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How does it benefit us to be locked off public land?

     On 8-8-13 a local newspaper had a letter from our local senator which I would like to quote from and comment on.  

     Quote: “Multiple use of public lands remains the most effective utilization of our natural resources, and families who utilize federal lands offer a valuable perspective on the effective management of our federal land. To best ensure that Americans can benefit from our federal lands, we must maintain fair access to these public resources.”                        

   Now there is 2.2 million acres in the Payette National Forest. According to this travel plan, if you add all forms of motorized transportation together you come up with less than 2,500 miles total. Now if this road, trail or whatever is 40 feet wide, this figures out to 12,500 or less acres that you can use whether you are riding your ATV, OHV, or driving your SUV to enjoy a Sunday drive or maybe going to a trailhead for a hike or a horseback ride on a trail which more than likely will not be cut out so you can use it.

     Now the USFS is closing roads as fast as they can, and not maintaining most trails, which in turn denies access to public lands.

     How can this be classified as fair and multiple use of public lands?

     Or maybe the money or the environmental community has come up with a new meaning of fair and multiple use of public lands. One thing for sure it is not mine or Webster’s.

Leonard Wallace

New Meadows


Contrary to Otter, not every truck is the same

     Contrary to 50 years of research by the Federal Highway Administration, Governor Otter has publicly proclaimed that a 600,000 lb. megaload with dozens of axles exceeding 40,000 lbs. exacts no more wear and tear on roads and bridges than a 1-ton pickup.

     However, the Idaho Transportation Department doesn’t require 1-ton pickups be towed by cable across Arrow Bridge or have extra support installed to cross Fish Creek Bridge, blocking all traffic for over an hour as megaloads do. One-ton pickups don’t hold up eight logging trucks for 30-45 minutes waiting to haul logs to our mills, don’t stop 18-wheelers beside the Middle Fork for two hours or block commercial and recreational traffic at Lolo Pass for over 40 minutes, as megaloads do.

     No ambulance travels with 1-ton pickups, and taxpayers don’t pay overtime to county and state police so pickups can proceed down the highway.  One-ton pickups don’t block Highway 12 to emergency traffic, don’t wake up campers along the Lochsa River, and don’t disallow following traffic to pass for 51 miles as Omega Morgan’s megaload did.

     Presumably pickup drivers would follow state law and pull over to let traffic pass if more than three vehicles stacked up behind them.

Alan Schonefeld



City rejects mediation

     After the city complained to the Nez Perce Tribe in regards to a complaint between city and Tribal members and after great efforts and costs by the Tribe the city has declined to participate in a mediation to resolve the dispute that began in “2009.”

     This mediation would be done by a neutral party. Idaho law students agreed to assist in reaching a resolution. I feel this is a long step or two backwards. The city has not provided how and why the dispute began or why the city fast forwarded their complaints to 2012.

     The city produced numerous claims of threats against city maintenance workers, in some instances these maintenance workers were none other than Chief Kamiah Marshal Joe Newman and Deputy Marshal Mathew Taylor. These incidents occurred outside the authority and any sensibility due to these occurrences happened in the early morning hours.

     Law and common sense would require some justification, the city of Kamiah’s bylaws forbid their employees performing shut-offs whenever city hall is not open for business, a lot of facts have been distorted regarding this dispute. This mediation could of benefit all citizens not just the city of Kamiah's interest.

Robert Warden



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