by Greg Walcher, E&E Legal Senior Policy Fellow
As appearing in the Daily Sentinel
One of the great objectives of conservation is to restore a more natural condition to our environment, to erase the ravages of mankind’s mistakes, and put things back the way they were. I am a strong advocate for environmental restoration, and am proud of my participation in many such efforts over the years.
Once in a while, especially in debates about “restoring” healthy forests and watersheds, someone asks — properly so — exactly what “state of nature” we are trying to restore.
That is precisely the question facing the beleaguered farmers and ranchers in the Klamath Basin of southern Oregon and northern California. For more than 20 years, they have been fighting for their survival against federal agencies determined to “save” endangered Coho salmon and lost river suckers, at the expense of farms, ranches, and communities.