Siskiyou Crest National Monument–Let’s look honestly at the plan.
This is the reply to the position of Laurel of Klamath Siskiyou Wildland Center from Tom Waddell. Tom Waddell is well known and respected member of the Happy Camp/Klamath River Valley community for his community involvement and wisdom. He is well qualified to speak to this matter, as you will see in his introductory remarks.
I am a Karuk Tribal Member and on the non-native side of my family I am a fifth generation Happy Camper. I would like to respond to the email you sent to Rita at the Happy Camp Chamber.
Over the past twenty years I have been directly affected by those who wish to force their views on others. Those who keep saying that there will be little to no impact and there is potential for a positive economic effect. In fact we have been told that story on every new proposed change in public land management policy. Ask Rita if recreation is supporting a strong econony in Happy Camp. Study after study told us how recreation was going to replace the jobs lost under Clintons Forest Plan. How did the small amount of grant funds made available create long term economic development? LETS TALK HONESTLY.
I would be happy to meet with you and any economist that you choose, to debate the effects that have been forced on the Klamath River Communities over the last 20 years. Lets have an honest conversation where truths are the basis for discussion and the effects are not hidden behind closed doors. Lets talk about the “trickle down” effects that Dr. Robert Lee from the University of Washington researched and reported on the adverse effects on small rural communities when their economies collapse like they have along the Klamath. Lets talk about the social challenges that the Happy Camp Family Resource Center deals with every day. Lets talk about the sharp escalation of crime rates, drug and alcohol use, suicides (and attempts), and other social ills.
After we have completed some honest conversation about historical facts on the effects on local economies over the last twenty years then I will patiently listen to what you and your economist has to say about our communities. I will listen to the “projected” effects if the project that you are promoting is implemented.
I am a business counselor and I work with clients who are researching the feasibility of businesses everyday. When we work with a business the first thing we request is historical data, because it gives us an insight into the future. Try getting a loan from a bank for a startup business with no previous business experience. It simply won’t happen. They want to be able to reasonably predict what the business will accomplish. Historical information is the best way to predict what will happen.
So lets talk about the effect restricting access and land management has had on the residents of the Klamath River Corridor over the last twenty years. Then lets use that information to extrapolate what might happen in the next twenty years if further restrictions are implemented. If we continue down the same path of restrictions we may even reach the point where the economy is sooooo bad that we might see a positive effect from one of those land management decisions, but there will probably be so few actual productive residents in the area that no one will be here to notice or to celebrate (PROTEST). Which is the “Hidden Agenda” of most Special Interest Groups such as yours.
My family homestead has been left to slowly reach a state of disrepair. Three of us brothers have relocated their families out of the area, the same as most of my first cousins and their families. Since my mother had thirteen brothers and sisters that is quite a crowd that has had to leave the “River” (our home for thousands of years).
I work in Redding, CA and commute home every weekend to try and maintain my families homestead. I also split my time to visit my son and granddaughter who had to move out of the area. Tell me again that it will not have an effect!
Let us talk honestly!