Pacific Northwest Trail route
I have lived off and on in the Yaak/Troy community over the last 25 years. I currently split my time between our Yaak cabin and our home in Bozeman where I recently retired as a professor from MSU.
I am writing regarding the Pacific Northwest Trail and its current location through critical griz habitat in the northern Yaak. I want to stress that I am in favor of the PNT and support its intention to foster “through-hiking” across Northwest Montana. I simply cannot support the current route – it must be moved farther south out of this griz habitat area for both the safety of the animals and the hikers.
I offer the following reasons for my concern:
1. The high-volume through-hiker trail cannot bisect the Yaak’s core grizzly habitat. Yaak has 25 grizzlies struggling to survive.) All available science shows these areas are vital to their survival. It’s unfair to place hikers and bears in the same very limited alpine habitat in the Yaak.
2. The economic opportunities for Libby need to be addressed, not just Eureka. The “Jonkel” route is an excellent way to address that and to provide a vital boost to the economic diversification efforts ongoing in Libby.
3. Time is of the essence. The current route is badly broken: it conflicts with Border Patrol security, driver and hiker safety on U.S. 37 and other paved roads currently used in the Yaak, and is prompting litigation affecting timber proposals (Black Ram).
Thank you for considering these concerns. I am grateful for those who value through-hiking and especially places like the Yaak, but I would imagine most if not all of those folks would not want to encroach on such a sensitive habitat for such a crucial population of grizzly bears.
—Dr. David Henderson is a Yaak Valley Forest Council board member
‘Don’t tread on me’
This slogan from the Revolutionary War seems especially important in today’s political culture. Because this time we’re being tread on by segments of our own people. They want to ignore and devalue our historical heroes that gave their lives to make us the greatest nation that ever existed. They want to destroy the foundations that freed us from the tyranny of governing authorities and remove the power of the individual so they themselves can control us. They are our enemies!
If we want to retain our freedom and unity as a peaceful, prosperous nation, BEWARE of our attitudes, how we behave... AND who we vote for! The book of Titus chapter 3 in the Bible gives us some good advice:
Be submissive, obedient to rulers and authorities
Ready for every good work
Speak evil of no one
Show perfect courtesy toward all people
Avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, quarrels about the law - for they are unprofitable and worthless.
A person who stirs up division should be warned...
Then have nothing more to do with him.
Know that such a person is warped and sinful, self-condemned.
We can also pray Psalm 27 on behalf of our governing leaders. The Convention of States is a legitimate avenue by which we can accomplish good from our frustrations. Let’s get to work and avoid apathy!
—Laura McGlasson, Libby