What I love the most about Ricochet is the community. Even those of us who are, um, former members of the community, for one reason or another.
(I'll pause here for a moment to say, once again, that if you haven't joined as a member, please do. Right now. We'll wait.)
Okay, with that said, many of you will remember a former member, Kenneth, who stirred things up with his acerbic wit and -- let's be honest -- sharper-than-necessary language. What's he been up to lately?
There's lots of funny stuff over there -- he calls his blog "The Full Kenneth," which means pretty much what you expect that it means. But I especially enjoyed his recent screed against the huge amount of land the government owns:
The federal government owns more than 30% of the land in the United States. Here in California, that share is more than 45%.
Now, no one would object that national treasures like Yosemite and Yellowstone should be preserved, in perpetuity, for the enjoyment of future generations.
But the problem these days is that federal bureaucrats and their environmental enablers increasingly militate for a regime in which the public who owns those lands are barred from enjoying them.
Take Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, for instance. Established in 1968, this 316-square-mile preserve spans a magnificent part of the high Sierra Mountains. But it’s tough trekking, so, for many years before and since the establishment of the park, dozens of small, family-owned companies have provided horseback tours that allow flatlanders to enjoy the area’s beauty.
No more. An outfit calling itself High Sierra Hikers – essentially two fanatic environmentalists who live in Lake Tahoe, hundreds of miles away from the park – recently sued the federal Department of the Interior, claiming that by allowing a few hundred tourists each summer to visit the park on horseback, the Department was violating the 1964 Wilderness Act...
...those two guys in Lake Tahoe found a big-time San Francisco law firm to file the suit. And, by coincidence, the federal judge who heard the case was a former lawyer for said big-time law firm. And when the two guys won the case, the judge awarded the big-time law firm millions of dollars in legal fees, while the small companies that had offered horseback tours for generations were put out of business. And hundreds of citizens who might have enjoyed the back country each summer were out of luck.
I know I'm stirring things up myself when I say this, but if you've got a moment and are so inclined, head over to Kenneth's blog and say hello.