Show-Me State opposes land sale

Thursday, April 19, 2007

This week, I was inundated with e-mailed press releases from politicians, and while normally annoyed by the endless stream of position statements, this time I was pleased with what our elected officials in Washington, D.C., were spouting. It seems as if the proposal to sell off portions of the Mark Twain National Forest has attracted bipartisan opposition.

In a letter sent to the head of the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service, U.S. Senators Kit Bond and Claire McCaskill and U.S. Representatives Ike Skelton, Jo Ann Emerson, Kenny Hulshof, Todd Akin, Wm. Lacy Clay, Russ Carnahan and Emanuel Cleaver urged the Forest Service to abandon their plan to sell off National Forest Land, including more than 20,000 acres of Missouri s Mark Twain National Forest.
Bond pledged to fight the land sale. I will continue to fight against proposals that sell off timeless resources for short term gain,  said Bond. Missouri s national forests and resources they surround, like Table Rock Lake, are true treasures that we must protect against those looking for more money for government programs. 
McCaskill also voiced her displeasure with the plan. Under no circumstances should we shortchange our children and their children by selling any of our beautiful forest,  said McCaskill. Generations of Missourians have cherished hunting, camping, fishing and hiking on this land, and that s simply not something we can put a price tag on. 
Although Congressman Roy Blunt did not sign the bipartisan letter to the Forest Service, he did issue his own press release on the subject. He claims the proposed forest land sale is a dead issue.  Blunt went as far to say the sale wouldn t happen, and we hope, his word will stand.
Not one of the legislators commented on why the land sale was being proposed again by the White House. The proposal prompted an outcry of opposition from the public the first time it was introduced, and so when we found out the land sale was back up for consideration, we were shocked. Once again, it showed us that the current administration is out of touch and unwilling to listen to the opinions of average Americans. We spoke and the White House refused to listen.
We applaud the stance taken by our elected officials in Washington, especially those who joined together in a bipartisan appeal to the Forest Service. This issue is not party particular but a matter of preserving public land from private development. We join the fight against the land sale and believe most of our readers are also inclined to join the opposition team on this one.