Pulling back the curtain on Scotchman Peaks Wilderness
by Jim Boyer
When my wife and I retired to the Idaho Panhandle last year, my plan was to relax and clear my mind of politics. But, as Michael Corleone said in Godfather; “Just when I thought I was out… they pull me back in”. Subsequently, I feel compelled to comment on the Scotchman Peaks Wilderness dust up I have been following from the sidelines for the last couple of months.
Make no doubt: if you are a freeborn freedom loving individual who believes in the often repeated basics of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness; the friendly sounding activists pushing this issue are your enemies.
Protect this, preserve that, save the other; no matter what the issue is and no matter where it is happening there are two things that are constant and true:
1. The campaigns of taking property and rights from sovereign states and private citizens are always hatched by groups of disingenuous liberal activists who are politically motivated and do not have your best interests at heart.
2. Activists coming at you from the left should never be trusted. The issue presented to the public is never what they have planned for the long run. It is only the first of several diversions used to disguise the intended outcome.
Groups like “Friends of Scotchman Peaks” are organized and experienced. They are normally well funded and trained in their craft. More often than not, the directing organization is out of the area. They operate in secrecy. They have infinite patience and their planning is always several moves ahead of what local citizens are led to believe.
The operative plan of radicals is normally structured around opening with a proposal designed to have a good sounding purpose and ambiguous flexibility. Using a modified version of the Delphi Technique, they will offer a slick presentation that is said to have wide spread support. They will have maps, pictures, quotes from scholars and statistics from experts.
The presentations they offer may take place in work shops, seminars or over long periods of time. The proposal will normally include alternative plans and compromise options that unsuspecting citizens can choose from in what is allegedly done to “build consensus”. The choices are predetermined and do nothing to alter the primary goal of creating an open door, or slippery slope leading to hidden elements that will be added later.
Once a council, a board, or a legislator is convinced to sign on as sponsor for the proposal, it virtually becomes a done deal. The only way to fend off a damaging loss to liberty is to defeat it in its infancy. Kill it and bury it once and for all; and for the good of all.
Public meetings and town hall gatherings are conducted for show. If the idea can appear to have gained consensus, or be “given a fair judgment” through an election ballot it will take on a life of its own. It will almost always do so even in defeat. It will be back, stalking you in a new disguise.
A consequence of protecting wilderness areas typically includes gates, ditches, berms and rock dams to deny vehicle entry. These are promoted as necessary to prevent erosion, landscape damage and/or unpoliced intrusions into the wilderness that can endanger public safety. The public is told this is to prevent destruction caused by vehicles like dirt bikes, quad utility machines, snow mobiles or even bicycles.
But what about access in case of fire – how do emergency vehicles get in? The response is to prohibit fires of any sort, ending over night camping is a measure to reduce that hazard. A more long range plan is also to prohibit hunting, fishing and restrict the area to day hikes only. This means an end to trail maintenance and campground sites as well as deep hiking penetration into the park.
Another surprise lurking out there is the future need for buffer zones to protect the protected area. This means completely surrounding the wilderness area with a buffer zone. Buffer proposals have been a mile or more where no maintenance, improvements, construction or development of any kind will be allowed.
In the “Wild Olympics” campaign on Washington’s Olympic peninsula a buffer zone of several miles was proposed at one point. In that case, the buffer zone would actually encompass privately owned properties and drastically change the conditions of property ownership, rights of succession and create non-conforming uses of existing dwellings or farms.
In some areas the California Coastal Zone that was implemented to deter shoreline erosion and protect near shore habitat extends 6 miles inland, reaches elevations hundreds of feet above sea level and sets draconian regulations on every aspect of life including window placement on homes, roof height and even the lumens of allowable exterior lighting.
In Washington Shoreline Master Plan updates the shoreline buffer zone sold as protection for marine life has taken 150 – 200 feet of property from ocean front, lakeside and river or stream side property owners. Many properties have been rendered worthless while existing homes that sit within the buffer have become non-conforming dwellings.
Properties existing in buffer zones experience difficulties with securing or maintaining mortgages, obtaining insurance and installing or maintaining wells or septic systems. Buffer zones are typically implemented with the move to classify the designated area as a UNESCO World Heritage Site under the control of the United Nations. ‘Scotchman’ is not a local issue, it is part of the world wide UN Agenda 21.
I offer these examples to stress that this is not a threat to ignore. People must realize our freedoms are under assault by the alliance of the government and radical activists and we are in for a very tough battle. If we do not stand together and stand firm, there is no turning back.