Originally Published: December 10, 2017 5:57 a.m.
Logging used to be a source of revenue for rural counties in Arizona. The timber industry left 20 years ago. Congressional bill H.R. 2936 proposes to increase the use of public and private land for logging. The timber industry, if it returns to Arizona for large scale, clear cut logging, will have to compete with environmental issues, especially water sheds. Look to Montana and see what is happening to their timber industry. A million acres in Montana burned this year and the recreational use of public land is in conflict with the logging industry.
In Arizona, we have on federal land multiple uses other than logging. These uses include hunting, fishing, wild life habitat and all sorts of outdoor recreation. We have a bourgeoning industry with vineyards along the Verde River. Retirees and tourism are bringing new businesses and urban growth and with that comes jobs and tax revenue. Prescott needs hundreds of millions of dollars to develop new water resources.
In 2014, several Arizona state and federal elected officials posed for a photo op with Cliven Bundy during the standoff with BLM law enforcement in Nevada. The use of government land will not be decided through the barrel of a rifle. We know that ranching, farming and logging must co-exist with the new businesses and urban growth in Arizona. This requires detailed work and our Arizona politicians are lost in Nevada.