Monday, June 07, 2021

DuBois column: Expanding feds and kissin’ chickens

Expanding feds and kissin’ chickens

30 by 30

Last month I wrote of President Biden’s 30 by 30 proposal, where the goal is to protect 30 percent of the land and 30 percent of the water by 2030.  In response to the President’s order, the federal agencies have now submitted their preliminary report Conserving and Restoring America the Beautiful.

Not surprisingly, the agencies support the proposed acquisition program. They expound upon the many benefits that would result from this expansion of the federal domain. The report states:

The investments in restoration, reforestation, reclamation, and other activities that improve the function and form of our natural systems—from the Everglades and the Great Lakes to the Chesapeake Bay—will not only bolster our nation’s resilience to extreme wildfires, sea level rise, droughts, storms, and other climate impacts, but they will also create a new pathway to good-paying union jobs and provide economic benefits to communities across the nation." 

Each time an acre of land passes from the private sector to federal ownership or control, our resilience to wildfire is greatly improved, droughts will lessen, sea levels will not rise, storms and other climate impacts will be less severe. Not only that, in addition each time an acre is transferred from the private sector to the oink sector, "good paying union jobs" will be created and the economic benefits to communities will occur across the entire nation!

Why didn't someone think of this before? Actually someone has, and Russia is way ahead of us on this progressive path to prosperity.

There is the issue of nature-deprived communities.  The report described these as "communities of color and low-income communities" and states they "have disproportionately less access to nature’s benefits." In addition, they found that an "estimated 100 million Americans do not have a park within a ten-minute walk of their home." That is shocking!

Let's take a look at what is really being attempted here. These same communities deserve decent nutrition so we have a food stamps. They must have shelter, so we have low-income housing programs. They have economic issues so we have welfare programs. All Americans deserve access to healthcare so we have Medicaid. Now we find out they are nature-deprived. You see where this is heading? This whole thing is a setup to create a PEP program, a Park in Every Precinct. FDR had his Chicken in Every Pot and now Biden will have his Park in Every Precinct. Some may believe this is a wonderful, kind-hearted attempt to invoke nature for the benefit of these groups and planet earth. Others of us recognize it for what it is: the establishing of another entitlement program and a way to funnel part of these climate funds to urban districts. 

Throughout the press release and the report, you will continually find "locally led" when describing these new programs. One chapter of the report is titled, "Support Locally Led and Locally Designed Conservation Efforts." Finally, we have an administration that recognizes local decisions are the best decisions. That is what you would think, unless you actually read the report. Therein, you will find the following passage:

To better support and encourage locally led conservation and restoration efforts across the country, however, it will be important for Federal agencies to identify areas of priority and focus for investment and collaboration. 

 Submit all the locally led and locally designed plans you want, but the feds will determine which are high priority and which one of those will be funded. They want local input, as long as they meet the criteria ordained by the feds. If the feds control the rating and funding, they control the whole program.

The enviros know they are politically vulnerable because of a lack of minorities in their organizations and because minority visits to federal lands are way below their percentage of the population. Government studies show the typical visitor to a wilderness area is an upper-income white male with an advanced degree. The enviros have started several different well-funded programs in an attempt to involve more minorities in these issues, with little to show for their efforts.

So the answer is simple: If they won't visit the parks then bring the parks to them!  A PEP program does more than bring federal jobs and dollars to urban districts. It will also benefit the enviros, who will now have a captured audience to sell their wares to and a guaranteed increase in minority participation.

The debates on this issue will inevitably take place before the appropriation committees. By using existing programs, the proponents already have the legislative authority to accomplish their goal. What they don't have is enough funding to reach their desired outcome. However, with Dems controlling both Houses of Congress and the White House, the likely success of increased funding seems imminent.

Dr. Jerry Schickedanz of the Linebery Policy Center at NMSU and former Dean of the College of Agriculture, has recently written about the 30 by 30 program. He raises the question of where is the science that justifies the program. Schickedanz notes that even the enviros aren’t in agreement on this and quotes the Nature Conservancy, “There is no science that defines a universal threshold for the proportion of the planet that needs to be protected, no magical threshold, in other words, at which the Earth enters a safe zone.” 

Schickedanz also raises the issue of how much land will it take to fulfill this mandate.

“How much land are we talking about?  There are approximately 2.3 billion acres in the United States, including Alaska. It will require that the United States set aside 681 million acres to meet the 30 x 30 goal.  That is equivalent to protecting the states of Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Utah, Texas, Washington, Wyoming, New Hampshire, and New Jersey, or an area four times the size of Texas.” 

However you cut it, that is a huge chunk of property. 

Kisssin’ Chickens

The Center for Disease Control is investigating an outbreak of Salmonella across 43 states which has resulted in 34 persons being hospitalized, and they are laying the blame on backyard poultry. They say chicken or ducks can carry the germs, even if they look clean and healthy. They also say salmonella is easy to spread. 

Infection can cause fever, diarrhea, stomach pain and vomiting. Most people recover without treatment, but more severe cases can cause death. According to the CDC, one-third of the people reported ill in the recent outbreaks have been under the age of five. 

 "Don't kiss or snuggle the birds, as this can spread germs to your mouth and make you sick," said the CDC in a statement.

The official advice from government scientists is DON'T KISS YOUR CHICKENS! i. e., don't be a dumb cluck. 

I don't know what we would do without these officials.  

I’m surprised that I see no mention of chicken masks.   

Personally, I have always believed in social distancing when it comes to me and chickens. 

Finally, May has not been a happy time at the DuBois place. We lost Giles Lee, the last surviving member of the original NMSU rodeo team (1942). Giles was a large man with a big personality, and was in on the ground floor of establishing the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association Alumni and a founding member of the Senior Steer Ropers Association. It was an honor and a pleasure to have known this man. 

And May 24 would have been Sharon and mine’s 49th wedding anniversary. 

Until next time, be a nuisance to the devil and don’t forget to check that cinch.


Frank DuBois was the NM Secretary of Agriculture from 1988 to 2003, is the author of a blog: The Westerner ( and is the founder of The DuBois Rodeo Scholarship and The DuBois Western Heritage Foundation

This column originally appeared in the June issues of The New Mexico Stockman and The Livestock Market Digest.

1 comment:

Eric Schwennesen said...

Incisive and on target, as always! Delightful reading!