How about a book?
I've been following the 150 Boise Icons written by Anna Webb in the Statesman and I gave her a call. These articles are and will be giving me a greater appreciation for Boise, all the other cities and counties and the state of Idaho.
After giving her my compliments I suggested that a book be printed of all 150 articles and pictures. She had been getting the same suggestion from other readers.
To those who have been enjoying this series and if you are in contact with anyone who could put these in book form I would be grateful. Perhaps you could contact Ms. Webb and/or the Statesman with your suggestion. I'll need three copies: one for me and two for my Boise grandchildren.
ROSE-MARIE BEARDEN, Boise
State management would have downside
When it comes to the state taking management of our national forests, be careful what you wish for. I sympathize with the frustration stemming from the USFS blocking access and watching our forests burn, however, it's a broken system. Biologists, ecologists, hydrologists, fire and fuel specialists come up with projects usually appealed by those who oppose logging on USFS.
The state took the word "public" out of the Department of Lands (IDL) decades ago.
They attempt to run like a corporation to maximize revenue to the endowments. IDL has become a top- down organization, reducing foresters and increasing bureaucrats.
I worked for IDL (33 years) and practiced all-age forest management (selective logging).
I retired early when dictated that management would be even age, on a 45-year rotation, with one-size-fits-all forestry.
In a perfect world, organizations like the Clearwater Basic Collaborative will involve reasonable people, debate, make natural resource recommendations based on science and prevent a minority from appealing the process. The "state" would run like a B Corporation, which allows for intrinsic values like view sheds, wildlife cover, recreation and multi-age forest stands. Cost to the endowments would be inconsequential and the "public" could enjoy the land.
THOM HAWKINS, Winchester
World can't handle growing numbers
I was born in 1946. Population of Earth was roughly 4 billion. Earth can easily support 4 billion.
As of today, Earth's population is well over 7 billion. Earth cannot support 7 billion people.
Do the math - look at the problems and then accept the truth. At the present rate of population, increase cannot be sustained. The real problem is that almost nobody understands or accepts my worldview.
Do most of you people spend any time thinking? Do you even attempt or realize that Earth's problems are trying to feed and employ roughly twice the population that we can support?
Myself? I fathered one child. Why? Because I know what the world can support. Alas, most of you have not a clue.
MARK CUDMORE, Emmett
Voter initiative reform would prevent progress
Idaho's legislative maneuver to increase the degree of difficulty in qualifying a citizen initiative runs counter to principles of democracy and fairness.
The Idaho Farm Bureau, which wants to require a minimum signature threshold in a majority of state legislative districts, simply wants to make the initiative process unusable and to dominate the discussion of its issues at the State Capitol.
The Humane Society of the United States has never used the initiative process in Idaho on agriculture issues. HSUS backed a 1996 initiative to restrict bear baiting and spring bear hunting, which many hunters agree are inhumane and unacceptable. Though we didn't like the massive spending against it or the scare tactics involved, that's the way the process works.
In the end, the people speak, and they provide the ultimate control on the use of the initiative process.
The only animal welfare initiative discussed in Idaho in the last decade has been to upgrade Idaho's anemic anti-cruelty statute.
Forty-seven states impose felony-level penalties for malicious acts of cruelty. The vast majority of Idahoans wants that reform, and there should be a usable initiative process to allow Idaho voters to have their say if the politicians fail to act.
LISA KAUFFMAN, Boise
Trapping is worst form of animal cruelty
The article in the Feb. 13 Statesman on animal cruelty that stated "Lawmakers to toughen abuse laws by making it a felony for anyone convicted a third time of torturing a domestic animal."
In my opinion, that is a good start, but by far the cruelest animal cruelty is animal trapping.
Idaho Fish and Game rules require trappers to check their traps only every 72 hours. That is three days an animal can lie in severe pain. One of the very worst in the entire United States.
For several years, my association has failed to even get a start in the Idaho Legislature to improve those rules.
I still really believe that if the Idaho citizens were aware of this terrible cruelty, something would be done.
JOHN BARRINGER, president, Association for More Humane Animal Trapping, Boise
PORT OF CLARKSTON
The Port of Clarkston's director recently told the Lewiston Tribune that a grain cooperative shipped 42,857 tons from port property in 2012. The director claimed this was the equivalent of 24 barge loads, and that without those loads, "there could have been 29,480 more trucks on the road."
The Army Corps of Engineers maintains one barge carries 3,500 tons of grain, or 134 truckloads. Those 42,857 tons would have been hauled, not by 24 barges, but by 12. This amount would have made 1,640 truckloads, not 29,480. Were POC's "29,480" correct, those trucks would have transported 1-1/2 times as much grain as the Port of Lewiston shipped the entire year. The larger truth is that had the grain not been transported from the POC by barge, the vast majority would have traveled by rail.
The Port of Lewiston used this same bogus argument in applying for funds to extend their container dock. By including in the cost-benefit analysis huge projected savings in fuel consumption and air pollution if freight is shipped by barge rather than truck, they grossly inflated the benefits in the cost-benefit ratio.
Any meaningful discussion of Snake/Clearwater dredging requires numbers that are both accurate and honest.
BRETT HAVERSTICK, Moscow
Good intentions can be misdirected
If there is a champion for the disadvantaged, tell me how that is determined. For one who has worked with the disadvantaged for years, I want to know the number of long-term disadvantaged that are no longer considered disadvantaged. There is a thin line between helping and enabling, and good intentions can be misdirected.
Or would it be that the "trickster" stole from the disadvantaged the desire to experience the "joy of accomplishment." If it is "comfortable" being disadvantaged, you will probably remain disadvantaged.
ISABEL E. BOND, Moscow
Corps offers no answers
A recent Lewiston Morning Tribune editorial suggested the Government Accounting Office should study costs related to barging on the lower Snake River. I Googled GAO and Army Corps of Engineers. Wow.
The GAO has had a lot to say about Corps projects, nothing complimentary. For example, a GAO report to the U.S. House Subcommittee on Energy and Resources summarizing four previous GAO studies stated "the planning studies conducted by the Corps to support these activities were fraught with errors, mistakes, and miscalculations, and used invalid assumptions and outdated data. Generally, the GAO found that the Corps' studies understated costs and overstated benefits, and therefore did not provide a reasonable basis for decision-making."
I attended the Corps' recent 50-year Clearwater-Snake sediment management plan open house in Lewiston. The question most on people's minds seemed to be that of cost - what are the projected costs of dredging the channel every four to five years, virtually forever, and one day likely raising Lewiston's levee. The Corps had no answers, and their plan has no cost-benefit analysis.
I fear taxpayers are being asked to buy a pig in a poke when we truly can't afford any more pork.
ASHLEY LIPSCOMB, Moscow
The Idaho Department of Fish and Game will switch $50,000 from killing coyotes to killing wolves. Some of that money (our taxes) will likely be paid to the U.S. Wildlife Services, the deceptively named federal agency that does nothing to protect wildlife and everything to kill it. It is an agency that has outlived its place in a civilized society, but one that may soon take to the air for gunning wolves in a scientifically unproven attempt to increase elk herds so they can be killed by hunters. Irrational fear and hatred of wolves is driving the department's so-called "management."
Jeff Gould, manager of the Wildlife Bureau in Boise, said some of the money may be used to help with costs incurred by "avid" wolf trappers. Can anyone say "bounty?" Gould said the department will ask trappers what would be of help to them, paying for gas and other expenses, or maybe contracting with trappers after seasons end. Is this how you want your taxes used?
SUSAN WESTERVELT, Deary