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Why give up the forests?

H&N 12/26/03

The articles in the Oct. 19 and Dec. 16 Herald and News drove home some points of interest. Klamath Tribes' Chairman Allen Foreman was quoted as saying, "We really do feel we are the best stewards of this land."

Anyone interested in seeing the example set by some tribal members should visit the area upstream where Forest Road 49 crosses the Williamson River.

During the summer of 2002, I contacted the Chiloquin District ranger, the rural deputy sheriff and the Tribal Council looking for accountability.

Tribal official Jeff Mitchell said, "the tribes would not face as many regulations:" Obviously a true statement as local, federal and tribal authorities cannot enforce existing laws concerning even littering on public land.

The possible abuses of the land are endless, and though promises are made today, would tribes be accountable to even the highest courts?

I am certain it would be a grievous error to move the national forests from public trust to tribal land with no controls on its use or abuses. The forest plan indicates the tribes would expect about $9 million for road maintenance and an undetermined number of millions for fire suppression annually.

Why would the taxpayers of this country want to give up the national forests and pay a sovereign nation to control them?

Rob Todd

Klamath Falls





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