People for the USA!, the national nonprofit wise-use group, is closing shop later this month, due to a lack of funding and a decline in membership. The group began with a different name in 1988 as a mouthpiece for “rural Americans” who were up in arms over enviros’ efforts to stop old-growth logging in the Northwest, growing its base with such memorable bumper stickers as “Hungry? Out of Work? Eat a Spotted Owl.” Over the next decade, the PFUSA! sought to weaken the Endangered Species Act, block reform of the 1872 Mining Act, and otherwise fight the good fight for property rights advocates and extractive industries. But things have been pretty much downhill for the group since President Clinton took office. Executive Director Jeff Harris wrote in a recent newsletter, “It’s quite a challenge to bring together a large group when you are essentially opposing something that is wildly popular. Americans have embraced the environmental ethic.”

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