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It takes a Herculean effort to believe that national environmental groups are interested more in the environment than charlatanism.

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Environmentalist Charlatans

It takes a Herculean effort to believe that national environmental groups are interested more in the environment than charlatanism.

It takes a Herculean effort to believe that national environmental groups are interested more in the environment than charlatanism.

But even upon straining the limits of credulity, one finds such groups busy spending hard-earned fundraising dollars on comic absurdities rather than serious proposals addressing serious problems. Take Thursday’s staged event at the National Press Club, in which two anonymous National Park Service employees, hiding behind a curtain, voices disguised, harangued the Bush Administration for “enacting policies and laws that will destroy the grand legacy of our national parks.”

This charade, redolent of a mob trial, with all its insidious implications, was orchestrated by the “Campaign To Protect America’s Lands.” This is the same outfit that recently polled 1,0327 Park Service employees–or 8 percent of 17,000 total–found three-fourths of those surveyed “concerned” about Bush Administration policies affecting public lands, and inferred, with statistical precision, widespread discontent at the agency.

According to its website, the Campaign “conserves” parks and public lands and works with “national and local groups, former directors and employees of the Department of the Interior and other experts to publicize and stop the destruction of America’s most precious assets.”

FACT: The Campaign is nothing but a partisan front group.

Just look at the group’s advisory board: Eric Schaeffer, who resigned in protest from EPA and who spends his days attacking President Bush; John Leshy, former Clinton-appointee at Interior and former staffer for liberal Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.); Lisa Guide, former Clinton-appointee at the Interior Department and former New Jersey press secretary for Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign; and Molly Mcusic, former counselor to Clinton Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt.

So it’s easy to understand why the “Campaign” says President Bush’s Healthy Forests Initiative promotes “cutting down trees” for “timber industry profits.”

Their solution?

Why, people should just “fireproof their homes.” Why didn’t President Bush think of that!

The group’s website has no links for proposals or solutions, but is replete with screeds against the President. Under the “Learn the Facts” section you’ll find: “Clear Skies Means Dirty Air at Parks”; “Healthy Forests or Healthy Timber Industry Profits?”; “Privatization Plan Puts Profits Ahead of Our National Heritage and Historical Legacies”; and “The Crumbling Parks Under the Bush Administration.”

Written By

Mr. Catanzaro is Communications Director for the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

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