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home : letters : letters July 22, 2017


6/27/2017 11:16:00 AM
Letters to the Editor 06/28/2017

To the Editor:

After reading the article in the June 21 Nugget about the Coles purchasing the 345-acre Patterson Ranch, I was so happy to see they were not going to cut up the ranch for development, but leave it as-is for hay. Having lived on and worked the 1,000-acre "Old Macedo Ranch" in Danville, California, producing cattle and red oat hay, it breaks my heart to see beautiful ranches cut up and homes there instead. I was happy to find the Forest Service had made our old place part of Mt. Diablo State Park so no building is possible, but a few thousand homes are built right up to our old fenceline.

Now when I drive by that beautiful Patterson Ranch, I can smile knowing it will be preserved. Now if only the ranch on the east side of town is so blessed.

Sylvia Cara

•••

To the Editor:

Regarding the story "Spectacular sky show is on the way," The Nugget, June 21, page 1):

People who attempt to venture out along Wilt Road need to remember a few things: This road goes through National Grasslands and is EXTREMELY dry, and susceptible to wildfire.

No one should attempt to camp out here, smoke out here, or park a vehicle on the side of the road out here for fear of igniting grasses with the bottom of a hot car. This is not just empty land, but family ranches, with livestock. We don't need ya'll burning us out.

There is only sporadic cell service. Verizon is the only one I know of that gets any moderate connection in certain places out here. Even so, it is sketchy at best.

It is a difficult road and not suitable for "cars" but more for SUVs and other vehicles with high clearance due to rocks, ruts and wild grasses.

Enter this area with extreme caution. It would probably be wisest not to attempt to access this area, unless you know what you're doing.

Michelle Ehr

•••

To the Editor:

Public lands generate a lot of income for local economies. Lodging, restaurants, campgrounds, outdoor equipment stores, guides, souvenir shops, etc. spring up nearby. In fact, household income increases following designation of a National Monument. Communities leading into our National Parks benefit the most with jobs and economic activity. By one estimate, every tax dollar invested in the National Park Service returns $10 to the U.S. economy. This is a big deal.

I've been lucky enough to visit wild and isolated public lands in central and eastern Oregon that many people have never heard of-the Pillars of Rome, Crack in the Ground, Mickey Hot Springs, etc. Most of us love these wild places and want to keep them forever. They support the growing outdoor recreation economy, and they are very popular. Millions of Americans visit them every year, and those of us living in the West love them more than most. Just a couple of numbers say it all: Almost 95% of us visit public lands and over 80 percent believe funding for these lands should not

be cut.

Sadly, some lawmakers don't want to support these rare and special places. They want to "dispose of excess" public lands by handing them over to the states. At first this might sound like a great idea. Here in Oregon we love our wild lands and could take care of them very well. But where would the money come from? Oregon has ongoing budget problems, and other states are in similar

situations.

If states are forced to take over management of public lands, they might have to raise taxes or sell these lands to the highest bidder. No more hunting, fishing, mountain biking, hiking, camping, climbing, swimming, soaking, picnicking, animal watching, meditating, or enjoying our wild lands. Right now, we all own the land and have the right to enjoy these beautiful places. Not for much longer if greed wins over common sense.

Make sure your representative in Congress, Greg Walden, knows how you feel about protecting our public lands. Call him in Bend at 541-389-4408 or email him via this website: https://walden.house.gov/contact-greg/email-me.

Paula Surmann





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