Wild Sky Wilderness Proposal

Dear Editor,

Dressed up like anything but the land grab it really is, Wild Sky Wilderness proposal casually drops names like "enhance ecosystem protection" and "outdoor opportunities". There is an iron fist lurking within that velvet glove that's extended, this land is rich with natural resources that have and are being responsibly utilized -- viable timber harvesting, active mining claims, sea plane activity, recreational fishing, mountain biking, off road vehicles, and snowmobiling.
Thousands of acres of this proposal are NOT 'pristine wilderness' -- although they ARE areas that are beautiful, functional, and give great enjoyment to those that live, work and play there.
'Wilderness' only allows access to those who can walk or ride a horse, virtually forbidding anyone with a mobility issue from fishing, hunting, weekend camping trip for the family with small children and as we age motorized access for Sunday afternoon drives. Don't be surprised to encounter critters that eat humans; Grizzly Bears, Cougars or Wolves, as they are the ones who will be lurking in the forest. Oh, and don't forget FIRE as "wilderness" means as little as possible human access therefore the FIRES are allowed to burn.
With the $1 Billion Education Initiative 884 on the ballot to raise taxes for education, we cannot afford to lock up our natural resources as 'wilderness'. Sale of timber was the source of income for education. The choice is:
thousands of acres of viable timber placed off limits and subjected to the possibility of wildland fire (Wild Sky Wilderness) or pay 1 Billion Dollars more in taxes.
I would rather have motorized access to the area, protect it from wildland fire and harvest the timber to pay for education as it always has for the past several decades.

Sharon Shumate
Republic, WA

Posted 7/20/04


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