Property Rights Foundation of America®
Founded 1994

Noteworthy Article

The Wildlands Project and conservation easements...
The connection between 'em

Agri-News, a national agricultural weekly, carried a reprint of a powerful article by Insight columnist John Elvin that exposed the connection between The Wildlands Project and conservation easements.

Focusing on one of the founders and key leaders of The Wildlands Project, Elvin quoted David Foreman, the eco-terrorist who had earlier founded the radical Earth First "Monkey Wrench" gang. Foreman explained how conservation easements lay the foundation for future Wildlands "corridors," or "land bridges," along rivers and other migratory paths that will be the connectors for "core reserves" of millions of acres. In The Wildlands Project, reminders of human habitation in the core areas and corridors are to be gradually erased.

Explaining the concept to Derrick Jensen, author of Listening to the Land, published by Sierra Club Books, Foreman said, "If we identify, say, a private ranch in Montana that's between two wilderness reserves, and we feel that 50 years from now it will be necessary as a corridor for wolves to go from one area to another, we can say to the rancher, 'We don't want you to give up your ranch now. But let us put a conservation easement on it. Let's work out the tax details so you can donate it in your will to this reserve system.' When it's needed for a corridor, it will be there."

Quoting Carol LaGrasse, president of the Property Rights Foundation of America, in her agreement that conservation easements prepare the way for Wildlands, Elvin wrote:

"Speaking of those who convey title to land trusts, she says landowners often believe - or often are led to believe - that land will remain in agricultural use and will not fall into government hands. 'But land trusts acquire land mainly with the specific purpose of reselling it to the government rather than holding the title themselves to keep the land as a private preserve,' she maintains. 'And they often make fabulous profits when the land is rolled over to the government."

The original article "Wild-Eyed in the Wilderness," appeared on Insight.com as well as in Insight magazine on April 23, 200l.

Agri-News, an Ag paper out of Billings, Montana, is packed with news and offers a free six-month subscription. Call (406) 259-5406.

This is part of a trio of articles on Wildlands and conservation easements.
See also:
"Innuendo and misstatement..."
"Pew took a public misstep"

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