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Mail and Commentary June 6, 2012

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Anti-Wilderness

H.R. 4089, the Sportsman's Heritage Act, unfortunately passed by the U.S. House, would essentially repeal (surreptitiously) the 1964 Wilderness Act. Its ostensible purpose is to "protect and enhance opportunities for recreational hunting, fishing and shooting." This is a detestable charade. It places its crosshairs squarely on the legal foundational underpinnings of the Wilderness Act.

Massive manipulations of wildlife habitat would be allowed, as would wilderness-destroying activities like road building, ATV use and logging. Motor vehicles and aircraft would be permitted. Watering holes could be bulldozed and lakes and streams poisoned. Dams, buildings and other structures would be allowed. The final obscenity is that Section 104C of the act bars any application of the National Environmental Policy Act! There is an equally bad companion bill in the Senate, S. 2066.

These horrible bills are cruel daggers aimed at the heart of the law, spirit and intent of the iconic 1964 act. Please see wildernesswatch.org. This is a manifestly serious situation.

Americans are blessed with a precious 110 million-acre National Wilderness Preservation system. It is a physical, biological, emotional, spiritual and scientific sanctuary of inestimable value--achieved by the extraordinary and dedicated work of visionary conservation thinkers. Our wilderness resource must remain whole and intact. Its incalculable value will increase exponentially in future years.

The 50th anniversary of the act will be celebrated in 2014. Will we as a sane society celebrate a vibrant NWPS, or a hollow shell?

Please demand that your senators stop both horrible bills. In Idaho, contact Layne_Bangerter@Crapo.senate.gov, 208-334-1776, and Mike_Roach@Risch.senate.gov, 208-342-7985.

Wilderness is "an area where the Earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man--retaining its primeval character and influence."

Your immediate help is urgently needed to keep your precious wilderness resource vibrant and whole.

--Scott Phillips, Hailey

No Trickling

Prosperity rises up like a tide and floats all boats--it never trickles down like the self-described "job creators" would have you believe. The only thing that will make a company hire more people is consumer demand.

There is a growing realization in the world that sudden disasters are intentionally manipulated to push through extreme free-market policies that otherwise are not politically possible. Living proof is how right-wing ideologues have cleverly transformed the housing bust and their financial fiascoes into a crisis of public spending.

Like bleeding a sick patient, disaster capitalists drained billions out of our economy, cut taxes for the rich, pushed privatization and made a bonfire of workers' rights. Now Republican governors are protecting their inroads via voter suppression, while they appoint dictators to take over city governments and let corporations buy our democracy.

Modern European society is being dismembered as well. Austerity policies have sucked growth out of the economy, failed to tackle debt, dramatically increased unemployment and devastated living standards. It would be utterly baffling if people did not fight back. Thus we see a mounting backlash with the election of a socialist president in France and an anti-austerity party in Greece.

Our own conversation changed forever when we woke up to the 99 percent vs. 1 percent inequity. We see the slap-down of Ohio Gov. John Kasich and recall efforts on Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder for their devastating cuts and stupid war on workers. The great revolt has begun.

--Sherrie Goff,Pocatello

Correction:

: In a Listen Here in the May 30 edition, Christopher Webster should have been quoted as saying ": I got Hep C the last year Kurt Cobain was alive." Additionally, as a clarification Hep C is not considered incurable. :

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