This Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting included: “Assembly Bill 975: Discussion and possible action relative to the subject legislation as it relates to wild and scenic rivers.” I made the following statement:
“I urge this body to oppose both the present efforts to designate part of the Mokelumne River as Wild & Scenic and the proposed legislation in Sacramento to extend the Wild & Scenic definition. While there is much I could say, I will limit myself to two points.
Most of the discussion about the Mokelumne definition has been framed as an isolated discussion. But if you add up all the wild and scenic rivers, land trusts, conservation easements, carbon capture forests and other schemes and place them on map, America now looks like the land tenure system of aristocratic medieval Europe. I find this very ironic since, if you look around this room, probably everyone here is descended from people who voted with their feet to leave that behind. Much of the founding population of our nation were people who lost their grazing rights under the Enclosure Acts and understood the relationship between land ownership and freedom. I would add to that affordable land ownership. The American Dream should not die on our watch.
I also find these designations to be arrogant and selfish. By what right do we have to imprison the decisions of future generations? The only thing being preserved here is privilege.”