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Feds locking us off our lands

     In the 10-16-2013 issue of the Idaho County Free Press was an article entitled “Suit claims unlawful USFS road restriction.” Please people wake up and smell the terrible odor in the air. Yes, the USFS and the Washington Establishment are slowly taking our public lands away from the people who make a living from public lands and denying the locals access to the forest, by putting locked gates, water bars, putting trash in the roads till they cannot be walked on, plus obliterating roads and putting them back to the slope of the ground.

     Most all appeals that stop a timber sale, mining operation, cattle and sheep grazing on public lands or anything else that will help the local economy are filed by people who do not live locally, and they do not depend on the local economy for a paycheck and depend on access to public land for recreation.

     As usual I have been misinformed as to what the USFS was meant to stand for. I thought they were supposed to manage our forest for the local economy and to generate money for the U.S. Treasury.

     This was done for years, but not anymore. It is being managed for the personnel financial gains, and what the rest of the establishment think should be done.

     The USFS is our forest and local economy’s worst enemy, no exceptions.

       Leonard M. Wallace

     New Meadows, Idaho

Reduce gov’t and jobs will increase

     The Lewiston Tribune of Nov. 9: “U.S. firms boost hiring despite the federal shutdown.” Reading the article got me thinking: 16 days of shutdown = 204,000 jobs. That is 12,750 jobs per shutdown day! Maybe the headline should have been: “Federal shutdown boosts U.S. hiring.” It is so SIMPLE. Shutdown for a month = 382,000 new jobs. A year = 4.6 million. Figures don’t lie!

     Seriously, though, the reasoning may be wrong but the end result is not. Cut the government BS and we can get back the jobs we have exported. Less government does equal more jobs. Thanks.

Lucky Brandt



It’s good to set limits on commercialism

     Mr. Vogelson’s Letter to the Editor stated that Judge Winmill had no right to “seize a highway” from the state and let the environmentalists “take over.” Mr. Vogelson fails to recognize two salient facts:

     1. The highway is included in the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968 to ensure that “the nation protect wild rivers and scenic rivers from development that would substantially change their wild or scenic nature.” This includes areas adjacent to the rivers such as highways. The Forest Service manages these scenic areas and has the authority and DUTY to protect them. Winmill reamed them out and told them to do their job.

     2.  Part of the highway and surrounding area goes through the Nez Perce Indian Reservation, and they have treaty rights to decide what happens to their reservation. Their claim is greater than any state easement.

     Mr. Vogelson has contempt for environmentalists, and they do go too far and are often naive, but most of us love the beauty we are surrounded by. Our activities do not necessitate destroying that beauty...we can usually find a way to work with it and not against it. Man has a place in this environment and a balance can be achieved.

     Logging can and does take place without destroying the beauty and the health of our forests, in fact it often protects those forests. But a busy commercial highway and megaloads are not the way to preserve the wild and scenic nature of our area. Many say this will bring jobs, but the sacrifice of this unusually beautiful area is a high price to pay for those jobs and can’t be undone later once we’ve ruined it forever.

     We should not be intimidated by government at any level in favor of those who just want to make a buck but don’t even live here. I admire the tribal members who stood in the way of the megaloads, and I am grateful to Judge Winmill for not backing down to the powers that be. Thank you.

Lana Hiemstra



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