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This smacks of environmental elitism 


I respect what the Sierra Club stands for, but it seems to have transformed, at least locally under the leadership of Andrew Christie, into just another political special interest group that will use any tactic to advance their agenda. In Mr. Christie’s opinion piece (“McCarthy, have you no shame?” May 5), he claims that Rep. Kevin McCarthy has “decided to bring the idea of American wilderness to an end,” the equivalent of saying Mr. McCarthy is in favor of killing all baby ducks. Mr. Christie is using the propaganda technique of taking a grain of truth and turning it into an all-encompassing fact, the same way some conservatives will accuse President Obama of being a Communist. This greatly damages the credibility of the Sierra Club and those members who deal with issues honestly.

By including the quote that “Republicans apparently won’t be content until every acre is logged and paved,” Mr. Christie further implies that H.R. 1581 will eliminate all wilderness protection. In truth, the bill’s purpose is “To release wilderness study areas administered by the Bureau of Land Management that are not suitable for wilderness designation from continued management as de facto wilderness areas.”

Mr. Christie quotes the fact that “outdoor recreation contributes $730 billion annually to the U.S. economy.” It’s ironic that a good portion of this “outdoor recreation” is opposed by the Sierra Club. To imply that H.R 1581 would result in a net loss of jobs and “neatly nip” economic growth “in the bud” is not propaganda, Mr. Christie, it is a lie. Just how much does hiking stimulate the economy?

At times, I get the feeling that if the current environmental leaders were in control in the past, the only access to the Yosemite Valley would be through hiking trails. Does the Sierra Club represent the interest and enjoyment of all Americans, or just an elite few?

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