Dalton Straus meets with Secretary Ryan Zinke

I had  a long discertation on Zinke’s visit but lost it so this is the brief version. My comments to the secretary were very brief and prefaced by quotes from some of the attendees at the 1st Ashland  hearing on the monument expansion. They were concerned that with our population increasing we needed to set aside more land for them to recreate. My response was and is: Why do we need a special designation, when the land is already accessible to anyone who wants to go there? What change in management is going to a  make it better? Are we going to close the roads to make it accessible to a select few? Is the purpose to make it so difficult for the current users that they are forced to quit and turn the land into a wasteland? And why is our little corner of the world singled out for so much setaside? We already have Crater Lake National Park which has been expanded twice that I know,  Rogue Umpqua Divide wilderness, Sky Lakes Wilderness, Soda Mt wilderness, Marble Mt wilderness, Kalmiopsis wilderness, Oregon Caves National Monument which has been expanded, etc. There wasn’t time to elaborate on that conversation and the Secretary said all the right things to acknowledge our people’s questions while not committing to any decisions. I was very impressed with the Secretary and applaud the President’s team that recruited him to that position.

Greg Walden and his team were with the secretary during our portion of the visit and contributed comments and questions that allowed the Secretary to understand our concerns.

I’m an Engineer, not a Scientist, so I’m not sure what the term “Biodiversity” means. There are unique areas throughout our forests, our deserts, our inbetweens that are that way because of the way they have been managed in the past and will probably be managed that way in the future. Why mess with success?