FORUM           

 

 

An Occupied Country - by Howard Zinn

Ecologists mark David Brower Day - By Elvira Viveros

GEORGE W. CHRIST? - By William Rivers Pitt

INTO THE DARKNESS - By William Rivers Pitt

WHERE ARE WE ? - By John Berger

The Worst President in All of American History

U.S. Diplomat John Brady Kiesling Letter of Resignation

Impeachment Resolution Against President George W. Bush

Happy Imbeciles At War / Massive U.S. military buildup

We Won't Be Fighting for Freedom in Iraq

Torquemadas in Birkenstocks - The War Club

Hypocrisy Now!

Barbara Lee Was Right.

Frederick Douglass - Fifth of July Speech

End the Nuclear Danger: An Urgent Call

PEACE AND NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT:  A CALL TO ACTION

Enron - IMF: Master Plan for the Earth?

The REAL Enron Scandal!

The Goodness, the Beauty, the Laughter and the Courage

On War, Lee, and Dissidence

Cautionary Advice from California

Wildness Within

Trailblazers, Heroes & Pioneers

David Brower, My Archdruid

EPISODE II - Gulf Wars - Clone of the Attack

George Bush I (Un-authorized)

How Bush (George Bush II) Treats THE PEOPLE!

Lifting The Stone Of The Druid 

A FALLEN GIANT

Only One Earth: In Memoriam; David R.Brower

Yosemite: By Default or By Design?

Fear and Hope in USA Election

Corprate Welfare Logging!

Water Over the Dam - The Truth Shall Make You Free!

Nader Letter to Sierra Club

Whale On the Loose! 

Cry The Beloved Planet    

Internal Revenue Service Challenged!

Navajo-Hopi Heritatge Region 

The Park Idea Lost?    

Not Voting?                

Nader Nominee           

Politics of the Soul      

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

 

ON LOSING THE NATIONAL PARK IDEA

Carl Russell, when superintendent of Yosemite National Park, urged me to put a most important article in the Sierra Club Bulletin, of which I was then editor, entitled "Yosemite: The Story of an Idea," by Hans Huth, of the Chicago Art Institute. I signed the foreword, but Carl wrote it. It was one of the most important articles the club ever published. You can find it on my web site, www.wildnesswithin.com.

I urge you to read it and this short piece as soon as you can. It will help you understand how the National Park Service, Bruce Babbitt, Al Gore, and President Clinton have forgotten what the national park idea is.

The Wilderness Society and National Parks Association may not remember. They favor the Babbitt plan for Yosemite, opposed the Sierra Club's effort to establish Kings Canyon National Park decades ago (as did the California Chamber of Commerce). NRDC also likes the Babbitt plan­and recently took credit for destroying the environmental movement's effort to oppose NAFTA and GATT, which the club, Friends of the Earth, Earth Island, and Ralph Nader opposed and still oppose). It is fair to add that the club initially opposed Kings Canyon, but Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes came out to San Francisco to show the club directors the error of their ways. The club had not wanted a park that failed to protect Cedar Grove and Tehipite Valley from dams that the Forest Service could not prevent but a national park could. The club especially did not want a welter of little dams in the Kings River High Sierra. Happily, we got the park with the High Sierra intact and the dam builders themselves gave up on Cedar Grove and Tephite.

An earlier Secretary of the Interior was willing to let Yosemite's Hetch Hetchy Valley be dammed. Secretary Hodel wanted it liberated. Secretary Udall wanted dams in the Grand Canyon but got over it. We would like Secretary Babbitt to decide that National Parks are Nature Centers, not Profit Centers.

Still another Secretary of the Interior allowed the National Park Service to vandalize Yosemite on the overengineered Tioga Road. NPS Director Newton B. Drury could say "We have no money; we can do no harm" and his Secretary admired him for it. Ansel Adams nailed the National Park Service with "When the theater is full, they don't sell lap space."

The Babbitt plan will eliminate the laps that don't like high hotel prices, cherish highways that are overengineeered, prefer leaving their cars far from home and Yosemite Valley, love polluting diesel bases, and hate camping out.

