Trashing the Economy

How Runaway Environmentalism Is Wrecking America

By Ron Arnold

Free Enterprise Press, 1994
Originally published in The Downeast Coastal Press, February 1994

Copyright © 1994, Erich Veyhl, All Rights Reserved

The economy and private property rights in Maine are under unprecedented assault by the national environmentalist movement as millions of dollars are poured into a campaign to change forever Maine's traditional system of Constitutionally protected private property rights and independent way of life.

A new book, Trashing the Economy: How Runaway Environmentalism Is Wrecking America by Ron Arnold and Alan Gottlieb, may be the Paul Revere warning for Maine. Arnold and Gottlieb, both leaders in the national Wise Use movement, have researched the organization, goals and financing of the national environmental movement and its adverse impacts on the country: its destruction of the economy, its abuse of civil rights of American citizens, and its breakdown of basic ethics for the sake of corrupt big money and power.

Although national in scope, Trashing the Economy devotes several sections to preservationist activism in Maine. Moreover, documented abusive environmentalist political activism elsewhere in the nation shows ominously what Maine is in store for as environmentalist leaders and their funding move into the northeast to copy here what they have done to the people of the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, and other resource-dependent rural areas of the country.

Parts of the book of particular interest to Mainers are:

  1. The chapter on the Audubon Society focuses on national environmentalist plans (p. 246-256) to lock up the northern forests. Even after the frightening account of how Audubon and the national preservationist movement are destroying logging and ranching in the west, the authors were impelled to write: "Without a doubt the most audacious project is the grand theft of 26 million acres of New England stretching from the Downeast Maine coast to western New York state." They go on to describe the efforts of out-of-state and national environmental groups, as well as the Northern Forest Lands Study, to seize control of privately owned rural Maine.

    This section also references ongoing activism through militant advocacy groups such as the Natural Resources Council of Maine and American Rivers to shut down hydro-facilities throughout Maine.

  2. The chapter on The Nature Conservancy -- "the richest of all environmental groups - with assets of $727 million" [now much higher] -- exposes the organization's sophisticated real estate operations for profit, often on behalf of the Federal government. The section "Playing Rough" (pp.90-91) describes only one of the many questionable TNC deals in Maine -- the openly "good cop-bad cop" collaboration with the aggressive Natural Resources Council of Maine to take control of land at Donnell Pond near Ellsworth.

    The Maine chapter of TNC is also cited (pp. 101-102) as the source of TNC acknowledgments that its massive, national Heritage Data Base of computer files is intended to be used for government control of private land.

  3. Much of the documentation on the National Parks and Conservation Association -- the quasi-private lobbying arm of the National Park Service -- was provided by Maine landowners. "Documenting the Scandal"(beginning p. 373) outlines how the preservationists' national agenda to take over most of Maine's Washington County led in 1988 to a landowner rebellion and research project on National Park Service abuses that the preservationists will not soon forget -- as illustrated by the taped comments of the Director of the Park Service who said he wanted to "punch out" the landowners who exposed the National Natural Landmarks scam (pp. 395-396).

Mainers need to realize the extent to which the political activism to grab land in Maine is being funded and orchestrated from outside the state by national lobbyists backed by wealthy foundations and corporations.

Each of the chapters on about 30 major national environmentalist groups and their associates include statistics on their funding, but the chapter on Money (pp. 591-623) outlines a major coordinating effort by the Environmental Grantmakers Association (EGA) to control the environmentalist political agenda through its targeted funding.

The EGA is an umbrella group with about 140 foundation and corporate members (including L.L. Bean) controlling hundreds of millions of dollars in grants for environmental activism. One of the EGA's priority projects is control of Maine's rural land-base. The enormity of this sophisticated operation should make every Mainer's hair stand on end.