As you begin to study the issues we bring to the debate, you will begin to
understand how the partnership of big business and big government has
created a very clever scheme to keep the rich even richer and the
hard-working taxpayer overtaxed by stealing natural resources. There is
definitely a link between the redistribution of wealth in our country to
the super rich and the theft of our land and natural resources.
If you have been reading your local newspaper lately, you have seen
countless articles declaring "BWCA, Voyageurs Re-enter Politics," "Leave
BWCA and Voyageurs Alone," "Oberstar Authors Park Bill," "Grams Floats BWCA
Plan," "BWCA Mediation Sought - Wellstone Asks Federal Agency to Resolve
Dispute," and "Whose Wilderness Is It?" We could easily fill this page with
headlines from the articles we have saved the past two years.
It is very interesting to study the players who are on opposite sides of
the "Save the Wilderness Debate." On one side, you have the preservation
and environmental groups like the Sierra Club and Friends of the Boundary
Waters Wilderness. They seem to be extremely well-funded and are constantly
filing lawsuits to further their agenda.
On the other side are the people whose lives, property rights and economies
are being devastated by the federal agencies taking control of their land.
As you study the environmental movement, you find that the Forest Service
and the U.S. Department of Interior have purchased or taken control of 230
million acres of land from states in the past thirty years. After the
federal government takes control, it's common for the feds to then fund a
treaty lawsuit claiming the land and its resources belong to a tribe. They
then claim that tribes are "sovereign nations" and therefore exempt from
state and many federal conservation regulations. It's not just happening
here in Minnesota, it's happening in dozens of other states as well.
Who's setting this agenda? Who's paying the price? How can our federal
government use our money to buy land the environmentalists and
preservationists want, and then tell us we can't use it? Or give the land
and resources to tribes who are not bound by state or many federal
As you study the agenda of the environmentalists, you will find them
surprisingly aligned with treaty rights, aboriginal rights and tribal
sovereignty. With all the shouting environmental groups do to save the
wilderness, they don't make a peep about the commercialization and
overharvest of our very valuable fisheries resources, at the expense of
Study a little further, and you will find a large money trail from the tax
exempt foundations of the big corporations that use our natural resources
to Indian treaty rights organizations and environmental groups. Why would
these huge corporations funnel large sums of money to groups who, on the
surface, seem to be their enemies?
In the mid 50's, there were 4,800 Minnesota resorts. Today, there are only
about 1,000, and we hear a lot about the need for more government
assistance and higher taxes to keep our northern economies afloat. You
should know that the people who pushed for Voyageurs National Park promised
economic growth and said the highways would have to be widened to handle
the increased traffic. Today, the area is in economic decline, so people in
the metro area must have their taxes raised to keep government working
around the park. The system calls it "tax reform," but it's really
government taking control of our land, resources and economy. We already
know that kind of system won't work.
Both Wellstone and Boschwitz have millions of dollars in their campaign
coffers and you have not heard one peep out of either candidate about
treaty cases, gill nets, or the government takeover of our land and natural
resource wealth, nor will you.
The current corrupt federal Indian policy has been coming down the track
for thirty years. It took us sixteen years to make it an issue and begin to
create a platform to deal with it. It may take another sixteen years to get
it fixed. When you try to change government, there is no quick fix.
In my book, voting for either Republican or Democratic candidate is a
wasted vote. Vote for other third party candidates for the legislature,
House of Representatives and President. Vote for me for your U.S. Senator -
I don't owe anybody, and I'm committed to winning the war for our
Howard B. Hanson