Help me to Understand…

Dear Editor,

I was shocked when I saw the voting results on the proposal to designate Scotchman Peaks a wilderness area in Idaho. How could a majority of my voting peers in Bonner County vote against an issue I thought was a “no brainer?” Who could possibly be opposed to preserving a small portion of the Idaho Panhandle National Forest for my grandchildren and their grandchildren? First, I thought, well 5,672 (5 percent) to 4,831 (4 percent) is a small majority of approximate 20,000 or about 27 percent of those on the voting rolls in Bonner County. I immediately became critical of the approximately 50 percent who did not make the effort to vote. Then I realized the voting results are still a majority of those who voted, and I like to think we live in a democracy and that the public has spoken. But I am still perplexed why!

Follow the money! That is always a good place to start. I know who funded the passage of this proposal, the Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness, their members and their plethora of volunteers with donations of their time and money, but I do not know who funded the opposition. The opposition had to be organized and had to have substantial funding but by whom and what were their reasons for opposing the creation and protection of a small area of natural beauty?  

Where did I go wrong? What is it I do not understand? Why would so many people be opposed to the Scotchman Peaks Wilderness Area? I would honestly like to know. I must be missing something and the only people who can make me better understand the reason or reasons are those who voted against the SPWA.  

I hope that one or more who voted against the proposed Scotchman Peaks Wilderness Area will please enlighten me with a one or two logical, but not political, reasons why they voted against securing something I feel would be extremely valuable to our community and future generations.

Tony Lewis

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