To the Editor:

Here we go again, more useless legislation to regulate a non-existent threat to the environment.

I was going over Blewett Pass recently and I was amazed at the amount of dredgers there were in Swauk Creek, there must have been over a 100, there was a film of gas on the surface of the creek, you couldn't even see the bottom because of all the silt that was exploding out of the dredgers. Oh wait, I dreamed that, I've lived here 59 years and have never even seen a dredge in Kittitas County. I heard there was one that ran up Swauk Creek years ago, but never in recent years.

I'm concerned why there is even legislation on such a non-existent entity in Kittitas County. There was some mining in the upper reaches of the Cle Elum River valley, a little around Liberty but that was mined out years ago. If you have enough money to buy a dredge (they start at $2,000 and work upward from there) you will be aware of the times and streams you are allowed to dredge in.

The gold miners pamphlet is pretty explicit when and where you are allowed. Oh they didn't mention that? That's how extremists work they inflate a threat way out of proportion to what it is. Why bother to "exclude" public access to public streams for a minority? When they get that minority restricted, then it's onto the next larger group, then so on and on. Oh that's right that is what land management agencies are all about. Rather then welcoming you into your public lands, they charge you for access and restrict you from entering "your" public lands.

I was up Umtanum Canyon last month, beautiful parking lot, very nice campground, then once you crossed the bridge everything went to hell! There was a sign restricting you from going up more then 3.5 miles as there was some wildlife restriction, vague on what type of thing they were protecting it from you for, the trail was overgrown there was no trail maintenance of any kind. It was like the land managers never left their new pickups, maybe they used a drone to manage it! So whenever you hear of someone wanting to "protect" something, that means they want to deny you access to public lands. Once they get a fee (tax) in it only goes UP!

Eric Prater

Ellensburg

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