Here’s more on Sally Jewell, plus an interview..below is an excerpt.
Jewell was born in England but moved to the Seattle area before age 4. She has led Kent, Wash.-based REI since 2005. She served as chief operating officer for five years before taking the top job and worked for nearly two decades in commercial banking before that. She also has worked as an engineer for Mobil Oil Corp.
Jewell emerged as a frontrunner for the Interior post in recent days, edging out better-known Democrats such as former Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire and former Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter. The Interior job traditionally has gone to politicians from Western states. Salazar was a Colorado senator before taking over at Interior in 2009.
Jewell donated $5,000 to Obama’s re-election effort and has supported other Democrats, campaign finance records show.
Jewell is the first woman Obama has nominated for his second-term Cabinet and a prominent representative from the business community.
Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune called her a champion in the effort to connect children with nature.
Tim Wigley, president of the Western Energy Alliance, which represents the oil and natural gas industry, said Jewell’s experience as a petroleum engineer and business leader “will bring a unique perspective to an office that is key to our nation’s energy portfolio.”
Sharon’s thoughts: In comparison to Salazar, or even Ritter, Ms. Jewell has never lived the day-to-day public lands conflicts, and seems to have an urban background, seeing the challenge as “connecting urbanites with nature.” However, let’s face it, we are not doing that well ourselves with resolving disputes, and she could possibly help change the “battle for the environment” culture through a fresh way of looking at our world. It’s not “we pure enviros” and “those evil timber/oil and gas/skiing/OHV beasts” as much as how are we going to live together, take care of our moutains, our prairies, our deserts, our water and wildlife, and our people, rural and urban. There is an area of common ground ripe for exploration by new and different people, with new and different ideas. In my opinion.
Thanks to JZ for this..
Here’s the link, and below is an excerpt.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama on Wednesday will nominate business executive Sally Jewell to lead the Interior Department, an administration official said.
Jewell is the president and chief executive officer at the outdoors company Recreational Equipment, Inc., known as REI, which sells clothing and gear for outdoor adventures with more than 100 stores across the country. Before joining REI in 2000, Jewell worked in commercial banking and as an engineer for Mobil Oil Corp. She took the top post at REI in 2005.
If confirmed, Jewell would replace current Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, who held the post throughout Obama’s first term. Salazar announced last month that he would step down in March.
Jewell is the first woman in Obama’s crop of second-term Cabinet nominees. The White House faced criticism that the new Cabinet lacked diversity after Obama tapped a string of white men for top posts, but Obama promised more diverse nominees were in the queue for other jobs.
Jewell’s confirmation would also put a prominent representative from the business community in the president’s Cabinet. REI is a $2 billion-a-year company and has been named by Fortune Magazine as one of the top 100 companies to work for.
Obama was to announce Jewell’s nomination during a ceremony in the White House State Dining Room Wednesday afternoon, according to the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to confirm Jewell’s nomination ahead of the president.
Jewell has earned national recognition for her management skills and support for outdoor recreation and habitat conservation
In 2011 she introduced Obama at a White House conference on the “America’s Great Outdoors” initiative, noting that the $289 billion outdoor-recreation industry supports 6.5 million jobs.
Under Salazar, the Interior Department pushed renewable power such as solar and wind and oversaw a moratorium on offshore drilling after the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The moratorium was lifted in October 2010, although offshore drilling operations did not begin for several more months.
The Interior Department manages millions of acres in national parks and forests, overseeing energy and mining operations on some of the government-owned land.
Jewell’s nomination was hailed by conservation and business groups alike.
Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune called Jewell a champion in the effort to connect children with nature and said she has “a demonstrated commitment to preserving the higher purposes public lands hold for all Americans — recreation, adventure, and enjoyment.
The Western Energy Alliance, which represents the oil and natural gas industry in the West, also welcomed Jewell’s nomination.
