The David vs. Goliath comparison described in last week’s anti-Joseph Branch Trail Op-Ed is accurate — except the writer has it backwards. The real Davids are the many hard working neighbors throughout our community who support a simple trail which will connect two of our towns.

That support represents a long term investment in a unique project which will benefit the majority of our citizens. It has everything to do with our mutual support of agriculture and our rural lives by connecting us more to each other, not by dividing us as insinuated.

The Goliath the author portrays is not a “powerful group pushing a recreational trail… .” Instead, an anti-this, anti-that, anti-anything cloud, which lurks over our valley under the guise that “any and all change must be bad.” The cloud forms when positive things like the trail, which would improve the lives of the majority of our citizens, appear.

It’s the Goliath-size cloud that has now permeated proceedings of the misnamed “planning” commission. The commission reached a negative decision based on hearsay: “What-if” speculations, false perceptions and a failure to follow required procedure. Finally, the commission failed to address the validity of the comprehensive study in the conditional use permit that concluded a trail would not interfere with farming practices.

The Joseph Branch Trail is just that—a trail! This unique opportunity will likely be forever lost if not approved, and the Goliath will have beaten all the Davids.

John Baker

Wallowa

(adjacent rail landowner)

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