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Dear Representative Pombo,
from Lee Riddle, Brookings, Oregon, 7/17/04
 
I entered written testimony at the Klamath Falls Congressional hearing on Saturday.
It was a 400 mile round trip to get there, but worthwhile, thanks for the opportunity. 
I want to add two additional comments that were not in my previous testimony.
 
BISCUIT FIRE
The original DEIS made no mention in any of the 7 proposed alternatives of Wilderness Additions as a proposed action.
 
Thus this issue was not on the table during either the "scopeing" process or the "public comment" process.
 
Yet when the final statement came out, we found Wilderness additions surrounding all four sides of the Kalmiopsis Wilderness area both in the text and with maps of the additions in the appendix. The News Media reported that this was a "last minute idea that Oregon Governor Kulongoski had discussed over lunch with the US Forest Supervisor, and that he really wanted more acres added to the wilderness than the Forest Service added".
 
WHAT? WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN?
 
Where is the public process? Now the Governor supercedes public involvement?
The USFS obviously is not even following the semblance of the law in this case.
 
SNOWY PLOVER
Also reported in the news is that 25% of Oregon's Public beaches will be closed to Public uses in the near future, with more beach closures to come over the next few years. This is to "protect" the "endangered" Snowy Plover, a bird that lays its eggs on the ground, in the sand of the dunes areas. The public is being told that they can no longer walk in the dry sand (only on the wet sand where the waves break),
 
Oh, and no dogs, no kite flying (scares the plovers), no campfires, ect.
 
The closures will only be part of the season, just the part of the season when people usually go to the beach !.
 
 The public will be allowed to go to the beach during the winter rainy season.
Now this is a bird that has a host range all up and down the Pacific Coast, and clear back to Texas.
 
If anybody is truly "bothering" the Plover, you might just look at the wildlife agents that routinely put tracking bands on their legs, snoop in their nests, and generally disturb this bird more than the public would ever dream of.
 
Wildlife agents admit that they have observed the Plover nests, and that humans have almost NO influence on the nesting survival. Their own observations point out that the major causes of breeding failure are due to sand blowing over the eggs, and other wildlife species preying on their unprotected nests.
 
 The only major human contacts between Plovers and Humans were the wildlife agents themselves.
 
Seems like a simple solution to me, tell the agents to leave the birds alone.
 
Thanks Again for Listening,
 
Lee Riddle
96370 Wildwood Road
Brookings OR 97415



 

 

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