Public land hustles, north & south
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 2001:
Jeff Harris, executive director of People For The USA, announced in early December 2000 that the wise-use group would disband at year’s end and close its head office in Pueblo, Colorado. Begun in Oregon as the Western States Public Lands Coalition in 1989, it initially fought against protecting spotted owl habitat. A 1991 internal split following a move to Denver produced the Oregon Lands Coalition, while the founding entity became the National Coalition for Public Lands and Natural Resources; retitled itself People For The West a few years later; and became People For The USA circa 1998. It claimed to have 30,000 members, including 17 members of Congress, but was unable to raise annual operating costs of about $850,000, Harris said. The Utah state chapter, still active, is reportedly now affiliated with Frontiers of Freedom, formed by ex-Wyoming Senator Malcolm Wallop in 1995 to advocate for states’ rights.
Brazilian agrarian reform minister Raul Jungmann told media in early January 2001 that Felb Saraiva de Farias, who founded the conservation group Forever Green in 1991, “fooled European and U.S. citizens, selling them land that belongs to Brazil” as part of a buy-for-conservation scheme which continued even after de Farias was ousted from Forever Green in 1995. “We have asked the Brazilian intelligence service for help,” Jungman said.