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Brian R
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PostMon Jul 13, 2020 9:27 am 
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Ski wrote:
There are grizzly bears in British Columbia and Alberta.
If they so chose to do so, they could easily amble down and occupy lands south of the 49th parallel. Border Patrol, ICE, the FBI, and the US Marine Corps wouldn't be able to stop them.
Which begs the question: why have they not chosen to do so?


I agree with about 98% with your sentiments--we're on the same side. But to be fair, Trans-Canada Hwy1 thru SW BC and the jersey-barrier in most of its center might explain the "why haven't they" part of your question. But, again, grizzlies were never really a big part of the WANC landscape. Grizzly reintroduction is wasted $$$$ on more feel-good nonsense; an urbanite museum vignette of the way things never were. Spend the money on much more valid wolf-reintroduction efforts.
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altasnob
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PostMon Jul 13, 2020 10:07 pm 
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Do you have a cite that "grizzlies were never really a big part of the WANC landscape?" Prior to scraping the plan, the NPS's plan in the EIS was to introduce "a self-sustaining population of 200 bears." So you are saying that there were not 200 grizzlies in the N Cascades prior to white men killing them all?

New article in the Seattle Times about scrapping the plans.

What frustrates me most about scraping the grizzly plan is they claim "local" opposition as the primary reason. Below is a map of the grizzly bear recovery zone. My guess is if you take all the people who recreate in this area every year, you would find more poeple from King County recreate there than any other county. Snohomish probably second. Chelan and Okanogan would be well down the list. So why let some person in Omak decide what to do with the land when way more people from Seattle use that land? It's like in 2002, when Utah's Republican governor Mike Leavitt proposed the creation of a San Rafael Swell National Monument only to have George W. Bush deny the request because the closest town (Price, Utah, population 8,200) didn't want it because they wouldn't be able to ATV everywhere if it was protected. Imagine if for every National Park and Wilderness area we let the closest town decide if they want it or not? The amount of protected land would shrink in the US by 50%. Land decisions should be made based on what the majority of people who will be using said land want from it. My vote on what happens in the N Cascades should carry the same weight as some person living in Winthrop. Same for some tourist from NYC who wants to fly out to Washington to recreate in the N Cascades.

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Brian R
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PostMon Jul 13, 2020 10:22 pm 
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altasnob wrote:
My guess is if you take all the people who recreate in this area every year, you would find more poeple from King County recreate there than any other county. Snohomish probably second. Chelan and Okanogan would be well down the list. So why let some person in Omak decide what to do with the land when way more people from Seattle use that land?

Stunning. The rest of the state's residents might disagree with your sentiment--that we are little more than Seattle's weekend playground and ought not have a say about much at all.
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altasnob
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PostMon Jul 13, 2020 10:28 pm 
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That's not what I said. One person, one vote. More people in King County use the land in question, so therefore, King County has more sway. That's how democracy works. Should we let the towns of Enumclaw, Eatonville, Randle, and Packwood exclusively decide how Mt Rainier NP is managed, or even whether it should be a national park at all?

And regarding whether "the people" are for or against grizzly reintroduction in the N Cascades, Conservation Northwest obtained copies of all 143,000 environmental impact statement public comments in 2019 from the National Park Service, which showed at least 90% favored grizzly restoration.

I'm still waiting for that cite that says "grizzlies were never really a big part of the WANC landscape."
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PostMon Jul 13, 2020 10:30 pm 
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altasnob wrote:
So you are saying that there were not 200 grizzlies in the N Cascades prior to white men killing them all?

Who said that?
I might have missed a few posts in this thread, but I don't recall any statement to that effect being made in the last few days.

altasnob wrote:
So why let some person in Omak decide what to do with the land when way more people from Seattle use that land?

That statement is based on what evidence?

altasnob wrote:
Land decisions should be made based on what the majority of people who will be using said land want from it.

In your opinion, perhaps that's true.

altasnob wrote:
"My vote..."

