Article recently released about Off-Road Vehicles

MMM
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Re: Article recently released about Off-Road Vehicles

Post by MMM »

sal, you will never ever find everyone in the US trying to be on or in wilderness at the same time. Even for you this is a bit of a stretch. And, by the way, OHV use is the most regulated sport that uses publics lands today.

Mike

Sal
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Re: Article recently released about Off-Road Vehicles

Post by Sal »

I don't believe that just because Mike thinks that we have enough wilderness that we should put a moratorium on preserving more lands from development and heavy impacts.

OHV recreation obviously needs more regulation.

Desertroad
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Re: Article recently released about Off-Road Vehicles

Post by Desertroad »

I see very clearly though that there is a finite amount of wilderness that can be designated. In the current economic climate in this country I believe that this is going to cause wilderness designation to become unpopular sooner rather than later.

Desertroad

Sal
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Re: Article recently released about Off-Road Vehicles

Post by Sal »

In researching the topic of public support for Wilderness, I came upon this article--it's long and I haven't finished reading it yet, but here are some noteworthy quotes and the link to the entire piece:

A far better universalist position maintains that we must recognize that wilderness is an irreplaceable resource, and we must protect what we still have. Future generations will thank us for passing on this precious resource, not just for aesthetic reasons but because civilization itself depends on a proper mix of plants, animals, microorganisms, and water, air, and soil resources in an intricate and, as yet, not fully understood ecological balance.
One true public interest is that wilderness preservation encourages the cultivation of a social ethic that increases the chances of human survival on this planet through the development of human values. If we are unable or unwilling to care for the wilds, to appreciate the beauty of untouched places, to marvel at the intricate relationships of the natural world, to learn to love other living things, to treat all life as precious and worthy of respect, is it not likely that we will come to undervalue human life as well? If we act as if our wild resources exist merely for human exploitation and manipulation, then we will come to treat humans as equally exploitable. The cultivation of a respectful attitude toward life is a difficult task. Learning to love the wilds may well help us learn to love ourselves.
Generally speaking, whatever the rules, direct users of wilderness will benefit more than non-users. The wealthy, the educated, and the young are the primary beneficiaries of wilderness preservation by the government, yet they pay far less than their share of the costs...

These wilderness goods are of interest only because they are of value to mankind. Different persons have different ideas on what wilderness is and how much of it is desirable. Too much wilderness is clearly as inimical to man as too little. Persons of good will can and do disagree as to what the public policy toward wilderness should be.
What is needed is a strategy of gradualism to change certain public policies that inhibit private ownership, to modify the rules of public land use so that resource users bear a greater proportion of the costs, and to try out a different combination of public and private ownership of wild land.
People do not carefully evaluate goods that appear to be free.
http://www.cato.org/pubs/journal/cj1n2-3.html

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Re: Article recently released about Off-Road Vehicles

Post by Dan »

I find it curious that one would seek to advance "human values" through the advocacy of more public lands designated as Wilderness. If only the political left would treat an unborn fetus with the same respect, care, dignity, and reverence that it demands others treat backcountry public lands, I think it would do far more to advance "human values" than locking OHV recreationists out of those areas (which, in my opinion, only regresses aforementioned human values).

Desertroad
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Re: Article recently released about Off-Road Vehicles

Post by Desertroad »

Sal...we need to talk...

...I've managed to get through ~2/3 of Dennis' Cato Institute article. I come from a writing family, but I'm having a difficult time finishing this one. And I'm having an even more difficult time appreciating his point of view. Dennis is making an awful lot of assumptions about public perceptions. I found his demeanor to be arrogant and condescending.

Sal, I'm sorry to have to say this, but many, very intelligent and well read people that I know, consider absolute devotion to Wilderness to approach cult status. And I am compelled to admit that I'm starting to see their point. Like Dennis, I too find a regenerative, almost healing influence from my time spent in wilderness. My spiritual experiences, however, are tempered by my continued existence in reality.

