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for people who care about the West

Locked out of lands


I guess as I slip into advanced stages of crusty ol’ farthood and fall from my state of grace formerly attained as a member of various enviro-spiritual organizations, e.g., Sierra Club and Greenpeace, I am developing a certain appreciation for those who oppose the relentless march of special designation of vast tracts of land, such as national monuments, wilderness areas and vastly expanded military bases (“Fact-checking Trump’s Antiquities Act order,” HCN, 5/15/17). To me, the numerous special designations are beginning to look like the locking-up of public land for the near-exclusive use of the able-bodied elites, or defenders of capitalism. Access for me is either forbidden (by fences or physical limitations) or subject to obfuscating regulations and arcane permit procedures. It starts to feel very much like bureaucratic overreach, and I can begin to feel some sympathy for those who oppose it, and wish to turn some of it backwards.

Tom Schweich
Golden, Colorado