You obviously don't really understand the process of how lands management decisions are made.
You don't get a "vote". Lands management decisions are not made the same way politicians are elected.
There are a number of factors considered in the decision making process, but the final decision most certainly isn't made based on who "voted" for what. The NEPA process gives you the legal right to express your concerns about a given project, but the final decision making process is far from anything along the line of "majority rules".

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PostMon Jul 13, 2020 10:39 pm 
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altasnob wrote:
"...143,000..."

Is what portion of 330 million people, all of whom have a stake in the 93 million acres managed by the United States Forest Service?
The number is 0.000433 - really rather insignificant in the larger picture.

More importantly, though: This is just a wild guess, but I'd posit that about 142,000 of those responses were from members of Conservation Northwest, or people who signed onto their website and clicked a little box and typed in a little comment, which made them feel like they were "saving the environment".
Unfortunately, all those "form letter" comments are counted as one comment by lands management planners. (Kim was standing right next to me when we were told that by a staffer from Olympic National Park at a public meeting a few years ago.)
So the attempt to "stuff the ballot box" by these so-called "environmental groups" is, in the end, rather a pointless exercise in futility - they all get counted as one comment.

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altasnob
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PostMon Jul 13, 2020 10:42 pm 
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I understand there is not an actual vote on land management decisions. If that was true, and if 90% of the comments to the EIS were in favor of grizzly reintroduction, then there would be grizzly reintroduction.

From the Seattle Times article, "While Interior Secretary David L. Bernhardt  pointed to local opposition to introducing bears into the North Cascades, Smith said a majority of Washington residents have supported the proposal in the past."

"But Rep. Dan Newhouse, a Republican who represents central Washington in Congress, said local residents don’t want a larger population of grizzlies there."

So to me, it sounds very similar to when the San Rafael Swell National Monument idea was axed in 2002. Even though the majority who recreated on the lands wanted further protection, the land manager sided with the 8,000 people in Price who wanted to ATV. And with all do respect to the good people of Omak, sounds like the grizzly bear idea was scrapped because they didn't want it (or, at least that is what I am being told). I wonder whether the majority of Mazama, Winthrop, and Twisp want bears or not? They are the closest towns to the actual bear habitat we are talking about. Or does their vote not count because they are probably wealthy transplants form Seattle?
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Brian R
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PostMon Jul 13, 2020 10:44 pm 
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altasnob wrote:
That's not what I said. One person, one vote. More people in King County use the land in question, so therefore, King County has more sway. That's how democracy works. Should we let the towns of Enumclaw, Eatonville, Randle, and Packwood exclusively decide how Mt Rainier NP is managed, or even whether it should be a national park at all?

Since wildlife doesn't remain bound by political borders, it makes sense to include the people who live in the represented state and federal districts affected. (This is the difference between representative democracy and direct.) In fact, local governments DO have a big say in how NPs are managed everywhere. Finally, MORA only exists because of the efforts of Tacoma and Seattle locals. ONP and NOCA despite the efforts of locals. Cuts both ways.
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PostMon Jul 13, 2020 10:45 pm 
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altasnob wrote:
One person, one vote. More people in King County use the land in question, so therefore, King County has more sway. That's how democracy works.

True. That is how it works in political elections. That is not how it works with public lands management decisions.

And you haven't provided any evidence that King County residents account for the majority of users in that given area - that's pure speculation on your part, unless you can provide documentation.

Quote:
Should we let the towns of Enumclaw, Eatonville, Randle, and Packwood exclusively decide how Mt Rainier NP is managed, or even whether it should be a national park at all?

Actually, "gateway communities" do swing a bigger club concerning some issues when it comes to lands management decisions, particularly concerning National Parks. Local economies rise and fall with Park user loads, and those factors are taken into consideration by lands managers.

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altasnob
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PostMon Jul 13, 2020 10:59 pm 
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Ski wrote:
And you haven't provided any evidence that King County residents account for the majority of users in that given area - that's pure speculation on your part, unless you can provide documentation.

