Throughout my Forest Service career, my coworkers and I took very seriously the responsibility of managing the public’s natural resources. Caring for our forests and grasslands, water, and wildlife populations is a sacred trust that the American people place in the hands of public employees.

With this honor comes challenges. Every action a public resource manager takes is open for critique in the public forum. It is often said, tongue-in-cheek, that the only problem with a democracy is that everyone gets a vote. The public can weigh in on every action affecting public resources, using an agency review and comment process, the news media, the courts, or social media. Sometimes the comments are deceitful, mean-spirited and self-serving, but public employees by the nature of their employment have limited ability to respond.

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Bill Aney is a forester and wildlife biologist living in Pendleton and loving the Blue Mountains.

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(1) comment

Frank Sterle Jr.

After 34 years of consuming conservative and neo-liberal mainstream news-media, I cannot recall a serious discussion on why our national and provincial governments will not insist upon processing all of our own oil and lumber here at home in Canada, instead of exporting it bulk raw abroad and purchasing it back processed at a notably higher price (as we do with the U.S.). That is, without the topic discussion strongly seeming to have already been parameterized thus the outcome predetermined. And I’m not talking about just on the one and same day, open and closed topic, as I’ve witnessed two or three of those insufficient efforts.

Our governments consistently refuse to alter this practice, which undoubtedly is the most profitable for the corporations extracting and exporting en masse our natural resources.

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