“Her experience as a petroleum engineer and business leader will bring a unique perspective to an office that is key to our nation’s energy portfolio,” said Tim Wigley, the group’s president.
My take: this looks like not one of “the usual suspects” and a person who can see both sides. I’m liking this choice, plus I like the fact that if you are going to hold the FS feet to the fire about diversity, it’s time to walk the talk.
I also thought this was interesting…
Former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt said Tuesday that Obama should adopt a principle in which every acre of public land that is leased to the oil and gas industry is matched by an acre permanently protected for conservation or recreation.
Over the past four years, more than 6 million acres of public lands have been leased for oil and gas, compared with 2.6 million acres permanently protected, according to U.S. Bureau of Land Management.
I have three thoughts. First, if you are going to run the numbers, then shouldn’t you add all federal lands together to get your used/”protected” ratio? BLM plus Parks plus Refuges, plus FS?
Second, it this all about oil and gas? Or is “protected” no grazing, no OHV’s, etc.?
Third, oil and gas structures go away after some years, maybe you should require the O&G folks to put everything back on the surface and then “protect” it.
The April issue of The Forestry Source, leads off with “The Sagebrush Rebellion Renewed: Bills Aim to Create Trusts to Manage Federal Timber,” by Steve Wilent, Forestry Source editor. The article begins with what I perceive to be a very narrow view of the origins of the 1980s Sagebrush Rebellion, blaming it all on “environmentalists”. The article ends with what I perceive to be cheerleading for “forest trusts” as a solution to current problems including the impending drying up of “Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act” funding. It is an opinion-editorial, so Wilent is entitled to his perspective. But I thought I’d share it with you, since my own framing of this matter is much different. I see the 1980s Sagebrush Rebellion being just one of many from a West that was always angry over public lands. In my frame, fully funding Payments in Lieu of Taxes is a better solution to the rural schools problem. And I find the “forests trusts” idea a non-starter in dealing with America’s national forests.
Wilent’s article begins:
In his 1993 book, Federal Land, Western Anger R. McGregor Cawley describes the Sagebrush Rebellion as “a protest originating from three interrelated perceptions: first, that environmentalists had succeeded in gaining a dominant position in federal land policy discussions; second that the environmental community’s influence had created an underlying bias in favor of preservation over development in federal land management decisions throughout the 1970s; and third, that the only way to counteract the increasingly restrictive character of federal land management decisions was to precipitate an open confrontation.”
The first shot in that confrontation was fired in 1979, when the Nevada state legislature passed a bill that sought to transfer control of 40 million acres managed by the US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) – about 79% of Nevada – to the state. …
In February, Utah fired a new salvo when its house of representative passed the Transfer of Public Lands Act….
My own framing, built in part off the Public Land Law Review Commission’s “History of Public Land Law Development”, here, tracks the Sagebrush Rebellions (several of them, with continued skirmishes in between) back to the fights for statehood in the USA. In my state of Utah the fight was nasty and long-standing. Some Utahan’s were mad back then and continue to be mad today, with their anger welling-up periodically. Ron Arnold may have captured the spirit of that 1980s “Rebellion” as well as did the Society of American Foresters (SAF) article, calling it “a temper-tantrum over public lands thrown by a handful of cowboys”. That “temper-tantrum” turned into yet-another bandwagon that powerful rural Western politicians could jump onto—which they ultimately parlayed into substantial gains. Here is what Frank J. Popper had to say about these “gains” in “A Timely End of the Sagebrush Rebellion” (pdf), National Affairs 76, Summer 1984.
