NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

New Tactic in Schools Matches Faces to Environmental Issues

May 23, 2002

To push their message of locking up natural resources and placing them off-limits to development, environmental activists often bring cute, living creatures into schools and predict cruel futures for the cuddly things if development is allowed to take place.

But Bruce Vincent, president of the League of Rural Voters, has developed a tactic that he hopes will encourage future voters to look favorably on rational development. That tactic is best described as "Adopt a Logger" -- although it's officially known as "Provider Pals."

  • This fall, 125 middle-school classrooms in cities across America will be adopting a logger, a fisherman, a miner, a farmer or a rancher as their very own for the year.
  • The 5,000 urban children in the program will get videos, letters, photo albums and e-mail from their new friend.
  • At least once a year, that friend will visit the school to talk, answer questions and let youngsters try on the waders, mining hats and boots of their trade.
  • The program will also send rural students to visit their urban peers for a week -- and vice-versa.

Rural communities -- which often find their livelihoods wrecked by one-sided environmentalism -- are beginning to realize just how important it is to get their story out.

Ford Motor Co. is the major sponsor of the program -- which also enlists the help of numerous volunteers.

Source: Kimberley A. Strassel, "Hug a Logger, Not a Tree," Wall Street Journal, May 23, 2002.


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