Response to Journal article from Noel McKeehan

This letter is in response to the article “Protecting natural places” in the Journal of the San Juans.


Comment: From a recent San Juan Journal article:

“This proposal leads to the question: how do we balance tourism, land rights and conservation?”

My reaction is:

Maybe the “question” should precede the “proposal” not the reverse; a debate of the question, if the outcome were that there is some problem with the current “balance” that revelation might drive a “proposal”. And perhaps it would not be the unsolicited proposal currently on the table.


“Although private landowners can operate with conservation values, we do not believe that private landowners are necessarily the best stewards of fragile places.”

I am forced to reply:

That’s an assertion that bears some sort of proof.

“We believe in the Land Bank’s mission, and feel it is an ideal protector of natural spaces. Landowners are not subject to the same scrutiny and are also vulnerable to make mistakes.”

There you go again…

You can assert and believe and feel what you want, but assertions are not proof and beliefs are not facts and feelings are just that.

Still more:

“We wonder if a compromise …”

That is a call to action with no case made; only an idiot would want to compromise his property rights and associated property values to a “gee it would really be nice if pigs could fly” proposal.
Or, I can’t help hearing “so, Mr Chamberlain…”

And finally:

“We hope the property owners and the Land Bank can reach an agreement that is satisfactory to all . If the general public does not have access to places of wonder and beauty, they will have less motivation to save these places…”

Who asked them to “save these places? If one reads some of the letters from property owners documenting the beach unfriendly habits and practices of the trespassers, one shudders at the thought of what ‘saving these places’ might entail. ”

—Noel McKeehan