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Vote No on the Scotchman Peak Wilderness Designation

On May 15, please vote against the Scotchman Peak wilderness designation.

Vote No on the Scotchman Peak Wilderness Designation

Vote No on the Scotchman Peak Wilderness Designation

The proposed Scotchman Peak “wilderness designation” has been a silent and concerted effort by its proponents for the better part of a decade. The claimed justification that “management of the area would not change as a result of the legislation” would have you believe that ten years of work and tens of thousands, if not $100,000-plus, of fundraising was simply for a change of title description. No, it’s about locking up land in the hands of the federal government, for a term of… forever!

The Wilderness Designation Act contains certain prohibitions on the use of the land. Those include mechanical uses of equipment necessary to reduce the danger of wildfire that occurs, for example, from lack of responsible forest management and can cause great danger to life and property to the surrounding community. The statute does provide for mechanical uses in the wilderness area but ONLY for those situations “required in emergencies involving the health and safety of persons within the [wilderness] area.”

Supporters of the wilderness designation claim that this would “establish the first protected wilderness area within the Panhandle region of Idaho.” The logical assumption, then, is that it won’t be the last.

Furthermore, it begs the question if being the first at something of such magnitude is in Idaho’s best interest, because this wilderness designation of Scotchman Peaks is a concession of land that would never be returned to Idaho under the “equal footing” doctrine of State land ownership. And that has wide ranging and detrimental implications for future generations of our state.

I think a much better alternative would be a “state park” designation. It would be in the interest of all, especially those who live closest, in Clark Fork.

On May 15, please vote against the Scotchman Peak wilderness designation.

Jackie Domke
Priest River, ID

 

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