I am scratching my head over Robert Miller’s Feb. 25 guest opinion. He discloses that he published a story on folks removing artifacts off federal lands. Then, he expressed anger when Bureau of Land Management (BLM) law enforcement took action against this illegal activity. When Congress passed the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 I am sure they intended for it to be enforced. Would Miller feel different if those folks he profiled were arrested for pocketing items from the Smithsonian?
Mr. Miller expresses concern that BLM has grown into a multiple-use agency. He should re-read The Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA), shepherded through Congress by Sen. James McClure. FLPMA halted mass land disposal and mandated BLM to manage public lands under multiple use for the benefit of all Americans. If Miller wants to change FLPMA he should take it up with Congress. Hurling venomous insults and innuendos at federal employees, who are hired to implement Congress’ work, is inappropriate.
Public lands are a national treasure and there is plenty of opportunity for citizen involvement. However, using labels like “land grabbers” and “thugs” hardly advances any meaningful conversation on public land policy.
Jack Sept, Bellevue