Letters to the editor – Oct. 10, 2013

Daines sponsors Restoring Healthy Forests for Healthy Communities Act

Montana Congressman Steve Daines has joined with Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-District 4) to sponsor HR 1526, the Restoring Healthy Forests for Healthy Communities Act.  This important legislation was passed by a large margin in the U.S. House and has been forwarded to the Senate for action.  Unlike Senator Testers’ S. 37 Forest Jobs Bill, HR 1526  is really about creating healthy forests and real, long term, productive forest jobs, not more roadless wilderness areas. 

Timber harvests in Montana have dropped by 90 percent over the past 20 years resulting in sawmill closures and lost logging and timber jobs that were once the bread and butter of Western Montana.  HR 1526 requires that the Forest Service actively manage its commercial timber, annually harvesting at least 50 percent of the sustainable yield from new growth and become once again a revenue generator. It is estimated that HR 1526 will produce 6,300 forest jobs in Montana, 68,000 nationwide and will turn much diseased and dying timber into an income producing resource instead of fire hazard liability.

What a refreshing thought; create jobs and healthy forests instead of destroying them through mismanagement and neglect.  HR 1526 would once again provide funding for our schools with 25 percent of timber sale proceeds going to directly to counties.  Frivolous lawsuits that have shut down National Forest timber sales for years would be reduced or eliminated with the requirement that lawsuits be bonded by the suing party. Under HR 1526 protection of the environment is still a priority, but the NEPA and ESA consultation process is streamlined to reduce lengthy delays, lawsuits and bureaucratic red tape.

It is time that we put common sense back into resource management and begin to pull the environmental pendulum back to the center.  We are destroying ourselves from within with radical environmentalism that recognizes little or no value from normal human activities like making a living, or utilizing natural resources for human use.

Please call Senators Baucus and Tester and ask them to support HR 1526 the Restoring Healthy Forests for Healthy Communities Act.

Dan Happel, Commissioner – Madison County District 2


Blessed by community care and admiration

The family of Darrel Shelton would like to express their thanks and gratitude as you have touched our hearts in so many ways by all your prayers and words of encouragement, and many hugs.

I am so blessed that my beloved husband, whom I loved so much, was also admired and appreciated by so many others.

Special thanks go to Dr. Blake Curtis and emergency room staff for the wonderful and prompt care given to my husband. Our community is so blessed to have a great and committed staff and facility.

Mary Shelton



Pet rescuers deserve thanks for help

We wish to thank all the nice people who helped us to get our pet calf back in off the highway last Tuesday night. The Sheriff’s Office for notifying us that he was out, Matt Banks for hanging on to him and petting him until we got there and the Sheriff’s Deputy for stopping traffic, and everyone else who stopped. Thank you all.

Arnie and Mary Rosdahl


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