[Vision2020] Her View: Land swap would benefit all parties

Tom Hansen thansen at moscow.com
Tue Sep 7 16:51:50 PDT 2010

A heart-felt and most appreciative "thumbs up".


Perhaps next time Marla Bieker submits a public letter on behalf of her
employer, Western Pacific Timber, laden with falsehoods and innuendo, she
will be more familiar and have better understanding of the audience of such
a letter.


Thank you, Mr. Ballard.


Esto Perpetua,


Tom Hansen


From: Blake Ballard [mailto:ballard at moscow.com] 
Sent: Tuesday, September 07, 2010 4:43 PM
To: Tom Hansen; Moscow Vision 2020
Cc: Kathy Judson; Marilyn Beckett; basketmakeart at yahoo.com;
jdkrebs1 at yahoo.com; lonnieway at verizon.net; l.rosstask at palouse.net;
levengood at moscow.com; 'Friends of the Palouse Ranger District';
sbrandt at idahocounty.org; jrockwell at idahocounty.org; ttranch at smgazette.com
Subject: Re: Her View: Land swap would benefit all parties


Followingis my stab at responding to Ms Bieker's "View".  Critique is
welcome.  I have tried to keep this letter under the 350 word maximum for
letters to the Moscow-Pullman Daily News; therefore I only spoke to one part
of her letter (to me, the most vulnerable).  I wrote a "view" in rebuttal to
Andrew Hawes (WPT attorney) "Their View" about a year ago and it was never
printed.  I hope to send this tomorrow so ask that critique be timely.




Marla Bieker, forester for Western Pacific Timber, extols the virtues of the
proposed Upper Lochsa Land Exchange.  That's understandable; she works for
the company that initiated this proposal and would be the beneficiary of the
28,000 acres of publicly-owned national forest land in six counties of North
Idaho that would be traded for the 39,000 acres of mostly cutover land in
the Upper Lochsa River.  She represents those national forest parcels as
"small, isolated and already surrounded by private lands that make it
difficult for the USFS to responsibly manage."


She is partly right.  Many of those parcels ARE surrounded by private lands.
Those parcels that are on the Palouse Ranger District are, however, neither
isolated nor difficult for the "USFS to responsibly manage."  For many years
the Clearwater National Forest has employed a staff of engineers, cadastral
surveyors, foresters and lands specialists that have located and posted
property lines, acquired road rights-of-way and designed high grade roads to
access those parcels.  And, for years, those parcels have been responsibly


The only parcel on the Palouse Ranger District in this proposal that is as
Ms Bieker describes (isolated, difficult to manage, etc.) ironically would
only be further fragmented and made more difficult to manage should the
exchange be completed as planned.  


The part of Ms Bieker's description that is correct (parcels already
surrounded by private lands) applies to the entire Palouse Ranger District
(145,000 acres).  Should those parcels be disposed of on that basis, one
could make a case for disposing of the entire Palouse Ranger District--the
nearest national forest land to 100,000 people in Latah and surrounding
counties.  Some suspect that disposal of the Palouse Ranger District is what
the Forest Service ultimately, although unwittingly, may accomplish.  


There is an option being explored that would acquire those 39,000 acres of
Upper Lochsa lands without disposing of the 28,000 acres of national forest
lands.  That option is to purchase the private lands.  That is the option
that the public should support.


Blake Ballard

816 N. Grant St.

Moscow, ID 83843

(208) 882-6120 (Home)

(509) 330-1083 (Cell)

ballard at moscow.com

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