Again we find that, too often, environmental causes are used as the excuse to obliterate private property and individual rights – the underpinnings of a free society. This is a very good piece by Richard Moore about how government stewardship programs are choking the North Woods to death. Here’s a part:
The reason is pretty simple and straightforward: These purchases of land and easements have reached the point where they pose an existential threat to life in the Northwoods. This purchase alone would place more than 80 percent of the land in the town of Monico under government ownership and/or control, obliterating any chance the town would have to develop economically in the future. Just over 30 percent of all of Oneida County is owned by government—state, county, federal—and as the number of privately-held or controlled acres dwindles, so does any realistic chance to diversify and grow vibrant economies and robust, cohesive communities.
Speaking to the Oneida County board of supervisors this past week, Felzkowski put it this way:
The purchase of land north of Hwy. 64 has got to stop if we are ever going to see economic vitality up here. The towns can’t afford EMS services. Our schools have declining enrollment.
The senator offered up some shocking statistics to underscore how extensive and far-reaching these land control schemes have become. All totaled, Felzkowski said, about 5.9 million acres of land in Wisconsin are publicly held:
Those 5.9 million acres of land are larger than the state of Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Rhode Island and is equal to the state of Vermont.
The counties of Forest, Florence, Langlade, Lincoln, Oneida and Vilas—some of the poorest counties in the state—have 1.3 million acres of public land, Felzkowski said:
Florence County is 45.7 percent publicly owned, or 32 acres per resident. Forest County is 59.7 percent publicly owned, or 42 acres per resident. Langlade County is 32.6 percent publicly owned, or 9 acres per resident. Oneida County is 30 percent publicly owned, which equates out to 6 acres per resident.
By contrast, Dane County is 3.8 percent public land, which is less than one half of 1 percent per resident, Felzkowski said.
When 80 percent of a town is owned by government, it’s effectively a government town. The private sector withers and dies, and the town withers and dies with it. The Northwoods would become a pristine but empty wilderness devoted entirely to wildlife and elite humans—the affluent bureaucrats and progressives who will, and have, used this as their private playgrounds.
For average families, there would be housing, no jobs, no schools, no room for them..
Another effect of all that land grabbing is to stifle the proliferation of rural voter interests while at the same time expanding urban voter proclivities out into the suburbs. Isolate and eliminate.