Thursday, August 10, 2017

The King's Forest

Hassle-Krassel District Ranger Anthony Botello once again steps outside of his power and authority for the purpose of harassment and abuse of an elderly gentleman. 

This time Botello reportedly told a visitor from Iowa "ride your horses, kick a few rocks, but don't stay too long". Or basically, "hurry up and go back to Iowa. You are not welcome here".

When Anthony Botello told Robert that he needed to "inform" him about the purchase of a mining claim, Botello stepped outside of his power and authority. 

When Botello told Robert that he needed "a plan of operations" to operate a recreational  highbanker on Robert's established mining claim: he (Botello) again stepped outside of his power and authority. *See attached court case from 2010*.

The Forest Service has already tried that argument in federal court,  and has lost its case.

Botello's harassment of an elderly gentleman named Robert Ginter this last July is typical of the "King's Forest" mentality that many of the management in the Payette National Forest seem to be suffering from. 

Suzanne Rainville, then Payette National Forest supervisor, at a public meeting in 2008 told an elderly wheelchair bound citizen named Jim Earl and his wife Viola Earl that "we are closing Sugar Creek Road" and "if you are too old to hike the six miles to Cinnabar,  maybe you shouldn't live in the backcountry anymore".

 This was AFTER Jim Earl told Suzanne Rainville that he had been traveling to Cinnabar via Sugar Creek Road since 1936, after Joe Harper told the crowd the Forest Service was closing Sugar Creek Road,  because in Joe Harper's words: "nobody ever uses the road"(even though car counters showed an average of 43 vehicles per day using Sugar Creek Road).

Around the same time, at a public meeting, Valley County Commissioner Gordon Cruickshank made it very clear to Krassel District Ranger Joe Harper that the manner in which the Forest Service closed several public roads was a violation of the law. Joe Harper responded "we are closing the roads anyway, and if you don't like it: sue me!"

A Payette Forest Service internal email obtained through FOIA showed the disdain that Sue Dixon had about so many public comments demanding roads be kept open.

Sue Dixon, an advocate for obliterating public access, responded in writing, stating "NEPA is not a democracy". Implying that she apparently wishes that the Forest Service was exempt from the democratic system. 

Anthony Botello seems to be determined to carry Suzanne Rainville's disrespect and harassment of elderly citizens into the management style of the Payette National Forest, for the foreseeable future. 

I have traveled to more than 40 states, have hiked the Grand Canyon,  parts of the Appalachian trail, almost every national park in Utah, Arizona,  New Mexico. I believe that I can authoritatively state that the Payette National Forest is the worst run national forest in the country. With the rudest rangers, management, and a core belief that the public has no right to even visit public lands.

Which is why I openly support Congressman Raul Labrador and his proposal for returning management of federal lands to local control. Because maybe then, Rangers like Botello would actually have to listen to the communities which they are supposed to serve. Instead of lording over them in the manner seen here which has been unchecked for far too long.

Scott Amos 

1 comment:

  1. I have written to Judy Boyle, District 9 representative about my issues with Boise National Forest personnel. It's the same with most of the Nat. Forests. I agree, control needs to return to the states. Thank you for your commentary.