O&C editorials misleading
Recently The News-Review has published some misleading editorials about the O & C lands, conservationists, and Senator Wyden.
What the Editorial Board has published is their opinion. Yet, really, we expect the board to write opinions that will actually influence our leaders and help to shape a viable public perspective on issues.
What the board has failed to make clear is that the DeFazio O & C proposal (privatization of 1.5 million acres of federal forests circumventing the Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts) is dead on arrival in the Senate and House. Governor Kitzhaber’s efforts to reach a compromise failed even among the members of his own task force and does not provide a path to consensus in Washington.
What Senator Wyden is saying is that holding hearings on proposals that have no chance of moving in Congress is not an approach to success. Why is there no chance of moving these proposals forward?
First, because the O & C Lands, despite their unique history, are managed subject to laws which apply to all federal lands. In the House of Representatives it has been made clear by the Republican committee chairman that no bill treating federal lands in one state differently from other states would pass out of his committee.
As much as the Editorial Board would like to think otherwise, the O & C Lands are not exempt from the requirements of these federal laws.
Secondly, no bill privatizing federal lands or circumventing environmental laws will pass out of the Senate.
We need realistic leadership like that being provided by Senator Wyden. We need information and editorial arguments provided by our newspaper which present facts we can understand and use to positively impact our government, schools and economy.
Daniel C. Robertson