Monday, January 5, 2015

Are Sprawlers Behind TxDOT-Boy Scout Deal on Cement Lake?

The Boy Scouts are green all right - green as cash. In spite of their unquestioned reputation as conservationists, they really manage land for its resources. Their record as deforesting clearcutters (its a resource that pays big bucks) is abominable. 

In a previous post I mentioned instances of environmental destruction by boy scouts. Sadly there is much more to this beast. Read about their environmental hypocrisy. When BSA clearcut land that provided habitat "for a host of protected species, including salmon, timber wolves, bald eagles and spotted owls . . .", they defended their reprehensible deed. And, although the BSA has backed down on other clearcutting projects, Planetsave documents more cases where they haven't. They leave no trace all right - no trace of natural land.

On the other hand, one could argue that such acts of deforestation and habitat destruction happened years ago and faraway. But what about the local Yucca Council of the Boy Scouts of America. Here though we encounter the footprints of El Paso sprawlers.

In spite of a successful camp in Cloudcroft, Camp Dale Resler, the Yucca Council Scouts have looked for other campsites most recently near Kingston, New Mexico. When scout leader, Bill Hagan sought to obtain land, he ran into stiff opposition from locals who did not want their land disturbed. You can read about this affair HERE. What should pop out about this story is Bill Hagan's involvement. Let's connect the dots. 

Mr. Hagan is the Vice-Chairman of the Rocky Mountain Mortgage Company of which Harold Hahn is the Chairman and CEO. Harold Hahn's buddy is none other than Ted "TxDOT" Houghton. Rocky Mountain is associated with sprawler Doug Schwartz. (BTW, you can see Rocky Mountain loan officer Adam Hagan's Boy Scout affiliation on the company web site.)

It's obvious how the deal between the Boy Scouts and TxDOT went down. Does anyone seriously believe that this group will preserve Cement Lake? Shall we let the fox guard the henhouse. Please!

No matter what, the deal is just wrong. The land around and including Cement Lake should be an El Paso Commons - a wilderness and a wildlife preserve for all El Pasoans to enjoy and not just an exclusivist, homophobic organization. Of course the argument is made that it is TxDOT land and they can do with it whatever they like. But I say that any land owned and managed by TxDOT belongs in trust to the people of Texas - us. Any decision about that land should involve us. In this case it was a deal done behind the closed doors of an elite oligarchy: Houghton, Hahn and Hagan - and let's not forget Schwartz.

No matter how above reproach and question the Boy Scouts are held, any lease agreement involving Cement Lake between them and TxDOT should be opposed. This El Paso Commons should be preserved.

1 comment:

  1. Bill Hagan has been a dedicated leader and supporter of the Boy Scouts for many, many, years. His sacrifical contribution of time and efforts have made a difference in the lives of many young men. Harold Hann is an enthusiastic environmentalist without whose leadership in Ducks Unlimited we probably would have never had a Rio Bosque Wetland Park. I would be greatly surprised if either of these men are involved in this issue for personal gain.