Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions
Deer Mountain Land Exchange
By A. M. Johnson
May 11, 2017
The moment has arrived that finds the need to announce a Mea Culpa.
Some time back when the issue of logging on Deer Mountain was raised, a local group headed by Bob Weinstein gathered a effort to have the issue ultimately addressed through a proposed land swap with the U.S.Forest Service. Believing that an effort such as that at the local level was doomed even with state input. The federal position and the then political party in control having a track record of saying 'No' I concocted a letter to this publication taking the effort to task with a sarcastic tone.
As Mr. Weinstein and crew have proven successful in the efforts, and I wrong on the prognosis of events, offer a belated congratulations on the efforts. As the bottom line professed, the outcome is a Win-Win for Ketchikan and future logging opportunity, which one trust will develop under a this new administration.
On that subject viewed under the current effort of President Trump to roll back several past Presidents' Executive Orders concerning National Monuments, one would enjoy seeing President Trump address with a more concentrated concern on releasing as much federal held land that by Constitutional edict, belong to the respective states. States West of the Mississippi as they entered the union, were required to give up jurisdiction and in effect, ownership of vast swaths of proposed state lands to the federal government as a concession of statehood. There seems a basis for raising the return aligned with in Constitution wording.
Would the federal government find the overwhelming desire to say, hold on to the Misty Fjord or Glacier Bay, as example, then the federal government should lease those lands from the state, across the Nation similar arrangements would be required. Other than those provisions, ALL the lands under current federal control should revert back to the states.
Had that been the case in the Deer Mountain issue, there would have not resulted in the community aggravation generated.
While I am ranting, consideration of removing the 17th amendment should be a Trump agenda item somewhere down the road. Electing our congressional Senate representatives should be by the state legislature's prerogative as it was prior to the 17 amendment enactment. That would put an end to the backroom antics that take place now on a National level with all the high rollers influencing the agenda not knowing what our elected senators are subject and influenced [not always in line with the state they represent] from afar, rather the citizens of each respective state influencing control from a more local [state] level. Just a thought.
I once more offer my Mea Culpa to the Deer Mountain association and Bob.
Received May 10, 2017
- Published May 11, 2017
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