The Sagebrush Rebellion did not fail—it ended because it achieved many of its goals. The Reagan administration rapidly found clever, politically appealing ways to start to transfer some public lands without having to ask Congress for new legislation. Watt’s Interior Department undertook a “good neighbor policy” that allowed state and local governments to request the department’s “surplus” lands. The initiative was soon broadened to an Asset Management Program whereby all federal agencies could sell their excess land in the West and elsewhere; the eventual sale of 35 million acres–an area the size of Iowa–was expected. Separately, the Forest Service prepared to sell up to 17 million acres. The federal land agencies sped up the transfers to Alaska’s state government and Native Americans authorized by the 1958 Statehood Act, the 1971 Native Claims Settlement Act, and the 1980 National Interest Lands Conservation Act. The BLM experimentally revived homesteading in the Kuskokwim Mountains in central Alaska. Numerous federal-Western state land exchanges were in exploratory stages, and seemed most advanced in Utah. [p. 68]
Another look at the 1980s Sagebrush Rebellion, from “A Brief History of the Anti-conservation Movement” frames the issues as conservatives v. liberals:
At its most basic level the Sagebrush Rebellion was a conservative backlash against the growth of federal power represented by, among other things, such landmark environmental legislation of the late 1960s and ’70s as the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act. These legislative programs created new roles and concerns for managers of federal land — protection of endangered species, water quality, air quality, etc. This required closer scrutiny of activities on federal lands, including the activities of miners, loggers and ranchers who operated there. Significantly, these businesses usually enjoyed substantial operating subsidies by virtue of longstanding below-market rates for grazing, mineral and timber rights on federal land. This closer scrutiny inevitably led to federally imposed restrictions when mining, grazing and foresting practices damaged the water and air and threatened endangered species. Recognizing that a return to the good old days of less regulation would be good for business, the movement took support and comfort from the 1980 election of Ronald Reagan, one of whose campaign planks was reduction of the size and power of government. Certain Reagan cabinet appointees, most notably James Watt as Secretary of the Interior and Anne Gorsuch as head of the Environmental Protection Agency, were selected in part for their willingness to further the de-regulatory agenda of Reagan and the right wing of the Republican Party. …
The Anti-Conservation Movement further benefitted from the attention it received from industries with something to gain. In particular, big agriculture (the American Farm Bureau Federation, The Cattlemen’s Association), the extractive industries (mining, including coal, oil and gas) and timber producers (who thrive on easy access to federal forest lands) saw a reduction of federal regulatory power working to their advantage. This message of the economic benefit of deregulation appealed as well to small businesses. After all, if workplace safety regulations could be reduced or eliminated, the money saved could be plowed back into the business.
During this period anti-regulatory forces sought to define and project an agenda that would be publicly acceptable. Throughout the 1980s the anti-regulatory/anti-environmental sentiment was expressed largely as support for the Reagan Revolution and its promise to deliver the country from the clutches of over-zealous, regulation-happy bureaucrats.
In studying the various Sagebrush Rebellions we would all probably benefit from a good class on the history of the American West. Here is one (pdf, syllabus) from Professor Chris Lewis, from the University of Colorado. Lewis places Cawley’s book in a class lecture on “‘The Lords of Yesterday’ and the Sagebrush Rebellion”. The book is well-placed there, since it is evidently written from the perspective of ‘the rebels’, according to a Great Plains Research book review (pdf). There is nothing wrong with that. One of my favorite books is Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States, which is unabashedly written from the perspective of those who lost (and/or who were horrible abused) in the struggles to form the United States. Zinn acknowledges his bias, but is quick to note that no “history” is written without bias. But what is wrong with Wilent’s piece, in my opinion, is to use the book to suggest that one particular perspective is the only perspective that counts. Still, opinion/editorial pieces often do that. So, I’ll just leave it at, “I beg to differ”.
