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About The Baker County press. (Baker City, Ore.) 2014-current | View Entire Issue (April 7, 2017)
FRIDAY, APRIL 7, 2017
4 — THE BAKER COUNTY PRESS
Opinion / Politics
— Letters to the Editor —
Timber harvest would help local
To the Editor:
Our Baker City watershed is a crown
jewel, providing clean drinking water at
a very reasonable price to the citizens of
Baker City, Oregon. Currently, the fuel
loads that consist of overcrowded dead
and diseased trees contribute to a total
fuel loads equal to and greater than what
existed on Dooley Mountain when the
Cornet/Windy Ridge Fire burned in Au-
gust 2015. We all know how that ended.
That 104,000 acre wildﬁre burned in just
four days. Our 10,000 acre watershed
could easily burn in an afternoon.
Such a wildﬁre ﬁre burning in the city
watershed could easily burn with the
intensity as the Cornet/Windy Ridge
Wildﬁre, rendering the Baker City water
supply undrinkable and would result in
the necessity to build a $15 to 20 million
dollar water treatment plant. The citizens
of Baker City cannot afford that cost. Nor
should they be forced to because of the
lack of action on this critical issue.
We need to band to together and work to
What can be done? Endless studies and
delaying the clean-up action will not end
well! Time is of the essence!
Being an active and concerned forester
for many years, I have helped numer-
ous forestland owners to effectively and
signiﬁcantly reduce the wildﬁre risk on
their forest properties through selective
logging and forest restoration operations.
Several examples of this type of opera-
tion are present both on USFS and private
forestland on Dooley Mountain. These
forest parcels largely escaped the damage
that occurred on untreated ground.
To effectively treat the forest health
problem in the Baker City Watershed,
some form of selective timber harvesting
and fuel reduction must occur.
I invite the citizens of Baker City to the
city council meeting Tuesday, April 11 at
7:00 p.m. to voice your concern and sup-
port the effort to work with the Wallowa
Whitman National Forest staff to see that
the city watershed fuel loads are reduced
and forest health is restored to protect
our precious and sparkling clean drinking
Trump is a science-denier
To the Editor:
In January 2015, a politician said to
“A friend of mine was in Scotland
recently. He got very, very sick. They took
him by ambulance and he was there for
four days. He was really in trouble, and
they released him and he said, ‘Where do
I pay?’ And they said, ‘There’s no charge.’
Not only that, he said it was like great
doctors, great care. I mean we could have
a great system in this country.”
In 2000, the same politician in his book
“The America We Deserve” wrote:
“The Canadian plan also helps Ca-
nadians live longer and healthier than
Americans ... We need, as a nation, to
reexamine the single-payer plan, as many
individual states are doing.”
Now that’s a politician I can vote for!
But when he ran for president, I didn’t
vote for him, because Donald J. Trump
exchanged his spots for stripes, and is
no longer the same man who he was two
years ago and seventeen years ago.
Instead he campaigned on getting rid
of Obama Care and gave us Trump/Ryan
Care. But recent town hall meetings show
that the Republicans have completely
misread what kind of healthcare Ameri-
It appears that Americans really believe
that health care should be a human right.
Right up there with the big three in the
Declaration of Independence: the right to
life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and
health care for all.
And then, after 140 countries in the
world, including the U.S., have signed the
Paris accords vowing to roll back global
warming, President Trump rolls back pre-
vious administrations’ attempts to clean
up the world’s most polluting industry.
For two centuries coal has been pollut-
ing the world’s life-sustaining air. Presi-
dent Trump has even forbid all Executive
Branch employees from mentioning
global warming, even in emails.
President Trump is a head-in-the-sand
science-denier, for which he is mocked
by leaders around the world for that and
many other reasons.
OBSC says thank you
To the Editor:
The Owyhee Basin Stewardship Coali-
tion (OBSC) would like to thank the
15,000 advocates from across the West
who stepped up to support Eastern Oregon
in opposing a national monument without
a vote of Congress.
Since we successfully concluded our
campaign on Jan. 20, the coalition board
has sought feedback from our members
and the Malheur County community about
the next steps for our organization and our
We hosted a meeting on Feb. 14 in
Ontario to collect community feedback
and we posted an online survey where we
collected 73 comments.
Based on that feedback from our com-
munity, the OBSC board has a clear
Sustain a healthy working landscape in
In the coming weeks, the OBSC will
transition from its mission of defeating a
national monument to start working a plan
to get to a healthy, working landscape for
the sustainability of our communities and
It’s our public land. We will work to
make sure that our voices continue to be
If you want to share additional thoughts,
please send them to me at feedback@
ourlandourvoice.com. Thank you for your
consistent and ongoing support.
Owyhee Basin Stewardship Coalition
Senate bill would give
more ATV freedom
Last week the Oregon
Senate voted to pass Sen-
ate Republican Leader Ted
Ferrioli's legislation to give
more transportation free-
dom to rural Oregonians.
"Rural Oregon is a key
to the success of our state.
Local areas can manage
their own roads and need
more freedom to decide
how roadways and high-
ways can be better used by
drivers who face unique
terrains and environments,"
said Ferrioli, of John Day.
