Monday, April 25, 2011

Can Environmental Compromise Work?

There's something particularly uncompromising about environmentalism. If you believe that special places need preservation, it's hard to cut a deal. Once it is gone, it is gone forever. So I understand why radical environmentalists would refuse compromise. I respect that. But it's also a political dead-end. At best, it leads to victories over often widespread opposition from local communities and long-term resentments. At worst, it takes you down the road of political irrelevancy.

So it's interesting to read of the often radical Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance taking on a new, much more conciliatory tone to get deals done to protect at least some of the region's land. I don't quite know what to make of it, but it could lead to land preservation returning to the agenda in canyonlands. And that's probably a good thing, even with the losses that compromise entails.