Wilent’s article goes on to highlight various ongoing problems including the impending falldown in Secure Rural Schools and Community Self Determination Act funding—problems which are clearly still with us. These problems don’t necessarily cry out for the solutions that are being proffered in the various bills currently working their way through Congress. But you wouldn’t arrive at that particular conclusion from Wilent’s article, which concludes by essentially cheerleading attempts to put federal land management into “land trusts.” “Cheerleading” is how I see it. What Wilent actually said was this: “Management by a trust dedicated to maintaining revenues to schools and other beneficiaries may offer a solution. …”
Wilent didn’t bother to daylight any other “solutions.” So cheerleading is where I’ll leave it. When dealing with ‘trusts’ my question is, as has been for a long time, “Land trusts provide a solution to what?” Yes land trusts are a good way to generate revenue if that is all you are interested in. But I thought that the ‘public trust doctrine’, under which the national forests were carved out and managed, is much broader than ‘revenue generation’. And we are not living in 1900, when income taxes and other revenue generation means now available to the federal government were not established.
In the middle of Wilent’s article, John Freemuth is quoted on both the complexity of federal lands management and his desire to reconvene a Public Lands Law Review Commission. I support Freemuth’s desire. On the other hand, I’m pretty sure that just about no one who is ranting and raving in this (or the last) Sagebrush Rebellion has ever read the last Public Lands Law Review Commission Report. Why should we expect a new one to add value to this debacle? Still, I would like to see a new one, if only to force the Administration and the Congress to delve deeper into the issues (and the history) surrounding our “Angry West”. But I’m not sure that a re-reading of the original Public Lands Law Review Commission Report wouldn’t suffice to dispel myths surrounding each seemingly-novel episode when the American West, particularly the “rural West” explodes anew in yet-another “temper-tantrum.” I guess we all get to pick our frames, and our scapegoats.
With the recent Ninth Circuit Decision, suggesting that the Recreation Enhancement Act of 2004 disallows “parking fees” on the national forests, I think it time to begin to think through some issues that surround the Forest Service recreation fee debacle. ‘Area access’ fees have been highly controversial since at least the late 1990s (See, e.g. my To Fee or Not to Fee?)
I think that many would agree that right now we have too many users for some of our public places, e.g. some National Forests, some National Parks, etc. And many would agree that there are too few dollars to oversee recreation programs on public lands. There are law enforcement problems, garbage collection issues, rest-room facilities issues, environmental damage problems, and more. It seems that there are always, everywhere, too few dollars chasing too many initiatives. Or maybe the federal government just doesn’t prune initiatives or programs back to fit the realities of budgets. In any case there is always plenty to fight over when it comes to money.
In this little note and follow-ups we will begin to sort out what is ‘at issue’ regarding recreation programs and dollars, and to see whether we few bloggers and commentators can find any common ground on issues and resolutions. Here are my preliminary issues: congestion (How do we disperse and/or discourage use where resource damage or experience degradation results from congestion?), ease of fee collection and participation, distribution of moneys, government agency culture transformation.
Congestion/Dispersion of Use
Let’s begin with congestion. Some would propose that fees be used to help disperse users from over-used areas to other areas. But in this day it might be that other measures could be used to disperse use. For example, federal land managers could require passes for over-used areas—passes that could be allocated via computer-based lottery and waiting lines at places of entry (e.g. a FS Ranger Station). These could be administered and allocated for free. So, perhaps too easily we can take ‘congestion’ off the table when discussing recreation fees.
Fee Collection—ease of collection, ease of participation
With congestion issues off the table at least for now, maybe we can look directly at fees to used to defray government costs. If the Congress wants to charge access fees, in addition to specific facility fees that are allowed in the 2004 Recreation Enhancement Act, then it would seem prudent to have people buy an ‘all federal lands’ pass, that could be used anywhere on federal lands for specific periods of time. This is not my recommendation, but rather a least impact means to an end. [Here is my plea for free primitive recreation on the National Forests.] At minimum the Congress ought to disallow the piecemeal, nightmarish type fees now common on federal lands. An annual pass comes to mind, that would be available at all federal public lands facilities and also on the Internet. It might be an interesting twist to allow users with scant means a free pass, if they were to pass an income/asset test—although I don’t really see an easy way to administer a test like that.
