To the Editor:

There is a thing in Grant County that I do not understand. I believe it started with the Reagan Administration. This president, the head of government, was well known to denounce publicly our country’s government. That never made sense to me. This denouncement of government has only progressed in Grant County to the point of hatred towards the Forest Service.

As a child in Prairie City, I saw the Forest Service as an important part of our social fabric. They were the kids I went to school with, my first Boy Scout leader, close friends and neighbors. I cannot imagine what life would have been like without their many contributions to the community. Two of the closest friends I ever had in my life were Forest Service employees.

Those of us who worked in the woods occasionally encountered some really difficult bureaucratic jerks; but far and away, those were a real minority. Off and on through the years, I heard some good ol’ boy or another calling them “educated fools.” I remember my dad saying, “I don’t want to hear you boys using that term. A good education is something to admire.”

In current times, the relationship between the Forest Service and some citizens has deteriorated to an all time low. As an example, the conflict between Sheriff Glenn Palmer and Forest Service Superintendent Steve Beverlin is a disaster. To any thinking person, it should be obvious that Beverlin has been the grown up in all this. Additionally, it is a mystery to me how some of the harshest government critics cash their government pension checks as they spew hatred for the Forest Service.

I know I have been all over the board here, so let me conclude that “Irregardless, them thar educated fools” make better neighbors than the government haters do.

Terry Steele


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