NANFA-- long one, hit delete if you don't care about my opinion

Jay DeLong (
Fri, 15 Sep 2000 02:08:36 -0700

> Sure, people on the list may gripe about about
> the severe negative impacts of humans to ecosystems (especially
> corporate-related ones), about people's indifference and
> apathy to these types of situations, and think that some drastic
> steps should be taken to save endangered species,but
> that's because the situation with native fishes has deteriorated
> so much.
> There are so many endangered and threatened species, degraded
> habitats, and people who are against the very idea of protecting
> either the fishes or their habitat.
- and -
> it seems like a lot of times people read more negativity into
> other people's posts than what they should, or just see the other
> person as disagreeing with them or contradicting them more than
> they should. I think that if everyone re-analyzed each other's
> posts they would see a lot less differences in opinion (which
> causes a lot of conflicts). I think that we all agree that we
> like native fishes and think that conservation measures should be
> taken to protect them, such as protected status for some species,
> protection of habitat, keeping non-natives out, and increasing
> people's appreciation of natives.

Good and timely thoughts! Sure, we complain about the sad case of the
environment, but at least the conditions in the US and Canada are better
than other places in the world like Africa and South America. I think all
of us on this list are proud that we have some environmental protection
mechanisms in place. (If you don't feel this way, you should expect to feel
unwelcome here.) We will always have different ideas over the extent of the
protections necessary, how much government intervention is necessary,
personal liberties vs needs of the environment, etc. There is no national
oversight committee on environmental right and wrong because sadly there is
no consensus on questions as simple as "Should we protect all species?". So
our environmental laws are only as strong as our elected representatives
make them. I hope one day we all reach some sort of awareness of the value
of all pieces of our shared environment, and strive to better coexist with
nature. But as long as there are those forces that would destroy endangered
species and their habitats, we have to be ever vigilant and use the only
real law available-- the ESA. And lawsuits aren't necessarily bad.
Environmental lawsuits are inevitable because states break federal laws
regularly, and because state and federal governments often don't uphold
their responsibilities.

The bumper sticker thing-- you say it's sometimes attention-getting and a
joke. Yes, some people find humor like that. I can accept that to a point
when it originates from lack of education. But there are other forces
behind such displays, and the worst is the developer who lives for today and
will do anything for a buck and build his fortune on the misfortune of
others. There are fortunes to be made my exploiting the non-renewable
treasures of our earth. If you believe all these people can be reasoned
with, I don't know where you get your beliefs.

Then there's a psychological force, one that can manifests itself in a sort
of "group mentality" (ignorance breeds ignorance, or fear breeds fear).
That's what's going on in many of these lumber towns on the Pacific coast.
I've experienced anti-government paranoia and hatred first hand. When I
used to work on the coast I drove a truck leased from the US Govt motor
pool, but I didn't work for any government agency. I was there helping with
salmon restoration, but I experienced real anti-government attitudes from
some locals. In one gas station/grocery in the town of Clallam Bay, the
owner walked out of the store and didn't return until I left, just because
she saw my license plate. When peoples' livlihoods and identities are
affected, they don't want to think objectively about ecosystems and genetics
and endangered species, because they're raising kids and paying bills with
money generated by that lumber. All the education in the world is
meaningless to them. A rare little bird doesn't stand a chance with all
that (Neither would the Alabama sturgeon which is probably already hanging
out in the extinction bar with the passenger pigeon in spite of so-called
environmental protection laws saying "What the hell happened to me-- give me
another beer.") Without the ESA the old-growth forests would soon be gone
and so would many plants and animals like the Pacific yew we never would
have had the chance to study.

So whether or not there are eco-extremists (either way!) on this list, it
doesn't matter a whole lot and it's probably a good thing, because they are
everywhere else-- in politics, on Wall Street, teaching in schools, in the
entertainment field, etc, so they might as well be on this list, too.

On a side note, I think people sometimes get too much from TV shows like
Crossfire, or from political strategists and reporters/commentators who
polarizing everything so that issues are easier to understand. Just because
we have a 2 party system (sort of...) doesn't mean every issue has 2 sides
to it. That's gross oversimplification and it seems to hurt our political
system. Take Ray's SUV situation. It's not a yes or no issue. Doesn't it
make sense that some disturbance is okay, but when the number of SUVs
triples or increases by 100 or whatever, that at some point there will be
environmental damage? I mean-- when does a person admit that regulations go
from infringing on personal liberties to being a good thing for the

A recent AC article on the Alabama sturgeon details the weird and
complicated issues and activities involved in listing what is probably the
rarest animal in North America. Chris Scharpf, is it possible to post your
article for people to read who are on this list and not in NANFA?

Jay DeLong
Olympia, WA

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