Fred & Flytyer,
Fully understand your frustration as I had also abandend the big enviro organizations for the longest time for many of the same reasons you have. But over the last year or so have started to come back in their direction realizing the fights out there are not the same as they used to be.
No longer is it black and white, no longer is it about smoke stacks beltching out black smoke in some old mill town or toilet paper and turds floating down the rivers and bays we love. Those battles have been won on the most part and I'm sure we all did our part in cleaning up America.
Today the real war is over who is going to control the resourses we have left, be it trees, minerals or water. Will the public continue to have a say in our resourses or will the private sector control the resourses. The fight on the Kalamath River is not so much about that river but about all rivers, about all water in this country. It is sad that a non native sucker fish and the farmers who are good people get hurt and are the pawns in this fight. In the next few years the control of water will be an 800 BILLION DOLLAR business a year world wide. That's second only to oil and by 2010 some economists say it will a greater business than oil.
The major enviro groups who are the only groups who have the resourses for the fight on the public behalf want our water resourses held in the hands of the public or our elected goverment, anyway that's who the goverment is suposed to represent if I can remember my US history. The private sector wants the water resourses in their own hands as a commodity to be sold at fair market value. No regulation on price just as has been done with deregulation of electic power.
Often we hear the cry of "look at how much money the enviro's are using for lobbying in Washington". Those who yell don't ever say how much they spend on lobbying in DC it's in the 100's of times more, than the enviro's. This is why the elected goverment sides with the private sector and not the enviro's, money!
If the multi national corporations and I'll name 2 that I'm involved with, Vivindi/US Filter and Severn Trent and the three or four others succeed in there objectives of owning our water resourses what then will happen to our family farms what will happen to the publics demand that our salmon and steelhead be brought back to healthy numbers. The water is going to go to the highest bidder and the last time I looked salmon weren't carrying a wallet in their back pocket. Nor does the family farm as we all know does not have much money. But not to fear because the companies I work with are buying up as many family farms and cheaply as posible and turning them into corporation farms. Let's sell the water back to ourselves.
I could go on and on but not worth it, all I ask that you think about the critisisims of the enviro movement today and try and realize they have to fight the battle at a different level than we were used too in the 60's and 70's, they now have to try an fight it on the level of big money or there is no chance. Don't be affraid to be called an enviromentalist because that's what big money spends so much money on is to make enviros look like the evil ones.