The January 25 article about the proposed Scotchman Wilderness by Cameron Rasmusson was much better than the ridiculously slanted Daily Stink Bug article on the recent Clark Fork meeting, but still needs help with basic journalism. I am happy to help.
Rasmusson states that “several people” opposed the legislation. A better description would have been “most” or the “overwhelming majority” of the attendees were opposed, but maybe Cameron slipped out with Cary Kelly, who skedaddled before the majority could speak? We see Sen. Risch telling us “there has been no process,” when in actuality, the USFS has been in “process” with it for decades, even proudly telling the audience of the many meetings and comment periods, yet leaving out the part where the USFS violated federal law by not holding ANY public hearings in the areas potentially affected by such actions.
Then we read that “significant push-back only emerged at Clark Fork.” It would have been clearer to write that “At the first public meeting in held outside of Sandpoint in Bonner County, in the 12 years of FSPW campaigning and decades of the USFS process, the meeting that was held at the request of concerned local citizens, there was significant push-back, even a rejection of this proposal.” Too bad our former commissioners chose also to represent just Sandpoint and not Bonner County on this issue, but maybe that is why two are gone and the third still couldn’t find the time to go to Clark Fork, even though our two new commissioners did (thanks, guys).
So Darren Parker, the Risch staffer, decided that most concerns were ideological? Isn’t most of the support founded in ideology too? All that gushy stuff about the need for wondrous solitude and soul-enriching, enchanted wilderness experience? We did hear from the get-go, a lot of anger about use restrictions (snowmobiles, game carriers, wood cutting, etc), USFS mismanagement of surrounding areas to create the next wilderness, poor USFS (non-existent) public communication about supposed wilderness-like management, concerns about wildlife, fire and timber management, the government’s authority to ban entry and firearms in wilderness, stacked rules, regulations and restrictions in Wilderness.
Call the new Bonner County (not the previous and exclusive Sandpoint) Commissioners at 265-1438 and tell them you oppose this wilderness, the past shameful process and land lock-up in our backyard!