Letters to the editor from this week's Chronicle:

To the Editor
In their letter to the editor, Republicans Mr. and Mrs. Arnzen claim: “Public lands do not belong to all Americans.”  That claim is baseless.  They also claim that federal lands “were given to each State at statehood, deeded to the Federal Government (only for a temporary time).”  As proof, they suggest readers “see the history” of our public lands.  
Well, this reader does see that history.  But what I do not see is evidence supporting their bizarre allegations.  Perhaps they can specifically point out where this supposed “historical” title transaction model occurred.  Show me.  Their property title claims are dizzy.  According to them, our federal government granted all public lands to the states; then, from this alleged title transfer, these new state titled lands were re-transferred back to the federal government “for a temporary time.”  The federal government then generously picked up the tab to re-re-transfer these lands back to state or private title.  
Truth is not as dizzy as that.  Ignoring the 1787 Northwest Ordinance, as early as 1817 [March 1st] the federal government enforced control over its public forests.  Incidentally, Federal rights over public lands are found in the 1787 United States Constitution, Article IV, Section 3, Clause 2…and even earlier under Confederation title.  
Truth suggests the historical “model” was 3% of federal lands transferred to newly organizing territories and states.  [Do “see the history”:  “Public Lands in Indiana Act” (11 April 1818); “3% Fund in Illinois” (13 January 1831); “3% Fund Missouri, Mississippi, and Alabama” (19 January 1831); “Prevention of Settlement on Public Lands” (2 March 1833); and “Idaho Admission Act” (3 July 1890) ].
Except “temporary time” Donation Land Claims—famously those in Oregon 1851 to 1854—typically US public lands were transferred by sale, if ever offered.  Yet I hear nothing from “free market” stalwart Republicans suggesting they want to buy public lands, if ever offered in Idaho at open market.  And forget about honest natural resource economics.  No, they merely mob around demanding “free” lands for nothing; thus their demands are little more than those of Neo-Bolsheviks or National Socialists…but socialists nevertheless.
Floyd Whitley

To the Editor
Current events and news items make one wonder sometimes if the world has gone completely mad! Locally and nationally one is astonished by what is seen and what is read! 
Locally on a trip to Lewiston late in the afternoon last week, we found the evening sun shining directly in our eyes, making it very difficult to see! And where were we? Along the road that
at one time was called "Bundy lane" , the road near Lapwai that has always been shaded by evergreeens seeded there years ago by a man of the same name. 
Yikes! I had read that the trees were to be removed because of the shade causing winter slick roads. But why then were the trees downed on the NORTH side of the road, which provided the EVENING shade, never blocked the early sun, and kept out of site the ugly weeds and railroad cars now clearly visible?
Next one wonders if the same thinking will down the trees on Highway 12 to Missoula? A "scenic route" we are told!!!??
And O yes! Was anyone surprised by Sunday's Tribune headline, "Forest Service wants its money back?" As the old saying goes: "The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away!"
So true now it seems with all-powerful government! Now our money and our trees, then our guns, finally our children????
Jake Wren

Cottonwood, Idaho 83522


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