Letter writing campaign launched to oppose legislative Upper Lochsa Land Exchange

 For Immediate Release

January 31, 2014


Brett Haverstick, Friends of the Clearwater (208) 882-9755

Marilyn Beckett, Friends of the Palouse Ranger District (208) 882-1818

Cindy Magnuson, Palouse-Great Old Broads for Wilderness (208) 882-1606


Letter Writing Campaign Launched to Oppose

Legislating Upper Lochsa Land Exchange

Moscow- Groups across the Palouse are hosting a grassroots, letter writing-party to voice opposition to the Idaho delegation’s intent to legislate the highly contentious Upper Lochsa Land Exchange. The event will take place at the Garden Lounge in Moscow, 313 S. Main Street on Thursday February 6 from 4-7pm. Writing materials will be available.

“We were very confused and concerned when the Idaho delegation told the Forest Service that they needed to stop the current administrative process”, said Brett Haverstick, Education & Outreach Director with Friends of the Clearwater. “Congress has long held that the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) be the tool for decision making. “

If the Idaho delegation were interested in leaving a legacy, they would pursue funds through the Land & Water Conservation Fund to purchase the checkerboard lands. The groups claim the Idaho delegation is not representing the interests of the people they are charged with serving, either.

“It’s frustrating to see Idaho’s elected leaders oppose the sentiment of Idahoans,” said Cindy Magnuson with the Palouse-Great Old Broads for Wilderness. “The fact that Western Pacific Timber will be responsible for collecting public comments and playing a key role in drafting the legislation is appalling.”

The groups are encouraging the public to come out and socialize, engage in conversation, and to send a quick letter to Idaho Senator Jim Risch.

“The ever-growing opposition to the Upper Lochsa Land Exchange extends across both sides of the aisle,” said Marilyn Beckett with Friends of the Palouse Ranger District. “It doesn’t matter if you are a Republican or Democrat. Everyone recognizes a boondoggle when they see one.”

“The hunters and loggers don’t support this deal, either,” said Cheryl Halverson, also with Friends of the Palouse Ranger District.

More letter writing-parties may take place in other communities, besides Moscow.

“We hope this idea catches on and other communities will host similar events,” said Al Poplawsky, a concerned citizen. “Opposition stretches far beyond the Palouse.”