Letter – Dompier
January 24, 2012
In the Jan. 18 opinion “What does the Upper Lochsa Land Exchange mean to Idaho County?” Commissioner Skip Brandt uses hateful rhetoric directed at the “radical left” (his words not mine) and fear of higher taxes to garner public support for Idaho County’s proposed land swap alternative. However, Commissioner Brandt fails to mention that because of the commission’s meddling in the land swap the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, which is hardly a “radical left” environmental group, withdrew its support of the land swap. Last month the Lewiston Tribune reported the foundation, whose mission includes protection of elk habitat while ensuring hunting, fishing, and recreational opportunities, noted its withdrawal was because the inclusion of the Idaho County alternative caused problems for the group’s members.
President David Allen of the foundation in a letter to the Forest Service noted “….exchange lands in Idaho County contain very high-valued wildlife habitat, including significant amounts of crucial winter range for elk, which could potentially be compromised.” He went on to write: “Concern about loss of access, land use changes and habitat alterations in traditional hunting areas have also emerged as serious points of contention.” Commissioner Brandt fails to once again understand public support is earned through honesty and truthfulness, not fear and hate.