24. THE FINAL BATTLE TO SAVE WILD AMERICA
As never before in the history of the United States have so many of
its ecosystems been threatened with disruption. The lands in trouble
include almost every type of natural ecosystem found in the Lower 48
states. We are finally paying the price for too many years of uncontrolled
growth. Following are just some of the threatened areas:
Cascade Forests of the Northwest -- threatened by the logging industry
for timber production.
The Prairie Pothole Wetlands of the Dakotas and Minnesota -- threatened
by agricultural development.
The Bridger-Teton National Forest of Wyoming -- threatened by oil
and gas exploration.
The 300 Barrier Islands Along the Coast from Main to Texas -- threatened
by housing development.
The Columbia River Basin (once one of the world's greatest anadromous
fish production systems) -- threatened by another dam.
The Delicate California Desert -- threatened by housing development
and recreational exploitation.
The Chesapeake Bay Seafood Resource -- threatened by toxic chemicals,
municipal sewage, and a proposed oil refinery.
The Nation's Tallgrass Prairie -- threatened by housing and agricultural
The Adirondack Lakes -- threatened by acid rain.
The Mississippi Delta -- threatened by the construction of levees
and drainage canals.
The threat to America's environment is so great that ten of the nation's
leading environmental organizations were forced to join together to
indict President Reagan and his administration for dismantling the environmental
laws and programs they are charged with administering.
The ten groups, with more than one million members, are trying to get
word to Congress and the American people that the current pattern of
environmental destruction is frightening.
The failure of the news media to report the extent of environmental
destruction occurring in the country and its impact on future generations
qualifies this story for nomination asone of the "best censored"
stories of 1981.
National Wildlife Federation, Aug/Oct 1981, "The Battle to Save
Wild America, by Mark Wexler; S.F. Chronicle, 4/1/82, "10 Environment
Groups Attack Reagan, Aides" by Dale Champion.