The Nature Conservancy's "outrageous contradictions and sad lies."- "Twelve million acres in the U.S., an area the size of Switzerland, is controlled by the Nature Conservancy"

Review by J. Zane Walley
Executive Director, Paragon America


"Twelve million acres in the U.S., an area the size of Switzerland, is controlled by the The Nature Conservancy (TNC)"

The most shocking exposé in America today is in a new publication from RANGE magazine. In "Nature's Landlord," investigative reporter Tim Findley explores "the world's most powerful environmental group, The Nature Conservancy." Findley calls TNC "the monster we made from indifference" and shows how it has carefully and methodically achieved global power on a scale few could imagine. He traces the history of the TNC from its modest origins to its current status as a behemoth with nearly $3 billion (tax-exempt) and worldwide control of some 90 million acres. Twelve million acres in the U.S., an area the size of Switzerland, is controlled by the TNC.

"Nature's Landlord" is not just a compendium of facts and figures. It is a masterpiece of brilliant writing that will fascinate readers. You'll meet "the shyly informed college boy in his neatly pressed blue work shirt" who insinuated his way into the heart of a small community. His real goal was to "seek weaknesses"-people who could be pressured into selling off their land. The TNC admits that it "helps the government get around the problem of local
opposition" to property acquisition. TNC, cloaked in environmental benevolence, buys "these properties when they need to be bought, so that at some point we can become willing seller" to the government. As one 75-year-old rancher and poet said, "I had no choice, really. They [the TNC] bought everything around me. I'm just tired of fighting with 'em." The "college boy" who watched her lose her home is now the head of TNC in California.

Ranches across the West have fallen into the hands of TNC "like overripe fruit dropping from a shaken tree." On Virginia's Eastern Shore there was once a sustainable system of food production and ecology, but TNC changed all that. Operating covertly under a variety of names, TNC "saved" the area, putting a largely minority labor force out of work, deepening the scourge of poverty in the area. The "saved" islands were "served with opulent showplaces built for rich clients, all unaffordable to the people of the Eastern Shore."

Findley exposes many more instances of TNC's "outrageous contradictions and sad lies." He points to the mineral, gas and oil rights acquired by TNC under the guise of "saving" lands. For instance, TNC "saved" an endangered bird only to pump at least $5.5 million worth of oil and gas royalties, so far, from beneath its habitat. A million acres of timberland in Maine and New Hampshire are logged by TNC. A swath of American land larger than the state of Delaware was traded to a foreign power without a word from the American press and public. Two million acres of TNC land in the United States was swapped to the government of Brazil in exchange for Amazon rainforest.

It's not just member contributions that sustain TNC. Its chairman says trolling for 25-buck members is wasted effort. Appealing to wealthy corporations is "just a greater return." Besides, between 1995 and 2000, TNC raked in more than $32 million from the U.S. government-your tax dollars at work.

A report by professional ecologist Jeff Goodson on "The Network," describes a system of data centers with nearly 300 centers worldwide that collect and dispense biodiversity data, and include support for land-use planning, environmental impact assessment and endangered species management. Tax dollars and wealthy foundations supported TNC's program that has become "an environmental espionage and land-targeting program" that "collaborates closely" with the federal government.

It is future generations we should be concerned about, Findley writes. We need to bring "some accountability to a small group of people with grossly exaggerated power and authority over fundamental elements of a free society."

Copies of the 24-page, 4-color report "Nature's Landlord" are available from the RANGE (1-800-726-4348) while supplies last. Copies of RANGE magazine including "Nature's Landlord" are also available.

Paragon America is a rural advocacy non-profit organization.

Contact: Paragon America News (PAN)
Direct PFNS Office Line: 505-653-4024
PFNS Fax: 505-653-4658

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Talk Show Hosts: Interviews with investigative journalist Tim Findley may be arranged by calling 1-877-847-3443.


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