KLAMATH COUNTY, OREGON -- (House of Representatives - January 19, 2007)
Mr. WALDEN of Oregon. Mr. Speaker, this Congress and the last has failed to keep the Federal Government's commitment to the people who live near our national forests. This breach of faith means Greg Thede, the Klamath County school district superintendent, is faced with the choice of letting teachers go, not purchasing English and reading books for all K-12 programs for nearly a decade, or robbing from the school maintenance budget to cover budget shortfalls.
The Klamath County Sheriff's force of 35 officers, which currently patrols a 6,000 square mile area, that is nearly 100 times larger than the District of Columbia, my colleagues, will now be protected with no backup and by as few as 20 officers.
Klamath County, Oregon, is no stranger to hardship nor to hard work; however, they had to endure much of both in the past few years because the Federal Government keeps breaking its commitment to this rural community. As Al Switzer, Klamath County commissioner says: ``These are America's forests; they just happen to be in Klamath County.'
It is time for Congress to reauthorize the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act, keep faith with rural schools and counties, and keep the word of the Federal Government to timbered communities.