I am writing in support of Jim Chmelik and his efforts to promote individual freedoms and accountability in government. Jim has always promoted a philosophy of multiple use of our natural resources. I asked Jim to testify on behalf of suction dredge miners in Idaho at the state legislature. I was pleased by his testimony before the joint-committee and it was printed in this publication. At no time during that hearing or in any other hearing did Jim testify in opposition to clean water, fish, fishermen or anything other than bad federal policy.
It would be a huge mistake for fishermen to imagine that fish are being harmed by suction dredge mining. Fish are being caught and killed in the Pacific Ocean, in the Columbia River, in the Snake River, and in the local rivers. These same fish are being propagated for this purpose to mitigate the losses caused by federally controlled hydroelectric dams on the Snake River. In contrast, the other river user groups that Jim supports are not detrimental to fish and suction dredge mining for gold has no documented incidences of killing fish. All Idahoans are now faced with the consequences of bad federal policy.
The answer to this problem is restoring state control and local control of state and local issues. Jim will continue to work for Idaho and I will vote for him to become our next lieutenant governor in the May 20 primary.