Wednesday, April 7, 2010

My Message To Our Representatives

Over the last few weeks I have had the opportunity to meet with a range of political representatives from local community leaders to congressional staffers. These meetings were setup so interested parties could discuss the issues surrounding Gold Butte. My agenda going into these meetings has been pretty simple, however I have found that the answers are not. The following is the message that I share with our political representatives:

The problem as I understand it at Gold Butte is that there is not an effective management plan in place that satisfies all parties who are concerned over the stewardship of the Gold Butte region.

Throughout the last few decades we have fought many battles trying to find a sustainable balance of multiple use in our public lands. However the same issues keep getting drug to the surface and every time we lose more access to our public lands. In 1998 we went through the Roads Management Plan (RMP) process to designate all existing roads as a part of the Gold Butte trail system. A lot of work went into the RMP by many members of the community. However we continue to lose access to existing roads. Later in 2008 Representative Berkley introduced legislation to create Gold Butte as a National Conservation Area against popular opinion.

An effective management plan needs to be created to put into perpetuity the administration and the uses at Gold Butte. We are tired of fighting the battle every time a new administration, a new representative or some political faction obtains political power. The issue needs to be taken care of in a responsible manner. The people who use this area have to be legitimately involved and be able to provide input throughout the process. There is a wide array of people who visit this area from all over the United States. Gold Butte is truly a region of multiple use. It is essential that the existing and historical uses of Gold Butte be protected to ensure the history of multiple use for our public lands.

Is a National Conversation Area the only management tool that you are willing to consider to resolve the issues sounding Gold Butte?