Tribes' status is not being recognized
Sonya Rosario's excellent film, "Idaho's Forgotten War," tells the story of the Kootenai people in North Idaho. Led by Amy Trice, the Kootenai in 1974 declared non-violent war against the United States to secure reparations for ceding millions of acres to the federal government. Their strategy worked, and federal funds were paid.
Rosario's film imparts an important lesson regarding "sovereignty." Sovereignty is used to justify the state appropriation of federal land. Yet the notion of sovereignty maintained by Indian people is significantly different than that employed by politicians. Indian sovereignty includes the right to self-governance and self-determination based on intergenerational responsibility and a sacred commitment to land stewardship. Claims of sovereignty by our Ruling Party are hollow and selfish in that they advantage only the few to fix short-term needs.
It is ironic, that Idaho's Ruling Party does not understand that the sovereign Indian nations of Idaho have first claim on federal lands due to aboriginal use. The people who should be consulted on this issue - the representatives of these Indian nations - have never been treated as equals by the very legislators who seek to intervene in federal and tribal land agreements about which they seem to know very little.
ROBERT MCCARL, Boise
Beware of drive for state management
About every 10 years, like a bad outbreak of grasshoppers, some group proposes taking our public lands away. They try to paint these lands negatively as "government" lands. The fact is, public lands are your lands and my lands. They belong to all Americans, living now and living in the future. They belong to my mother in Wisconsin as much as to my grandkids here in Boise. The missions of agencies like BLM and the U.S. Forest Service,are similar - to manage public lands wisely for the good of all Americans. To this end, they're managed by wildlife biologists, fire specialists and educators.
What the land grabbers like Raul Labrador won't tell you is that if the state gets a hold on these lands, they will sell millions of acres to the highest bidder. Not only would our forests and sagebrush plains be severely degraded by the for-profit motives of private entities who care little for wildlife, beauty or solitude. They will be off limits to you for hiking, picnicking, fishing and hunting.
Most of us love Idaho, at least partly, because of our amazing public lands. Don't let these misguided, self-serving people take your land from you.
TERRY RICH, Boise
Young students think for themselves
I was reading the March 24 paper when I became provoked by the comments surrounding the March 6 article on climate change. I'm a high school student and one of those supposedly controlled by the "liberal progressive agenda" and the "leftist" view of climate change as the fellow letter-writers explained. However as a teenager, I'm the heir of our country's negligent and laissez-faire response to climate change.
Climate change is natural, but it's accelerated by humans because we release greenhouse gases. That is science, and that fact is not contested. Now some of my more conditioned elders may refute this fact to the end, but it serves no other purpose than ignorance since we have all contributed to the warming of the atmosphere.
And to state without experience, that human-caused climate change is the new "evolution" in schools is simply not true. Even my environmental science teacher (qualified source, eh?) was leary to give us his opinion on the issue, providing facts instead for us to formulate our own opinions. And last, science shall not be confused with religion. I'm not an alarmist, but I wish that my fellow citizens, old and young, would awaken to our environmental impact.
SAMUEL LARKIN, Boise
When it comes to issues like gun control, abortion, same-sex marriage and government spending, why is it that those who speak for me, have never asked me?
BRUCE DOUGHERTY, Mountain Home
Luckovich hits targets
I take exception to Bruce Moore's letter stating how he doesn't like Mike Luckovich's cartoons.
I do think they are funny, and I do believe they hit the truth. Too bad there are so many blind people in Idaho who don't realize that.
NANCY BERTO, Boise