The Pew folks seem to be fans of the “national standard” approach although it’s a bit hard to tell based on their press release.. also a brief scan of their website did not yield a letter or other clear information on their views.
Jane Danowitz, public lands director for Pew, also backed calls for the agency to maintain concrete standards to protect viable plant and animal species and protect watersheds critical to public health.
“Our national forests are the source of drinking water for more than 120 million Americans and host more rare species than even our national park system,” she said in a statement. “We hope that the administration will back up its proposal with clear standards for water and wildlife protection.”
Now the planning rule is not your run-of-the-mill issue- it’s pretty complex, or arcane, depending on your point of view. So I was surprised that Pew would choose to focus attention on it- but to invest in getting folks outside our resource community up to speed raised a question.
This is from the Pew Environment website:
Pew is a major force in educating the public and policy makers about the causes, consequences and solutions to environmental problems. We actively promote strong conservation policies in the United States and internationally. Pew applies a range of tools in pursuit of practical, meaningful solutions—including applied science, public education, sophisticated media and communications, and policy advocacy.
I’ve always been a bit confused with how this fits in with the broader Pew goals.
The Pew Charitable Trusts is driven by the power of knowledge to solve today’s most challenging problems. Pew applies a rigorous, analytical approach to improve public policy, inform the public and stimulate civic life.
It’s OK to be an advocate. It’s OK to use “sophisticated media and communications.” But concerned people might wonder how that fits with the “the power of knowledge” and a “rigorous, analytical approach.” If they read a press release, which side is speaking?
And back to the religious leaders. What’s that about? I prowled around the Pew website and didn’t find anything. Have any readers any more information?
P.S. This post is not to be taken as a general criticism of Pew efforts per se. I worked with an excellent group of folks on the Pew Agbiotech Initiative where everyone put a great deal of effort into ensuring that different voices were heard and objective information evaluated. The kind of quality work they did can be found here.