'Wise use' for whom?

The report on the "wise use" movement is both informative and balanced. However, the author omits an essential statement of fact when quoting me.My complete statement was: "Unlike other sectors of the United States economy, natural resource development on nonagricultural lands involves a mixture of socialist and capitalist enterprises. Government owns the means of production on a large fraction of the US land base [one-third]. Government ownership can create political strain in a largely capitalist economy. Since we are not socialist, there is no national rhetoric of responsibility when we force people off the [government's] land. This is analogo us to kicking tenant farmers off state-owned farmlands." Only the italicized section was published. Government's failure to assume responsibility for the social and economic consequences of its actions raises questions about whether government ownership is wise public policy. The "wise use" movement can be an important force in helping to bring democracy to government land ownership. Robert G. Lee, Seattle, University of Washington

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