Bergman Sends Letter to Federal Government Calling for Hiawatha Trails To Stay Open
Escanaba, MI - In a case of all-too-common government overreach, the U.S. Forest Service is planning to shut down nearly 95 percent of the trails in the Hiawatha National Forest, as part of its Camp Cooks Integrated Resource Management Project. Today, Lt. General (Ret.) Jack Bergman sent a letter to the U.S. Forest Service in fierce opposition of the project. Speaking about the letter, General Bergman said:
“I have spoken with many concerned citizens about the federal government’s threat to close the trails in the Hiawatha National Forest. This would have tremendous negative impact on the local economy, particularly in Nahma. Yoopers are excellent stewards of the land, and we do not need the out-of-touch federal government telling us how to care for it.
“As the Representative for the First District, I will work every day for the people who live here, but I am not waiting until I get to Washington to go to work for them. Today, I sent a letter to District Ranger Joanne Sanfilippo, Hiawatha Forest Supervisor Cid Morgan, and U.S. Forest Service Chief Thomas Tidwell. As your Congressman, I will work for you and that includes getting Washington out of the way.”
Please read the letter below:
November 2, 2016
US Forest Service
8181 US Highway 2
Rapid River, MI 49829
Dear Ms. Sanfilippo,
This is notice that we, the people of Northern and Upper Michigan, oppose your agency’s plan to close roads in the Hiawatha National Forest, especially in light of your refusal to discuss your action with the people in our communities—the ones you pledged to serve.
The proposal, labeled the Camp Cooks Integrated Resource Management Project, will close nearly 95 percent of the roads in the forest. The implementation of the plan will harm the people of Northern Michigan, especially in the Upper Peninsula, by diminishing tourist traffic and discouraging outdoor activities in the Hiawatha National Forest.
This is unacceptable.
As a resident of the Upper Peninsula for over two decades, I can tell you such a closure is an attack on our way of life, our culture, and our people. The citizens of the Upper Peninsula, like the citizens of Northern Michigan at large, deeply care about protecting the environment because we know that it is the lifeblood of our community. To insist that we do not maintain and protect our wonderful lakes and forests is an insult that I, and the people of Northern Michigan, will not stand for. In short, you are not doing your job, and your bullheaded actions show intent to hurt our community.
Please view this as a notice: If the people of Michigan’s First Congressional District elect me to Congress, I will formally ask both the House Committee on Natural Resources and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to do a full investigation into this injurious action against the people of Northern and Upper Michigan.
Lt. General (Ret.) Jack Bergman
CC: Hiawatha Forest Supervisor Cid Morgan, Thomas L. Tidwell, Chief of the United States Forest Service