Letter: Whose land is it, anyway? | PostIndependent.com

Letter: Whose land is it, anyway?

Chuck Downey

In a recent article in the Post Independent, an official from the oil and gas industry complained that the Forest Service caved in to political pressure in its recent decision to limit oil and gas development in the White River National Forest. Scott Fitzwilliams, the WRNF forest supervisor, denied this claim at a meeting in Glenwood Dec. 17.

It is easy to forget that our National Forests are owned by we-the-people. As such, we not only have the right but also the responsibility to have a voice in the use and management of our public lands. Regarding oil and gas development, the people have spoken loud and clear, declaring that Thompson Divide is a unique place that should remain in conservation for us, and generations that follow.

It is especially troubling that the proposed development of oil and gas resources in the Thompson Divide is being pursued while our nation is very close to energy independence and Congress is now considering new regulations to export natural gas to foreign countries. Sounds like the destruction of a pristine environment in our national forest is being pursued in exchange for corporate profits, not a national need.

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