Other Public Land Abuse Issues

Other extractive industries in addition to the timber industry are ravaging our natural treasures with government funding. The fight against these abuses is critical to protecting our land. New legislation and political coalitions must be created so that all of us can continue to fight on a common front.

Livestock grazing, especially in the West, has decimated the native diversity of forest and desert plants and has permanently degraded many stream banks. All over the country, the coal, pumice, metal ore, and uranium mines leave behind gaping wounds in the land and poison in the water beneath them. Gas and oil exploration on public lands fragments wildlife habitat with roads and pipelines, and causes poisonous petroleum products to leach into the soil and water. Dams in every corner of the nation have drastically disrupted aquatic wildlife habitat, as in the Pacific Northwest, where damming (along with logging) has driven the great Salmon to the edge of extinction. Dams and other water diversion schemes, have clogged and drained the lifeblood of the land, leaving rocky beds where mighty rivers once flowed. The Army Corps of Engineers, the Bureau of Reclamation, the Tennessee Valley Authority and other federal and regional authorities are continuing this assault on both public and private land.

The Animal Damage Control Agency of our government has systematically eradicated predator species from most of our public lands. It "manages" many other species "to achieve the desired population."

For every abuse of our public lands, there is a dedicated and growing movement of concerned citizens calling for the destruction to end. All of these problems are caused by destructive policies and outdated laws. The diverse groups working to stop the abuse of our public lands are truly part of a common cause. It is the combined pressure of these groups and the forest protection movement that is influencing Congress and the American public to favor environmentally enlightened public land policy and legislation.