Opinion » Mail

December 28, 2006 - January 3, 2007


I learned a lot during my effort to stop or change Central Idaho Economic Development and Receation Act. Before CIEDRA and new similar proposals are considered as future legislation, the lessons learned because of CIEDRA need to be considered and discussed in a truly open forum.

Because of CIEDRA and other similar recent efforts, I now realize how far we may be willing to go and how much we may be willing to give up in compromising the original concept of the visionary Wilderness Act of 1964, even though imminent threats to the wilderness values may not exist.

I recent Statesman's article didn't mention there the numerous local groups and individuals who were worried enough about the legislation to fight hard to stop the bill. The article only implied it was stopped because of national interests against it and/or because it was dropped simply by last minute "horse trading." I believe our efforts against the bill helped identify CIEDRA as highly controversial, not all that needed, and one that certainly should not become law as a legislative "rider."

Speaking of use of the "rider" option, I was impressed with Congressman Mike Simpson's abilities to use the back-room bargaining processes of politics to get CIEDRA out of the House and to the point of being a "rider" to a popular bill that was in process of being passed. I will concede he is a skilled politician. However, bypassing the usual deliberative legislative process and presenting CIEDRA as a non-controversial bill, forged by "bottom-up" processes, supported by the majority of Idahoans and a "moral victory" isn't ethical considering the number of us with serious concerns over the controversial and precedent-setting aspects of CIEDRA.

I was amazed how the idea to get more wilderness acres into the wilderness system after a 20-year hiatus overshadowed the content of the bill. By this, I'm referring to compromises to the original Wilderness Act, buyouts, land trades, land gifting to counties and cities, and the cost and complexities the legislation would impose on already under-funded, over-mandated agencies,

This question is especially poignant when the area would get better protection than CIEDRA offered if the agencies involved were to get Congressional support, and thus sufficient funding and staffing to enforce existing laws and regulations.

So, I learned a lot during CIEDRA, both in regard to the quality of our political leadership, as well as the standards of journalism in addressing the issues it contained. I am an Idaho native, born and raised in Custer County. I am also a career U.S. Forest Service professional, retiring from the FS in 2002 after a 40-year career. I served as Area Ranger of the Sawtooth NRA from 1987 to 1993.

--F. Carl Pence,


Greyhound Therapy

The Boise Police have informed me that many of Boise's homeless got a free bus ride here compliments of the cities of Salt Lake and Portland. Boise also has a budget to send these folks wherever they want to go but they don't want to leave. They get the best treatment here and panhandling begets generous handouts, lots of free meals and even more than enough warm beds for the night.

We have overlooked the fact that these people also need a place to get drunk and go to the bathroom, and as a result, they do it on my property and the property of others in proximity to these homeless "sanctuaries." We have overlooked some of their basic needs in our dreamy-eyed desire to feel better about ourselves by throwing a little money and food at the problem. I would appreciate it if you sympathetic types would not continue to burden me with the duties of cleaning up their feces, urine, empty beer cans, articles of clothing, cardboard sleeping mats, blankets, syringes, chili cans and all the other "collateral damage" incurred by your misplaced sensitivities. Maybe we could ask the police to lend a hand in discouraging yours, as well as their behavior.

--Jim Spicka,


scary dems

Yes, there is similarity in the post WWII wars. It is because of their hatred for the military and/or their country that the Democrats have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. MacArthur could have won the Korean War and unified that country, but Truman didn't want to win. He didn't want to break the string of defeats that was started with the loss of China. The Vietnam war does have this common with the Iraq War. The U.S. military hasn't lost a battle in Iraq and didn't lose any in Vietnam.

For non-thinking, reason-hating, reality-denying "Progressives," try to calculate how many millions have been killed by Mao, Pol Pot, and Vietnam.

One can only wonder how many more millions of lives will be lost, now that the Democrats control Congress.

--Richard Shropshire,