Senate Bill 344 allows a
road authority to authorize
ATV use within highway
right of way in counties
with a population less than
20,000. The road author-
ity has to designate that
portion of the highway "an
all-terrain vehicle access
Under the bill, signs
would be posted giving
notice of the changed road
The measure is the prod-
uct of a workgroup con-
sisting of ATV users and
vehicle dealers, Oregon
State Parks and Recreation
Department and Oregon
Department of Transporta-
tion (ODOT) staff.
In rural Oregon, cities
and counties have adopted
ordinances to allow ATV
use on city and county
roads, but a state highway
is the main access road in
many rural communities.
This presents tremendous
challenge in reaching a
Per ODOT, if a trail ends
at a road, and another trail
picks up a short distance
down the road on the other
side, it might make sense
to allow the ATV to travel
along or down the road to
pick up the next trail.
Another example would
be to travel from a camp-
ground to the nearby
grocery store, gas station,
or restaurant, ODOT says.
Currently, there are at
least 35 other states that
allow ATV use on roads.
Since 2004, of the 35
states that have allowed
ATV use on roadways, 22
have passed laws to do so.
Senate Bill 344 also cre-
ates an all-terrain vehicle
access routes advisory
committee, comprised of
nine members: seven ap-
pointed by the Director of
OPRD, a representative of
the Oregon State Police,
and the Director of ODOT
or their designee.
The advisory committee
is tasked with evaluating
access routes for ATVs on
portions of highway right
of way, conducting ﬁeld
reviews, and reporting to
and making recommenda-
tions to ODOT regarding
establishment of highway
The advisory committee
will be provided staff sup-
port from OPRD.
— Guest Opinion —
Call to arms
By The Oregon Firearms Federation
On March 22nd, we asked you
to contact House Rep Brad Witt to
express your concerns with his House
Joint Resolution 13.
As many of you who contacted
him know, Rep Witt has heard your
concerns and agrees that in its cur-
rent form, HJR 13 is overly broad and
could well create situations Witt never
He has agreed to rework the resolu-
tion to address those issues.
But there is lots more to be done.
As you know the passage of SB
941 in 2015 has caused all of the
problems we predicted it would. 941
outlawed most private transfers of
ﬁrearms and was nothing more than a
payoff to Mike Bloomberg and an at-
tack on law abiding gun owners.
We repeatedly warned legisla-
tors that this bill was dangerous and
opposed by most counties and most
The anti-gun liberals in the legisla-
ture and big city cops who supported
this law showed no interest in actually
enforcing it when one of their own
anti-gun activists blatantly violated it.
But the damage it has done to Orego-
nians is incalculable.
The liberals who pushed 941
through to pay Bloomberg back for
the money he poured into Oregon
claimed the bill was about “safety”
and “keeping guns out of the wrong
hands.” They told us it was for the
good of “domestic violence victims.”
And of course, it was all lies.
In fact, 941 has made Oregon a far
less safe place.
As we have reported many times,
when people who are identiﬁed as
“prohibited persons” attempt to buy
guns, they are virtually never arrested,
even if they are actively wanted at the
Under 941 it is now a crime to safe-
guard a ﬁrearm for a neighbor who
is going out of town or a friend who
needs to remove a gun from his home
for personal reasons. This from the
same people who are demanding “safe
storage” of ﬁrearms.
But it’s even worse than that. As
result of the refusal of the anti-gun
Letter to the Editor Policy: The Baker County Press
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left to even consider the consequences
of SB 941, Oregon has put its most
vulnerable directly in the cross hairs
Oregon has a program for people
who have active and credible threats
against their lives.
It’s called the “Address Conﬁden-
tiality Program” and participants es-
sentially live in hiding.
Thanks to the leftist supporters of
SB 941, all of whom generate plenty
of theater about protecting the victims
of domestic violence, anyone covered
under the program is forbidden from
buying a gun.
You heard that right.
The law forbids people who live in
daily fear from purchasing a ﬁrearm to
defend themselves and their children.
This is so obviously wrong it is hard
to believe that even the most ardent
haters of gun rights could justify it.
But of course, they do.
We want to ﬁx this.
Make no mistake, all of SB 941 is
ﬂat out bad law and we want to see the
whole bill repealed. But as we move
towards that goal we want to reverse
as many of the worst elements of the
bill as we can.
There are other effects of 941.
For example, people who live in
recreational vehicles can no longer
legally buy ﬁrearms if they have a
“continuous traveler” driver’s license
and now even antique ﬁrearms require
a background check for a “private”
transfer, something not required for a
purchase from a dealer!
Quite a few good bills have been
introduced by our friends in the legis-
You can see all current 2017 gun
bills here, but three bills that would
address these crucial issues are lan-
guishing in the Senate Judiciary Com-
mittee chaired by Floyd Prozanski,
one of the legislature’s most militant
Those bills are: SB 667, SB 854
and SB 855.
Please contact Floyd Prozanski and
tell him it’s time to ﬁx the mess they
made with SB 941.
Please consider cc’ing your note to
Senate President Peter Courtney who
has the power to instruct Prozanski to
hear these important bills.
We cannot continue to allow the
extremists in the legislature to keep
putting innocent people at risk.
Prozanski’s email is Sen.FloydProzan-
Courtney’s email is sen.petercourt-
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— Contact Us —
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