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How about selling public land to promote fire suppression?

| February 20, 2007 11:00 PM

To the Editor:

About three years ago I wrote this letter to the editor.

I had not heard of President Bush's plan to sell public land. Maybe this is a good time to resubmit this letter.

In regards to wildfire suppression around rural towns, why wouldn't it be practical for the government or state to sell five-acre tracts bordering these communities to private citizens?

Low-income families or non-landowners would have preference. This could be done on a lottery basis. The down payment could be made by preparing the land to Forest Service fire suppression specifications.

Low-interest payments could be made until the land is paid for.

As long as we have to pay property taxes, this would broaden the tax base and help schools. Perhaps payments could be paid directly to cash-strapped school districts. It might be a good idea if the land was non-transferable for a set time.

I know selling public land isn't plausible at the time, but far-sighted politicians and private citizens could consider this idea. A lot of details would have to be worked out, but this is America and anything is possible.

I believe this plan would give citizens a chance to own land where they never thought it would be possible.

In turn, this would strengthen American families and give them more of an incentive to have the American dream. After all, anything in private hands is usually better managed than when it is in government hands.

Land ownership and the right to bear arms are the backbone of our republic.

Terry Griner

Troy