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John Day Town Council Won't Support Resolution Asking Congress To Address Maintenance Backlog


The town council of John Day, Oregon, the gateway to John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, has turned down a request to sign a resolution asking Congress to address the National Park Service's maintenance backlog/NPS, Scott Ritner

Across the country, nearly 150 communities have passed resolutions asking Congress to provide the funding needed to wipe out the National Park Service's maintenance backlog. The tiny town of John Day, Oregon, is not one of them.

No, during consideration of the resolution that Pew Charitable Trusts is taking around the country in search of support, the John Day Council turned down the request. And, according to the local Blue Mountain Eagle newspaper, one council member in particular made his position quite clear.

“If it’s a national park, I don’t want anything to do with it,” said Gregg Haberly. 

During discussion of the matter, Mr. Haberly expressed his worries that the money would go towards buying more land for the park system, which includes nearby John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. 

“It seems like they want local governments to do battle for their money,” he said. “My problem is that they don’t have enough money to do maintenance, but they can buy additional land for national parks.”

Other council members expressed concern that the resolution was too political, and that it perhaps was a better issue for the county to deal with.

The maintenance backlog facing the National Park Service is estimated at $11.3 billion, or more. Pew, through its Restore America's Parks initiative, is striving to both raise public awareness about the matter and identify solutions to wiping out the backlog.

According to 2016 figures from the National Park Service, John Day Fossil Beds had more than $1.5 million in deferred maintenance needs, most tied to paved roads ($567,851), unpaved roads ($313,876) and buildings ($289,520).


Exactly the point I have been making.  When your can't afford to repair your roof, you don't add a pool to your backyard.  It doesn't mean you don't like pools.  What it means is that you have to prioritize!

Remember, John Day is a community whose ranchers value cattle more highly than their local physician and certainly more than any NPS,  BLM,, USFS  Federal employees.


"It goes against much of American jurisprudence but is well understood in cattle country."

"When you build a fence in this country, it isn't to keep your cattle in; it's to keep your neighbor's cattle out," said barber Joe West as he trimmed the hair of John Hays, president-elect of the Oregon Cattlemen's Assn."

Cattle still are herded down Main Street in this eastern Oregon town of 2,000. Hays said ranchers need open range to move their herds.

"It's just the law of the West," he said."

Reminds me of my West Virginia relatives who value DIRTY  COAL 
more than Clean Streams and Water,
and  even vote GOP supporting criminal Coal CEOs 
who disrespected very basic Mine Safety Regulations
thus killing 29 young miners.  Duuhhh...

This attitude doesn't surprise me.  For those who don't know, Grant County, of which John Day is the county seat, is a hotbed of anti-federal land management agitation.  During the Malheur Refuge occupation, the local sheriff supported the Bundys, and he was reelected.  This was different that neighboring Malheur County, where the National Wildlife Refuge is located.  There, the County Sheriff upheld his oath to enforce the law, and most of the local residents supported him.

And this red herring leaps from the unfounded conjecture of one council member. Not from the real conundrum.

Another example of the anti-republican political mindset so painfully common in Oregon east of the Cascades. It's an incredibly beautiful area of the nation but occupied, unfortunately, by some of the most fearful, uninformed, selfish, and generally reactionary people the West has ever produced. 


Reminds me of my West Virginia relatives who value DIRTY COAL more than Clean Streams and Water.

Yes, like Senator Robert Bryd, DEMOCRAT, West Virginia, who supported dirty coal and mountain-top mining for the entirety of his 50 years in Congress. Again, whom do you wish to kid here? Do you really mean to suggest that everything bad in the world is entirely the fault of the GOP? My father-in-law, who grew up in eastern Oregon, would politely disagree. Along with unionizing the logging industry he favored the cutting of what--trees. Had he lived in West Virginia he would have favored the mining of coal. It's how working-class families, including his, made a living.

And yes, he was a Democrat, and no, it didn't change his mind. When the mills closed in Oregon everyone was devastated. Thousands moved out, and he did, too.

A year ago, what Hillary Clinton never understood was that. You don't denigrate the working man or woman from the cheap seats. There's still enough of them out there to bite you in the political a--. The future? All bets are off, but we still aren't living in the future. If you want John Day's City Council to support the parks, you will have to help find a job for their constituents first.

It's an incredibly beautiful area of the nation but occupied, unfortunately, by some of the most fearful, uninformed, selfish, and generally reactionary people the West has ever produced.

Yes, just like the people WEST of the Cascades--fearful, uninformed, selfish, and generally reactionary. Case in point: Seattle's new sugar tax. Want to drink a Coke? Pony up an additional 1.7 cents PER OUNCE!. We Leftists have the solution to obesity. Tax the poor until they become even poorer, while we smoke marijuana and drink martinis. Next up? Safe injection centers, so our addicts needn't move a muscle getting "served" the drugs they "need." But sugar? Off with their heads!

You want to denigrate someone, Eric T.? We have an entire City Council I wish you would insult. Hypocrites is too good a word for them. "Legalized" drugs for them, but no "unsafe" sugar for you. You might wind up getting fat!

Seriously, good people. When are you going to realize that power has nothing to do with ethics? Or one's alleged political "party?" When you taste power, you want even more of it. Here in Seattle, we just don't allow sugar inside anyone's soft drinks. After all, it's likely to make us into Republicans instead of the hypocrites we are now.

Hey  Al,  
We Do Agree with your views, statement; Should have included one (Sen. Joe,  D-W.Va.) relative's current story: 

"Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is more than just a supporter of his state's influential coal producers -- he's a full-fledged industry insider."

"Manchin's Enersystems holdings and other in-state assets are being transferred to a new blind trust that complies with federal rules, a source indicated to E&E Daily."

"Despite Manchin's defense of his continued Enersystems income, the link is an open secret among coal critics in his home state."

"That's generally known," Cindy Rank, a prominent West Virginia environmentalist, said in an interview about Manchin's coal ties. "I certainly think that his perspective is very much skewed because of his connections to industry."

"Manchin's support for coal-industry priorities encompasses an array of hot-button political issues, from his pushback at U.S. EPA plans for the regulation of coal ash as a hazardous waste to the agency's policy on mountaintop-removal mining."


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