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Letter: Three Rivers Challenge thankful for Tester visit

| October 22, 2009 12:00 AM

Dear Editor:

We’d like to thank Sen. Tester and his staff for coming to Troy for a presentation and listening session about the Forest Jobs and Recreation Act.

Sen. Tester asked our community to help him make this bill the best bill possible for Troy and for Montanans. We appreciate his efforts to listen to what we like and what we’d like to see added and/or improved. We heard Sen. Tester tell many of the folks who visited with him that this is the beginning of the process – our input is important.

We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished with the Three Rivers Challenge with representatives from timber, recreation, business and wilderness sitting and staying at the table to find common ground solutions that protect special places, save and create jobs and preserve our wood processing tradition in Troy and the Yaak.

It’s been a long and sometimes rocky five years to agreement. Our partners have always said that the Three Rivers Challenge is about jobs – keeping the forest-related jobs we’ve got, creating opportunities and incentives for new jobs, and enhancing the value of products already being yielded from the forest. 

But the other components are important – community unity, motorized and non-motorized recreation, community fuels reduction, and wilderness, too.  But first and foremost, the Forest Jobs and Recreation Act is about jobs.

Thank you, Sen. Tester for taking the bull by the horns and working with us on this important community development bill and for rewarding communities who work together.

Three Rivers Challenge

Yaak

(Editor’s note: The letter was signed by Three Rivers Challenge representatives Wayne Hirst, Robyn King, Donna O’Neil, Jerry Wandler, Joel Chandler, Kurt Rayson, Tim Linehan and Rick Bass).