Letter: Agencies have too much power over public lands

January 26, 2014 

In his book, Public Lands -- Public Debates, Char Miller points to a November 2006 memorandum of understanding that the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service signed in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Parks Service. This pact committed the four agencies "to carry out shared joint management activities to achieve mutually beneficial resource management goals."

This is all playing out and unfolding as the federal land management agencies promote the implementation of their Travel Management Plans (Forest Service), Resource Management Plans (BLM), and the Endangered Species Act (Fish and Wildlife) which are being proposed to guide and govern our public lands over the next 15-20 years throughout the country.

These agencies have lost their capacity to listen to the American people and address their varied concerns regarding the nature of public lands management.

With a Congress that is stagnated and fiscally corrupted, one can only hope that common sense, honesty, integrity and accountability will some day return to the American scene. However, until that happens, which is unlikely, both consumptive and non-consumptive outdoor recreationalists and the public in general will continue to get the short end of the stick.

ANDY JOHNSON, Pasco

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