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Word Count: 1,361
THE GOVERNMENT VS THE ENVIRONMENT When the subject is the environment the general public perception is that a resource of such importance can only be adequately safeguarded by the benevolent all-encompassing hands of the government Whether this comes in the guise of the Environmental Protection Agency the Forest Service the Park Service the Bureau of Land Management or any of their variations on the federal state and local levels many citizens fear that leaving environmental that is property stewardship in the hands of big business or selfish individuals would result in wholesale destruction of our land water and air Indeed the zeal with which our legal system handles enemies of the environment grows ever stronger Individuals are imprisoned for dumping dirt on their own land Entrepreneurs -- even with local and state permits in hand -- are brought to trial for violating the decrees of the Army Corps of Engineers by creating new lakes and wildlife preserves Private forest land is declared off-limits to individuals seeking to retire to and build on their own property selling their own trees will land them in jail In their efforts to protect the ecology government agents prohibit development along certain seashores seek to limit usage of private property that is home to endangered species forbid lumber harvesting on public lands harboring spotted owls and bring more and more wilderness under the protective wings of our dedicated public servants Yet as in many other areas of our society our government reveals its schizophrenic actions by engaging in behaviors that do far more violence to our environment than anything attributable to business or individual citizens Amazingly though the ecological headaches engendered by these darker policies do not detract from the luster of governmental activism Indeed as is typical with negative results engendered by State ignorance ineptitude and intolerance the resultant problems lead to even more strident calls for further intervention This seemingly endless cycle only increases the costs we
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