I attended a Forest Service open house in Spokane because I don’t want to see our national forests managed by bad politics. While I’m no longer physically able to climb the high peaks in places recommended by the Forest Service for wilderness like the Kettle Range, I support protecting some of these special places for the future, and judging by many of the comments at the meeting, a lot of folks agree with me.
These proposed wilderness areas are low timber value lands and have no roads or ORV trails in them, and some opponents who showed up mentioned possible U.N. conspiracies that claim setting aside a few small areas for wildlife and hikers is somehow going to end society as we know it.
Unfortunately, it’s not just a few wing nuts taking an extreme approach. Rep. McMorris Rodgers signed on to a bill in Congress that would roll back protections for more than 60 million acres of roadless forest areas across the country.
Rhetoric around the Colville and forest management that pits different user groups against each other will only ensure that everybody gets less of what they want. Polarization doesn’t create jobs, leadership does.