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The other side of the Wilderness coin

| November 13, 2007 11:00 PM

To the Editor:

As one who looks at the Scotchman's Peak area from my house, I was very disappointed in the front page press release from the Friends of Scotchman's Peak Wilderness that was put on the front page of The Western News as a news article. The so-called article even used the group's wording of "saving a piece of heaven" in the title. I do not know how that could have been called a news article, as it was just a propaganda piece.

However, I must point out that I strongly disagree with a statement made in the article whereas it was said, in regard to roadless areas, that by 1999, 1,409,377 acres were "designated as protected" and 1,957 acres were "unprotected."

How can this be so? They are classified as Inventoried Roadless Areas (IRA's), and as such, there are many legal protections in place, even though they are not legally designated as "Wilderness."

It is an old and tired argument that roadless areas are unprotected and may be developed. Has anything been done in these areas the last 20 years? Can you do anything now? No, because they are essentially managed as Wilderness areas.

The arguments over Wilderness will be ongoing here on into the future, and it would be nice if everything would be discussed more on an even keel.

Wayne Hirst

Libby