"Lochsa Land Exchange" Email From Taras Ogychuk to Friends of the Palouse Ranger District
January 10, 2011
(available in PDF format)
My name is Taras Ogychuk and I was born and I live in the Ukraine. I received my MBA from WSU and was employed by the University of Idaho in the 1990’s to bring Ukrainian and Russian agricultural officials to the Northwest so they could observe how the former Soviet Union and U.S. Government were so different. I began to see positive changes in attitude of government officials of Russia and Ukraine when I led them around the Northwest U.S. to meet with the people, farmers, agricultural operations and companies.
I have received information from people in your area who I knew when I lived in Moscow about the Lochsa Land Exchange and have also seen your website and various articles on the web. I wish to comment on what I have read that has been the method the U.S. Forest Service uses to take away public lands as this appears very similar to how the former Soviet Union would have done it.
This letter is addressed to folks in Latah County and in Northern Idaho and Eastern Washington who are opposing the Lochsa land controversy of the Forest Service attempting to take away your public lands where you hunt, fish and recreate. I hope you will pass this around to the people opposing it and to the Forest Service officials who are promoting this very puzzling government action from someone who observed similar things under the former Soviet Union but didn’t think I would see this in America.
In researching and receiving publications on the government take away of the people’s lands in the Northern Idaho area where I once lived, studied and recreated, I would like to comment and compare this rather strange government action with the former Soviet Union of which Ukraine was a part of for many years.
Frankly, I was surprised to see how the U.S. government seems to be following the former Soviet Union. I have read that not one federal senator or representative supposedly representing the people who voted them into office from Idaho and Washington states that has volunteered to help the people who have elected them. I must say, this is very much like the former Soviet Union when it controlled so many people but did not represent them.
I received the attached poem from someone explaining the people’s thoughts in one page on the land controversy of a government agency giving these lands to a private company. If you haven’t received this poem already, I would ask you to pass my letter and the poem around to the supporters who oppose this government move and to the Forest Service officials who are responsible for attempting to take away the people’s lands where they live, work and recreate without a vote by the people. I would like them to know that it is very similar to the way the former Soviet Union would have handled this same situation before it broke up and I hope America is not going the same direction as this former despised government system.
The American system is supposed to be of, by and for the people. I heard this many times over TV networks, especially during elections in your country. I believed that America was great because of this system. It is puzzling to hear of this situation where a private individual in so much trouble with the courts and the laws is proposed to be the new owner of so much public lands used by the people for many decades. Hopefully, the government system in America isn’t going the same way that proved to be such a failure under the former Soviet Union and was so detested by the people as it fell apart.
"Twas the Night After Christmas for the Land Takeaway Trio"
(available in PDF format)
THE NIGHT AFTER CHRISTMAS
night after Christmas when throughout the public lands
Many creatures were stirring in the forests and sands.
The animals hung their heads for they all had a care
And hopes they wouldn’t be traded along with their
The young were all nestled snug in their beds
While visions of their forest homes danced in their
The Big Trio in Washington, Missoula and Idaho
Settled down for a long nap but sleep came slow
Tidwell, Weldon and Brazell
didn’t count on such a clatter
That sprang up from the people to find what was the
With the Forest Service plan to trade the people’s
land in a flash
They were surprised the owners would make such a splash.
The ‘crats were nestled all snug in their beds
As visions of the Lochsa Land Takeaway danced in their
What the ‘crats wondering eyes did not expect to
Were the people in masse that generated such fear.
As the people fought the Land Takeaway so lively and
The Trio must have been as surprised as seeing St. Nick.
The moon on the breast of a new fallen snow
Told the story of the Land Takeaway by the three so and
The lands’ owners organized behind those brick walls
And the opposition were many, in fact almost all.
They fought to keep their lands and will continue at all
So the Forest Service Trio doesn’t give them to their
own Santa Claus.
The Forest Service legacy and the Trio as well
Will forever be tainted, so far they have fell.
The people hold their
nose as the lands disappear
And the smell of something tainted appears and
It’s the smell of suspicion as their lands may be lost
To a Forest Service Trio’s hand picked Santa Claus.
Ah yes, there’s Rocky Mountain Elk, a once respected
Which now accepts cash so a private firm can gorge.
The RMEF is paid money by a timber/realty corp
To help takeaway people’s lands—something here is
Ah yes, but there’s the law and courts to judge how
far a non-profit can go
To harm the lives of 150,000 before they must pay back