The Western Landowners Alliance sees things differently. The alliance’s mission is to sustain working lands, connected landscapes, and native species, and executive director Lesli Allison says this argument is misguided.
“What’s happened in this debate too often is that proponents of opening streams have cast the issue as greedy landowners trying to exclude the public and privatize streams for their own enjoyment, their own profit,” she says. “By saying that, you create an enemy to rally people around.”
Allison explains that this argument also overlooks the critical role that landowners play as environmental stewards of these streams. She says that some of these individuals bought land specifically to invest in conservation, and together they’ve made significant investments to restore the waterways that flow through their property.