Move over, Catron County
"I don't think we're very supportive," said Forest Service spokesman Chris Holmes, in The Oregonian. Holmes doubts the county could replace the fire control, wildlife and recreational programs the agency has established. The local committee that formulated the takeover pitched it in a letter to Forest Service Chief Jack Ward Thomas; he responded by writing commissioners that their proposal was currently illegal. However, Thomas said he was willing to work with local representatives to improve forest plans.
The county needs an act of Congress to authorize its purchase of public land. A supporter of such a bill is an Oregon congressman, Wes Cooley, R, who says "the federal government is a lousy neighbor."