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Searching for a leader with gumption

| August 31, 2007 12:00 AM

Letter to the Editor:

Our Montana state has within it some nine miscalled federal forests (some 6,990,463 acres in them) which is 10,923 square miles of Montana's 46,318 square miles.

These nine forests are approximately 13.25 percent of Montana's land area that the federals absconded with back in the late 1800s and early 1900s by unconstitutional actions of the Congress and presidents.

All of the western states, except Hawaii, have suffered this fate, with Nevada losing about 83 percent of its land to the federal government bureaus (land management, parks, military bases and forest service) in violation of the U.S. Constitution's Article I, Sec. 3, clause 17 and amendments V, IX, and X. None of this exists east of the Mississippi, though in the 1993 U.S. Supreme Court's 9 to 0 decision, the Forest Service and Department of Agriculture was stopped from taking a forested area on New York's border to Canada when it (the Forest Service and Department of Agriculture) tried to override the state legislature's "no" to the bureau's plans. Cited by the court were the article and amendments above.

Montana's Beaverhead, Bitterroot, Custer, Deerlodge, Flathead, Kootenai, Helena, Lolo and Lewis and Clark forests are, by the constitution, the property of this sovereign state and its citizens from the moment it became a state. (Note: under U.S. Statutes at Large, chapter XXXXI, "all states," 37, "upon statehood are on an equal footing with the original 13").

Too many lumber mills are/have been forced to close for lack of private land timber, while forests burn or are disease infected and none dare to cut down a tree for fear of an "enviral-emotional" lawsuit. Or, is it "wack-o"?

All this doesn't help the tax-base (the economy of Montana's west), but it does make for unemployed workers who can't support their families here where they live, so they leave the state.

When I wrote of this before, I asked the plainest, obvious question. When are we (citizen/tax payers) going to get a governor with guts and an attorney general with brains and a legislature to back them up all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court to take back our lands? When, I ask?

Freeman Johnson

Troy