Vote in Favor of Wilderness…

Dear Editor,

Impressed by magnificent mountains, forests and waterways, we moved to Bonner County in 2004. Having lived all across the country, we were drawn here by the abundant public lands.

We read in the Daily Bee about Forest Service public planning meetings which had been going on for a year. We attended regularly, learning that the Forest Service is required by law, rules and regulations to make recommendations on areas to manage as proposed wilderness in a way that does not degrade their wilderness character.

We also learned from fellow citizens. From John Finney and Mark and Matt Linscott we were introduced to concerns of folks who valued motorized access in parts of the forest. The concepts that guide multiple use managements, which include areas for wilderness as well as for timber harvest and motorized recreation, became clear to us from both Forest Service employees and other citizens.

We learned that a small spot on the map, yet a huge presence for Bonner County, was recommended for wilderness designation. This small spot, Scotchman Peaks, is less than half of one per cent of the over 2.5 million acre forest. It looms high over our towns and rural areas, providing the stunning backdrop to Lake Pend Oreille.

Attending those open public meetings for two years was a very enriching experience, and we remember agreeing that the planning process was truly “democracy in action.” Please join us to vote in Favor of the Scotchman Peaks on May 15.

Irv and Carol Jenkins

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