Dear San Juan Citizens,
Wow! We have the Audubon Society and other organizations having their members sign form letters asking to have our BLM lands be made a National Monument. Why not have a local discussion on the issue? Are we simply going to concede local control of our economy and community to the Federal Government? History suggests that if you have a National Marine Sanctuary, National Monument, National Conservation Area, National Park…., several things happen:
* The process is started by a small group of individuals who “know best” and who lobby quietly behind the scenes for federal control.
* Control of the designated areas, and many adjacent areas to these lands, end up managed with a superior authoritarian attitude via a bureaucracy that is thousands of miles away.
* A planning line is drawn around the areas that are eventually intended to be controlled/affected. In our case that area was identified by a green line on a map, at the request of Representative Rick Larsen.
* Agriculture uses are usually restricted or phased out over time. Ag is messy and in general, is not pretty or desirable to bureaucrats and tourists.
* Local economies change and become less diverse. This causes a loss of community/culture/heritage for local communities.
* Property owners lose rights, use, and value of their lands. Over time inholders and adjacent landowners are made to be willing sellers through a variety of regulations, restrictions, and bureaucracy and eminent domain actions.
I believe in promoting ways to protect our heritage and lands, without giving away our children’s sovereignty. We can promote Conservation over Prohibition (Gary Tripp) through education and actions that make a real environmental difference. As 2009 Nobel Prize winner, Dr. Elinor Ostrom, noted in her scientific studies, the best strategies for managing a commons is local control because it allows rules to be “based on unique aspects of a local resource and culture”. Dr. Ostrom found that, “local people usually know more about what’s best for their communities than expert planners.” Dr. Ostrom promoted education and low cost sanctions for rule violators. Most humans want a clean nest and to protect and to care for where one lives and what one owns. Thriving communities want vibrant businesses and to have the money to spend on enhancing and protecting the environment.
If you want to get involved, call me- 378-6473
Frank M Penwell
San Juan Island