Environmentalist or conservationist?

Posted: Thursday, September 28, 2000

Marc Wheeler is no more a conservationist than I am an environmentalist. I've noticed some of the Juneau Empire, Anchorage Daily News and TV reporters often confuse these terms when referring to groups or individuals associated with environmental causes.

I listened for several years to Marc Wheeler testify on behalf of the Alaska Environmental Lobby before the Legislature. The Alaska Environmental Lobby advocates on behalf of its 20 member organizations.

Those organizations are the stalwarts of environmental causes: The Sierra Club, Trustees for Alaska (a group that never met a lawsuit it couldn't file), the Northern Alaska Environmental Center and the Southeast Alaska Conservation Center whose mission is to "maintain the health of the Tongass National Forest."

I don't know whether environmentalists are attempting to make themselves appear more moderate by using the title "conservationist" or whether reporters making this error simply haven't looked in the dictionary.

I applaud Mr. Wheeler for standing behind his environmental convictions, but I will be voting for Peggy Ann McConnochie, a true conservationist.

Annette Kreitzer


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