Tester Bill Disgraceful

Jon Tester's Senate Bill 1470 represents irresponsible logging and motorized recreation on public lands, undercuts the popular roadless rules, and by requiring exces-sive logging clashes with environmental laws public land agencies must obey. It usurps Forest Service authority by handing public lands decisions to locals and private interests, and establishes unbalanced resource advisory committees by overriding an existing law.

The bill's unprecedented mandated logging levels require the Forest Service to cut 14 times the sustainable level identified in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge Forest Plan plus 10 years of cutting in the Yaak.

Logging acreage and time frames are mandated; restoration levels and timelines are not. Montanans have repeatedly witnessed logging where restoration agreements were never implemented. Tester's bill fails to require restoration completion; worse, “restoration” can be accomplished on any national forest in the U.S. Montana sustains the damage while other states can get the “restoration.” And it's not ecological restoration, because the bill defines restoration primarily as logging. Plus, access roads can be converted to motorized recreation routes and connected with other motorized routes.

The bill's new wilderness desig-nations are pitifully small and isola-ted. Low-level military over-flights, helicopter landings and ATV herding of domestic sheep will be allowed. This is not real wilderness.

The bill's road density language encourages increased logging in unroaded and less roaded forest areas.
Wilderness Study Areas, Montana's irreplaceable legacy, will be released and degraded under Tester's bill, precluding wilderness designation. The illegal motorized intrusions get sanctioned. Instead of law enforcement we get release language, rewarding law breakers. This is disgraceful. If you care about public lands, read the bill.

Marilyn Olsen
Emigrant, Montana

Low Expectations of Montana

I was passing through Living-ston on the way to Yellowstone and happened upon your January edition in a restaurant. I didn't expect much so was pleasantly surprised to read the Year of the Dog which exposes the typical person's double standard in their treatment of animals (pet a dog, eat a cow). I'm surprised that a newspaper published in an area that caters to all manner of animal exploitation would be open minded enough to print such a liberal article—and, by the Managing Editor no less. Republicans have traditionally always been against animal protection if it effected their pocket-books. I review the voting records of U.S. Senators and Congressmen on animal protection bills, and with few exceptions Republicans resist helping animals and usually vote against reform. Just this week, the Utah Legislature voted 20-8 to shoot any wolf setting paw in Utah. The eight dissenters were the only eight Democrats in the Utah Legislature.

But other parts of the newspaper gave me what I expected. In the Back Talk column, out of all the great words that could have been quoted, the Pioneer picked a moronic statement by Gerald Traufetter geared to cast doubt on human caused global warming. And, in the Briefs column, the Pioneer casts doubt on global warming by saying that climate change has come under suspicion due to emails at a U.K. university being leaked which shows that scientists have suppressed the opinions of climate change dissen-ters. The scientists that did so are in the vast minority, and the dissenters in this country are for the most part Republicans who will look for any excuse to resist changes that will effect their pocketbooks. Isn't that the Republican way? I applaud the actions of some scientists who feel that they must repress dissenting minority opinions that only serve as stumbling blocks to taking action. I have read many of the dissenting papers, like the one written by Japanese scientists early last year. The average person wouldn't have the patience or science education to read such a paper and the media distorted what it actually said. Always great fodder for the Republicans. If people actually learned some facts about climate change from real scientists, perhaps miracles would happen. 

John Matro
Park City, UT

Editor’s note: Mr. Matro equates reporting news with casting doubt on global warming and is apparently unaware of the degree to which conclusions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have fallen into official  disrepute. Traufet-ter’s quote from Der Spiegel simply reads: Climatologists are baffled as to why average global temperatures have stopped rising over the last 10 years. Subsequently, Gunnar Oquist of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (awards Nobel Prize) urged the UN to review the IPCC’s methodology. The IPCC has in some cases apparently jumped to conclusions based on deficient data, he told the press. Is Oquist’s quote also moronic, Mr. Matro? And in the wake of faulty data regarding Himalayan glaciers and rising seal levels, Britain’s weather service has recommended climatol-ogists start from scratch and this time produce verifiable data—in other words real science. Similar devel-opments arose in India and elsewhere, none of which a thinking person could attribute to Republicans, a weak assertion to begin with.

Back Talk, though, merely offers interesting quotes of all stripes that stimulate free thought, rather than the sort of biases and regional prejudice evident in Matro’s statements, his assumption that Montanans are somehow defined by his political indoctrination and low expectations.








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