Objects to rider

Posted: Sunday, July 13, 2003

I understand that the Honorable Sen. Ted Stevens is attempting to preempt the public process provided by the National Environmental Policy Act, the Tongass Timber Reform Act, and the Tongass Land Management Plan for input and redress regarding timber sales on the Tongass National Forest in the form of a rider which could be attached to another unrelated bill. This hardly seems "honorable" to me and I must respectfully ask, what part of "public process" does the senator not understand?

"Public" means the people who you work for and have pledged to serve. And the "process" is democracy, whereby we the people have a say, the final say, in every action which our government and its agencies make. In this case the action is the use of "public" lands.

If the senator regards his action as serving the public I would like to know why he finds it necessary to fly this rider under the view of the public radar and in the shadow of an unrelated congressional act.

Can we assume that the senator does not trust the courts or the U.S. Forest Service to make sound judgments based upon best knowledge and science available. Or should we assume that he does trust these agencies serving the public interest and therefore wishes to prevent them from receiving the best knowledge and science available to protect other parties, possibly the interests of multinational timber corporations.

And why does the senator attempt this action in a season when most of the population of Southeast Alaska is too occupied earning their living to be able to react and respond to this subversive attack?

Personally, I am offended by, and vehemently opposed to, the senator's sinister attempt to short-cut and shot-circuit the democratic process, and encourage you to persuade your senator to abandon this rider.

James Demko


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