. The folks who work in the ranger station down the street.


People who think animals are more important than people. People who like animals besides cows and sheep.


A "working river." A river with its entire flow committed to irrigation, or alternatively, a stream that has been rendered fishless due to pollution.





Ralph Maughan


Pocatello, Idaho





Ralph Maughan lives in Pocatello, Idaho, where he works as a political scientist and volunteers for the Sierra Club.