It’s about preserving land for everyone

I had to respond to the letter from Dustin Boucher, Sultan City Council member, regarding the Wild Sky Wilderness (“Sultan council said no together,” April 4). He tromps out some pretty fancy language. Unfortunately, it lacks much meaning.

Would someone please tell me what “environmental elitism” means? Environmentalists work (for free, in the vast majority of cases, including mine) for the greater good of the planet we call home, by whose health we humans – all humans, not just those who can afford off-road vehicles – benefit. What, exactly, is elitist about that?

Environmentalists would have the public land benefit all of the public, not just a select few. Wilderness designation of the Wild Sky would protect clean water, air and fish populations, prevent flooding, ameliorate drought by allowing the forest to soak up rain and release it slowly, and preserve plant and animal species diversity for all citizens, not only those who can afford motorized wreckreation (no, this is not a misspelling).

For those who still don’t get it, preserving biological diversity means that we keep all the parts – long said to be “the first rule of intelligent tinkering” – of the biological web that keeps this planet humming. Some of those parts may prove the next cure for heart attack, or even cancer brought on by breathing exhaust from ORVs. More importantly, they are a link in the interdependent web that holds it all together, and we need to preserve what we can of that, or this planet and all its inhabitants – elitist or not – will perish.

The Wild Sky Wilderness Act is the product of unprecedented collaboration and compromise, with broad bipartisan and local support, the Sultan City Council notwithstanding.

Kathy Johnson


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