– Ben Martens

New National Wilderness In Idaho

sawtoothnationalrecreationYou may have seen the news about Obama recently creating a new wilderness area in Idaho. Since I’m not a rancher in the area who would rather use the land for something else, I’m happy to see more land set aside. Coming from the eastern half of the US, it still amazes me how much of the Pacific Northwest is federal (or state) protected land. It sure creates a nice recreational area!

I try to avoid getting too political, but as we run up to a new presidential election, I think this is a good time to point out one silly point of this story. You’ve heard all the stories and read all the headlines. Who is responsible for making this area a protected wilderness? Most people would probably say Obama. And sure, he was the final guy to sign the bill, but what about all of the senators and representatives that voted for this. What about Representative Mike Simpson of Idaho¬†who spent the last 15 years trying to get this to happen? And what about the nameless people down at the city and county level who have been fighting for this too. As I’ve said before, our president’s name gets attached to lots of stuff (both good and bad), but they are rarely to credit or blame for any of it. When you vote in November, you’re voting for the head of our public relations team. So don’t get too excited or too bent out of shape about who wins or loses. Focus that energy around your local city government which really has an impact on your life.