By JIM DIPESO, REP’s Policy Director
AN HISTORICAL DOCUMENT: Letter to the editor of Las Vegas Review-Journal, published September 4, 2003
In response to your recent editorial on the Bureau of Land Management: The Review-Journal’s editorial writers are to be congratulated for the clever invective they use to paint all conservationists as granola-chomping, East Coast lefties who carry out pagan rituals in the wilderness.
The stereotyping, however, is not only a gross caricature that bears no resemblance to reality, but it does little to help the various groups interested in public lands management find mutually agreeable solutions.
Not all conservationists hail from the East Coast and not all of them are hippie vegans dancing naked in the sagebrush. More than a few of our members are conservative, native-born Westerners who have lived in the desert or mountains all their lives, hunt elk and fish for trout on public land, and have no problem with family farmers responsibly raising beef and wool on BLM range. They just don’t take kindly to turning our nation’s finest wild lands into industrial zones where the bills for cleaning up polluted water are passed on to the taxpayers.
If the BLM gave just one strong signal that oil, gas and hard-rock industries will be required to clean up after themselves, we would happily perch on the split-rail fence and sing “Zippity Do Dah.”