LETTER: Sage Grouse and open land

To the Editor:

The Trump Administration, via the U.S. Forest Service, is rolling back five years of regional and local planning designed to save the Western Sage Grouse from likely extinction. 

They also are rolling back protections at the Bears Ears National Monument which will open up the monument to exploration and mining. Also on the menu is copper and gold mining in fragile watersheds in SE Arizona and SW Alaska.  

And then the kicker! His new BLM Administrator wants to sell all of the federally owned land which is land that is owned by all of us. He doesn’t believe the government should own, hold, or protect any of our magnificent countryside on behalf of future generations.

You have to wonder if, as a kid, President Trump ever went fishing or camping or hiking. Did he ever take his kids on explorations and to see our wildlife and national parks. Did he ever take in the vastness of the prairies or climb a mountain. Did he and his kids ever go canoeing or raft a river. Does the president even care about nature? Of course it is hard to know the actual answer to any of these questions but the likely answer is “probably not.”

The Trump Administration apparently feels that the only value to our federal land is if it is in the hands of private developers, fenced off, and with the gates closed to the rest of us. This is not the Oregon way.

The Administration does not own the land it wants to sell. We the citizens and tax payers own it. It is ours.Hopefully only we can agree to its sale. But should Congress ever allow the land to be sold, a better option would be to give it back to the original owners, the American Indians. The tribes will take care of the land and keep it open to all of us.

Jim Parr,Keizer