Thursday, September 21, 2006

Only 1500 Comments on Idaho's Roadless Plan

After President Bush rescinded the Clinton 2001 Roadless mandate governing 58 million acres of roadless land in America, he gave state Governors the opportunity to come up with their own plan. This action has been overturned by a U.S. Magistrate Judge, until a full environmental impact study is done.

Meanwhile, some states including California, New Mexico, Oregon and others have chosen to keep development out of roadless areas. But Idaho's Governor Kempthorne directed the County Commissioners to conduct public hearings to come up with a petition to create new plans to allow development in roadless areas in Idaho. Meanwhile Kempthorne has become the new Secretary of Interior and interim Governor Risch (who has just over a month left to serve) has just announced his own plan minimizing the allowable roadless areas from 9.3 million Idaho acres down to 3.1 million acres.

The Idaho Statesman today wrote an article about this plan and noted that 1500 Idaho Citizens had commented at the public hearings held in Idaho this past year. My reaction - only 1500 comments on an issue that affects everybody in this state, forever? How can politicians be so arrogant and dis serving of the public to act on so little public input? The people of Idaho and the U.S. deserve better.

When President Clinton was considering the Roadless Area Conservation Rule of 2001 it was supported by more Americans than any other similar rule in U.S. History. 1.6 million comments were made and more than 95 percent supported the Roadless Rules. Bush, Kempthorne, the County Commissioners, and Risch know these facts, but chose to insult the will of the American people by choosing their own form of public input.

I hope that some of the new Social Networking opportunities on the Internet will start to develop a public reaction to the decisions by politicians who create plans that affect everybody in Idaho and other states as well, when only 1500 people comment.

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