To the Editor:

Over the last year I have actively pursued local and state representatives of Northeastern Oregon on the matter of travel management. Wallowa County has been exceptional in returning correspondence. Very little to no correspondence has come from anyone else. Baker County Commissioner Fred Warner attempted on two occasions to answer, but quickly faded away, with one exchange from Tim Kerns wife over his work email and no correspondence back from Carl Stiff at all. Mark Davidson wrote a very short response last April that they were working on the issue, but no response since, with nothing from the other two. Grant County just flat out does not respond.

Our state representatives have been all but derelict in their duties. I have to give Rep. Cliff Bentz some recognition as he contacted Ms. Schwalbach on the matter in the summer of 2012, but that’s about all I’ve heard. Neither Mr. Ferrioli, Smith, Nelson nor Jensen have returned any emails in the matter and seem to be avoiding the discussion with the public.

What are they doing? Where is the voice of our representatives in the matter? Representing from a desk is non-representation, plain and simple. We need men and a woman willing to do the hard work of contacting forest leadership to ask what is going on, and then report to the public on a regular basis.

Representatives, where are you and what are you doing to protect our individual liberties? As one Forest Service employee told me last summer, people shouldn’t be so selfish about travel management; you can’t always have what you want. She’s right, we can’t, but we do expect to keep our God-given rights to life, liberty (freedom), and happiness.

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