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The Western Watersheds Project's Assault on Family Ranchers

Another Earth Day has come and gone. Earth Day has become a holy day of obligation for America’s secular religion, the environmentalist movement.

But hidden behind the facade of planting trees or discussing the virtues of “paper or plastic” is a well-financed global group of dedicated radicals who are bent on changing the way we live whether we like it or not. They are funded by a vast network of wealthy individuals, trust funds, and foundations who selectively give money to organizations they can control like puppets on a string (think George Soros).

One such organization has dedicated its entire existence to the warped dream of one man who says that his ultimate goal in life is to destroy families and a way of life with absolutely no regard for the economic or human cost.

Meet Jon Marvel and the Western Watersheds Project.

This is an organization that talks a big game about saving the environment but in truth has never lifted a finger or raised a dollar to mitigate the environmental issues they claim to care so much about.

This is an organization that bills itself, according to its mission statement, as a group dedicated “to protect and restore western watersheds and wildlife through public education, public policy initiatives and litigation”

That last word “litigation” is the key, because in truth they are nothing more than a group of professional plaintiffs who have filed hundreds of lawsuits against the government and individuals to accomplish their goals. Between 2000 and 2009 they have filed 91 lawsuits and 31 appeals in Idaho alone and hundreds more throughout the West..

And this is an organization that has been funded in part with the hard-earned tax dollars of the American people to the tune of $1.2 million in Idaho Federal District courts alone by the abuse of the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA), which others have written about on these pages.

The Western Watersheds Project is headquartered in that playground of the rich and famous, Sun Valley, Idaho. The organizaton's neighbors include Teresa Heinz Kerry and her husband John Kerry as well as Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Marvel's ultimate goal? Ending any and all economic activity on the vast public lands that make up 75% of the American West. These are lands that are rich in resources and provide recreational opportunities like hunting, fishing, and hiking. They are also a critical part of our food supply, as grazing rights make cattle and sheep ranching possible.

Marvel saves his particular venom for the ranching communities of the West who lease the public lands from the government to graze their cattle or sheep.

Marvel and WWP claim that the ranchers pay very little to the government for the right to use the land for livestock grazing and that this is a form of “welfare” to the ranchers and the cowboys who work the land.

What he won’t tell you is that the rancher who enters into a lease agreement with the federal government is taking on the same responsibilities of environmental stewardship that they would on private land.

The ranchers are responsible for all the financial costs associated with maintaining the land as well as the wildlife that inhabit it. Failure to do so can result in fines, penalties, and the loss of the permit.

So here’s a question to ponder when you look at the wild claims of WWP and other environmental outlaws when it comes to cattle grazing on America’s public lands.

If livestock grazing is destroying the public lands, how come every year the grass comes back, the streams run clear with water, and the cycle of life continues as the land yields its nutrients to produce more meat for our tables?

Many ranching families can trace their history back five or six generations. So if everything that Jon Marvel and WWP say about the alleged abuse of the land were true, they would never have lasted one generation.

This is just the beginning. In the coming weeks I will be going into greater detail about WWP and the environmental cartel that is waging their war against the American West and the people who survived and prospered against everything Mother Nature has thrown at them and who are still fighting against a man-made pestilence — radical environmentalists armed with lawsuits.