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Know the West

It's a rotten revolution

  Dear HCN,

Judging from publisher Ed Marston's April 10 article, "Beyond the Revolution," High Country News has abandoned all pretext of balanced treatment of environmental news. For Mr. Marston to assume that the four Snake River dams will be breached, and for him to completely ignore the vitally important issue of Western private land intermixed with the 50 percent federal ownership (plus state and local government ownership), is an abandonment of balance and facts. When Mr. Marston says, "An immense landscape is going from one set of uses to another set of uses ...," he should have said "from use to non-use."

It's also appalling to read that the Wyoming not-in-my-backyard enviros who threatened to tie up the permit process for incinerating nuclear waste in Idaho were able to "settle," because the government couldn't afford the tie-up, but also collected $150,000 for their legal fees from our government taxes. Did the enviros have reasonable suggestions for how and where to dispose of the waste? Private landowners are at a huge disadvantage when their own government pays enviros' attorney fees in settlements of lawsuits that affect private as well as public land.

It's not just the struggle for the public lands that is ending. It's the takeover of private lands, too, that's also almost accomplished.

Maxine Keesling
Woodinville, Washington