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Category Archives: Guest comment

Real talk about the Montana state budget

By Representative Nancy Ballance, Chair, House Appropriations   Following the Governor’s State of the State address and the response by the Speaker of the House, the media reported on the stark differences the two made regarding Montana’s fiscal condition. However, the more important point that needs to be made is an explanation of the underlying…

Thomas looks down his nose on Montanans

By Tony Jones, President, Ravalli County Fish and Wildlife Association   Over 1,000 Montanans rallied to show their strong support for our public lands at our state capitol on a cold, January day. It was a sign of a healthy democracy – cars, trucks, minivans and buses full of Montanans converged on the People’s House…

Let us all care for our neighbors

By Karen Harvey, Victor   Like many of you, when I sit down to read the paper or watch TV and hear the words of “Government Budget Cuts” my initial response is often a sigh of relief. But last week, I could only feel frustration and anger with a state legislature so out of touch…

Real Grizzly Bear Recovery

By Brian Peck, Columbia Falls   In the December 14th Bitterroot Star, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) Director Jeff Hagener made the claim that grizzlies in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) and Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem (NCDE) were recovered and it was time to delist them from Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections and return…

Republican plan for Montana’s future

By Austin Knudsen, Speaker of the House, and Ron Ehli, House Majority Leader   Welcome to a new year and a new legislative session. With our eyes toward Montana’s future, we are hopeful that the next 90 days will bring badly needed changes. We must put our state back on a path toward economic stability…

Message to Montanans from Governor Bullock

By Governor Steve Bullock, Helena   When the snow started falling all across our state last week, Montanans got to work. We shoveled sidewalks for our neighbors who couldn’t. We pulled out jumper cables for stranded strangers. We helped pull trucks out of ditches. As Montanans, these actions aren’t new or surprising to any of…

Commissioners commended for effort to collaborate

By Skip Kowalski, President, Bitterrooters for Planning   I want to commend the Ravalli County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) for proposing establishment of a broad based, collaborative committee to provide substantive input on public land issues. A collaborative group that works together and truly represents all interests in the county would go a long…

Understanding grizzly bear management

By Jeff Hagener, Director, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks   In some ways, 2016 will go down as a landmark year for grizzly bear management. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced its proposal to delist grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Area after a federal court rejected a 2007 delisting rule. The grizzly…

Legacy Ranch – another reason for planning

By Skip Kowalski, President, Bitterrooters for Planning   It has recently come to our attention that the Legacy Ranch Subdivision proposal is history. This proposal has been in the works for a long time stirring fear among residents, creating uncertain economic return for the developer and predicting probable adverse impacts to fish, wildlife and water…

Selfish interest versus public interest

By Jim Rokosch, former Ravalli County Commissioner, Stevensville   The October 26th edition of the Bitterroot Star covered the commendable progress of the Town of Stevensville’s efforts to update the town’s growth policy in order to plan for the future of the community and balance the challenges growth presents with the existing values the community…