Distribution of Fee Money
There are problems associated with allowing local units to keep the monies they collect from fees. I would like to see local units keep none of it, except as filtered through governmental funding mechanisms. First, there are equity problems that accrue to, say, national forests that don’t have the attraction points (focal points) that other forests have. Second, there is the incentive to pump up prices to cover costs, a phenomenon known to some as ‘budget conservation and enhancement,’ or simply ‘budget maximization.’ I’m sure there are other issues, but let’s move on. Of course the forests flush with cash from a ‘keep it local’ advantage, will argue the flip side of this argument.
Government Agency Culture Transformation
Finally, there is the problem of creeping commercialization—the problem of government forest managers perceiving themselves to be business people rather than government administrators. This problem has to do with government administrators and their attitude and behaviors toward outfitters and guides and concessionaires (including big-ticket items like ski resorts). Do we really want the US Forest Service to move further into the marketization/commercialization world? If not, how might the Congress work to ensure that government agencies act like government agencies and not perceive themselves to be in business?
So. Take your best shot at me, both as to the issues I put on the table and those I left off. Also, what might we do to help the Congress, as well as the Forest Service and other agencies, as they continue to grapple with recreation fee issues?
Could it be that with the Adventure Pass program, the Forest Service was once-again trying to emulate business interests it once sought to regulate. Not that this is wrong, or evil—at least not unless you firmly believe that “Money is the root of all evil.” But it is clearly not what I want from the Forest Service. I made this case last year in Forest Service Mindshift: From Regulators to Partners.
I believe that the move to “marketize”, say, an ‘Adventure Pass’ program comes naturally to those in the Forest Service who have been hobnobbing with ski resort owners, Disney people, outfitters, etc. and want to be part of that world. It is just a piece of a broader “Print Your Own Money” mentality that has become firmly entrenched I the minds of some Forest Service managers? Of course they want to be apart from that world too, they want to be recognized as government agents, civil servants, etc. Can they have it both ways? I don’t think so.
My ‘beef’ with the Forest Service in this is, and has been for a very long time, simply expressed via Joni Mitchell’s lyrics from A BIG YELLOW TAXI. (copied from a dialogue thread I put into Eco-Watch bulletin board back in 1999):
by Joni Mitchell
They paved paradise and put up a parking lot
With a pink hotel, a boutique and a swingin’ hot spot
Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone
They paved paradise and put up a parking lot
They took all the trees, put ‘em in a tree museum
And they charged the people a dollar and a half just to see ‘em
Hey farmer farmer, put away that D.D.T. now
Give me spots on my apples but leave me the birds and the bees
Late last night I heard the screen door slam
And a big yellow taxi took away my old man
They paved paradise, put up a parking lot (choo bop bop bop bop)
They paved paradise, put up a parking lot
I don’t want national forest trees put into a “tree museum,” where you “pay a dollar and a half just to see them.” I don’t want “swingin’ hot spots” and other overly luxurious recreation facilities on the public lands. Not that such is imminent, but it might be only a bit further down the road to ‘market land’. In short I want my experiences on public lands to be as far from Madison Avenue spin as possible.
So I was delighted that the Ninth Circuit slapped the Forest Service hard (pdf) on this one—particularly since the Congress put the Recreation Enhancement Act in place to give firm guidance as to how the Forest Service ought to administer fee collection programs. Questions remain. How/Why did the Forest Service come to believe that it was acting within the scope of the Recreation Enhancement Act (available here) when it continued to use the Adventure Pass program for general access fees in some areas after the REA was passed in 2004?
