The Hundredth Meridian

What Do Environmentalists Want?

In a world filled with perplexity, inscrutability, and conundrum, two major mysteries at least are not unfathomable. What do women want? The answer has had human beings stumped from the time of the origin of species, yet the answer is perfectly plain: they don't know. The question of what environmentalists want is of more recent vintage, but here too there is no mystery, only a set of answers to be teased out: they know, but they're not saying. It would help of course if women spent less of their time talking about what even they don't understand, and if environmentalists were not intent on covering up what they understand very well and mean fanatically, but then life, as the prophet said, is unfair.

Out here in God's wild West the dwindling percentage of the population that are really Westerners keep environmentalists under the most strict surveillance, as the German government keeps tabs on neo-Nazis and the FBI tracks the vast right-wing conspiracy. No one takes them at their word, but that does not mean that their word is therefore taken lightly. Do environmentalists want to "save" Yellowstone Park, or present it gift-wrapped to a committee of the United Nations? Would the Greater Yellowstone Council be satisfied with managing the park and the immediate drainage area surrounding it, or does it secretly envision control over a region extending from Great Falls, Montana, south to the Uinta Mountains in...

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