Ranger Steve’s Nature Niche: Distance Disappears

Picture by Jim Markham

John Muir wrote, “When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.”

The Great Lake Restoration Fund is hitched to the border wall funding. The federal budget President Trump has proposed plans to significantly cut environmental protection funding. Farmland protection is hitched to the border wall and protections are waived. Eagle protection is hitched to the border wall and waived.

Many environmental protection laws Congress established from 1899 to present are being waived without due process. Eight billion dollars is proposed to continue funding the border wall by taking money largely from two areas of the Federal budget. Environmental Protection is one of the two.

The nature niche column focuses on environmental concerns having direct effect on our lives locally. PFAS’s are hitched to the border wall. Safe drinking water is hitched to the wall. The Kent ISD superintendent told me in 2005 that environmental education was no longer a priority in America when they closed the Howard Christensen Nature Center. He said that does not mean it is not important. It means it is no longer a priority. HCNC is now a 501.c3 primarily operated independently by volunteers.

Hopefully people will voice to legislator’s their views regarding environmental protection funding priority. The Great Lakes Restoration fund is critical for our regional economy, health, and future. Perhaps people do not make the connection between eagle protections discussed in last week’s nature niche and our own health. The current issue of PFAS’s in drinking water should provide awareness to the importance of environmental monitoring and protection. Defunding the Environmental Protection Agency and other environmental programs to build a wall does not provide sound ecological or economic reasoning.

$77 million dollars’ worth of cocaine was recently confiscated coming through a border check point. Authorities maintain that is how most drugs and undocumented immigrants access the United States. A border wall will direct money away from environmental health protection in our local community without effectively addressing the immigration and drug trafficking problem where it is most prevalent. Drug trafficking and illegal immigration are hitched to Great Lakes ecosystem health and sustainability and make distance disappear.

Budgeting money for a fence will have minimal desired effect compared to enhancing security at entry check points as a priority. The shift in priority is waiving laws protecting communities throughout America.

Laws Waived for The Border Wall (See photograph provided by Jim Markham):

The National Environmental Policy Act; The Endangered Species Act; The Federal Water Pollution Control Act (commonly referred to as the Clean Water Act); The National Historic Preservation Act; The Migratory Bird Treaty Act; The Archeological Resources Protection Act; The Paleontological Resources Preservation Act; The Federal Cave Resources Protection Act of 1988; The Safe Drinking Water Act; The Noise Control Act; The Solid Waste Disposal Act; The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act; The Archeological and Historic Preservation Act; The Historical Sites, Buildings, and Antiquities Act; The Farmland Protection Policy Act; The Coastal Zone Management Act; The Federal Land Policy and Management Act; The National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act; National Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956; The Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act; The Administrative Procedure Act; The River and Harbors Act of 1899. The Eagle Protection Act; The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act; and the American Religious Freedom Act.

It is a preferred joy to write about the beauty and nature niche intricacies found in yards, neighborhoods, and region. I am sure that is most pleasant to read. For beauty and niche intricacies to thrive, it is important to share your views regarding environmental protection and our natural heritage with Congressional Representatives and Senators. Distance disappears because you are hitched to everything in the universe. Keep healthy nature close whether near or far and your great grandchildren will thank you.

Natural history questions or topic suggestions can be directed to Ranger Steve (Mueller) at odybrook@chartermi.net – Ody Brook Nature Sanctuary, 13010 Northland Dr. Cedar Springs, MI 49319 or call 616-696-1753.