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Published July 14, 2009, 12:00 AM

Letter: Keep park decision in hands of public

In regards to Sen. Dorgan’s bill concerning the control of the population of elk in Theodore Roosevelt National Park:

Certainly Dorgan has the same right to express his thoughts on this subject as do all the  rest of us. But he better recognize that he is not one iota more owner of our national parks than any one of us millions of Americans who do not want to see our national parks turned into hunting preserves, as it seems he and George W. Bush wish to do.

The national parks, and Roosevelt National Park in particular, are very important to me. For several years I have been watching this elk problem — have been on the mailing list concerning the park’s thoughts, actions and requests for public input. I have submitted my thoughts several times.

The park has been working with the public, listening to the public about how this problem should be addressed. It is my feeling they had recently arrived at a plan of action on the most economical and publicly acceptable option for this control.

Then Sen. Dorgan jumps in with this bill of his, designed to take the matter out of the hands of the park! Out of the hands of the public! And make a political issue of it! This rider bill of Dorgan’s is a parasitic bill. A parasite tacked onto the appropriations bill funding the Department of the Interior — a bill that must be passed.

Dorgan knows his bill would not stand on its own, so sneaks it in this way. I see this as unfair. I feel robbed! 

In my own small way, as a concerned citizen, I have been active in the decision the park was arriving at. I highly resent Dorgan robbing me of my efforts at finding a solution. If Dorgan’s  bill passes, he will have robbed me of my citizens rights! And the rights of millions of concerned Americans. This is like dictatorship and I do not think we should stand for it.

Jim Oberfoell, Sentinel Butte