Bruce Babbitt once told me in Yosemite, "Because I'm not saying anything doesn't mean that I agree with you." I would like to have him agree that I have learned some useful things in my 81 years of traveling to Yosemite, three of them from working in the Valley year in and year out, and big number of years working to add nine units to the National Park System, a few of those years protecting three national parks from the National Park Service. Some of those years I was harsh, gentle for more of them. It is one of the most important government institutions anywhere. It can stay that way. Or get caught up in what my wife calls "greedlock." Which is where it is now.

From time to time the Sierra Club has lost its way in Yosemite, one of the club's main reasons for being. In the twenties the club wanted roads up Yosemite Valley to Vernal and Nevada Falls, and up the wild Tenaya Canyon. Recently a club calendar placed Yosemite Falls in Colorado. They gave Secretary of the Interior Hodel a photograph they said was in Hetch Hetchy. It was under Washington Column in Yosemite Valley.

The club has recently forgotten what Frederick Law Olmsted had to say about Yosemite in 1865, and no one has said it better since then. Mountains can use a voice, and his was one of the first to try to speak for them. This, with minor editing, is the essence of what he proposed the rights for nature implicit in the national park idea.

"The first requirement is to
preserve the natural scenery and
restrict within the narrowest limits
the necessary accommodation of visitors."

"Structures should not detract
from the dignity of the scene."

"In sacrificing anything that should be
of the slightest value to future visitors
to the convenience, bad taste, playfulness,
carelessness, or wanton destructiveness
of present visitors, we probably yield
the interest of uncounted millions
to the selfishness of a few."

 

Thus, in 1864, did an idea born on one coast reach another.

Both coasts would contribute its flowering, as did his son, author of the mission clause in the National Park Act, which provided for the public's enjoyment of the park by such means as would preserved it unimpaired. The NPS has often had trouble understanding what "such means"are. It suffers from that trouble right now.

My contribution to the flowering of the park idea was to enjoy every national park my parents took me too, Yosemite being the first in 1918. There were 37,000 visitors that year and I celebrated my sixth birthday alongside the railroad built to expedite construction of an alien dam in Yosemite's Hetch Hetchy Valley. Muir opposed it. The club didn't.

As a member of the Advisory Board of the Yosemite Concessions Service, operated by Delaware North, I have hope that the firm will add to its various interests, such as sports, food service, gambling, and making profit centers of the national parks, an interest in switching from ubiquitous SUV madness to sane rail transportation, so sadly sacked so recently by Big Oil, Speeding Cars, and Screaming Tires at our expense. (By the way, I'll bet I can drive to Yosemite faster than anyone but Galen Rowell, thanks to the sins I just complained about).

If they do want to add pricier hotels, wider roads in Yosemite Valley and Tuolumne Meadows, fewer campsites in the Valley, and have similar ideas for Sequoia-Kings, Yellowstone, and the Grand Canyon, the club should encourage the activists who are best informed on the subject to propose alternatives. I would just like to take Delaware North to lunch, and after enough martinis persuade them to add an American West Division as a profit center for National Park and World Heritage Conservation, Preservation, and Restoration Network Group (to use all the currently right words).

One of the missions would be to show Page Arizona that it need no longer be depend on income from polluting motor boats on a dangerously vulnerable Lake Powell, but do beetter as the gateway to a new Navajo-Hopi Heritage Region as the most innovative inspiration for the world environmental model of how to enjoy the Earth National Park idea. (That idea led to the Sierra Club's firing me from its staff in 1969, which led the founding of Friends of the Earth, which in a quarter of the club's life has found four times more members, in sixty-six countries and counting.

There are several opportunities I feel the club should seize before I get older and mature. I was a mountaineer back when the club liked mountaineers who knew that if you have lost your way you go back to the last known landmark. We are all losing our way on many routes. It could help us now to try to determine where we lost our way and where we didn't. Senator Tom Hayden analyzed his past for us: "All I've done is slow the rate at which things get worse." That's all the club had done, all I have, and perhaps you.

It is time for a a U-turn.

David R. Brower               
Berkeley, March 26, 2000

 

[Initiator of the Sierra Club Foundation, co-founder of the John Muir Institute for Environmental Studies, founder of Friends of the Earth and the League of Conservation Voters, founder and chairman of Earth Island Institute, co-chair of the Alliance for Sustainable Jobs and the Environment, nominated three times for the Nobel Peace Prize, Recipient of the Blue Planet Prize (Japan), co-founder of the Fate and Hope of the Earth Conferences, needing I was 86 again so I can get older longer.]

