Sen. Tim (where do I live anyway) Johnson is supporting designating 40,000 acres of grassland as wilderness. See it in the Rapid City Journal here.
There is no part of this area that has not been trod upon by man. It does not need a wilderness designation and will prevent taxpayers from enjoying this unique part of our ground. If multiple use has proven to be misuse, then change the management, not the designation. If it's over-grazed (and in the past, it has been) then change the grazing permit process.
But a wilderness designation severely limits access, and the grassland does not fit the legal definition of wilderness.
This has extremely little support among those who would be impacted. It's a feel-good tree-hugger bill that makes Californians happy. It's just dumb. Which is why I'm not surprised Johnson supports it.
This kind of Sierra Club nonsense is what has caused the overgrowth and subsequent bug kill devastation of the Black Hills National Forest and destroyed a thriving timber industry. The natural way to manage a forest is to let it burn. Those who live in the trees (like my friend Mr. Fleming) may disagree that its the best way to manage a forest.
The same goes for the grassland. Managing those 40,000 acres can be done better. A successful negotiation (an attorney friend once told me) is one where everyone involved thinks they got screwed. More needs to be negotiated here.