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Don’t conflate conservation, environmentalism

A few observations regarding the editorial by Maddy Butcher:

“Environmentalist: a person who is concerned with and/or advocates for the protection of the natural environment.”

“Environment: the natural environment encompasses all living and non-living things occurring naturally, meaning in this case not artificial.”

Both of these definitions are from Wikipedia.

Maddy asks, “Who are the environmentalists?” She goes on to answer that, among others, the Partnership of Range Trusts qualifies. Not so. Her statement that PORT has conserved “well over 3 million acres” is misleading. Its website states that, “PORT is an alliance of agricultural-focused conservation organizations dedicated to preserving America's working farms and ranches and conserving productive agricultural lands.” While a good thing, that is not environmentalism. That is conserving land for your personal benefit.

Rangeland conservation does not hold benefiting the natural environment as its goal. Water courses altered, prairie dog villages exterminated, indigenous plants eradicated and other animal life poisoned does not aid the natural environment, it aids the income of the agricultural community.

She states further that "Generational land wisdom and conservation efforts sit squarely with agriculturalists." I am not opposed to farmers tilling the land and doing what must be done to grow crops, amen for the ag community but ...

Let's not conflate the terms environmentalist and conservationist as Ms.Butcher does in her heartfelt article. Be clear: Conserving the family farm for future generations, while laudable, does not an environmentalist make. The artificial agricultural environment is not in sync with the natural environment.

Jim Skvorc