Sunday, March 06, 2011

Pearce decries Gila trail closures plan at Silver City rally

More than 700 New Mexicans from around the state packed the Grant County Business and Convention Center on Saturday at a rally opposing a U.S. Forest Service plan to close some roads and trails in the Gila Wilderness. U.S. Congressman Steve Pearce, who was the featured speaker at the event organized by Keep Our Forest Open, said the road closure proposal is just a continuation of the federal government's "War on the West." Pearce said the plan was part of a larger assault by the federal government on Western lands and values. "This is a war on our lifestyles, quality of life, our history and our culture," Pearce said, adding that the U.S. Forest Service was overstepping its legal powers and its proposal is unconstitutional. "We're talking about human justice and what is right and what is wrong." Those who spoke at the rally included officials from Grant, Do-a Ana, Luna, Catron and Sierra counties. Most pushed the point that the federal government was overstepping its bounds and infringing on the rights of the American people. The Rev. Mike Skidmore, chairman of the board of directors for Keep Our Forest Open, said those attending the event needed to get organized like the environmental groups. "The problem is, unlike the environmentalists, we have jobs," Skidmore said. "They get to sit around and get their government grants while the rest of us are working."...more

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