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Yaak resident calls for wilderness protection

| June 29, 2005 12:00 AM

To the Editor:

As a supporting member of the Yaak Valley Forest Council, I stand by their tireless effort to participate in every opportunity to build community consensus in how to manage, enjoy and derive benefit from Montana's public and federal lands. But I must ask, when will they draw that line in the forest and demand that its wild areas be protected?

I was disheartened to read they signed the Lincoln County Collaborative Agreement as it urges the Legislature to commit resources and funding to do everything to the forests except protect them. For my part, don't use any of my tax money to fund ATV clubs or build any more trails. Let them pay their own way and meet the cost of maintaining their own existing trails. It will also be a sad day when cellular towers despoil the views in the Yaak.

It's time for Keith Glover, Steve Newman, and Marianne Roose to accept that "wilderness" is not a fighting word, but the last best means to protect Montana's wild areas, water, air and wildlife for the future. Then they need to share the ecological, economic and social benefits of wilderness protection with the folks in Eureka so that alleged 80 percent or 99 percent supports it.

It's the right thing to do and I hope the Yaak Valley Forest Council steps up to the challenge and demands that it be done. Please let the YVFC and your state and local legislators know how you feel.

Bill Wilson