I am a retired ecologist for the U.S. Forest Service and worked in the Moscow forests for more than 30 years. I, like most Idahoans, understand that healthy, vibrant forests and lands are good for the state, not only because of the millions they generate for our economy each year, but also because of the unparalleled quality of life they provide for so many.
Although Idahoans understand the value of our public land is so much greater than the income they provide, state law does not. The Idaho Constitution mandates all land managed by the state must be held first and foremost accountable to economic gain: inevitably, to timber and mining sales. Our public land in Idaho belongs to all Americans and should not be managed by those who operate purely based on their own financial interests.
Folks travel from all over the country to come here because we have what so many do not: jagged mountains, clean rivers and wild open spaces. We must come together to protect these places for the benefit of all, not sell our heritage for the luxuries of a few.
Gary Manning, Moscow