To the Editor:
For several years it was a shell game. Throw out enough varying plans, subparts, and meetings, with different catch phrases for what equated to closing roads and restricting overall motorized access. The Forest Service hoped to either disenfranchise enough of the public, or aggravate enough, to make them quit. Unfortunately, I, and the people of Eastern Oregon, have not wavered under that approach and have actually became more proficient in keeping tabs on what the USFS is doing.
Now, we return to the tactics of Monica Schwalbach, the initiator of the first Record of Decision to restrict motorized access on our forest, which is to ignore and stall hoping the people simply fall out and go away. No more prime an example exists of that than my dealings over the last month with the current forest supervisor and former understudy to Ms. Schwalbach, Mr. Tom Montoya.
For the last month, I have requested information as to who makes up his interdisciplinary team for the development of the Subpart A report of travel management on the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. My initial request was June 6, 2015, as of July 6, Mr. Montoya had not answered my email. I believe we should know who is planning our future access to the Blues.
Since then, Mr. Montoya has instructed me that he has received my email and has moved my request into a FOIA request. I am not sure if that is the proper procedure for such a simple request as who sits on a committee, but it is an effective tactic to stall information sharing. He also indicated I had the incorrect email address, but yet my email was never returned as incorrect, so I will have to take him at his word.
I again request from Supervisor Montoya a list of who makes up the ID team for the development of the Subpart A report, and what tools, models and best available science they are using to plan the minimum roads needed for the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest.
Maybe in a more public form Mr. Montoya will answer the question, but as of this afternoon, no such information has been given.