MORE: PRESS PHOTO!
Photos: Wrangell-St. Elias News
WAR IN THE WRANGELLS
|80 YEARS OF NPS ABUSE AND MISCONDUCT|
SHORT COURSE - ALASKA VERSION
|1937: Shenandoah National Park authorities removed this woman, who was five months pregnant, from her home. All the family’s belongings were piled on horse-drawn wagons and the chimney of their home was pulled down so they would not return, having lost their only source of heat.|
Just imagine: National Parks, Rangers in green uniforms and Smokey the Bear hats, Family vacations, Hikes in the woods....All the things that conjure up warm fuzzies in most people's head.
And this is why the National Park Service is a beloved federal agency generally perceived to have a "white knight" reputation like that of so many non profits and charities like the United Way, Catholic Church, Red Cross, etc. PERCEPTION IS NOT NECESSARILY REALITY - Tragically, all of the entities in this paragraph on closer look have had some terrible skeletons in their closet that have gone on and on because authorities and the general public have bent over backwards to give them a pass on prudent scrutiny and audit.
One way this agency preserves its immunity is by turning directly on its perceived enemies (hapless citizens) while the press is typically willing to give it the "pass" just mentioned. The NPS uses its credibility to suppress and denigrate landowners and others instead of being good neighbors and working with local communities. The NPS carries out search and destroy missions when opposed and it has few of any qualms about trying to flatten people with lies and innuendo...after all it's "for the good of all".
"We often do good in order to accomplish evil with impunity."
-- Francois La Rochefoucauld
Every citizen in America will be better served if more understanding of the checkered history of the NPS leads to reform of this agency. It can't happen until more journalists, government officials, park visitors and the general public educate themselves.
SHORT COURSE ON THE 80 YEAR HISTORY OF NATIONAL PARK SERVICE BROKEN PROMISES, ABUSE AND MISCONDUCT - ALASKA VERSION
Substantial harm and damage to real people in Rural America is taking place by the actions of the National Park Service. After completing this Short Course, ask yourself about the character profile of this agency that has such a long history of shameless misconduct and lying to Congress and local communities. It all becomes unbearable when one realizes it is from a misguided government policy that is yielding little benefit to the environment or the public and is not happening from any faithful, fair execution of regulatory law or even common sense.
KEEP UPPERMOST IN MIND THAT THE STRUGGLES DESCRIBED IN THE SHORT COURSE ARE NOT A CONTEST OF EQUALS
The rural people involved in these abuses are Davids pitted against Goliath. In reality, they are less than a David, mere isolated specks next to an all powerful federal NPS bureaucratic engine and its wealthy urban elite allies. There is little accountability for these NPS employees and managers. It should be obvious from the circus of helicopters, armed rangers and technicians deployed by the National Park Service in Alaska against the Pilgrim family that they work with a bottomless pit of taxpayer money. And all that to catalog crunched down alder growth on an old mining road, up and down the valley. Sadly, it is extremely rare that any careers are terminated or harmed, no matter what outrages over-zealous NPS personnel commit.
THE SHORT COURSE
(in order to be read)
* CADES COVE, GREAT SMOKEY MOUNTAINS NP - 1930's - Broken NPS promises and abuses have been going on for a long time (2 pages). Highly recommended to purchase this book and read Chapter 10 by Prof. Durwood Dunn, Univ. of Tennessee Press (11 pages).
- Key Passage: "By 1935 it was apparent to the Park Service that its policy of allowing the cove to return to its wilderness state was a serious mistake. Cades Cove's great beauty and charm had always been the contrast of its carefully cultivated fields and farms surrounded by high mountains. A wilderness cove, indistinguishable from the forests of its bordering wilderness; presented little of interest or scenic beauty to the tourist.
"A solution to the problem of what to do with Cades Cove, now that it was depopulated, appeared in a 1935 letter from Waldo G. Leland, permanent secretary of the American Council of Learned Societies, to Arno B. Cammerer, director of the National Park Service. Leland strongly urged that some effort be made to both record and preserve the extant native culture and lifestyle of the Great Smokies before the advent of millions of tourists erased this last remaining vestige of Southern Appalachia.
"Two lengthy studies for the National Park Service by Charles S. Grossman and Hans Huth followed which carefully defined this culture and the best means of preserving it. Here was yet another incident characteristic of a pattern of America's approach to Southern Appalachia so lucidly examined in Henry D. Shapiro's Appalachia On Our Mind. Having fairly rid the cove of its bothersome native inhabitants, the National Park Service sought national authorities to define and reproduce their native culture so recently expired."
* Anger in Appalachia - Researchers Fighting to Open Records on 1930s Shenandoah Park Resettlement. By Leef Smith, Washington Post, March 6, 2000. AT LEAST LOOK AT FIRST TWO PHOTOS. Pregnant woman hauled out of home by NPS agents.
* Testimony by Chuck Cushman, Executive Director, American Land Rights Association. House Resources Committee, June 12, 1999, Salt Lake City, Utah. Conservation and Reinvestment Act (HR-701) et al. It is 30 pages. THIS IS THE BEST AND ROLLS UP THE HISTORY OF MISCONDUCT. PAGES 1-11 SHOULD BE READ.
* Historian Kent Anderson case studies document the destruction of lives and faithless treatment of rural people by the National Park Service. Funded by Institute for Human Rights Research, San Antonio, Texas. 269 pages in 5 vol. YOU MAY NOT HAVE TIME TO READ ALL OF THEM BUT SHOULD IF YOU REALLY WANT TO UNDERSTAND THE DEPTHS OF THE ANGER AND CONCERN. AT LEAST LOOK OVER THE STUDIES.
IN ALASKA AFTER 1980 BECAUSE OF THE ALASKA NATIONAL INTEREST LANDS AND
CONSERVATION ACT - ANILCA
* ANILCA - J.P. Tangen, editor, D(2), part 2 : a report to the people of Alaska on the land promises in ANILCA : 20 years later. 2000, Alaska Miners Association, Anchorage, Alaska, 95 p. TRY TO READ THIS ENTIRE BOOK (but recognizing that it may not be possible for many) we recommend reading these sections in this order:
--Chapter 10. Alaska Land Use Before and After ANILCA, by Paula P. Easley, 4 pages.
--Chapter 9. The Real ANILCA, by Bill Horn, Esq. THIS IS ABOUT ANILCA SECTION 1110(b) THAT CLEARLY GUARANTEES ACCESS TO PRIVATE LANDS SURROUNDED BY THE NATIONAL PARKS AND WILDLIFE REFUGES. 3 pages.
"The primary architects of the Act also made repeated assurances that ANILCA would not adversely affect traditional uses and users and that access to the millions and millions of acres of set aside lands would not be curtailed. This is a crucial legal, historical, and political fact: the agreement that underlies ANILCA was that the “national interest” would get its 120 million acres of new Parks, Refuges and Wilderness areas, but Alaska would get unique special rules to enable a wide array of activities to continue in these vast new units...
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