Extended Footnote on Framing/Blaming
In an earlier post, I argued that the there were various ways to frame arguments, building from one of Sharon’s posts. The frame I imposed was a bit extreme, and unfairly characterized the Forest Service as a villain. I did it in part to suggest that Sharon’s earlier post had unfairly characterized the Forest Service as a victim. I realize now that I was unfair in my framing and in my characterization of Sharon’s earlier framing. In short, the victim/villain framing was too harsh and a bit silly—but it did get some folks to think a bit. A better approach would have been to admit that villains are best left for fiction, and that better framing for real world situations ought to follow this advice:
“In the real world there are no villains. No one actually sets out to do evil. … There are no villains … rubbing their hands in glee as they contemplate their evil deeds. There are only people with problems, struggling to solve them.” Ben Bova
In a recent book, Being Wrong, Kathryn Schulz says, among other things, that people often put people they disagree with in one of three boxes: either they are “unformed”, else they are “idiots”, else they are “evil.” Schulz argues that there remains another possibility. People we disagree with may be quite well informed (have plenty of facts at hand), and they may not be idiots, neither evil. They might just view the world differently.
I challenge all to steer clear of the victim/villain framing that I used in my earlier post, as much fun as it is to frame things that way. But to so steer is to move away from much of the rhetoric used in the “industry/environmental wars” and other political arenas.
Finally, keep in mind that it proves very hard for any of us, particularly those in power, to admit error. Here is what Diane Ravitch said, when being interviewed on being wrong about her earlier championing of the “No Child Left Behind” program:
Schulz: If you could hear someone else interviewed about wrongness, who would it be?
Ravitch: That’s a hard one. Donald Rumsfeld said he was wrong, but I don’t even want to hear from him. [Former Treasury Secretary, former Goldman Sachs Co-Chair, and former Citigroup Chair] Bob Rubin would be interesting, but he’ll never admit he was wrong. Right now what’s coming to mind are people who have never admitted that they’re wrong about anything.
Schulz: Like who?
Ratcliff: Like basically everybody I’ve been associated with for the last 20 years.
Kathryn Schulz. 2010. Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error
Robert Jervis. 1997. Systems Effects: Complexity in Political and Social Life
Albert O. Hirschman. 1991. The Rhetoric of Reaction. Perversity, Futility, Jeopardy
Deitrich Dörner. 1989. The Logic of Failure: Recognizing and Avoiding Error in Complex Situations
Larry Tye. 1988. The Father of Spin: Edward L. Bernays & The Birth of Public Relations
Richard Hofstadter. 1952. The Paranoid Style in American Politics
[Note: Here's a post I developed on The Logic of Failure]
Last week I was in DC and got a chance to ask some knowledgeable folks about the spate of “forests to parks” that have been proposed recently and discussed on this blog.
My personal opinion: I’d like all public land managers to have the funding to protect resources and to manage public use as appropriate. It would be fine with me if all the feds were all one agency and shared zoning of what’s OK and not OK to do in a certain place (say “blue” meant OHV’s OK, but no oil and gas). I just think time and funds spent switching agency ownerships on individual chunks of land could probably be spent better clarifying the issues of concern, and looking for areas where the land management agencies are inefficient or duplicate each others’ actions. I know that there are many obstacles to some kind of major change (one agency for all public lands), but even an effort to harmonize regulations would be a step in the right direction. See, for example, this piece in HCN (assuming that the statements are accurate). Here’sthe entire piece from HCN.
According to putatively knowledgeable sources, there were some efforts in the past, which led to an agreement between the Secretaries of Interior and Ag about “no poaching.” I’d appreciate more information on this history from readers if any of you are familiar with it.
Meanwhile the existence of the National Parks Conservation Association (website here) perhaps in and of itself, leads to the concept that “parks are better.”
Here is the information from their website on how and why that group was founded.
NPCA was established in 1919, just three years after the National Park Service. Stephen Mather, the first director of the Park Service, was one of our founders. He felt very strongly that the national parks would need an independent voice—outside the political system—to ensure these places remained unimpaired for future generations. Now, nearly one hundred years later, NPCA has more than 600,000 members and supporters.
