CLEARWATER TRIBUNE HOME
JUNE 24, 2010
Economic devastation of
small communities in
what’s the right thing to do?
By Harvey Neese
This is a second article on the proposed take away of the
U.S. Forest Service managed, people owned forest lands in four counties: Latah,
the right thing to do in
the proposed Upper Lochsa Land Exchange proposal. The current
proposal would trade away most of the people’s owned lands managed by the Forest
Service in four northern counties of
The Forest Service Supervisor should have informed the
private buyer that he must
do the right thing in the proposed transaction—
poll the residents that would be most affected by a public land give away, those
living within 50 miles of the proposed land exchange. The survey would ask those
most affected by this proposed exchange, if they agreed to give up their public
lands to a private entrepreneur to trade for private lands in the remote
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) has been involved in assisting to exchange these lands, owned partially by the people who would be the most affected by this huge loss. There was no survey of the people most affected by this proposed exchange by the RMEF or the RMEF members in the area affected by the exchange. Did the RMEF do the right thing? The RMEF has been involved in a lot of land issues for the right reasons which have been good for sportsmen and those using the lands for hunting and recreation. However, on this proposed exchange, knowing of the large majority opposition, the RMEF is not doing the right thing.
What is the right thing to do in regards to the proposed Upper Lochsa Exchange? The right thing to do is for the Forest Service with assistance of the congressional delegation and other legislators on the Sub-Committee for Natural Resources overseeing trades and sales of the people’s lands is to stop the exchange proposal and assist to organize a purchase of the Upper Lochsa Lands. There is considerable work such as tree planting, trimming, waterways, etc. that might qualify under the Stimulus Plan to obtain money for the purchase and rejuvenation work. The RMEF must join in with the majority of the people in striving for a purchase—this is the right thing to do for an organization that requires good public relations and donations for its worthy causes.