Our Statement to the EBRPD

10/25/2008 17:03

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We don't want to be here, spending our time and effort opposing you.  We're all outdoors people who value our parks and open space, and would much rather be improving them for everyone to enjoy.  But you're asking for 500 million dollars over and above the money you already receive.  That's a lot of money, and you must expect to be held to a very high standard if you want people to vote to give it to you instead of (for instance) California State Parks, which nearly shut down this year for lack of funds -- and runs their public lands much better than you do, for a lot less money.

We'll be blunt.  As long as you continue running our public lands for the benefit of trucks and cattle, instead of for people and native species, you don't deserve another $500 million.  As long as you keep trashing public land with bulldozers and cattle, you don't deserve another $500 million.  As long as cattle have more access to public lands than the second-largest group of parks users, you don't deserve another $500 milion.  And as long as you pay yourselves more than US Senators while clinging to a discredited 1950s model of "parks management" that values resource extraction over preservation, you don't deserve another $500 million.

We want to see trails for people, not roads for trucks.  We want to see native plants and animals in our parks, not herds of cattle behind barbed wire fences.  We want to see reform, not newspaper ads and glossy brochures.  And if we don't see reform, you won't see our money.