Protesting The Tonto Forest Travel Management Plan

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Editor:

This is the letter I recently wrote to Gene Blankenbaker of the U.S. Forest Service.

Dear Mr. Blankenbaker,

We picked up a package of the Tonto Forest Travel Management Plan paperwork and maps. Several of us tried to determine from the maps which roads would be reopened that had been closed, and which roads currently open would be closed. We had a difficult time trying to figure it out. Genevieve Johnson promised us back last spring when she spoke to our Payson Tea Party group that we would have a public meeting in Payson where we could gather and have Forest Service representatives explain the plan. This has not happened.

Bottom line, according to Revised Statutes 2477, none of the roads should be closed anyway. “The right of way for the construction of highways (i.e. highways, railroads, freeways, etc.) over public lands, not reserved for public uses is hereby granted,” and is irrevocable. That means that all the historical and traditional roadways constructed by us and our forefathers made by horses, wagons, cars, hunters, miners, timber companies, or recreational vehicles, are part of the sovereign state road system, and the federal government cannot close them.

You need to stop spending our tax dollars on salaries and tons of paperwork, and put that money into hiring forest rangers who can patrol the areas to keep the bad apples from going off road and causing destruction and leaving trash all over the place.

The way out environmentalists should not be influencing you to close areas because a little minnow or toad may be disturbed. God gave us dominion over the animals and forests for our use. We are to be good stewards of the animals and forests and we consider ourselves good stewards of the environment. It is the few that are not good stewards.

We are very unhappy that Fossil Creek Road has been closed which draws a lot of visitors to bolster our Payson economy.

We are very unhappy that you are trying to close down the 37-year-old Lakeview Trailer Park in Roosevelt. We have been there and it should remain open due to the economic boost it brings to the area.

We have also observed all the vacant camping spots along Roosevelt Lake, so your excuse to offer more public campsite access is ludicrous.

We are also very unhappy about the closure of the thousands of acres in the Grand Canyon area to mining for uranium which we very much need. New mining policy would restore the area to original state once the mine played out.

As you can see, we are very much aware of the agenda that you aspire to. We will not allow you to force people out of our, that is the state of Arizona’s sovereign lands. You (the federal government) were to only hold the lands in trust until we became a state and then we were to take over our lands, you have failed to perform your constitutional obligation, and we will continue to work to take over management of our Arizona lands.

Shirley Dye

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