I hear the frustration about the Forest Service lands: access denied, roads closed, lack of forest management, loss of jobs, endless meetings just trying to keep grazing that your family has done for years, mining claims being swept into potential wilderness areas, to name a few. I hear the stories and see the effects of a system of forest management who’s budget and rules are made by lawmakers and bureaucrats over a thousand miles away.
I’ve felt the fear of wild fire and seen the damage it causes. So have you.
That is why I remain committed to working on USFS issues with my seatmates and colleagues in other counties. We are working more closely with our neighboring counties on forest issues than ever before and have developed county policy stating what we need to protect our economy and our people. Under the National Environmental Protection Act, the Forest Service must consider the objectives of local plans and how the management of public lands affects the local government and community. This is important in order to meet the responsibilities counties have for the socioeconomic well-being, safety, and culture of its citizens.
We formed a Natural Resource committee for public input on a resource plan. All agencies that make comments on other agency plans use policy as a foundation. That is what we do too. Our obligation to you, the residents of this county, is that the human element is also represented in projects and plans the USFS does. We all love the beauty of our Forest Service lands and the multiple uses and benefits it provides including habitat for wildlife, clean air and water. The agencies tasked with protecting the environment (and there are many on the state and federal level) have to consider the human element. It is up to the county, who has the broadest responsibility from implementing road funding to public safety and the economy, to represent that which we need to survive and live well.
More Jobs. Logging, Mining, Grazing, Access. Less Fires. #MoreJobsLessFires