There is nothing more annoying than Washington environmentalists throwing a tie-dyed hissy fit and wailing that westerners are determined to destroy the very public lands that we have been entrusted to protect for centuries.
Having said that, prepare to share in our annoyance. Here’s the first sentence of the missive issued today by the D.C.-based Think Progress:
The U.S. Senate is expected to vote in the coming days on a proposal that would give Western governors unprecedented power over the management of national forests and American public lands in their states, including the power to veto plans to restore forest health, reduce wildfire risk, and expand access for hunting and fishing.
Oh, the humanity.
Do those people really think that western state leaders, and the people who elect them for that matter, wish for nothing more than to burn our forests to the ground and kick out hunters and anglers?
How much crack are they smoking to buy into this crap?
But, that’s not what their gripe is really about. They could care less about hunters and anglers, and they think wildfires are good for Mother Nature. This is about that damn bird again — the sage grouse — and its cohorts, the lesser prairie chicken and the American burying beetle.
The grouse must be worshipped in order to block ranching and energy development, the chicken must be protected to block energy development in Texas, and the beetle has been deployed to stop the Keystone XL pipeline.
“Unfortunately, how states manage their own real estate doesn’t give me much comfort that either the bird or our nation’s hunting and fishing traditions will thrive under state supervision,” Kate Zimmerman, Public Lands Policy Director at the National Wildlife Federation, told ThinkProgress.
See? We told you.
Backcountry Hunter and Anglers, the faux sporting group, chimed in on the House version of the bill that also seeks to protect the critters without federal intervention. They say it “would undo years of collaborative efforts among the federal government, Western states, landowners, ranchers, sportsmen and a range of other stakeholders to sustain populations of the grouse and the sagebrush ecosystems so important to fish and game, sportsmen and our economy.”
Technically, the legislation doesn’t remove any of those partners from ongoing species protection efforts, in spite of the fact the grouse has already started to shut down ranching, hunting, and activities by other stakeholders such as energy companies.
Think Progress could care less about the West. Their only interest is in fanning the flames of their Democratic Party constituency back East.