As many know, the federal government’s management of forest land in our region is being reviewed through the formal process of plan revision. Our County Commissioners have been attentively overseeing this process. The public has been invited to comment on the Colville National Forest Plan Revision through July 5, 2016. Go to: http://www.fs.usda.gov/colville to read the draft, read others’ comments, and submit a comment yourself. This is an opportunity for all concerned citizens.
The following letter was initially submitted as prescribed by the website on 3/15/16. (It has yet to be posted on the FS site, though others written after mine are posted.)
Dear Representative of the Forest Service:
My concern, as is the concern of many in Stevens County, is that our U.S. Constitution and the Constitution of the State of WA does not lawfully allow federal control and regulation of land within the borders of Washington except in agreement with Article I, Section 8, Clause 17 of the U.S. Constitution.
National forests are not part of that constitutionally defined area.
According to the law of the land, the federal government is not to have any control over land except for our national capital, forts/arsenals, ports, and necessary buildings; and that jurisdiction is granted only by permission from the hosting state.
We are no longer a territory (Article 4) wherein our federal government holds land in trust for the state. Washington entered the union a long time ago, and on equal footing with the original states wherein all the land within our borders was to become part of our sovereign state.
We, as a state, are also very capable of preserving the lands, natural resources, and antiquities within our borders, and are inherently, I would suggest, motivated to do so.
Therefore, we appeal to our federal government, the Forest Service in particular, to comply with our national and state constitutions and acknowledge they have no lawful authority to regulate land within the state of Washington. That authority is given to the state and the people therein.
Any Forest Plan ought rightfully to be generated from the state over the land within its borders.
There is much that needs to be restored in this country. Restoring the integrity of our Constitutional laws would be a laudable starting point.
Mrs. Kelly Tacoma