Letter: Rebels should quit their grandstanding
Over the last months, we have heard many comments and read articles on the road in Jarbidge, the road that is only 1-1/2 miles long that leads to a small wilderness campground. It is not the road to the small town of Jarbidge. The folks who live there are not being cut off from the world. It is a road to a campground just before the wilderness area.
Who owns the public domain land? First we need a definition of the words. Webster’s Dictionary tells us that public means “belonging to, or concerning the public as a whole.” Domain says “right of ownership, territory under one government….” So we have the territory in our nation belonging to the public as a whole. Let’s visit another dictionary, Black’s Law Dictionary. Here we read about public, “Pertaining to a state, nation or whole community; proceeding from, relating to, or affecting the whole body of people or entire community. Open to all.”
I think this is perfectly clear that the people of the United States own the public domain land. This is the 87 percent of Nevada we hear about all the time. This land is “open to all.”
So why do we hear all this rhetoric about “The Feds?” We hear it because a few people do not like the fact that “majority rules in our land.” We have elections and vote in a president who chooses different people to head up different agencies such as the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management. The voters have chosen to put in a president who feels as they do about the public lands. In other words, the people have hired a manager of their lands. Then we see the losing group of folks start problems with this management. They create problems, harass the managers, take the law into their own hands and try to change the rules. In this case, we have Republican Carpenter and other Sagebrush Rebels saying this is a county issue. They very conveniently forget the endangered bull trout. They say the trout is in good shape. I have read reports from the Division of Wildlife that counted three whole bull trout per mile of stream. I personally do not think this is “good shape.”
The people of the United States have managers of the public domain land to take care of it for them and for future generations. I feel they are doing a good job and want to see the trend continue. The majority of people, when asked about the environment, want to see it taken care of and no longer just used to make money. There is a joy in seeing land taken care of for recreation and for the future.
So we have a mile and a half of road. If we just took the population of Nevada of nearly 1.5 million and divided that road up so we had a share, Mr. Carpenter would have exactly .04 of an inch to call his own. If we took the entire population of the U.S., he would have .0002 of an inch. So sir, if you want to fix your share, go for it but leave all of ours alone.
Mr. Carpenter is again asking for permits to “fix the road.” He has not asked the public for permission as he knows it would be denied. He is not asking for the road to be fixed because it is vital to the economy or leads to a vital place such as a hospital. He enjoys spending Elko County tax money to fight his own little war against the majority of the people. I hope the folks in Elko County realize this and vote out Mr. Carpenter and his band of Sagebrush Rebels and use that money for good causes.
It is time to remember that we Nevadans have a unique state. We can camp, fish, hunt, hike and otherwise recreate on land that belongs to us all. We do not need to pay camping fees or buy stickers for the car so we can enter an area. We are the luckiest of all the states. The Sagebrush Rebels want to end all of that by taking over the public lands and having the state run them. We would see fees to enter the public lands and the biggest fire sale of all times as they sold the prime land to developers. We would lose our unique public lands and the right to enjoy them.
Please tell Mr. Carpenter that we do not want the road “fixed.” He represents the people of Elko County but on different state committees he represents us all. So stuff his mailbox with notes not to “fix” the road to Assemblyman John Carpenter, P.O. Box 190, Elko, NV 89803 and send a copy to Gov. Kenny Guinn, 101 N. Carson St., Ste. 1, Carson City, NV 89701-4786.