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Waiting for common sense to prevail

| November 27, 2007 11:00 PM

To the Editor:

As the effects of the housing bust make their way into our local economy, I was thinking at least we have Montanore's mine operation close to production. Now I hear the U.S. Forest Service and Fish, Wildlife & Parks has come up with another impediment to this project.

In their infinite wisdom they have determined that the process of plowing the snow from the access road to this property would, in some way, endanger the fish population in Libby Creek and therefore have banned the use of snow plows on this road. We can only wonder what hidden agenda determines the USFS policy to shut down resource development in our forests.

This policy began innocently enough about 20 years ago when they began gating some of the forest development roads, presumably for wildlife protection, but has reached a ridiculous extreme today when you can hardly find a road without a locked gate. It is a blatant abuse of power when this government agency uses something as stupid as a snow plowing prohibition in order to achieve their ends of halting resource development.

It's bad enough when they contend that letting the forest rot and burn is better for the environment than utilizing this valuable and renewable resource. But when they begin to run out of excuses for stopping development and resort to this latest absurdity, I am motivated to speak out.

First of all, as far as I know, Libby Creek is devoid of fish due to a lack of the nitrates that normally promote plant life on which the insects feed and in turn provide food for the fish. But that's another story. Now I am concerned about the thinking process of our government when they determine that moving the snow off a road has a deleterious effect on some nonexistent fish. This is more than taking away our livelihood. It is insulting our intelligence and laughing at us as they exercise their power.

With a trade deficit of $800 billion, our nation is rapidly heading toward insolvency with one industry after another falling victim to oppressive government regulations. It is not too late to return to the vibrant economy we once had that was grounded in the free enterprise system and where responsibility and common sense prevailed.

We all have a stake in this country "of the people, by the people and for the people," but if we do not act to deflate the giant balloon government has become, and soon, we will become just another footnote in history: A promising nation that flourished briefly and then expired.

William Payne

Libby