There is a savvy saying: "If it can't be grown, it must be mined." Please consider that everything you touch, taste, smell, wear -- from your shoes to your hat; from your home to your vehicle; from your cell phone to your water faucets; from the lawn mower to the grass seed and plants -- must be grown or mined.
To that end, we need natural resource providers. Due to the continued threat from litigious self-proclaimed 'environmental,' 'conservation,' and 'preservation' groups -- often in concert with federal and private 'partners' and sometimes with judicial cooperation -- there has been a serious fragmentation of human habitat.
"Critical habitat" for what are touted as "candidate," "threatened" and/or "endangered" species most often occurs on privately owned property. This sends a clear message to federal agencies that federally controlled lands are not good for any species that are -- whether actually or merely ostensibly -- sensitive.
It is interesting to learn how people in the fields of natural resource providing -- whether they are farmers, fishermen, miners, ranchers, or timberers -- have become real endangered species. In the last forty years, this vital concern to America has gone from an unknown issue -- due to the fact that media rarely reported what was happening outside most city dwellers' comfort zones, in rural areas where the vast majority of food and fiber is produced -- to something that is now readily recognizable in the dearth of American-grown food products, fiber, and American-mined minerals.
Using the twin prongs of the "Equal Access to Justice Act" and the "Endangered Species Act" -- and to a slightly lesser degree, two other pieces of legislation, the "Clean Water Act" and the "Clean Air Act" -- a stellar group of people are being fast-tracked to extinction.
What is the risk to Earth, in general, and other people, in particular, from this group of people going extinct? What looms in the near-term may pale in comparison with what lurks in the shadows: a global food extinction that wipes out populations that won't know what hit them. The "a species goes extinct every so many minutes" crowd has successfully de-educated so many good people that few folks even realize what the EAJA and ESA are being used to orchestrate.
The taste of fresh fruits and vegetables and meats grown in close proximity to one's home -- and the lesser-known importance of having minerals mined and utilized near their source -- is incredibly important.
Neither should ever be put on the chopping block of awareness in favor of many things that are not even real dangers. Certainly, there are polar bears with fewer icebergs. There are minnows and snails that have warmer or colder "habitats" -- and the variables of climate fluctuation are here to stay, like it or not.
Everything in Nature cannot -- and should not -- be on the table to be "mitigated" with "at risk" futures, which closely resemble a mirage on the desert. The unscrupulous dealers in such things are opportunists with their own nests in mind.
If Nature and all the species on earth were really so important to these power brokers, vast reaches of forest wouldn't be locked up from timber harvest, then set up to burn in conflagrations of gut-wrenching proportions.
If "going green" were such a nirvana, it wouldn't require so many minerals to power the batteries of 'gas free' vehicles.
So much of what the public, also known as consumers, is fed a steady diet of, is truly junk food for the brain at best, and a toxic stew of freedom and responsible resource utilization lockdown at worst.
America was founded on the insatiable appetite of enslaved peoples from all over the world to become free -- free to own property and free to utilize that property in order to become healthier, happier and better able to supply others with the fruits of the labors of those that have found freedom.
America became the stuff of dreams to so many people over a few centuries of honorable immigration.
Now Americans are awakening to the nightmare that words printed on paper -- in the form of egregious, onerous and quicksandlike restrictions -- are enslaving them again. Our cobwebs can be cleared, our responsibility shouldered and our tenacity celebrated! God bless America -- again!
Julie Kay Smithson
Property rights / natural resources researcher since 1999.