Published in the West Milford Messenger, August 16, 2018

A recent letter to the editor in the Messenger put forth the idea that increased government power and control is the way to protect wildlife and its habitat.

This thinking is erroneous.

Private conservation efforts work much better since there is an incentive to do well that government bureaucracies will never attain; that incentive is profit and the need to please donors and investors.

The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Ducks Unlimited and The Nature Conservancy all come to mind as successful private conservation groups.

Also, according to the Constitution, there is no grant of authority for the government to be involved with conservation.

I have one of those handy pocket-sized editions of the Constitution, courtesy of The Cato Institute, one of the most well-known Libertarian research organizations in the country, and I can't find the words “wildlife” or “habitat” anywhere in the Constitution.

It’s no accident that President Richard Nixon supported laws that were contrary to the Constitution; he like so many other presidents before and since thumbed his nose at the Constitution whenever it stood in the way of his legislative agenda.

I seem to recall the same writer of a recent letter to the editor having written in support of more gun control laws in previous letters a number of years back, so I guess punching more holes in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights is a major goal for that writer.

Fortunately, more and more people are waking up to the fact that progressive liberals and neoconservatives are both anti-liberty on virtually all issues.

I hate to say it, but both groups are pushing the country toward civil war and upheaval.

When the dust settles, hopefully a society that stands for individual liberty on all issues will emerge.

Mark Richards