Letter: Monument effort the work of environmental extremists

Editor:

I am both amused and disgusted at the “Sedona Red Rock Verde Valley Area National Monument” news release that stated “Forest Plan’s Amendment 12 … was always intended as a ‘placeholder’ until more permanent protection could be secured.” (Independent quote, 1-5-17)

Really! I recall that the Coconino National Forest Amendment 12 decision was criticized even within Forest Service ranks at the time because it was unnecessary and simply delayed the inevitable.

The current proponents’ last-ditch effort to pressure an outgoing President to establish a National Monument in a highly-charged political environment proves the critics right again. After years of public service in several states, I observe once again that it is indeed inevitable when public land managers do put protective measures in place, environmental extremists will push for more and more, until they get their way -- via lawsuits, end runs or otherwise. It is the nature of the game.

If monument status is achieved, stakeholders will be inevitably impacted; and the already short-handed Forest Service faces another “3 to 5 years” preparing another management plan -- all the while suffering inadequate funding and relying on outside volunteers to do real work on the land. Woe is me.

Judy Miller

Forest Service Retiree

Cornville

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