New vision for public lands, Forest Jobs and Recreation Act
For 10 years, I served as the BLM’s field manager in Dillon, so I’m very familiar with the important natural resource and community issues confronting southwest Montana. So, I’m glad to see our elected leaders begin to talk again about passing the Forest Jobs and Recreation Act that will help solve some of these problems.
The Forest Jobs and Recreation Act represents a new vision for our public lands, a step beyond the old battles over timber, wilderness and access. The protection, restoration and stewardship of southwest Montana’s public lands that will result from this bill are important to our economic future as well as our outdoor heritage.
Important habitat, such as the BLM’s Centennial Mountains Wilderness Study Area, will be permanently protected, providing secure areas for elk, bears and moose. Other BLM Wilderness Study Areas will be released from that status and could be managed to enhance mountain bike and other recreational opportunities in southwest Montana.
The BLM completed its fieldwork assessing WSAs 32 years ago. In 1991 the Secretary of Interior made Montana BLM WSA recommendations to the president and on Jan. 7 of 1993 President Bush made his Montana BLM WSA recommendations to Congress. Congress has not acted on these recommendations in almost 20 years. The BLM wilderness recommendations in the FJRA are essentially the same as those made by President Bush to Congress.
Many people have worked hard over the years to put aside their differences and come up with a package of proposals to meet a variety of interests. When people are willing to listen to each other, find compromise and propose realistic solutions, such as those included in FJRA, our leaders should work equally hard to translate these proposals into law. It is time for our Congressional delegation to reward this action by working together to pass the Forest Jobs and Recreation Act.
Thanks from bottom of our hearts
The Pettit Family would like to thank everyone for their unconditional support and prayers. We appreciate everything from the bottom of our hearts.
Mike, Jenny and Hayley Pettit
Peggy and Bill Buyan
Volunteer fire departments don’t get enough credit
We recently had a fire in an abandoned house down in Waterloo.
It was reported about 1:30 a.m., and when my son and I got there, it had already jumped the Jefferson River and was burning in the river bottom through dry grass, brush, and cottonwood trees.
The Whitehall and Twin Bridges Volunteer Fire Departments arrived at the fire and after making a quick assessment of the situation, they elected to call for mutual aid from surrounding fire departments. Volunteer departments from Three Forks, Harrison, Sheridan, Boulevard, and Home Atherton showed up to help fight the fire that had the potential of growing into a large fire very quickly.
These men and women worked hard all night and into the next day. They managed to keep this fire from going anywhere by keeping it contained to the house that started the fire and just a few acres across the river. As everyone knows, a wild fire can do a lot of damage and these volunteers don’t get enough credit for what they do. Not only do they volunteer their time to fight the fire, they also volunteer their time back at the station cleaning and servicing equipment after the fire is put out.
These people are volunteers, and they put their lives on hold to protect every one of us. Please show your appreciation and donate to your local volunteer fire departments.
Care and support means a lot
After a successful surgery and three days in the hospital, I am home recovering.
A big thanks to my awesome family, Dwayne, Heather and Jim for your care and support. Thanks also for the flowers, cards and well wishes from our friends – they really mean a lot. God Bless you all.
Sheridan students gave outstanding presentation
Hoorah, three cheers and a job very well done to the students and music and drama departments of the Sheridan High School for their presentation “A Night of Glee” on Friday evening in Sheridan.
From the creators of the program, to the backstage hands, to the MCs and performers, the students were fabulous. The presentation was a display of the outstanding quality and capabilities of the students and department faculty members at the Sheridan High School. I am sure it will remain a memorable experience for each student as well as the audience who remained in stitches and awe during the presentation. The program probably should have been dubbed, “A Night To Remember in Sheridan.” The next presentation is?
Sorry for the inconvenience
I would like to thank the Ennis residents for their cooperation and apologize for any inconvenience on Tuesday as we moved the “Shewmaker Barn” through town.
Tamietti Moving did a superb job of coordinating the move with the cooperation of NorthWestern Energy, 3 Rivers Communications, the Town of Ennis, Rocky Mountain Traffic Control, United Tree Service and Nevin Construction.
I appreciate everyone’s interest, comments, and memories expressed to me along the way, about your own experiences growing up with this piece of Madison Valley history.