Wednesday, June 07, 2023

'We need to move from the “us vs. them” mentality'

by The Western News
| February 3, 2012 12:23 PM

Dear Editor,

 The Jan. 27 article entitled,

“Residents voice Plan concerns,” was a shortsighted account of the

Forest Service’s open-house forum on their Revised Forest


It failed to mention the extent of issues the

Revised Plan encompasses and instead focused on a single-sided

viewpoint concerning multiple-use recreation. 

The article then quickly boiled down the

comprehensive document into its four alternatives and solicited

opinions from those in support of alternative D while failing to

mention the representation of others in attendance.

 The Draft Plan outlines

long-range goals in an attempt to strike a balance between values,

products and uses within the physical and biological capabilities

of the land. 

With the Revised Plan, the USFS has taken

complex management directions and produced an organized document

that is very approachable when compared to the existing ’87


 Attempts to encapsulate the

intricacies of this document into an abridged debate between

recreation users is damaging not only to the process of Plan

Revision but also to this community. 

It frames the Revised Plan in a way that

defeats all of work accomplished at the public workshops (21

meetings that took place in our community during the scoping

process, which started in April ‘02) - long hours spent with

diverse interests, hashing-out disagreements. 

 Also missing was the fact that

the USFS has an obligation to repair decades of oversight regarding

recommended wilderness. 

But throughout the process, the public has to

find a way forward and is in need of encouragement, not more


 No matter what interest at stake

on the forest, it’s not a perfect Draft Plan. 

But it does offer a contemporary approach to

forest management for the modern times in which we


We need to move from the “us vs. them”

mentality and into the collective stewardship of our forested




— Matt