Gov. Butch Otter is urging his Republican cronies – representatives of the most anti-environmental Legislature in history – to concoct legislation that would give control of the national forests in Idaho to the governor and lawmakers.
Otter wants to enrich Idaho and the corporate interests by destroying our last roadless forests – the very heart and soul of this great wilderness state – reducing them to an endless maze of logging roads and stumps. Creating fear of fire is a pretext to this end.
Most forest fires start in cut-over forests, primarily because of human access, the greatest cause of fires. Old-growth forests are fire resistant, due, in part, to their dampness and inaccessibility.
These priceless forests will become more valuable with each passing year, benefiting the air, water, wildlife, climate and combating global warming in ways that are far from being understood. They stand as defiant symbols of the right of all Americans, including the unborn, to experience untrammeled nature – one of the richest, most beautiful dimensions of life.
Teddy Roosevelt established the national forests for the people, protecting them from robber barons and opportunists – and the same kind of attacks against their integrity and the public good that Otter proposes.
Frederick K. Bardelli