Measure 39: Asserts local control of public lands through election of a commission: "The People of Grant County ... shall assume the responsibility to manage public lands within Grant County by creating a commission comprised of seven commissioners to be elected at-large by the People of Grant County. The commission shall be called the Grant County Public Forest Commission and shall have jurisdiction to create and administer policies for lands and natural resources in the Public Domain within Grant County."Measure 40: Seeks title to public lands: It is a measure to "lawfully petition the United States Congress to dispose of all land in the public domain in Grant County, in the State of Oregon, and transfer title of said land to Grant County."Measure 41: Revision of the Canyon City charter. A vote on the charter revision is required by law and deals with language updates, explained city recorder and manager Tammy Bremner. The city council revised the charter because the language had remained unchanged since 1978, she said. Examples of updates include identification of the city recorder and manager but exclusion from the charter of the now-defunct positions of treasurer and municipal judge; and mention of the new residency requirement of 12 months, rather than six months, for city council candidates. Copies of the old and new charter are available at Canyon City City Hall during the office hours of 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday.Our endorsementsVote no on Measure 39. This initiative, while well-intentioned, places the cart before the horse. A commission can serve no purpose without authority to act. Voters would be better served to appeal for this authority to form a commission by petitioning directly to the U.S. Congress. Otherwise, it's a hollow vote which could encourage loggers to violate the law by removing trees from federal lands under the auspices of a commission's "authority."Vote yes on Measure 40. This measure has the right idea: Appeal to Congress for change rather than try to assert county control. A transfer of title for public lands (which would need to be clarified to mean explicitly federal lands) could include direction from the U.S. Congress that these lands would not be subject to Endangered Species Act or National Environmental Policy Act regulations, the very rules which strangle the progress of management agencies. This measure's passage, we recognize, is unlikely to make a difference. We will walk backward to Washington, D.C. on the day that Congress turns over our federal lands to the county with no environmental restrictions to hinder their management. But it doesn't hurt to ask. A public vote can carry more weight than individual letters to members of Congress. Also, the vote can represent a statement of frustration, further bolstering the case for a charter-forest designation.Vote yes on Measure 41. This measure serves a housekeeping function so the City of Canyon City can update its charter.

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