Printed letters, August 2, 2011

Congress is launching a new assault on our country’s public lands that strikes at the heart of America’s sporting heritage. Similar bills — in the House and the Senate — would open our nation’s roadless backcountry to eventual industrial development and expanded motorized use into the best of what’s left of our nation’s fish-and-game habitat.

Today, we enjoy a good balance on public lands between high-quality, intact backcountry lands and front-country lands that are crisscrossed by roads and motorized-use trails. For hunters and anglers, maintaining the status quo, particularly in the backcountry, is important. We understand how the intact, high-quality habitat in the roadless backcountry translates directly into hunting and fishing opportunity and success.

The U.S. Forest Service cannot afford to maintain its existing road and trail system, and the problem is only going to get worse, given the belt-tightening that will no doubt take place as Congress crafts a new and austere federal budget. Opening up the backcountry to more road building and more development is a bad economic decision that would further burden federal agencies with construction and maintenance costs.

The Wilderness and Roadless Area Release Act bills strike at the heart of our hunting and fishing culture, and would degrade intact fish and game habitat that makes hunting and angling on public lands possible today. Hunters and anglers know the best opportunities begin where the road ends. Let’s keep the end of the road where it is. Let’s keep our public lands, and the access to them, intact for the next generation of hunters and anglers.

Please write your federal delegation and ask them not to support these bills and to safeguard vital fish and game habitat, and our right to hunt and fish on lands belonging to every American.

LEW EVANS

Palisade

Wall Street, not Main, controls Washington, D.C.

According to several major news sources during the past few days, Americans are fed up with our dysfunctional government in Washington, D.C. I am one of those Americans.

The debt ceiling debate is an embarrassment to the world. Congress and the presidency have definitely developed a permanent pattern of inaction and indecision during the past two years. Now, Wall Street is worried about the government not spending enough money. Wall Street wants a bulging government budget and a cheap dollar.

The current debate reflects the stranglehold that Wall Street has on members of Congress and President Obama. Obama took substantial campaign contributions from Wall Street in the 2008 campaign.

Even if there is a so-called default today, there would be little impact to the Wall Street economy. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernacke do whatever Wall Street wants. Example: Bernacke purchases $600 billion in bonds this year without any governmental approvals. Who got the commission on that big sale?

Wall Street is not the economy of Main Street Americans. The Main Street economy is not doing very well.  Now, the price of gas is going back up. The price of food is going up again. If we had a compassionate president, he could freeze the price of gasoline, bread, butter, milk and other crucial food items. If he was compassionate, he could freeze the price of health insurance premiums and the cost of medical bills.

What do the president and Congress care? He and the majority of Congress are confirmed millionaires. The president and Congress meet in secret to plan the fate of Main Street America.

Every American should be concerned by the secrecy of discussions about Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.  I don’t hear them talking about cutting the budget for the endless wars and foreign aid. We need to find candidates who have the compassion for Main Street America and no ties to Wall Street.

RANDY FRICKE

New Castle


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