Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Donít waste time on monument plan

    Larry Schoen, Blaine County Commission chair, said the Custer County commissioners, who have passed their own resolution opposing a national monument, have expressed a willingness to discuss the issue with Blaine County representatives. “I think we should take advantage of that,” he said. “I know that not everybody will ever be supportive. The issue is how much support is there, what are the benefits and can the reservations be addressed.”
    The question I see is, “Is there any support coming from Custer County in which this proposed double-protected, huge portion of land is designated, and what exactly does Blaine County have to do with it?” This clearly has become a battle of the titans. The only problem is that Custer County doesn’t fit in as a titan, except that it is our land that is being discussed by a bunch of millionaires.
    In my opinion, if it goes through it is going to go through with or without our support. The designated area should be narrowed to just Castle Peak, and good luck even getting anyone in there to see this “monument.” Maybe Blaine County or ICL can pay to have a campground put in at milepost 172, which is one of the only spots you can sort of see the damn thing. How about East Fork? Anyone even want to touch on the devastation this protection plan will do to the ranchers in the next 20 years over there? So, I must ask, do you like good meat or just the stuff that you buy in a store? I personally like to see my meat grazing and being ranched.
    They say this will be protected under the current (I must emphasize current) holdings but that they could have potential buyouts in place, and once the current holdings sell or die they will likely not be re-honored. So, goodbye, Baker Ranch, goodbye sheep herders. Welcome to a bunch of more useless land in Custer County. (Only some 3 percent of land in Custer County is privately owned). Go protect California, which is being more and more over-populated every day. I am aware of how popular Idaho has become and is continuing to become, but please quit wasting our time trying to protect something that is already protected.
Jennifer Hettum

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