CLEARWATER TRIBUNE HOME
JUNE 17, 2010
Service lands in four
counties to be traded
away—unless we stop it!
By Harvey Neese
counties could lose most, if not all, of the U.S. Forest Service managed, people
owned lands to private interests if
we the people
don’t stop it. The main counties are:
counties. The Forest Service lands being discussed for trading amount to some
28,000 acres. These are prime forests and wildlife habitat which previously was
habitat for the largest elk herd in the world. The elk are disappearing due to
mismanagement and now the possible loss of much of their habitat that has
nurtured elk and deer populations for centuries.
At this time, there is a proposed exchange or trade of the
Forest Service lands in the four counties in northern
for heavily cut over timber lands in a remote section of the
area owned by a private entrepreneur. The private lands in the
proposed to be traded for the lands in the four counties, are situated like a
checker board with alternate sections between the Forest Service and private
entrepreneur owned lands which makes management of these lands difficult. Many
people, who are aware of this ill-advised proposed exchange, support the Forest
Service in purchasing the 39,000 acres in the Lochsa to manage the lands for the
future. A number of groups of people are working to this end. Few, if any,
residents inside these counties and outside are promoting this exchange.
The Forest Service has advanced the exchange proposal to
this point with minimal attention paid to the majority of the people affected.
There are over 100,000 nearby residents in northern
use these public lands for recreation as hunting, fishing, observing wildlife,
mushroom and huckleberry picking and logging. And there are many more that come
to the area because of the people owned lands.
There is a sizable group of people within the exchange area
who are fighting this exchange proposal non-stop. They have met with local and
state officials and federal legislators to obtain their support to purchase the
Lochsa Lands and not trade away the prime forest lands of this area.
It should be mentioned that the current Forest Service
Supervisor for the Nez Perce and
Forests, Mr. Rick Brazell, was not in this position when
this very bad decision was initiated by the Forest Service to pursue this
exchange with little input from the people. However, the problem is now in the
hands of the current Supervisor and numerous people and groups affected by this
proposed exchange have expressed their opposition to him and the Forest Service
the people are speaking and government officials
should listen to the majority in our democratic society—it is easy to see that a
huge majority of people directly affected by this loss of public lands strongly
oppose this ill-advised trade.
The people are waiting anxiously for federal legislators to
speak publicly words we hear so seldom these days:
will support what the majority of Idahoans want”—and
the public choice is
This is the American way developed by the Founding Fathers.
Federal legislative aides have listened and discussed this issue with
we the people
in opposition many times. State legislators from this
area have been especially helpful in support, discussions, attending meetings
and assisting to formulate plans to go forward.
We the people