iarity with urban reality and values as urban ones have with ruralrnlife. Again, much of what they—the urbanites—know ofrnthe West and of country living comes from television; most recently,rnfrom Northern Exposure which, while a clever show in itsrnway, has nothing whatever to do with Alaska, Alaskans, orrnAlaskan life. As for urban values per se, urbanites by the hundredsrnof thousands are rejecting those values. What else is therngreat California migration about? After all, the values of contemporaryrnNew York City or Los Angeles are not the values Dr.rnJohnson praised when he said that the man who is tired of Londonrnis tired of life.rnCan the West become more cosmopolitan than it is withoutrnceasing to be the West? I have nothing at all against cosmopolitanism,rnbut why must everything be run together?rnwhat is wrong with the existence of more or less discrete culturalrnareas (called “regions” or “countries”), each with itsrnunique strengths and weaknesses? Would anyone seriouslyrnconsider trying to make New York City more like Catron Countyrnor Amarillo, Texas? I am thinking here of what Josiah Roycerncalled the “higher provincialism.”rnAnd why do you say that small Western communities arern”outside the world”? They—with every other locality aroundrnthe globe—are the world. Granted, they have little knowledgern—and, for the most part, no experience—of one another.rnBut have they ever? And could they really? Television gives usrna sense of familiarity with the rest of the country, and the worldrnbeyond it, that is completely false. If the health of localrneconomies depended upon an understanding of the world,rnthen there would be no local economies.rnRegarding the relationship between Western cities and rural areas,rnbetween urban and rural culture in the West, what is the probablernfuture?rnEM; I see three things rural areas need to do, as a result ofrnthe ongoing decline of the economies and ecosystems on whichrntheir ways of life rested. First, figure out how to be economicallyrnuseful to urban areas; second, figure out how to attract thernright kind of urban people to rural places, and then integraternthem into rural life; and, third, figure out what the core ruralrnvalues are, and see how they can be conserved. The first requiresrnthat rural people learn about urban places, because thatrnis the market. Today, you cannot serve a market you do not understandrnor may even despise. One example is the BEEFrnBUILDS STRENGTH slogan I referred to eadier. A prime examplernof how to do it right is provided by Doc and Connie Hatfieldrnand their Oregon Natural Beef Co-op. Their co-op maderna lot of money in 1995 despite a bad cattle market because theyrnunderstand and communicate with urban people. They havernnot given up their rural values and way of life, but neither dornthe)’ find it necessary to spit in the faces of their customers.rnCW: My fear is that the metastasizing cities here may eventuallyrndominate rural areas completely. Already the populationsrnof the big Western cities are at least half non-Western inrnorigin, and soon they will be two-thirds or three-quarters so.rnThese are the same people who will buy vacation property inrnscenic areas surrounding these cities, and pretty soon they willrncontrol the rural as well as the urban West. And what is knownrnas the “urban West” is, anyway, pretty much simply an extensionrnof the suburban America that you and I dislike, but thatrnmakes up nearly all of America but the small towns and the innerrncities.rnMy friend Catron believes that the traditional Western wayrnof life will convert these people to Western values. I am not sornsure. There are simply too many people coming in from elsewherernin too short a space of time to make this likely. Many ofrnthese people, liking the country—the “wilderness”—they seernbeyond the cities, will wish to “preserve” it, according to theirrnunderstanding of the term, and become, not custom-andculturernadvocates, but environmentalists, opposed to therntraditional Western rural economy, its culture and people. InrnUtah, for instance, most of the support for more wildernessrncomes from the urbanized (suburbanized), recently arrivedrnpopulation of the Salt Lake Valley; elsewhere in the state, thernvoters oppose it. So what I am talking about has already happenedrnin Utah. Therefore, the rural West seems to me to bernthreatened with the removal of its traditional populationrnthrough environmentalist lockups and lockouts, and their replacementrnby recreationists and environmentalist managers.rnEM: I do not know that traditional people will be forced outrnof the region, but they will be marginalized economically andrnsocially. And the result of that marginalization was on displayrnin the 1994 election, when the “War on the West” rhetoric ofrnthe Western Republicans convinced people to vote their wayrnoverwhelmingly.rnBy my values, it would not be healthy to replace traditionalrncommunities and people with recreationists and lone eaglesrnworking their computers out of their hillside homes. But it isrnwhat is happening, and so long as we remain locked in thisrndestructive “wise use” versus “environmentalist” debate, it isrngoing to continue happening. And in the end, the wise use/custom-rnand-culture people will he totally marginalized, and wernmodern, urban types will rule over a region that will have lostrnboth its ecological and social value; it will be like the rest ofrnAmerica.rnCW: You offer hope with the suggestion that if environmentalistsrnand “wise users” could reconcile their differences, wernmight be able to salvage some of the old, unique West. I wouldrnfeel better about the possibilities for that if I did not suspect,rnwith Alston Chase, that environmentalism is ultimately notrnabout nature at all, but rather recreating human society accordingrnto a hackneyed, progressivist vision.rnEM:Those who say that environmentalists use resource issuesrnsimply to impose progressive values have it backwards. Environmentalistsrncare first and last about the land. But the onlyrntools they know to protect the land with are so-called progressiverntools: regulation through a strong federal government, lotsrnof paper-driven process, lawsuits in federal courts, and so on. Asrnenvironmentalism has matured, we have begun to see the possibilitiesrnof market-based solutions, local control, and the like.rnOur fear in abandoning big government doesn’t come out of arnlove of big government. It comes out of the fear that withoutrnbig government, we will be at the mercy of those who would destroyrnthe West.rnAlston Chase and the Wise Users are engaging in Red Baitingrnagainst environmentalists in order to avoid the issue thatrncreated environmentalism: the degraded state of the West as arnnatural place. That is the hurdle they cannot leap. And bigrngovernment as a security blanket is the hurdle we environmentalistsrncannot leap. Each of us, unable to confront our fears andrnblind spots, therefore demonizes the other.rnJUNE 1996/25rnrnrn