To the Editor:
This is concerning the draft record of decision and summary of the revised land management plans for the Malheur, Umatilla and Wallowa-Whitman national forests. Portions of these plans should be re-written to more fairly consider access to what are our public lands.
According to the Forest Service manual, page 25, “Management by the people” national forests are made for and owned by the people. They should also be managed by the people. The officers are paid by the people to act as their agents (agent: one who acts for or in the place of another by authority from him) to see that all the resources of the forest are used in the best interest of everyone concerned.
There must be hearty cooperation from everyone; it is the users themselves who can be of chief assistance in doing away with bad methods.
Alternative E-modified (the preferred alternative) of the summary states on page 16, “This alternative differs from the alternative A by moving away from road densities in general forest to focus instead on elk security and on roads resulting in the greatest impacts to fish and aquatic ecosystems on the landscape… Hydrologically disconnecting the roadbed from the stream system.”
Moving away from road densities and disconnecting of roadbeds translates to road closures and/or access removal.
The Forest Service failed to directly coordinate with the counties on this plan. The agency is required by section 202 (c) (9) of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act to coordinate with local governments. They need to do this. Reconsider and rewrite the plan.