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Monday, November 14, 2011

Of Access and Protection

I find it interesting that so many are shouting and arm-waving that with the American Alps proposal, we're "trying to lock people out of the back-country!". At the very same time, and indeed, some of the same people are crying foul, and that we're inviting too many people in, and that with this National Park proposal we're "doing everything possible to build new visitor centers, parking lots, paved trails, and other amusements for lazy aged America."

Last time I checked the actual facts of the proposal, none of the above is true--we're not looking to lock people out, nor are we planning to pave any trails. But in this day and age, don't let the facts sway you, go with the burning torches and pitchforks--much funner that way, eh?

In my next posting, I'll take up the more factual and important issues of the current level of protection afforded to the lands included in the proposal. The "don't fix it if it ain't broke" crowd is a significant portion of the pushback on American Alps, and some fact checking and reality-based conversation is in order.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We'll look forward to your next post(s) Tom, including a clear explanation of why your organization and the King County Council are supporting actions to result in a significant increase in visitation to North Cascades National Park as evidenced by Page 39 of your Economic "study", err propoganda piece developed to generate mainstream Republican support in Congress.

From Page 39 of the Economic "study::
"The annual visitation to the expanded NCNP would rise by about 83,000 over the next
20 years if the park can simply maintain its current share of the regional demand for
outdoor recreation of the sort the park can readily provide. The increase in NCNP’s
share of that market from two to five percent between 2015 and 2030 would increase
visitation to about 940,016, almost 2½ times what a continuation of the current share
would allow and more than triple the estimated visitation in 2010. See Table 19.40"

You recently published, non-scientific report on bio-diversity and the supposed benefits of increased traffic, visitation and economic development in the "gateway" communities you seek to create will also be interesting to objectively review in this context.

Maybe you can venture so far as to explain to us pitch-fork weilding torch bearers (and regional biologists and scientists) why credible groups like Conservation Northwest and The Wilderness Society who have spent tens of thousands of dollars studying this eco-system in recent years (grizzly, wolverine and wolves) haven't come out to join the Mountaineers, King County Council, Responsible Republicans and the other economically motivated interests groups you've brought on-board in support of Park expansion as a bio-diversity strategy?

Keep up the good work, soon even the average Congressional Staffer will see through the smoke and mirrors on this one. Is it any wonder why there is NO local support from rural communities adjacent to the proposed expansion areas?