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Forest not for sale

I read that the Klamath Tribes have decided that no one is going to give them the forest land they seek, so now they have decided to buy it back. I had not heard it was for sale, but our goverment works in strange ways.

Let me see if I can get this straight in my mind: They are willing to buy back the land they willingly sold even though it is not for sale, at least not to anyone but the Tribes.

Where will they get the money? I understand that some of the farmers think it is a good idea. Also Jeld-Wen has said it would like to help. They also have the casino up on Highway 97 that takes in a lot of money. The Tribes recieve a large sum from the feds every year to help them with their day-to-day lives, perhaps they could tap into some of that.

So let's pretend that the Tribes buy the land that you and I now own. Will they charge a fee to hunt, fish and camp on our old land? If I own a building or home on the forest land now is it still mine, or do I have to buy it again? If the Tribes have the money to buy the land and manage it better than the current owners, does that mean the goverment will no longer send them a large check every year to pay for their home and medical needs?

What about the people that are backing the Tribes in their quest to buy back the land such as the farmers. Does that mean the Tribes will give up their water rights and decide the sucker fish can make it on its own? Or if Jeld-Wen is willing to help does that mean it will finally get to build the ski bowl on Pelican Butte?

What happens, God forbid, if some part of the 700,000 acres of land should catch fire as it did in 2002 at Silver Lake? Since it is now private land does the Forest Service still come in to fight it? Also since it is now private land, how much will the taxes be and who will pay them, or will the county decide to put it in an enterprise zone like they do for the power company and let them off for half price?

I think this needs to be dicussed a whole lot more and not just behind closed doors. All involved need to remember is they sold this land once, and as of now and forever it should not be for sale.

Richard Wiles

Klamath Falls




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