I'm Angry Too, Cope
Sometimes I miss the humor in Cope's column, being a little slow. But I did get a good solid feel for the anger he expressed in writing about the Bush bunch (BW, Opinion, "Crime and Commutation" July 18, 2007). I share much of that anger. Yes, our basic rights are being challenged. Personal privacy is no longer a "given" in our present political and social system in this country. Bush has simply ignored much of what we have valued as a country. Remember, though, that Nixon waved the V signal to us as he boarded the plane leaving Washington, D.C. He was not removed from office through impeachment.
Bush, if he leaves office under a cloud, will probably give us all half a V signal. But he will not very likely be removed through impeachment, for that would require a two-thirds vote in the Senate. And if he would be removed through impeachment, it would mean only that he couldn't hold office again. No, the culprit in this whole nasty affair is we the people. I know that I have failed myself by not becoming actively involved in the political system right here in Idaho. I do appreciate Cope's anger and frustration. I do share it. But I do know that if we, together, remain inactive, this junk will again rise up to smite us where it hurts, in our basic values and beliefs as Americans.
We have lost much credibility around the world. We must rebuild our valued system from the ground up here at home. Let us learn something from our mistakes and correct them.
CIEDRA's No Good
Much has been written about the Boulder White Clouds and the Central Idaho Economic Development and Recreation Act. However, there needs to be some reconsideration of the values and opportunities that exist within the area that is now administered as the Sawtooth National Recreation Area.
Multiple-use recreation opportunities abound in the Boulder-White Clouds. For example, the Big Boulder-Frog Lake loop trail through Little Boulder drainage provides excellent motorized and mountain bike opportunities, while the Big Boulder to Walker Lake trail offers excellent horse and foot trail experiences. The journey from Island Lake to Big Boulder Lakes is suited for foot traffic alone.
Over the last 40 years, our members have successfully hunted bear, elk, deer and mountain goat in the SNRA. The present federal administrative structure, along with the Idaho Fish and Game Department, manage for the perpetuation of all wildlife species. We have successfully fished for cutthroat, golden and bull trout and also for grayling in the White Clouds lakes. Many of these lakes and those in the Big Boulder Basin can only be reached by foot. Fish and Game's effective management is responsible for the fish and wildlife resources found there.
Not all of us in Idaho embrace CIEDRA. We do not view this piece of legislation as an all-encompassing remedy for sharing this natural treasure. The proponents of this bill would like us all to believe there is no other solution.
We respectfully disagree—as do several other Idaho, regional and some national organizations. We do not support the giveaway of thousands of acres of public lands. The Idaho Wildlife Federation believes the current management structure can effectively manage these lands when adequately funded. Additionally, we recognize the need for improved enforcement of regulations to prevent future damage from any of the various uses that occur in the SNRA.
It is disappointing that some of the proponents inject provincialism into the debate. This is not solely an "Idaho solution," but a solution with consequences for the region and nation. After all, farsighted citizens from past decades made it possible to acquire the area and provide for its conservation.
—Cherie Barton, Idaho Wildlife Federation, Boise
CIEDRA is misleading
Perhaps the reason why the Democrats are reluctant to give CIEDRA a hearing is that it is not a wilderness bill. What genuine wilderness bill would have the opposition of 47 conservation and sportsmen's groups (15 of which are in Idaho)?
This bill is touted as a wilderness bill but it is not supportive of wilderness values. CIEDRA is the most egregious example to date of a growing trend in Congress that makes wilderness preservation contingent on the sacrifice of other public lands. Unlike traditional wilderness legislation, wilderness provisions are now folded into multipurpose bills that facilitate water and land development, and bolster local control over assets that belong to all Americans.
CIEDRA would give thousands of acres of our public land to Custer and Blaine counties. Privatization of our public land for county commissioners to sell for property tax income is wrong.
While this bill will create 312,000 acres of substandard wilderness, it will also designate over 500,000 acres of immediately adjacent land in which motorized access would be given special priority over other uses.
Idaho is truly one of the last great places where we have healthy ecosystems with clean water, clean air and thriving native wildlife populations. The sacrifices in this bill are just too great to allow this bill to go forward.
—Kathy Richmond,Clayton, member of the executive committee of the Sierra Club's Northern Rockies Chapter Sawtooth Group
Car-Free Hyde Park
On Saturday July 21 around 10 p.m., I witnessed a near-tragedy occur. At the corner of 13th and Eastman streets, a family was trying to cross 13th Street, going west. Traffic was speeding through in both directions. The northbound lane cleared first and a young girl who looked to be 5 or 6 years old ran into the street. She had looked left but failed to look right. Thank goodness her father was alert. He had to physically grab and throw her back to keep her from getting run over by a car that was heading south on 13th Street. The car never even slowed down.
This got me thinking: Why in the world is 13th Street a through street? There are no stop signs on 13th from Hill Road to Fort Street. With the explosive growth Boise has had in the last 10 years, Hyde Park has become a mecca for families and others who enjoy the small shopping district's charm and restaurants. I would like to see 13th Street closed from Alturas to Brumback and made into a pedestrian plaza. Thirteenth Street is a narrow North End street and should not be the thoroughfare that it has become.
Barring that, then something as simple as stop signs on 13th at Ridenbaugh, Brumback, Eastman, Alturas and Sherman should do the trick of slowing the traffic. Hyde Park is a jewel and everything should be done to make it as safe as possible. ACHD, are you listening?
—Mark Klinger, Boise