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Lincoln County Coalition compared to fox in henhouse

| January 30, 2007 11:00 PM

To the Editor:

The farmer hears a commotion coming from his chicken house. He runs to investigate, only to discover a fox and several dead chickens.

With hat in hand he says, "Um, Mr. Fox, do ya think you could leave me just a couple? Pleeeaasee."

The news coverage of the Lincoln County Coalition is extremely misleading. Brent Shrum's recent article is titled, "Commissioners conditionally back coalition," and then later states, "they are moving toward conditional support." Which is it? Support or movement. As Commissioner Konzen stated at last week's meeting, "They're just playing word games."

The "coalition" is comprised of statues looking for pedestals to stand on. This bill, if passed, is doomed to failure. It will impoverish Lincoln County rather then strengthen it.

It will be another precedent of un-electeds controlling our future, and the tentacles of committee grow deeper. It is a slap in the face to the citizens of Lincoln County.

Under the slow trigger, fast bullet theory, it has been worked in a vacuum of public involvement, and/or knowledge and then sprung upon us by blitzkrieg from the media and advertising.

When it fails, we will be left with more regulations to follow than we presently have, and gain nothing. The baby is filtered out, and what we are left with is the cesspool of bathwater.

Mr. Shrum and others in the coalition refer to citizens voicing their opinion as squabbles. I remember all the Forest Service meetings I attended and I call it "lawsuit!" If it threatened something they valued, "we'll sue" echoed through the room.

But then again, I'm a conservative; I must not be feeling their pain - word games, again. "Words mean no more and no less than I mean them to," so says Alice in Wonderland.

Remember, "Your voice counts," proclaimed by the coalition. Stop the presses! I thought I did voice my opinion and it was squabbling. I'm so confused!

The commissioners are our elected representatives, as Rita Windom pointed out at the last commissioners' meeting. Marianne Roose stated "The public has always been welcome to the coalition meetings." That's like missing a birthday party on Mars, oops, forgot to inquire!

The draft plan calls for wilderness in the Yaak, timber to be cut, access to recreational pursuits to remain, jobs to be gained. Sounds too good to be true!

A "steering committee" of unelected people will oversee the above operations. If this steering committee would allow timber to fall, and another green group sued, they would "link-arms" with county and rally for them in front of the judge. I'm sure the steering committee will be there to hug the timber workers as they leave town, also.

The mass media blitz from the Lincoln County Coalition that has recently hit Libby is conservatively estimated to have cost $10,000! Who has paid for this blitzkrieg? When this question was put to the commissioners, both Roose and Konzen mumbled something like, "I don't know." Something is wrong in River City folks!

I sat at one of their meetings and listened to Rep. Vincent talk about this bill creating 100 timber jobs; wilderness won't happen if the jobs don't, trigger language. Sounds great! I sat through the Power Point presentation to the commissioners. King was quoted as saying, "it would create 50 jobs." Isn't evolution grand! One hundred or 50 jobs, must be word games, again. Wilderness can only be created by Congress. Once it is created, it is forever; other groups sue, timber sales are halted, no predictable supply, jobs lost. This is starting to sound familiar.

Isn't there currently a lawsuit to shut the Troy mine? And the other mine near Libby?

When asked how the coalition would accomplish something Plum Creek could not, like putting a muzzle on The Lands Council, King answered, "We'll do it." When asked again, "We'll just do it!" That sure answered all my questions.

Why doesn't Lincoln County propose a bill to wipe the USFS out of its misery? Think about how much money could be saved by eliminating all those pesky, mid-level scientists and foresters! Eureka!

Mr. Fox to farmer, "I don't have the authority to make that decision. I need to run it by the fox steering committee, and farmer, it's not lookin' real good."

"Mr. Fox, could we talk reason here? I've got a family to feed, and, and, and," the farmer said to the fox's tail as he walked away with the last chicken.

Remember, your voice counts!

Rhoda Cargill

Troy