A recent article in a couple local daily newspapers describes the first Ravalli County Commissioner meeting held about a natural resource use plan concocted by a few disgruntled Bitterrooters. This plan is to become the foundation of the Commissioners’ efforts to grab power through a discredited, fringe legal theory that misinterprets the term ‘coordination’ as conveying to themselves some special supremacy in managing the Bitterroot National Forest. This self-serving delusion by supposedly fiscally conservative proponents is costing a lot of time and taxpayer dollars.
Some proponents seem to think they can ‘coordinate’ reality to fit their personal opinions. The article reported Lee Foss, husband of Commissioner Susy Foss, said, “They [Friends of the Bitterroot] could have come and participated, but now we’re seeing the same old tactics that happened right after the fires of 2000. In that case, environmental groups stopped salvage logging operations with last-minute lawsuits.”
Blind ideology is no substitute for facts. The fact is a court ordered settlement allowed for 60 million board feet of salvage logging. And the reality is litigation cannot be legally initiated until all available administrative remedies have been exhausted. Friends of the Bitterroot participated in the entire available public process and, after negotiating protection for roadless areas and the most pristine fisheries, reached agreement with timber industry representatives allowing for 60 million board feet of salvage logging, a huge cut… over seven years worth at the 10 year average volume of logging on the BNF. Far from crediting FOB for working with the local timber industry, which does not fit Lee Foss’ world-view, he denies it ever happened.
When you resort to lying about easily verifiable facts it shows desperation and bad faith. Sorry, Lee, there is reality out there, even when you are not there to coordinate it.