Yes to Wilderness…

Dear Editor,

I am in favor of wilderness designation for the Scotchman Peaks area. Currently, this land is owned by the American public and managed by the Forest Service. If this becomes wilderness, it will still be owned by the American people and managed for us by the Forest Service. Currently, hiking, fishing, hunting, berry picking, camping and horseback riding are allowed. If it becomes wilderness, permanent access for all of these activities will be assured.

Fires can still be fought and wildlife will still be managed if it becomes wilderness. In short, nothing will change, which is exactly the point. Future generations will thank us for preserving this unspoiled gem. There is currently not one acre of wilderness in the nine northern counties of Idaho. This proposal represents only .5 percent of the area of the Idaho Panhandle National Forests. This leaves the remaining 99.5 percent in a non-wilderness status. In addition, numerous studies have shown that communities near wilderness areas enjoy an economic boost. Please vote for wilderness on May 15!

Jim Mellon
Sandpoint

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