Always question land trades

  Dear HCN,


I want to thank writer Lynne Bama for her story on land trades, and particularly for showing the connection between 19th-century land grabs and the present-day subsidization of corporations through exchanges (HCN, 3/29/99).


Lynne called me a "one-woman truth squad," which I took as a compliment, but which belies the efforts of scores of other citizens around the West working their tails off to bring reform to the land exchange process.


Letter-writer Andy Wiessner makes much of "pragmatic" environmentalists' support for the Huckleberry Land Exchange, but this says far more about the pitfalls of pragmatism than it does about land swaps. As long as enviros support trading away what they judge to be less important public lands for the sake of their special places, the timber, mining and development corporations have them exactly where they want them, duped by the "win-win" scenario.


The assumption that all lands should be consolidated is also overdue for re-examination. Yes, the checkerboard is a land-management nightmare. But if the fragmented state of some public land is used to justify the trade of any and all forested checkerboards, we are in a heap of trouble - in many areas of the Northwest, the only intact forest the public owns is in these square-mile or smaller sections. Over much of the landscape these are the last refugia for native species, yet they are being bartered for corporate clear-cuts.


Wiessner's statement that all exchanges are processed in public is inaccurate. Many are implemented through legislation that waives public review and environmental laws. In fact, the Plum Creek exchange of which he is so proud was enacted as an appropriations rider - engineered in a backroom deal between Plum Creek, Sens. Gorton and Murray, and "pragmatic" enviros who waived the democratic process for the sake of their special places.





Janine Blaeloch


Seattle, Washington


High Country News Classifieds
  • CHAPTER DIRECTOR - IDAHO SIERRA CLUB
    Idaho could lead the nation in the transition to clean energy, and the Idaho Sierra Club is committed to making that happen. We seek to...
  • SEASONAL SAN JUAN RANGERS
    Seeking experienced crew members to patrol Colorado's most iconic mountain wilderness.
  • ENDANGERED SPECIES STAFF SCIENTIST
    The Center for Biological Diversity seeks a staff scientist to advocate for the conservation of endangered species. General position overview: The position will involve working...
  • STAFF ATTORNEY - ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH PROGRAM
    The Center for Biological Diversity - a national nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection of imperiled plants, animals and wild places - seeks a dynamic...
  • STAFF ATTORNEY
    The Center for Biological Diversity seeks a Staff Attorney to join our team of attorneys, scientists, campaigners who are working to protect America's public lands...
  • SOUTHWEST CONSERVATION ADVOCATE
    The Center for Biological Diversity seeks a Southwest Conservation Advocate to join our team of attorneys, scientists and campaigners who are working to protect America's...
  • OCEANS PROGRAM CAMPAIGNER
    The Center for Biological Diversity seeks an experienced campaigner for its oceans program. The aim of the position is to campaign for the protection of...
  • CLIMATE LAW INSTITUTE ATTORNEY
    The Center for Biological Diversity's Climate Law Institute is looking to add an attorney to its team and will consider applicants at both staff attorney...
  • FULL-TIME CAMPAIGN DIRECTOR
    The Center for Biological Diversity seeks a full-time Campaign Director in our Climate Law Institute to join our campaign for progressive, urgent government action to...
  • WESTERN WATER PROJECT MANAGER
    National Wildlife Federation is hiring NM-based position focused on riparian corridors, watershed health. Learn more and apply online: https://www.nwf.org/about-us/careers
  • ASSOCIATE PROGRAM DIRECTOR
    Position Title: Associate Program Director Location: New Mexico; flexible in state Position reports to: Senior Program Director Position Closes: March 13, 2020 GENERAL DESCRIPTION: The...
  • DEAN, W. A. FRANKE COLLEGE OF FORESTRY AND CONSERVATION, UNIVERSITY OF MONTANA
    Dean, W. A. Franke College of Forestry and Conservation, apply http://bit.ly/2548umjobs. AA/EEO/ADA/Veterans Preference Employer
  • GRAPHIC DESIGNER
    Western Resource Advocates (WRA) seeks a creative and driven graphic design professional to design high quality print and digital collateral. The Graphic Designer will bring...
  • STEWARDSHIP SPECIALIST
    San Isabel Land Protection Trust seeks experienced person to manage its 133 conservation easements in south-central Colorado.
  • CAMPAIGN REPRESENTATIVE
    Sierra Club's Beyond Dirty Fuels Campaign is hiring an experienced campaigner to lead our work challenging the oil and fracked gas industry on the Gulf...
  • AG LANDS PROGRAM DIRECTOR
    Oregon Agricultural Trust (OAT) seeks passionate relationship builder experienced in coordinating agricultural conservation easement transactions.
  • REMOTE SITKA ALASKA FLOAT HOUSE VACATION RENTAL
    Vacation rental located in calm protected waters 8 miles from Sitka, AK via boat with opportunities to fish and view wildlife. Skiff rental also available.
  • FINANCE DIRECTOR
    Mountain Studies Inst (MSI) is hiring 4+ positions: Finance Director; Coms/Engagmnt Mngr; Dev/Engagmnt Dir; Americorps vol
  • COMMUNICATIONS AND ENGAGEMENT MANAGER
    Mountain Studies Inst (MSI) is hiring 4+ positions: Finance Director; Dev/Engagement Dir; Coms/Engagement Mngr; & Americorps volunteer
  • SEASONAL TRAIL CREW LEADERS
    Lead the nation's premier volunteer-based trail crew programs on the spectacular Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail. This is a great career-building opportunity for rising professionals....