Can you believe there actually is an organized group

trying to defeat the formation of a new National Park in the U.S.; and believe it or not the European Union is attempting to restrict our use of the Internet
by Art Drysdale
by Art Drysdale


Art Drysdale, a life-long resident of Toronto and a horticulturist well known all across Canada, is now a resident of Parksville, British Columbia on Vancouver Island, just north of Nanaimo. He has reno-vated an old home and has a new garden there. His radio gardening vignettes are heard in south-western Ontario over radio station Easy 101 FM out of Tillsonburg at 2 PM weekdays.

Art also has his own website at

June 19, 2016

Yet again I have no photos to illustrate the two topics this week. And so, I have six more photos of our garden in Parksville. Above, the silver-leaved shrub here is Brachyglottis Dunedin Group ‘Sunshine’ growing on the west side of my office. The green leaves to the right are an evergreen Clematis long finished flowering now. The next photo is of a double pink-flowered Deutzia x rosea growing on our small east-side balcony; and finally our Choysia ternata is just finishing blooming but here’s what it looked like a week ago. Below, another photo of Choysia, this one a close-up of the flowers; one of our favourite shrubs is Grevillea ‘Cranberry Gem’ which is now huge as you’ll see here; and finally a group of mixed perennials near our front door deck, with Campanula in the bottom foreground.
Author photos.




Those of you who know me well will know of my advocacy for all types of parks. For about 15 years I was Executive Director of the Canadian Parks/Recreation Association, and Editor of its bi-monthly magazine Recreation Canada.

Now, if I told you that there is presently an organized opposition movement to adding another national park to the U.S. system, I'm sure you would not believe me. Here's the story.

The U.S. National Park Service is set to receive a donation of 35,410 h (87,500 acres) of pristine land in the Maine Woods from a non-profit organization started by the founder of Burt’s Bees, which would be used to designate a new national monument and, eventually, a new national park.1

But Republican Rep. Rob Bishop and the group of anti-conservation, right-wing extremists he leads in the House of Representatives have decided to set their sights on this new monument as their latest target in their long-running war on America’s national parks and public lands.

Bishop, a Utah congressman who’s become the figurehead of Congress’ anti-parks movement, even traveled to Maine last week to hold a sham hearing in his effort to block this transfer.2 He and his “anti-parks” caucus are using this as an opportunity to continue their war against the Antiquities Act, which has allowed presidents—for over a hundred years—to designate new national monuments. The general public have to make sure they make absolutely no progress in this destructive, ideological crusade.

The area of land that would be transferred is known to be a vital habitat for several threatened and endangered species, while also offering unparalleled views of Mt. Katahdin for potential visitors. And local business leaders have hailed the potential economic benefits of adding the land to the national park system.

Protecting and setting aside this land has overwhelming support in Maine, with two-thirds of Maine residents supporting the creation of a new national park.3

But that hasn’t stopped Rep. Bishop, who hails from Utah and has no connection to Maine, from inserting himself into the matter in an attempt to further his campaign against the Antiquities Act, which is responsible for creating many of our national treasures including the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona and Chimney Rock National Monument in Colorado. Sixteen presidents have used the law to designate national monuments, and it’s often the first step to-ward creating a national park—the Grand Canyon was first designated a monument under the Antiquities Act by Theodore Roosevelt.

Stopping Bishop and his anti-parks caucus now would be another significant blow against their campaign to block the creation of national parks and monuments and dismantle America’s sys-tem of land and water conservation. The general public needs to show them that their ideological crusade will never get any traction.

* * *

While I am on my soapbox I thought I should ask my readers if they are aware of pending changes to the World Wide Web (the Internet). These changes emanate from the European Union.

  • Internet users concerned over the European Commission’s continued push forward on an unpopular plan to tax links and snippets and possible introduction of new liabilities for online platforms.
  • Today the European Commission published a long-awaited analysis of its online platforms consultation. In their analysis, the Commission recognizes the overwhelming opposition the idea of a ‘Link Tax’ (also known as “ancillary copyright”), which could see people losing access to content and businesses forced to obtain a copyright license before posting hyperlinks that include ‘snippets’ of the article being linked to.
  • They note additional concerns raised by consultation respondents, including the implementation of a new liability regime for online platforms that could see requirements for websites to monitor, filter, and censor content posted by users.
  • Despite this overwhelming negative response from the public regarding ancillary copyright proposals, today’s release of a related Communication on the opportunities and challenges presented by online platforms indicates a continued march towards European-wide link tax.
  • The message from Internet users couldn’t be clearer—nobody wants a link tax that would restrict our freedom of expression online and harm innovation. We’re pleased that the Commission recognized the thousands of Internet users who responded, and we hope they will weigh heavily the input from the public before creating any copyright rules that would result in heavy-handed censorship of our online lives.
  • The results of the platforms consultation prompted the European Commission to open a second public input survey on the link tax; it is presumptuous of the EU to push regulations on advancing the link tax whilst they are currently still consulting with the public on this is-sue.
  • The Commission’s consultation on platforms ran from 24 September 2015 and closed on January 6, 2016. Throughout the process, the Save the Link platform was used to engage with a global community of concerned citizens working to safeguard their right to link with 10,599 respondents and 3737 from within the European Union.
  • Internet users across the EU and the globe are speaking out to Save the Link at .


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