Friday, December 26, 2014

Boy Scouts Land Conservation Far from Good

In my post about the Boy Scouts possibly taking over Cement Lake, I wrote: "BSA has an excellent reputation for land conservation." But do they? In fact, are they not better land developers and tree farmers than conservationists or preservationists?  Read the NBC/Bay Area Report: Dispute Between Boy Scouts, Whistle Blower Rooted in Rare Plant's Destruction.  That report states: 

"While the Boy Scouts have drawn national attention for their intolerance toward gays, the organization also has compiled a poor record on environmental protection. In 2009, Hearst Newspapers reported that the Scouts clear-cut tens of thousands of acres of forestland across the country and operated a dam at Camp Pico Blanco that killed at least 30 federally protected steelhead trout. The camp installed a fish ladder as part of a no-fault settlement."

The NBC Report discusses not only the destruction of the endangered lousewart by the Boy Scouts, but their clear-cutting old growth trees including redwoods.

The Parks and Recreation Management Program of Northern Arizona University revealed how some scouts tossed a 190 million-year-old set of dinosaur tracks into a reservoir, leaving deep scars in the fossil beds.

Now take a look at this video of scout leaders destroying a 200 million year-old rock formation. Let's call this elpasonaturally's Friday video: 

Read and view a commentary about this Boy Scout vandalism HERE and further story HERE.

After I published the blog post about Cement Lake mentioned above, a friend emailed to say: "Activities with lots of young people wandering around, as children are wont to do even when they are supervised, would do a lot of damage.  Campsites for overnight stays, activity areas, trails, restroom facilities, kitchen and dining halls, etc, all adds up to a lot of impact which goes beyond the definition of open space. I imagine this and possibly more would be in the plan."

And what about the issue that BSA bans gay scoutmasters and what does that have to do with conservation? I find that there is a direct correlation between people who discriminate against other people and those who oppose conservation. Those who disrespect human rights will invariably disrespect the environment also. Hate people. Hate Mother Earth. Or love people and love the planet. Simple as that. The question must be raised as a good reason to oppose a lease agreement between the Texas Transportation Commission and the Boy Scouts of America for Cement Lake and the surrounding area - 222 acres in all. There should first be a conservation easement along with a statement by the Yucca Council of El Paso that it is okay to be a scout leader and to be gay.

The Boy Scouts may have an excellent reputation for land conservation - at least if never examined. No one dares speak badly about this American shibboleth. But who was it who said that sacred cows make great hamburger?


  1. Sadly, I see no followup story of any action by the NPS or the Boy Scouts to penalize these men for what they did. Does not bode well for the lake or any other part of this tract.

    Suggest again that anyone bothered by this should ask our Council members and our state legislative delegation to review this decision.