Andy Kerr

Conservationist, Writer, Analyst, Operative, Agitator, Strategist, Tactitian, Schmoozer, Raconteur

Antiquities Act

The National Marine Sanctuary System, Actual and Potential

The National Marine Sanctuary System, Actual and Potential

National Marine Sanctuaries have been established to protect shipwrecks, whales, coral reefs, and other things marinely spectacular. “Sanctuary” is generally a misnomer, though, in that NMSs are not true sanctuaries from all extractive uses. Most NMSs were established by the secretary of commerce in the process mandated in the NMSA. Surviving this process means that most NMSs come out the other end of the bureaucratic meat grinder as compromised. While oil and gas exploitation is generally banned (sometimes NOAA doesn’t do so, but Congress always steps in and does so ban), other extractive uses are often not.

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Reigniting the Pacific Northwest Timber Wars by Logging More Old Growth: Bring It On, President Trump!

At 61 and with acrophobia, I’m no use in climbing old trees to defend them from the chainsaw. But a younger generation of activists will sit, en masse, in those threatened old-growth trees, in front of bulldozers, and/or in appropriate offices. And if it comes to that, I’m happy to get arrested in offices of the Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Republican Party, the timber industry, or elected officials.

Bring it on, President Trump. Bring it on, Big Timber. Bring it on, Rep. Walden. Go ahead, make my day: reignite the Pacific Northwest timber wars.

Let the battle be joined, as nothing less is at stake than the lands and forests we leave to future generations.

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National Monuments: Long-Term National Versus Short-Term Local Interests

The people of Boston might make more money chopping up Old Ironsides into souvenirs and leasing out the space on the water to a floating casino, but they can’t. The oldest commissioned ship in the United States Navy doesn’t belong to them alone. The people of Washington DC might make more money if the National Mall were converted to condominiums, but they can’t. The nation’s lawn doesn’t belong to them alone.

Nor do the nation’s federal public lands belong to locals alone.

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