The day began at 4 am. Up, and in the truck for the haul to Garner Valley for the Rally against the Center for BioDiversity’s new office in Idyllwild California. Two hours later we met the Mt Coalition in the valley at the BBQ site. It was great to see many faces that we recognized and the meeting of many new faces. As we watched and people continued to gather, the feeling of comradeship was growing.
Many groups from all over Southern California came together to share the common view of Multiple Use of Public Lands. Some of the groups represented were, Mt Coalition, Back Country Horseman of California, American Sand Association, and CORVA. AFFA, Public Lands For Public Use, and many members of the CITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. No one or nothing could break that belief or as some may call it a political view point. It was a very magical moment for my husband and me as we have fought this monster of environmentalism for some 12 years. And to finally see the coming together of so many people with one common goal was really magical.
About an hour later we began the short journey up to the Town of Idyllwild, with a large convoy of vehicles, from all different forms of recreation all bearing red, white and blue streamers from antennas to the location of the Southwest Center for Biodiversity’s new office. This monster of environmentalism, as I previously stated, showed its true colors that morning when they did not even show up to open their new office location. We were told they had gotten word that there was going to be a show of support for Multiple Use and a very UNWELCOMING for them. They chose to take refuge on a private land holding in the area where no one could reach them. It seems to me if they were really proud and comfortable in their beliefs, OR SHOULD I SAY POLITICAL VIEWPOINT, they had nothing to fear or be ashamed of. But still they were cowards and did not make any attempt of showing support for their beliefs. Typical response for not really believing in what you are doing when you cannot debate things in the open and publicly, without it being behind a Lawsuit, in a courtroom, spending someone else’s money.
There was an 80-year-old American, in a wheel chair that was there ready to debate the issues with them, but they did not grant her the common courtesy of that. Maybe she needs to retain an attorney and debate the issues in a courtroom. Many younger Americans were there also and still no courtesy was shown to them. So tell me, is that what the CBD is all about? Just taking and taking without even giving any care about who or what they are hurting. They just continue to force their viewpoints on all of us through the abuse of our Legal System. But when it comes to facing the public and showing pride in what they are doing they cant even grant the public some little showing of courtesy.
We proceeded to Protest peacefully around their office for about 2 hours. We then continued on into the town square to the Totem Pole and the quiet little town of Idyllwild welcomed us with open arms. Merchants welcomed us; even the local police gave us smiles. And believe it or not the USFS went by and smiled and waved. Many of these people stopped and asked questions and were met with honest and sincere information. Many had told us they were sure that they had not been told the truth behind the CBD actions and did not understand why an Arizona Based organization wanted an office in their mountain town. The public is demanding to be told the truth and the only response from the CBD was silence. Truth is in education. Where was the great educational side of the CBD? The Multiple Use Organizations were there with educational materials. The public has only to ask and the Multiple Use Organizations are there with information. We marched with our signs is a peaceful way around the square before we departed for the BBQ that had been planned by the Mountain Coalition. There was a man that was taking pictures of everyone’s license plates on their vehicles and my husband told him no need to do that just ask and he would be told who everyone was. We had nothing to hide. Why do you think someone would take pictures of license plates? Does that leave room for questions? When one of our people took his picture, he got very upset. Funny reaction don’t you think? Everyone returned to their vehicles and headed for the BBQ.
Arriving back at camp there was a tremendous feeling of accomplishment. Then came good food, positive conversation and friendships being made. After lunch there were many speakers with updated information on Public Lands Issues happening all over the West. Questions were asked and answers were given, but the best thing was open channels of communications flowing from ALL USER GROUPS. Just the knowledge of WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER, AND TOGETHER WE CAN OVERCOME ANYTHING, was the BLESSING that came out of this GATHERING. I cannot put into words what this meant to my husband and me. It seems we have waited a lifetime to see this begin. But we came away with now knowing in our hearts that it can be REAL. So a big thanks you to all that were involved. But I guess the real thanks go to a very unsuspecting entity; that being the CBD! Because without the BLATENT ATTEMPT OF DICTATORSHIP THAT THEY CONTINUE TO TRY, they have managed to finally bring the USER GROUPS TOGETHER AS ONE! AND NOW THE FIGHT BEGINS!
To the Mountain Coalition: you should be PROUD of being the host for this very
IMPORTANT EVENT; for without you allowing this to happen in your backyard it may never have happened. THE FUTURE BEGINS.
To everyone involved and for those who soon will be, KEEP GOOD THOUGHTS OF ALL USER GROUPS IN YOUR HEARTS.
Jennifer & Ken Foster
Public Lands For Public Use
CORVA Field Rep - So. Cal.
(California Off Road Vehicle Association)