 

Note: Bruce Babbitt is the officer in charge of three Wonders of the World­Yosemite, the Grand Canyon, and not-yet-well-enough-known Glen Canyon, all three of them fully deserving of the sound bold leadership that Goethe had in mind:

Whatever you can do, or dream you get, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.

Timidity, on the other hand, has smoke, mirrors, and hesitation in it; we all know that he who hesitates is lost and may even advocate liquidation sales of irreplaceable assets. We need another Harold Ickes or Stewart Udall, not another Doug McKay, Walter Hickel, or James Watt. Go for twelve!

Beware of violating the National Park Act, NEPA, and directives of the court in California. Engage the public's trust in the National Park Idea.

   "Finer forms are in the quarry than ever Angelo evoked."

Anyone for lunch?


^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

From: Fredula1@aol.com

If you were thinking of not voting in this election...

The State of Texas, under the leadership of Governor George W. Bush, is
ranked:

50th in spending for teachers' salaries (Makes California look good)
49th in spending on the environment
48th in per-capita funding for public health
47th in delivery of social services
42nd in child-support collections
41st in per-capita spending on public education
1st in air and water pollution
1st in percentage of poor working parents without insurance
1st in percentage of children without health insurance
1st in executions (avg. 1 every 2 weeks for Bush's 5 years)
5th in percentage of population living in poverty

Just think of what he could do for the country if he were president.

Dr. William E. King
Professor of English
Department of Communication Arts, Language and Literature (CALL)
Western State College
Gunnison CO 81231

 

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ 

From: Mikhail Davis

Here's a great juxtaposition of quotes that combine to tell the
whole story. Enjoy.

"I have become very impatient with my own tendency to put a finger to the
political winds and proceed cautiously. The voice of caution whispers
persuasively in the ear of every politician, often with good reason. But
when caution breeds timidity, a good politician listens to other
voices. For me, the environmental crisis is the critical case in point:
now, every time I pause to consider whether I have gone too far out on a
limb, I look at the new facts that continue to pour in from around the
world and conclude that I have not gone nearly far enough. The integrity
of the environment is not just another issue to be used in political games
for popularity, votes, or attention. And the time has long since come to
take more political risks -- and endure much more political criticism -- by
proposing tougher, more effective solutions and fighting hard for their
enactment."

-- Al Gore, "Earth in the Balance" (1992)

 

 

"Sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul."

-- Ed Abbey

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ 

From: rmboult <rmboult@onemain.com>
To: <browerpower@wildnesswithin.com>
Date: Monday, August 13, 2001 10:13 AM
Subject: Wildness Within

Greetings,

I am inspired (and discouraged) to find a site named "Wildness Within"...

I was planning to claim this domain name myself (the reason for the
discouragement), when I found your inspiring site (the reason for being
inspired)!

Interestingly, I came up with this name in much the same way Brower
apparently did as described on this page:

http://www.wildnesswithin.com/thewildness.html.

I am very drawn not only to Thoreau's quote, "In wildness is the
preservation of the world", but also Muir's, "In God's wildness lies the
hope of the world."

I have come to the conclusion that for Wildness to be appreciated (and the
world then preserved), it must first be discovered Within. Our world will
change one person at a time, as each person, one by one, finds that God
Spirit or Wildness Within. As long as our focus is on our outer selves and
outer world, we miss the hidden secrets and value wtihin ourselves and
within nature's wildness.

I have found recently that this "Wildness" quote by Thoreau has caught the
attention of several others too:

It is the main theme of Jack Turner's book, "Abstract Wild"... a must read!

Lou Gold addresss the quote in this article:

http://www.siskiyou.org/lou/journals/wild.html

And the "Tonic of Wildness" is mentioned in this article:

http://www.igc.org/gadfly/papers/wildness.htm

Jack Turner also touches on the theme of "Wildness Within" with these words
from Abstract Wild, "No resolution to the crisis facing the wild earth will
achieve more than a modicum of success without an integration of spiritual
practice into our lives."

In wildness, Richard Boult

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ 

 

Comments?       wire:  browerpower@wildnesswithin.com