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Monday, July 23, 2012

Why is there a Wilderness Act, you might ask?

Does this look like an historic structure renovation?

"U.S. Forest Service Workers at the Green Mountain Lookout stand on new floor joists with gasoline powered generator in the foreground in 2009." -THE HERALD, Everett, WA
The Wilderness Act has a purpose. Without it, vast tracts of wild lands would be over-run, frequented by motorized users, and would have lost their essential wild character. So a rule is a rule. Or rather the law is the law. If government agencies like USFS don't abide by the law, why should anyone else? No, sorry, it's not up to local authorities to decide when a law 'makes sense' and when it doesn't. Perhaps a civics lesson is in order, since the basic principles of our legal system seem to not be taught in schools anymore. Now we see why we have a judicial branch that can rule on the legality of actions like this, and isn't subject to the whims of the coming election cycle.

Bill to protect lookout would chip away at wilderness protection

U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen has introduced federal legislation to effectively over-rule a federal court decision to remove the illegally constructed Green Mountain Lookout near Darrington. Larsen's actions are an unprecedented effort to strip away protections from a designated wilderness that will undoubtedly be cheered by those in Washington, D.C., who are itching to chip away at our nation's wilderness law. The court's clear and objective judgment that Larsen seeks to undo is entirely consistent with every Wilderness Act case in the 48-year history of that law. Readers can access the full ruling at The Forest Service violated several laws, culminating in the Court's judgment that the lookout should be removed and relocated outside wilderness. 


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