Opinions (Rita Manley King–Happy Camp, CA)

Dear Two Rivers Tribune,
Community Public meetings are generally not a venue where one can witness much getting accomplished. However, on September 22, 2011 at the Happy Camp Grange, the Happy Camp Coordination Committee (HCCC)  got to business. The evening’s agenda  states: “We the Happy Camp Coordination Committee demand a policy change that will once again restore our community economically, socially and culturally. “
Ken Harris, Happy Camp’s district forest ranger was the representative for the U.S. Forest Service. The outcome of the meeting: Forest Ranger Ken Harris asked the HCCC to bring the North Coast Regional Water Control Board, Fish and Wildlife and the Water Quality Board to the Coordinating table to get local projects pushed through the governmental regulation quagmire, specifically starting with the Middle Creek thinning project.
The HCCC and Sheriff Jon Lopey immediately agreed and committed to getting the letters sent demanding the coordination process to begin.
This is a major gain for the Klamath River Corridor Communities who for years have watched as their way of life eroded away, victim to government mismanagement. The No Monument sign painting against the Klamath Siskiyou National Monument is turning into a political movement focused on taking control of local government decisions  and putting the decisions in the hands of the people living in the region.
The HCCC is made up of the Happy Camp Community Service District, Alan L. Dyar, Coordination Chair.  Happy Camp Fire Protection District, William C. Estes Coordination Chair. Happy Camp Elementary School District, Daniel Falkenstein Coordination Chair and Sheriff Jon Lopey representing Public Safety. Board members in attendance , Donna Gould, Gary Hahn, Ed Bartosiewski,  and George Harper. Board of Supervisor Marcia Armstrong and George Bernhard answered questions from the Committee about background county and forest issues. Gary King shot video of the meeting for public record.
The ad hoc committee formed last year to fight off the Klamath Siskiyou Monument proposal. Local land rights activists, Russell Scohy and Morgan Caulfield approached the local community agencies with the idea of Local Agency to Agency Coordination. The community of Happy Camp immediately sprang into action raising money to fly an instructor from the American Stewarts Organization to teach residents the fundamentals of Local Agency to Agency Coordination.
River Communities received further encouragement when on January 18, 2011 President Obama gave an executive order for Federal Agencies to coordinate with State, County and Local Governments.1982 Rule, National Forest System Land and Resource Management Planning, Section 219.7
Coordination with other public planning efforts.
a)    The responsible line officer shall coordinate regional and forest planning with equivalent and related planning efforts of other Federal agencies, State and Local Governments, and Indian Tribes.
b)    The detrimental impact of current USFS policy on our local community has been catastrophic economically, socially and culturally.
What exactly does “No Monument” mean? Why are local residents of the Klamath River Basin against the Monument?
On May 18, 2010 in Yreka, there was a Board of Supervisors meeting to discuss the effects of the National Monument on Siskiyou County. In attendance were the Board of Supervisors, representatives from our Congressman, the Forestry Service, Bureau of Land Management and 300 hundred concerned citizens.
Not one person from the government could tell the people what the effects will be of making our area into a National Monument.
Howard Hunt, the assistant manager for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM)covered the restrictions on the Cascade Siskiyou National Monument.  (CSNM)
No mineral or geothermal extraction. No use changes of private property with in the Monument. No commercial harvest of timber or other vegetative material except when part of an authorized science based ecological restoration project. No off road vehicle use
Road density reduced. Fire Fighting will become more complex. No road development or improvement. Road maintenance restrictive due to budget constraints (Timber sales have been covering costs of road maintenance).
The blueprint of the Cascade Siskiyou National Monument appear to be in direct conflict with the Happy Camp Coordination Committee’s demands of “ restore our community economically, socially and culturally. “
Rita Manley King–Happy Camp, CA

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September 20th, 2011

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