Letters to the editor from this week's Chronicle:

Letter to Editor
HB 148 The transfer of Public land Act that was passed in Utah needs to be done in Idaho.
Public lands do not belong to all Americans. They were given to each State at statehood, deeded to the Federal Government (only for a temporary time) to allow them to dispose of (or sell) them in a timely manner to help fund our national debt (see the History of our public lands). Our public lands would be better managed, more productive and more accessible under state stewardship.
As we know current federal land policy and management is inefficient, ineffective and is threatening the long term use and enjoyment of public lands. Outmoded federal policies have resulted in forests that are venerable to catastrophic fires, insect infestation and disease. These federal policies are deteriorating are rangelands, production efforts of timber and mineral resources are either precluded entirely or greatly limited by regulation, red tape and lawsuits.
As long as public lands remain under federal control this deterioration will only get worse and Idaho and its citizens will be deprived of the many economic benefits that we are entitled and so desperately need. We know that in state hands, the public lands will be restored protected and more productive.
Idaho has a record of both environmental protection and fiscal responsibility. We have the departments in place to address the many complex issues of public land management. People come to our state to experience the beauty and incredible scenery.
No one in Idaho state government would permit degradation of our public lands. Lands with less aesthetic or recreational qualities that contain resources would become more accessible for development and for revenue production.
By passing a Transfer of Public Lands Act would greatly increase multiple use of our public lands for greater benefit for our State. Let this be a beginning for our state to be self sufficient in serving our Idaho citizens.
Shorty & Marge Arnzen

The Officers and Members of the Idaho Pathfinders, Inc. want to alert the citizens of Idaho County to what our organization believes to be an imminent threat of a great loss of our public lands, our treasured freedom of access and ultimately an erosion of our rural heritage.  We object to the land swap so vehemently opposed for so long by so many for so many good reasons.
It is not our intent when offering our concerns and asking for your participation in objecting to this potential travesty to impugn the integrity, intelligence or motives of elected officials or unelected bureaucrats whose actions have brought us to this point.  However we are adamant in our objection to the results of their actions which we deem to be unacceptable.
Citizenship in our Republic can be hard and diligence is our responsibility even though it is hard.  The First Amendment is usually thought of as defending freedom of speech but it protects more including our right to “..petition the Government for a redress of grievances”.  We are asking the citizens of Idaho County to join with us to exercise this right and demand that the “land swap” be truncated now.  Stand with us in objecting to the refusal of our Government to respect our wishes.
Please put down your remote control your novel or your crossword puzzle and meet your responsibility of citizenship, speak up!  Contact the following people and express both your dissatisfaction with where the land swap stands and their failure to respect the desires of the taxpayers who really own these lands.
Commissioner Skip Brant – sbrandt@idahocounty.org or 208-983-2751
Commissioner Jim Chmelik – jchmelik@idahocounty.org or 208-983-2751
Commissioner James Rockwell – jrockwell@idahocounty.org or 983-2751
Forest Supervisor Brazell – 208-983-4099 or 104 Airport Rd Grangeville ID 
Faye Krueger, Regional Forester- P.O. Box 7669 Missoula, MT 59807-7669
Chief Tom Tidwell USDA Forest Service, Mail Stop 1111, 1400 Independence Ave, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-1111 or 800-832-1355
Brenda Heckman,
Secretary, Idaho 
Pathfinders, Inc.

Cottonwood, Idaho 83522


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