Now, my current hypothesis is that if Parks has an independent group that lobbies for Parks, and if FS and BLM don’t have independent groups that lobby for them (we’ll call a new hypothetical group the National Reserve Conservation Association for now (other titles invited)), we would expect that Parks would get more money and attention to change land from BLM and FS to Parks. I like the term “Reserves” because it implies that the land has been reserved for some purpose. This is true of what NPS calls “reserves,” whose management sometimes allows a variety of preexisting uses, including OHV’s (see photo above).
Perhaps the solution is simply to start a lobbying group to balance the effects of NCPA, and to make sure that the taxpayer gets the best deal from the overall portfolio of public lands.
Last week, when news broke that much of West Virginia’s northern Allegheny Highlands might be considered for national park and preserve status, sportsmen raised a ton of questions:
How big would the park be? Would hunting be outlawed? Would trout stockings be curtailed? Who would manage the fish and wildlife? And what would become of trapping, ramp digging and ginseng hunting?
We have answers now for at least some of those questions. Earlier this week, I spoke with Judy Rodd, a spokeswoman for Friends of High Allegheny National Park and Preserve, who clarified some of the murkier points.
The preserve, as currently envisioned, would be pretty darned big – roughly 750,000 acres.
Rodd said it would start at Cathedral State Park in Preston County and extend southward to Cass in Pocahontas County. Its western boundary would start at Shavers Mountain near Elkins and would extend eastward to include current units of the George Washington National Forest in Hardy and Hampshire counties.
“All the lands that would be included in the preserve would be lands that are current state parks or are part of the Monongahela and George Washington national forests,” Rodd explained. “No private lands would need to be purchased.”
She added that only a portion of the land would be considered a full-fledged national park.
“The main units of the national park portion would include Cathedral, Blackwater Falls and Canaan Valley state parks, and some portion of the Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area,” she said.
“The Park Service folks have said units of the park could be spread apart like that. The rest of the land in the Allegheny Highlands – the vast majority of the land under consideration – would be in preserve status, where hunting and fishing would be encouraged.”
Rodd said she wasn’t sure if the Park Service would allow trapping on the preserve. However, a subsequent Internet search of several preserves’ websites showed that trapping is allowed on most of them.
The question of ginseng hunting caught Rodd by surprise; she said she “would have to talk the Park Service about that.” As to ramp digging, she harbored a rather strong opinion: “I dig them too, so naturally I would want [that] to be allowed.”
One of the more ticklish questions surrounding the preserve concept would be whether the state Division of Natural Resources or the National Park Service would have primary control of fishing-related issues.
In the New River Gorge National River, for example, DNR officials manage fisheries as they see fit. One sticking point has arisen, though. Park Service officials several years ago asked that non-native fish – rainbow and brown trout, specifically – not be stocked within the park’s boundaries. Stockings continue to this day.
In the state’s mountain highlands, trout fishing is a big issue. Most of the state’s most popular stocked-trout streams and rivers are in the preserve area, and most of the fish stocked are rainbows and browns. Rodd said she didn’t know whether DNR or Park Service policies would prevail.
“That’s too technical an issue for me,” she said.
Rodd said provisions to address any or all of sportsmen’s concerns could be written into legislation that would establish the park.
“That’s a long way off, though,” she said. “The [upcoming] study is called a reconnaissance study. If it finds that the area is unique enough to be included in the national park system, a resource study would follow. And then there would be a period of time to write the legislation and get it passed. Park and preserve status is still years away.”
Jim Fenwood sent this in..
Rules and incentives may improve the behavior of those who don’t care, though they won’t make them wiser. But in focusing on the people who don’t care—the targets of our rules and incentives—we miss those who do care. We miss those who want to do the right things but lack the practical wisdom to do them well. Rules and incentives won’t teach these people the moral skill and will they need. Even worse, rules can kill skill and incentives can kill will.
It would be interesting to peruse this book and see if there are potential applications in our line of work. It would be interesting to hear from our wise elders and their experiences. Posts on this topic are welcome.