Monument review could help Arizona

Opinion By Larry D. Voyles, Director of the Arizona Game and Fish Department

President Trump’s Executive Order calling for a review of expansive executive land designations under the Antiquities Act of 1906 has predictably generated a volume of debate and dire predictions. Missing from the discussion is thoughtful dialogue about the critical role of multiple-use management in natural resources conservation and the sometimes dire consequences to our natural resources of removing such tools from the pallet of management actions and possibilities. This is all done in the name of “protection,” but sometimes we literally love our most special places to death.

In Arizona, when the 2011 Wallow Fire burned 538,000 acres of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, it initially reached crown fire intensity in the “protected” Bear Wallow Wilderness Area. “Protected” is in quotes because a wilderness designation, supposedly our highest level of protection, can actually prohibit many forest health management practices that reduce wildfire risk and protect our public lands. We all knew the overgrown Bear Wallow Wilderness would burn, and burn catastrophically.

The National Forests destroyed in the Wallow Fire, like those across the country, were established in the 20th century primarily to protect watersheds, timber, wildlife, and grazing lands, allowing these natural resources to benefit American communities. Catastrophic wildfires cause erosion that can shorten the lifespan of dams, robbing us of water, the lifeblood of our cities, towns, farms and industry.

This was the reason the Arizona Game and Fish Commission and Department opposed the Grand Canyon Watershed National Monument proposal. The President’s Order doesn’t eliminate any monuments or restrictions on the use of monument lands and waters, but the review may help highlight the stark difference between symbolic designation and real conservation.

Protected areas are an important part of our conservation landscape, but multiple-use lands are essential to our conservation future. Let’s restore balance to our conservation dialogue. A national conversation about the connections between multiple-use management and healthy forests and waters is long overdue.

Versions of this article have been published as guest columns in the Arizona Capitol Times, Arizona Daily Star and Arizona Daily Sun.

OPINION: So John McCain withdraws support for Donald Trump

OPINION
Glen Davis

JOHN-MCCAINOn October 08, John McCain withdrew his support for Donald Trump with the following statement:

“In addition to my well known differences with Donald Trump on public policy issues, I have raised questions about his character after his comments on Prisoners of War, the Khan Gold Star family, Judge Curiel and earlier inappropriate comments about women. Just this week, he made outrageous statements about the innocent men in the Central Park Five case.
“As I said yesterday, there are no excuses for Donald Trump’s offensive and demeaning comments in the just released video; no woman should ever be victimized by this kind of inappropriate behavior. He alone bears the burden of his conduct and alone should suffer the consequences.
“I have wanted to support the candidate our party nominated. He was not my choice, but as a past nominee, I thought it was important I respect the fact that Donald Trump won a majority of the delegates by the rules our party set. I thought I owed his supporters that deference.
“But Donald Trump’s behavior this week, concluding with the disclosure of his demeaning comments about women and his boasts about sexual assaults, make it impossible to continue to offer even conditional support for his candidacy. Cindy, with her strong background in human rights and respect for women fully agrees with me on this.
“Cindy and I will not vote for Donald Trump. I have never voted for a Democratic presidential candidate and we will not vote for Hillary Clinton. We will write in the name of some good conservative Republican who is qualified to be President.”

I have to say that I agree with John McCain on the Central Park Five case. I have read of two-or-three cases where minorities have been tried and convicted only to have those convictions overturned due to DNA evidence. It has been documented that minorities tend to receive heavier sentences for drug crimes than Caucasians. And I don’t like it. I do not know the answer to this dilemma except to recommend that you question judges up for election on their Constitutional knowledge. And everyone should train themselves on the true nature and power of the jury.

I notice, here, that he mentions the comments of Donald Trump on “prisoners of war.” This was used by Clinton during the debates. The comment that he made was directed at Senator John McCain, though what came out did allude to other prisoners of war. His statement was:

He’s [John McCain] a war hero ’cause he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.

Prisoners of war do not go to war hoping to become prisoners of war. They, in fact, are witness to the most ugly aspect of war. They have my unending respect.

I agree that Trump, who never served, probably has no right to disparage the service of John McCain. After all, John McCain is the only Vietnam POW who had a statue erected in his honor in Hanoi.

Those who served with John McCain have long questioned his imprisonment. In addition, for the first time ever, the United States national government has sealed the records of prisoners of war—even preventing Vietnam prisoners of war from getting their OWN records. McCain, no champion of Vietnam prisoners of war, applauds the action.
Not to excuse the comment that Trump made, but he meant to direct the comment at John McCain after the Senator called 15,000 Trump supporters—no doubt a number of the Senators constituents—crazies.

In fairness, there are those who support John McCain

Like everyone else, McCain brings up an 11-year-old video reported as if no one can change. As if an 11-year-old video represents Trump today. And Trump’s apology seems ineffective. Wonder if we should accept McCain’s apology for a crude joke made 18-years-ago.

I don’t care for Trump and would much rather see a Constitution-loving presidential candidate. Qualified to be president in political parlance usually means one of the good ol’ boys. I do not like the single-payer health insurance plan he intends to replace Obamadoesntcare with. Like the founding fathers, I do not like megacorporations—in their day known as monopolies—squeezing out the small business owner with cheap Chinese imports. He is, however, better than the alternatives.

I do agree that anyone that cannot be positively identified by intelligent sources as escaping actual persecution should not be given a free ticket into the country. I do agree that our educational system should be geared toward preparing our youth in some sort of marketable and useful skill such as vocational skills. Something in which they can achieve $15, or more, an hour for doing. iPad operator and scholar in Communist theory just doesn’t cut it.

What I would much rather vote for is someone who knows and will uphold the Constitution of the United States. So I intend to “write-in” someone more qualified to be Senator for the Great State of Arizona. Someone who understands the Constitution. Someone more Republican than John McCain.