To the Editor:

The county ordinance pertaining to public road closures states “all roads, trails … across public lands within Grant County shall remain open unless otherwise authorized for closure by the Grant County Court and the Grant County Sheriff.”

This ordinance was only signed by the County Court and the Sheriff. None of the managers of the impacted “public lands” had a place to sign, nor is there any guidance included in the ordinance on how it might be “enforced.”

Here are some facts that might be of interest:

1. The Article IV, clause 2 of the U.S. Constitution has been consistently interpreted by the U.S Supreme Court “that state laws that conflict with federal law are without effect” (Maryland v. Louisiana, 451 U.S. 725, 746 (1991))

2. Also in Article IV of the U.S. Constitution it states “The Congress shall have the power to dispose of and make all needful rules and regulations respecting the territory or other property belonging to the United States.”

My fear is that if local people continue to advocate that the Grant County Court “enforce” our local road closure ordinance, the road closure issue will end up being decided by parties outside Grant County!

I believe that if all interested local parties were to start working together they could have a much better chance of “deciding what is best for Grant County” rather then trying to “enforce” a local ordinance that has very questionable legal standing.

Mike Cosgrove

John Day

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