There is a new program for progressive federal employees sponsored by your tax dollars at the Fish and Wildlife Services (USFWS): Values Journey. This woke rubric force-feeds social change and eschews the duty of rescuing endangered species, including fish, flora, and fauna.
Lawmakers sensed the department was sliding into the ditch when it introduced “eco-grief” training, costing $4,000 per virtual session, in February 2023, replete with advice on how to survive the trauma of climate change, gas-fueled cars, and whatnot. The courses were advertised:
“This 4-hour workshop seeks to normalize the wide range of emotional responses that conservationists experience while empowering participants to act while taking care of themselves. The workshop is intended for those experiencing ecological grief and for those who wish to support them.”
Once the original shock wore off, lawmakers decided it was time to address the problem. Fully alarmed at such fiscal irresponsibility, Republicans and a few other head-scratching lawmakers finally conducted a House Committee on Natural Resources hearing — and now there is an investigation. Imagine that.
An estimated $2.5 million has been spent hiring the Metropolitan Group to facilitate the Values Journey. It is a liberal Oregon-based organization that has never met a Democrat or liberal cause it didn’t like. But it isn’t the only firm cashing in on the fed program: Collaborate Consulting LLC and Syah B. Consulting also are on the government subcontracting payroll, creating therapy programs spawned in the “poetic chaos” of the George Floyd murder, which in turn inspired “racial equity and inclusion” training for FWS employees.
The notice said nothing about using such therapy sessions to forgo counting dead fish in the creek or bear scat in the forest. But Rep. Pete Stauber (R-MN), a member of the House Natural Resources Committee, was part of the push to get the boulder rolling downhill: “This is taxpayer waste, plain and simple, and our House Republican majority will be holding this administration accountable.”
Swampers Poke the Woke
Just days ago, Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-AR), chairman of the Natural Resources Committee, and Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), chairman of the oversight and investigations subcommittee, demanded USFWS hand over all documents detailing the social justice programs that have been and are currently in use during the Biden administration and the dollars spent. In addition, Gosar called out the agency for “scare porn” tactics that prey upon folks who are quick to fall into doomsday thinking.
“The Committee is especially interested in understanding how the Service, aligning with the priorities of the Biden Administration, promotes various ‘social change’ and environmental justice initiatives at the expense of good governance and the Service’s mission to conserve and manage ‘fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the American people,’” is how they worded the demand letter to agency Director Martha Williams.
There Is Unrest in the Forest
The American Psychological Association defines eco-anxiety as a chronic fear of environmental doom. A 2021 edition of the Journal of Climate Change and Health described it as “mental distress or anxiety associated with worsening environmental conditions or anxiety experienced in response to the ecological crisis.” In July 2022, Everyday Health’s publication claimed, “Neither ‘ecological grief’ nor ‘eco-anxiety’ is considered a diagnosable mental health condition.”
Perhaps that also prompts Gosar and Westerman to go deep into gathering information and pursuing an investigation. No one is dismissing the continual change of our climate — it’s been going on since the Ice Age. No one hopes for the disappearance of wildlife besides developers who ruin habitats to build more upscale communities. But disregarding the best use of taxpayers’ dollars to grant employees a half-day out of the office for Gay Pride parades and eco-anxiety grief counseling is a step too far. Imagine if those resources were allocated for new hires, scientists, and wildlife experts instead of playing the woke card with radical left employees: how much more clean air we could all breathe. But the endangered saltmarsh sparrow, bog turtle, and Pacific salmon will be forever grateful.
All opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Liberty Nation.
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