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Commentaries and editorials


by Delbert Matson
Lewiston Tribune, January 21, 2005

In response to Pat Williams' column of Jan. 9, I can say he has some points about U.S. history. However, his group of issues facing the Northwest border on the simplistic.

While polls can be asked to reflect the outcome desired, this country still recognizes the rights of all, not just the majority. The ban by President Clinton affected not just a few large timber corporations but all citizens. I'm sure we can all enjoy the forests from a few highways built by our government for our enjoyment.

Some of us however realize that forcing the ranchers off public lands and out of business will only affect our economy negatively. Then we can subsidize the ranches, sell the lots to workers of these new, good-paying jobs created at the expense of our heritage, way of life and our future.

I'm not arguing that we don't need to address issues with our environment, but logging and its effects are a shared issue. All of us need the materials created by logging, mining and ranching. To blame these industries without taking our share of the blame is too easy.

Our leaders have given us wolves, grizzlies and, recently, record salmon runs, to go with historic lows in timber sales, faltering elk herds and greater restrictions on use of public lands.

Leadership should address as much of the whole issue as possible, to try to tell us you know what is best because that's what you believe.

Just because we don't have the large population base doesn't mean that our vote doesn't count, and we can still make up our own mind about who to send to D.C. and when to bring them home.

Delbert Matson, Grangeville
Lewiston Tribune, January 21, 2005

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