Jayson Jacoby
The Baker City Herald

Ranch owners say thanks for all who fought fire

The family of Justus Ranch Inc. would like to thank our neighbors, friends, and the agencies that assisted with the containment of the Sardine Creek fire in such a quick manner on Aug. 19. The fire could have easily spread to destroy thousands more acres of rangeland as well as livestock on neighboring properties. Friends and neighbors assisted each other by checking on the status of livestock in the area, assisting to removing livestock in immediate danger, and by bringing heavy equipment to assist with containing the fire.

We also appreciate the public agencies that assisted the private property owners by working side-by-side to contain this fire. While some property owners realized more loss than others, it is a blessing that no one was injured and there were no livestock lost due to this fire.

Thank you.

Heidi Justus

B. Kent Justus

Baker County

Road closure fight is for the future of our children

Well, that same 5-year-old boy that got me and my two great-grandchildren, ages 12 and 13, tossed into the "Access For All Jail Wagon" during the Miners Jubilee parade got us thrown into it again for the Baker County Fair/Labor Day parade in Halfway Sept. 3. The first time he was apprehended on suspicion he was picking mushrooms without a Forest Service permit. This time he was caught red-handed on the wrong side of a Forest Service road berm on a motorized tricycle.

This is a joke, friends. But the road closures that face us are not.

The Jail Wagon represents the freedom we stand to lose with more road closures. There were seven children in the wagon with me, mine were the oldest. It is the future of these little people we must fight for. They deserve to inherit the freedom I have had to drive around the forest any time I want to, just enjoying everything I see.

They should not be forced to apply for a permit to drive a specific road, a specified measured distance, in a particular type or model of vehicle, on one particular day, or locked out altogether because the road has been obliterated.

When I first began working for the Forest Service in 1956, Ranger Harold Dahl on the Union District told me and other employees at Lily White: "Our national forests belong to everyone. Our primary purpose is to manage timber and protect the rights of other forest users."

I don't believe I know any Forest Service people who agree with Dahl any more.

The present uprising over road closures has led some people to believe that no roads have ever been closed. This is not true.

I have many friends that have been complaining that road closures made in the past have already closed them out of reach of favorite huckleberry patches and in many cases has stopped people from hunting elk.

Mining operations have been targeted for the worst abuse.

This is a case of losing so many roads we have had enough of it.

Carmelita Holland