Sen. McCain Is No Friend of the Forests

Joseph Zorzin redoak at
Sat Feb 19 07:38:47 EST 2000

"Samuel J. Radcliffe" wrote:

> First of all, let's not get into the accusatory tone that so often in
> this list turns to idiotic personal attacks. I wasn't suggesting
> anything. I was just interested in your views on forestland conversion,
> because so many in our profession feel that forest per se is sacrosanct.

Some of us feel that some is sacrosanct. Some people go so far as to think the entire
planet is sacrosanct.

> I personally enjoy a lot of our built environment (including red pine
> plantations ;-), but I happen to agree with you, strip malls are a much
> worse blight on the landscape than even the clearcuts that you have
> spoken against. Yes, I'm all for intelligent zoning. Many in our
> profession are just as blindly opposed to zoning as they are blindly in
> favor of no forest conversion at all.
> Here's an example of unintelligent zoning. One local community which has
> been in the process of "gentrifying" former ag land north of Milwaukee
> over the last couple of decades is considering zoning to preserve some
> of the former green character. Their solution? To limit lot sizes to no
> smaller than 5 acres, thereby assuring that there is no high density
> residential areas, but also assuring that every lot in the village will
> be occupied!

And by only the wealthy. The poor will have to remain in the slums.


> My solution would have been to allow higher density
> development (with central markets, etc., not strip malls) in part of the
> village, but restrict other areas so that expansive green space might be
> preserved. Needless to say, I'm not in charge and there are probably
> some decent arguments against my scheme, but I don't think their
> solution represents "intelligent zoning" either.

Another possibility is to rebuild urban areas of blight- tens of millions of acres-
rather than use up any more of the good green Earth. We should rebuild the cities
first- make them livable- and speaking of "property values"- making cities livable
will dramatically raise property values of those that own property in the cities.

> One thing I am curious about. Knowing how you feel about "burros", who
> would you trust to do intelligent zoning? I think this is the root of
> some foresters' distaste for zoning.

Their distaste for zoning is the same lame conservative hatred of anyone telling any
landowner what to do with their land- which sounds good in theory but without any
long term consideration for the consequences for mankind and the Earth.

There are people who have professional training in these issues- who usually provide
expert advice- which then must be approved by elected officials. Most communities
have planning boards with such experts.

I've never been to Europe, but I've read about their land use issues and history.
Most European cities are NOT surrounded by hideous strip developments and suburbs.
Most European cities are far nice to look at than American cities. Land is in short
supply there- they don't waste it- and people actually like to live in European
cities- with their higher level of sophistication and culture. And of course,
Europeans also have an ugly history too- that's part of the human race- but we're
talking here about land use and abuse.

> ...Sam
> Joseph Zorzin wrote:
> > Intelligent zoning. Are you suggesting that there should be no controls on land
> > conversion? Is our planet infinite in size? Shall we ever call a halt to land
> > development? Will there ever be a limit to population?
> --
> Samuel J. Radcliffe
> George Banzhaf & Company
> 225 East Michigan Street, Suite 210
> Milwaukee, WI 53202
> --
> Voice:   414-276-2062
> Fax:     414-276-5206
> E-Mail:  SamR at
> --

Joe  Zorzin
Massachusetts Licensed Forester #261

Member of Forest Steward's Guild

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