February 5, 2004
By Julie Kay Smithson
235 words in body of
Who doesn't love wilderness? Oregon has two million football fields' [acres] worth of wilderness. Eleven million more are sought. How should such goals be accomplished? One idea currently under consideration is Congressional designation.
"... You can't beat the view from the top of the John's Peak ridges that allows you to see all the way to California. Keep your eyes open, you will surely see some of the abundant wildlife ... photo opportunities abound..." (Raymond Smith, GrantsPassNews.com) This is adventure most families would enjoy, that families tax dollars paid for.
"The Forest Service continues...taking steps to limit the number of hikers in the few remaining intact forests...the Klamath-Siskiyou bioregion [is] a 'global center' of 'biological diversity,' according to the United Nations, logging and road construction 'threaten to destroy' 'unique habitats'...", AmericanLands.org. Renewable trees have life expectancies, which is why USDA statutes govern this natural resource. Forests are not "static," suspended motionless in time.
A change from non-governmental to private landowner status would make the eleven million acres part of the tax base, thus contributing to schools and parks used by the majority of Oregonians and giving homeowners a property tax break. Called designation or land lockup, closure of resources/access actually creates "sprawl" by limiting human habitation locations, forcing density and directly impacting property rights. The thirteen-score environmental coterie, including religious sects, pushing for Congressional designation, should just purchase, padlock and pay taxes on the coveted acreage.
Additional referenced material was found at these URLs: