Wintry day CoyoteWintry day Coyote – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/1600, ISO 640, +0.7 EV, natural light, not baited or called in

“The ugliest thing in America is greed, the lust for power and domination, the lunatic ideology of perpetual Growth – with a capital G. ‘Progress’ in our nation has for too long been confused with ‘Growth’; I see the two as different, almost incompatible, since progress means, or should mean, change for the better – toward social justice, a livable and open world, equal opportunity and affirmative action for all forms of life. And I mean all forms, not merely the human. The grizzly, the wolf, the rattlesnake, the condor, the coyote, the crocodile, whatever, each and every species has as much right to be here as we do.”

~ Edward Abbey

Stormy weather, mountains and golden grassesStormy weather, mountains and golden grasses, Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, Beaverhead County, Montana

I’ve been worried about our public lands staying in public hands for quite some time now but since November I have become more and more concerned about our public lands being under assault. Our public lands have now officially been devalued by our own elected officials so they can be more easily sold off. Sold to be destroyed, sold so that only the rich can enjoy them, sold so that the already fat wallets of the wealthy get fatter.

When our public lands are under assault so are the wild lives that exist there, the coyotes, deer, birds, bears and all the rest who make it their home.  There are some that say the state can better care for those lands. I’d call them fools but we humans are all distant cousins so I’ll tame that down a bit and call them misled instead. Intentionally and deliberately misled.

No Trespassing - View of Flaming Gorge ReservoirNo Trespassing – View of Flaming Gorge Reservoir (Sign added by me)

Land grabs and illusions.

This is what the land grabbers intend to do. They will sell of the public land you fish on, hunt on, camp on, hike on, recreate on. Those lands will become the stories that children of the future will hear with these words at the beginning of the story, “Once upon a time” and those stories will be about the wilderness that was lost and there will be no happy endings.

No Trespassing signs will become the ugliest graffiti of our lifetime and we will all lose. For those who think it won’t happen, that is because the powers that be want you to believe it won’t. They have spent a lot of money, time and energy creating illusions to make sure people believe what they say. For their purposes not ours.

It has already happened. It is happening still. We need progress, we don’t need growth when growth is greed.


Utah: In 2011 Gov. Gary Herbert (R-UT) said it’s “worth exploring” selling off much of his own state to help pay down the national debt, agreeing with an earlier call from Rep. Dennis Ross (R-FL).


  1. Utahbooklover January 30, 2017 at 6:32 pm

    Thanks for this post. Just the other day I got a similar warning from the Wildlife Guardians:

    Donald Trump’s nominee to run the Interior Department, Congressman Ryan Zinke of Montana, is making a habit of defrauding the American people.
    First Congressman Zinke defrauded the military by using public money to pay for personal trips. Most recently he voted to allow our public lands to be given away scot-free to the fossil fuel industry and other developers.
    Even though Zinke’s says he supports public lands, he just voted to allow the House of Representatives to support public lands transfers without considering the cost to the American people.

  2. Ilze Long January 30, 2017 at 6:15 pm

    It seems to me that whenever we elect anyone for any public office one of the most important questions should be their stewardship of the county/city/state/nation they will represent in that office. Public lands and access to them are vital to the survival of the all species, man included.
    One tree or one small park in the city while it may be attractive is not the same as being in the woods, meadows, mountains and do not provide the same renewal within the soul as do the wild lands with their denizens. There are multiple studies that attest to the benefits of being out in the wild. In many places on rivers, lakes access for the public to the water is limited because the rich have ownership of the banks. I fear this is where we are headed. Everything is for sale!

    This is a poem by Mary Oliver

    How I Go to the Woods

    Ordinarily I go to the woods alone, with not a single
    friend, for they are all smilers and talkers and therefore,

    I don’t really want to be witnessed talking to the catbirds
    or hugging the old black oak tree. I have my way of
    praying, as you no doubt have yours.

    Besides, when I am alone I can become invisible, I can sit
    on the top of a dune as motionless as an uprise of weeds,
    until the foxes run by unconcerned. I can hear the almost
    unbearable sound of the roses singing.

    Mary Oliver

  3. Porcupine January 30, 2017 at 10:31 am

    Agreed. Thay ain’t talkin about selling off public land to you and me. They are talking about selling it off to multi-national corporations who care about no one and no thing except profits. Time to start quoting Woody Guthrie.

  4. Patty Chadwick January 30, 2017 at 10:11 am

    I USED to think progress meant going forward–toward something better…but, I’ve learned that ,far too often, it means destructive practices and going backward…”privatization” of public lands is a criminal act AND MUST NOT BE TOLERATED AND FOUGHT RELENTLESSLY!!!

  5. S. Hansen January 30, 2017 at 9:54 am

    Wonderful post Mia. We’re fighting for the same thing here in Canada, for exactly the same reasons – the future for our children and all the other inhabitants of this amazing planet.

  6. Grace Dunklee Cohen January 30, 2017 at 9:36 am

    Thanks for speaking out, Mia! Let’s ALL be concerned about the well-wrong of public lands – they belong to ALL OF US, not just a few bureaucrats who could rape, pillage & sell these precious NATIONAL resource treasures on a whim. Thanks to you for setting an example for us all to follow: SPEAK UP, SPEAK OUT & STAND FIRM to forever PROTECT OUR PUBLIC LAND for the public good! Contact your elected officials and let them know how important it is to

  7. Bob mcp January 30, 2017 at 7:52 am

    Write on ,Mia. You express our feelings beautifully. The

  8. pennypinchadventure Tim Traver January 30, 2017 at 6:56 am

    Nice post Mia. All of us, whether we know it or remember it or not, need the connection to these open spaces. Privatization, no trespassing signs, the ideological view that these places, these lives, this beauty isn’t our shared responsibility — our shared joy – is shameful. The ultra powerful have been cruising lands and plucking gems out of the crown for a long time. The trend, combined with an uptick in survivalism, nationalism, greed and fear promises to increase across the globe unless we all pay attention, stay involved, work together. Thanks for your voice.

  9. Stu January 30, 2017 at 6:53 am

    You write so well. This is your true calling imo, becoming a social activist for Nature and the Planet. And, your ability to capture the beauty of our natural world with your camera is a great weapon to have in your arsenal..

  10. Esther January 30, 2017 at 6:12 am

    I so agree! State governments often do not have the personnel nor the fiscal resources to take care of public lands. I fear for the natural beauty and bounty of our wild lands with our current administration.

Comments are closed.