I wouldn't even know where to look that up, or if it is even possibly to find this. The map I posted above includes lndex, and just touches Leavenworth. Where would you guess the majority of recreational users of this area are from? Based on my own personal anecdotal evidence of times I've recreated in this area, I would guess King County, Snohomish, and Pierce, and I think that is a pretty good guess since those are three largest counties in the state and make up more than half the state's population.
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Brian R
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PostMon Jul 13, 2020 11:00 pm 
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altasnob wrote:
Even though the majority who recreated on the lands wanted further protection, the land manager sided with the 8,000 people in Price who wanted to ATV.

Your argument might be stronger if it were based on nature for the sake of nature. Instead you argue about the merits of recreation and anthropocentric land use. Again, our state is NOT Seattle's playground. Real people live in the places you want to impose. What's more, you do understand that ATVs are considered recreation too, right? What you meant to say is recreation you approve of?

altasnob wrote:
And with all do respect to the good people of Omak, sounds like the grizzly bear idea was scrapped because they didn't want it (or, at least that is what I am being told). I wonder whether the majority of Mazama, Winthrop, and Twisp want bears or not? They are the closest towns to the actual bear habitat we are talking about. Or does their vote not count because they are probably wealthy transplants form Seattle?

If their primary residence remains in Seattle, then no, they have no vote in Winthrop. If they are true transplants, then I always suggest 'when in Rome.'
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altasnob
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PostMon Jul 13, 2020 11:08 pm 
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This is getting on a side track. But ATV is a form of recreation. If the majority of recreational users of the San Rafael Swell are ATV users, then fine, let it remain open to ATV. But in San Rafael Swell case, I do not think the majority of recreational users were ATV users, and instead, more were hikers and other more passive forms of recreation. That's why Republican Governor Utah Levitt proposed the national monument idea. The majority of people in Utah, and the majority of people throughout the US wanted more protection of that area, but in the end, the small town immediately adjacent to the land won out.

My overall point is, just because someone lives in a city does not mean land managers should not take their opinion into account. That city person may recreate on the the lands more, have more knowledge of those lands, and may gain more economic utility from those lands than a person whose house just happens to be adjacent to those lands. And that's not an argument that rural people don't matter. Just that everyone's opinion should carry equal weight.
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Brian R
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PostMon Jul 13, 2020 11:35 pm 
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altasnob wrote:
That city person may recreate on the the lands more, have more knowledge of those lands, and may gain more economic utility from those lands than a person whose house just happens to be adjacent to those lands. And that's not an argument that rural people don't matter. Just that everyone's opinion should carry equal weight.

No, what you're saying, in practice, is that urbanites ought to have TWO votes. One vote for the place they live, another for the places they play. That by virtue of their numbers, they should decide all.
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PostTue Jul 14, 2020 7:22 am 
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treeswarper wrote "Perhaps the bears would rip the doors off the log trucks and steal the Donettes "
I have seen an old 8mm home movie taken in yellowstone,showing a large male griz ripping the doors off a volkswagen bug to get to the food inside.
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altasnob
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PostTue Jul 14, 2020 9:23 am 
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How is it two votes? Lets say in theory land managers grabbed all the public comments on the issue, and their decisions would always align with what the majority of the public comments say they want. I know this is not how it works, but if this were practiced, each person would get one vote (if they cared enough to make a public comment).

Whether you live in the roughest neighborhood in S Tacoma, or a trophy house high on the hills overlooking in the Methow, you live in one place, and recreate in another. I don't understand your argument. We, as a public, has come to accept that "local voice" matters on land management decisions. That is why you hear the politicians use that as the reason for doing/not doing things. They know the public will accept this. When in reality, there may be other less politically acceptable reasons for their decision. As I have said before, if you take this "local voice" matters to it's logical end, you will have a reduction in protected land. What makes the Western US unique on earth is that we have large swaths of protected land, much to the chagrin of the majority who live immediately next to this protected land. This is why Utah Senator Mike Lee proposed transferring public lands to state control (he refers to national parks as "royal forests").
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