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Taxation without representation

| December 18, 2007 11:00 PM

To the Editor:

As a four generation resident of Montana, I am amazed and angered when a small contingent of so called preservationists has, over the course of the past 20 years or so, managed to gradually bring resource development on public lands to a near standstill.

In this period they have promoted a process that has brought a once vibrant lumber industry to a halt and have caused so many impediments to be put in the way of mining that only escalating metal prices have saved this industry from being shut down as well.

I have watched in disbelief as the rereg dam was scrapped because a single eagle nest was found in the vicinity; when Noranda was forced to abandon their mine project because government imposed impediments made it economically unfeasible; when the local lumber mill, at one time employing 1200 people, was eventually auctioned off due to the moratorium on USFS timber sales.

To these absurdities must be added the latest impediment imposed by the USFS when they prohibit Montanore from plowing the snow on the access road to their mine. It seems odd to me that so many government agencies discourage business with excessive regulation while, at the same time, bring into existence more welfare programs.

It's as though we are being encouraged to quit working to support ourselves and instead join the growing multitude getting a hand out from the government. What possible agenda is at work here?

There is no shortage of conspiracy theories out there, but after witnessing the recent examples of government incompetence during the Iraq war and the management of the Katrina relief effort, I really doubt if our government is capable of a conspiracy. No, I believe our government has simply grown so large it can barely function as a viable entity. It bungles along catering to special interests, both foreign and domestic, whose lobby efforts determine our government's policies.

The working class out here in western Montana simply do not have a voice in the government policies that impact our livelihood.

William Payne

Libby