Letter — Taking a jab at Boxer’s bill
With all the bickering I’ve read about Sen. Boxer’s Wilderness bill, there are a couple of points that I haven’t seen in print.
First, the local area that is being proposed for wilderness is much larger than just Meiss Meadow and the surrounding watershed. It takes in areas toward Strawberry Canyon; Caples Creek to the South Fork of the American, and toward Marten Meadow on Highway 88. Most of this area has been extensively logged and ranched and has the correspondingly large amounts of roads and human “improvements” built throughout. This is an obvious case of anti-access groups trying to have national forest land, that doesn’t meet Congress’ criteria, designated as wilderness. To paraphrase 1964 legislation, wilderness is suppose to be “an area where earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man,” and “an area of undeveloped federal land retaining its primeval character and influence, without permanent improvements.”
This area is currently being enjoyed by many different recreational user types. It’s an excellent example of a multiple use recreational area that works well. I’ve seen hikers, equestrians, mountain bikers, motorcycles, ATV’s & jeeps all on the same day. It’s estimated that 2 percent of outdoor recreationists are non-mechanized/motorized forest users. Should an area with a long history of multiple use that has been deemed as appropriate use by the local officials who manage it be closed off to 98 percent of potential forest users? I don’t think so!
Please contact your congressmen and senators and ask them to oppose SB1555 and its House counterparts. Help keep public access available to public lands. And let’s keep the management of those lands to the local Forest Service districts that live in and know the areas best, not politicians who are trying to get a legacy.
South Lake Tahoe