It's like this...I can't stand to watch "Survivor". Never have been able to tolerate even a full minute of it. My service in the Infantry completely precludes me from appreciating "wilderness-as-gameshow". Or "Man-vs-the-elements-as-gameshow". Hell, I can't even take my family camping without feeling that all the Coleman comforts are out of place. I always end up right back in the middle of the great boreal forests of the Northwest, moving through the ferns. Carrying an M60.

Likewise, the devotion to wilderness by so many environmentalists in New York and San Francisco carries the same sense of falsehood to me. There's something not genuine about people who dwell in steel towers who claim to know what is best for people who live in rural places. Dennis comes across as someone who believes that his position is superior, as expressed by his statements about the long-term benefits to society of wilderness. benefits to who? Multi-generational ranching families? People whose traditions, culture and very existence depend upon good stewardship of their lands?

I'm trying to be opened-minded, and strive for understanding of alternate points of view. But Dennis' article left me feeling that I was being lectured to, a feeling I had a negative reaction to. And I found that whatever point he was trying to get across simply did not resonate with me. Sometimes I can get past the delivery to get the message, but not this time. What I had initially perceived as an elegant praise of wilderness became mired in obtuse opinion, framed in an aloof detachment.

Sorry...

Desertroad

Brew
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Re: Article recently released about Off-Road Vehicles

Post by Brew »

Desertroad, you are not the only one concerned about the environment that thinks that the direction of some of the enviro groups is a bit extreme:

http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/677-e2 ... shrillness

Environmental groups have too often approached climate change politics with an air of disdain for their opponents, and that must change if major federal legislation is going to advance, the president of the Environmental Defense Fund said yesterday.

With neither a comprehensive energy policy nor a carbon cap-and-trade bill moving in Congress, EDF President Fred Krupp said advocates must reassess their strategy and perhaps adopt a less arrogant approach that takes into account all sides of the global warming debate.


Brew

Sal
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Re: Article recently released about Off-Road Vehicles

Post by Sal »

I'm not married to the article published by the Cato Insititute (right wing think tank), but I did find the quotes I posted to be thought-provoking. At least the author identified a number of the sub issues that muddy the surface of our discussions on this board.

I know my pal Dan has written on more than one occasion that our Founders did not envision huge swaths of public land--the article above seemed to reinforce that thought with references to privatizing wilderness and having users bear the cost of damages to the areas.

Desertroad
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Re: Article recently released about Off-Road Vehicles

Post by Desertroad »

I do appreciate your posting of the quotes as well as the link to the article. I don't wish to appear that I'm totally bagging on Dennis...it's just that this particular article is such a bear to read. The whole thing just comes off as elitest.

Brew, I'm with you on changes to our political environment. Since the Federal partial shutdown is looming, I wonder, what would happen if the Department of the Interior got cut back so drastically that there was virtually no regulation of public lands? Doesn't seem likely, but, who knows where we'll be in a few years...

D R

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Re: Article recently released about Off-Road Vehicles

Post by Dan »

As I am generally a fan of the Cato Institute, I have some experience in this area of libertarian think tanks. It's not really a "right wing" think tank at all. There are some things with which libertarians align completely with conservatives, and there are a few they do not at all. Rather than thinking of the American political spectrum as having conservatives on the far right and liberals on the far left, think of it for a moment as having two dimensions. One of the best diagrams devised to explain the American political spectrum, that I have seen, is the Nolan chart: http://www.lairdwilcox.com/news/nolanchart.html

I'd say that my own views fall somewhere around the 70% range on both scales. Possibly a bit more on the civil scale.

As for Sal's buddy Mr Dennis and his article, I can agree with a lot of what he says. I think there is broad support for designating Wilderness in the United States, and I believe that environmental groups should be largely free to purchase public lands and designate them off-limits to pretty much anything and anyone they wish to exclude. I think it does serve the public's interest to preserve some lands as they are in nature, without alteration by man. Of course, the argument is over how much is too much.

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