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May 2000, Week 1


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"Mark P. Renson" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Vermont Skiing Discussion and Snow Reports <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 1 May 2000 20:07:38 -0400
text/plain (130 lines)
        OUTSTANDING dialogue on this thread; great contributions by all.  Anyway

On Monday, May 01, 2000 10:39 AM, Scott Mortimer
[SMTP:[log in to unmask]] wrote:

> Hesitant about becoming some extremist tree-hugger? Just remember,
without these "radical hippies"

        There's obviously some good lite sarcasm here.  Just so nobody gets the
wrong impression, the outdoors and environmental activism is for everyone.
 As I have stated in the past, fish & game orgs which tend to be comprised
of standard-issue middle class common folks who just like to have solitude
and independence outdoors, have been outstanding regarding conservation.  I
have even seen Fortune 50 corp executives get involved with conservation
groups - seemingly unlikely, but true.  When the Northern Forest Alliance
went to Backwoods Maine to conduct hearings, they expected to get run out
of town by loggers;  surprisingly, this did not happen.  Granted there were
disagreements on issues, but there was a lot of "common ground";  those
involved in logging obviously did not want to see the industry die, but at
the same time they did not want to see irresponsible and destructive timber
harvesting - hey, they live there and don't want to see the countryside
looking like crap and they do recreate in the woods whether it be hiking,
hunting, snowmobiling, bird-watching, etc.  The point is that there's a lot
of regular hard-working common folk involved in environmental protection
and it is not the domain of a buncha' anaujiram smoking left-wing crackpot
communist extremists (yeah,Teddy Roosevelt was a real communist, right?).

> wouldn't have had the clean air or water acts in the 70's (btw, these
> were predicted to wreck the economy).  Boston Harbor would still be a
> huge sewage pool.

        Gee, the Massachusetts economy is booming right now, despite making
gigantic investments in sewage treatment, etc to clean up the harbor during
the last 10-15 years.

> The Adirondacks and White Mountains would be
> probably be razed to the ground (as it was in the 1800's) every few
> decades by logging.  None of these decisions were made by politicians
> just jumping up and saying, "hey, this makes sense".  (Also, I've got
> the email address of every state and federal Congressional rep from
> my district in my address book, direct communication is an extrememly
> easy and effective way to influence policy.)

        At a Northern Forest presentation in New Haven not too long ago, one of
the points that was stressed was that those in office listen surprisingly
well - you'd be amazed at how high politicians jump when you ask them.  The
problem is that hardly anyone asks them to jump.  Government reflects the
people - if the people are lazy and they suck, then government will, too.
 So, open your ears, get informed, back up your points with facts/data and
get the lead outta' your arse and those in power will react.  It's that
simple. It happens, but not anywhere near enough.

> I've posted extensively before on how environmental issues are almost
> always long-term vs. short-term decisions, not economy/jobs vs. the
> environment. Here's one example though.  In the early 90's, Vermont
> was least affected of all NE states by the recession that hammered
> the US, especially the Northeast.  One major reason for this is Act
> 250, which had slowly been encouraging environmentally efficient
> industries, which for a variety of reasons are more robust over the
> long term (this is from the business section of the paper).  Sadly

        Keep in mind that environmental laws have encouraged some industries.  For
example, the clean ups of the Great Lakes have resulted in the
return/introduction of sensitive and prized gamefish such as trout and
salmon and whaddya' know, certain sleepy communities have now boomed from
"runs" of fish from the lakes into the streams which did not happen 25+
years ago.  Cleaner water, more wildlife, happy sportsmen, thriving
businesses to support sportsmen/women - sounds like a lotta' "win-win"
here, to me.

On Monday, May 01, 2000 12:05 PM, Skip King [SMTP:[log in to unmask]]

> But curiously, a number of environmentally proactive things ski
> areas have attempted to do have been stopped or delayed at great
> expense by -- of all people -- environmental groups exploiting the
> very laws they claim to support!  Check out SKI Magazine's Nov.
> 1999 issue -- page 124 -- too see what one large and well-funded
> environmental group did to a small community-oriented ski area out
> in Oregon, and tell me their motives were pure.  Sure looks to me
> like they were trying to shut 'em down.

        Skip, thanx for your contributions and you made some good points in your
post.  But, consider the source, here - SKI Magazine;  I'd take them with a
grain of salt.

On Monday, May 01, 2000 3:24 PM, Leigh Daboll
[SMTP:[log in to unmask]] wrote:

> political axioms, "All politics is local", and "NIMBY".  It should be a
> lot easier to get all worked up about the expansion of a ski resort if
> you live next door to it.  However, I would sure be interested to see if
> the majority of the opposition to any particular given ski resort
> expansion comes from locals who have to suffer (pro and con) with the
> consequences, or if it comes from the "enviro-mercenaries" flown in for

        I suspect that those who live in very close proximity to a ski resort (I
didn't say "McResort"- see, I'm trying real hard to behave) would be
pro-expansion and I suspect that would be due to the fact that they are
tied in directly to the place.  I would bet that many of these are also
transplants from the flatlands (not that there's anything wrong with that).
 My experience from owning a house in Plymouth VT years ago, was that the
locals - and they were for the most part indeed born & bred in Vermont -
felt that Killington "had gone wa-a-a-ay too far" with development.  I also
suspect that was the case with other communities (Pittsfield, Bridgewater,
etc) that were not on the mountain, but in close proximity.  Of course,
this is all observation and speculation on my part and not based on a
quantitive analysis.

> It's even worse for Canadians.  We sometimes never get to use these new
> safer sprays because Canadian environmental law dictates that we must
> repeat the US testing process in its entirty.  Because we have a small
> market up here for some crops, some of the chemical companies simply say
> "what the hell is in it for us", and choose not to bother putting the
> new chemical on the market.  Hence, we get stuck using and being exposed
> to the older more harmful chemicals forever.

        Leigh, keep in mind what I said above.  Canada is a democracy and you
gotta' holler and get the law changed.  If your argument is indeed valid
and your aggie comrades have been (hootin' & hollerin'), then God bless you
and holler louder.  If you have not, then shame on you.


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