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Seeking more access

| November 8, 2007 11:00 PM

To the Editor:

To all the folks in Libby and the surrounding areas. Due to the fact that I already realize this letter is going to offend many people, I will apologize to those of you who don't agree. But, on the other hand, I know there are many who will agree.

I would like to know just how many people are sick and tired of going out and around every corner is another gate, or another new Kelly Hump. To me this is uncalled for and getting severely out of control! Even half of the roads that are to be opened certain times of the year are closed year round. There are even roads that have Kelly Humps on them, but drive down the road a few miles, take an accessible dirt road and you can drive right to that very same Kelly Hump. What's the point? I have lived in Libby for 33 years. I love hunting, fishing, camping, all the outdoor experiences that are here in the beautiful Kootenai Valley.

While driving around in the woods, I have seen almost every animal and they were all on roads that were open. Even a once in a lifetime experience where we watched three wolves taking down a bull elk three years ago (open road).

I am in full agreement with selective logging. It is what has kept Libby alive for countless years and has kept many families here, but why is it OK for numerous logging operations to go in to these gated roads? Plain and simple, there is profit in dollars to be made. Which, once again, I do believe in the logging industry, I just find it totally unfair for those of us who hunt, or need firewood or just simply want to take an evening drive with their family.

I am also starting to wonder if the population of deer is getting overwhelming out in the woods because they all seem to be residing in town. I don't think fear of humans or automobiles seem to be a problem with our furry critters. I'm starting to believe it is overpopulation.

My main point here is if anyone is getting tired of being limited to where they can drive in our mountains, we need to speak out. I for one, am honestly opposed to all gates and all Kelly Humps. We should have the right to go where we want as long as people show respect for the land and roads by not leaving garbage around. It does no good to gripe about it at the dinner table. We need to speak out. If we keep letting things go the way they are there will probably be a big sign at the entry of every mountain road saying, "closed year around." Who owns our lands and pays our taxes? We do. Not people from New York or any other state. This is our state and should not be dictated by any other people from other states.

I'm not sure how many will agree with me on this. We are all entitled to our own opinions, which should be respected. But common people, I am open for your opinions. To me this is NOT road and animal management, it is people management.

Denise Collier

Libby