from March 2014, Regulations
As most Oregonians know, Klamath County (indeed, most of the 2nd District) is in a season of severe drought. Add to this politically motivated backroom deals, and a radical environmentalist agenda with lots of out-of-state clout and capital, and this is a scary situation for rural Oregon.
The problem is simple - we have limited fresh water. Animals and people alike need fresh water for survival, and droughts are part of Earth's natural cycle. Therefore, we should prepare for such eventualities with dams, reservoirs and other water storage facilities, and we should share the water between all interested parties, not use the strong arm of government to pick politically-correct winners and losers.
Last year, before I was in this Congressional race, I gave a presentation on this topic to the Jackson County Americans for Prosperity group:
Last week, The Baker City Herald editorial staff wrote, “Rep. Greg Walden has gotten right to the heart of the debate over managing national forest and he only needed to write a four-page bill to do it.”
However, it’s time for a reality check, because although I applaud his effort, it seems clear that Walden only threw this piece of legislative silliness onto the House floor because I am on his heels, chasing his lackluster votes. I have heard for years from hunters, farmers, ranchers, loggers and outdoorsmen worried about their forest access and concerned with the deafness of Washington bureaucrats. They tell me of their frustration in writing endless letters to Walden’s office and their local papers, along with their attempts at “public comment” debacles.
Do you really believe that Representative Walden was suddenly moved by his love for our freedoms as Oregonians, or does this seem politically-motivated to you? Why have our forests been padlocked for years and why has his office been bragging about his ineffectual votes, until now?
When so-called public servants suggest the increase of Federal land management, it's usually sold to us as a great resource for our communities. We're told that we'll get wide open spaces to hunt, fish, hike, access with OHVs and use for countless other pursuits.
Unfortunately, all too often, once the government gets control of our land, it becomes closed to one or more of these activities. They close forest roads under the guise of "environmental protection", ignoring the fact that keeping these roads clear aids firefighters in the summer fire season. The bureaucrats insist that they know better than we do how to enjoy our wild places, and so they padlock the woods and force us out of land that should rightfully belong to the local community.
More and more forests in Oregon are being closed to OHV traffic, and our current Congressman seems content with making empty statements and meaningless votes. For those of us who love our open places, this is a serious issue, one that is worth fighting for. We will not be content with empty rhetoric - if we aren't willing to stand up, our kids will never know the freedom of Oregon's mountains and forests.