Letters to the editor July 4

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Casting hungry eyes

Flathead Forest Supervisor Chip Weber has provided a thoughtful response to the controversial foot races that are being proposed for Big Mountain and the Foys-to-Blacktail trail (June 30). I’m not particularly opposed to either proposal, since the former would occur on a heavily used recreation site, and the latter would occur in low quality habitat that presumably is only rarely visited by grizzly bears. However, where does one draw the line in light of our burgeoning population and changing recreational tastes? For example, Supervisor Weber undoubtedly is aware that runners and bikers have also been casting hungry eyes on wilderness lands, including heavy political lobbying by organized mountain bike groups.

—Steve Barrett, Kalispell

Democrat’s stop-Trump agenda

Roger Hopkins of Columbia Falls wrote an op-ed for July 1 entitled, “Total exoneration,” but his comments attempted futilely to belie the heading.

Nonetheless, his piece commanded a full right-sided column reaching to the bottom of the page. Clearly, from the second paragraph, Mr. Hopkins showed his expectation bias that is based on his obvious animus for President Trump, but when Attorney General Barr’s declarations didn’t meet his need for self-affirmation, A.G. Barr (along with Trump) became his enemy. As evidence, Mr. Hopkins points to examples of Trump people (in the loosest way) who, when allegedly contacted by Russians offering to share information or dirt on Clinton, met with them. On one such well publicized occasion (by some media), Donald Jr. met to see if there was anything to learn (totally legal), only to find out that the meeting was really about better Russian-American child adoptions, whereupon he left after about 30 minutes or so. There might have been other contacts, but what no one asks is whether Russians were also meeting with the Clinton team. Hopkins further claims that “obstruction of justice” occurred, but since the Mueller report showed there was no collusion or conspiracy, how can there be a crime of “obstruction of justice”?

I am truly sorry that Hopkins’ fragile constitution allows him to be in “shock” or “stunned” by the “news” of the day, which is as fickle as a weather vane, except regarding Trump. For the president, the wind is always a hurricane, creating imagined chaos and destruction, unlike commentary during the Obama administration.

Additionally, Hopkins reveals himself to be among the very few viewers who still watch MSNBC (check their audience ratings). Perhaps he needs to broaden his base of knowledge. Finally, if nothing else, any president who can withstand the daily unrelenting assault over two plus years from the media, the never-Trumpers, and others who dwell in the “swamp,” deserves his place in history.

Trump’s agenda is America first, while the Democrat agenda is “stop Trump.” Consider your choice carefully. America’s future depends on you.

— Ward DeWitt, Bigfork

Czar of the forest

The conservative, Republican-oriented Daily Inter Lake on June 30 allowed Chip Weber, Flathead National Forest supervisor, much more word space for his op-ed advocating for human multiple use of the forest rather than protecting and defending grizzly bears than I will be allowed to respond to him. But then I believe Weber is a conservative, while I am merely an independent, progressive, environmentalist. I retired very early as an aerospace engineer to move near Glacier National Park and the Great Bear Wilderness Area to save grizzly bears and study and warn about global warming climate change. All research on my own dime.

I have known Chip since he arrived on the scene as a new supervisor. He gets to control the life of the wildlife living in forest, since he climbed the political management ladder, while others toiled away as scientists doing research. As in every walk of life, politics trumps science.

When I complained about the printed, framed, and posted mission statement of Flathead Forest being protective of people against animals, rather than protecting animals from people, it was promptly removed from its prominent place on the wall of the large Flathead Forest meeting room to never be seen again. I requested and received an electronic copy of it from a Chip Weber underling.

Weber was writing about human-bear conflicts as people continually invade the space of the bears which cause the conflicts with them. The fact that bears are now limited to only 2% of their former habitat is too bad for the bears. Weber advocates for more forest intrusion from bikers and runners using bear habitat as their racing courses, even though college graduate biologists and bear management specialists and I disagree with him. Weber opts to risk safety concerns by all other forest management personnel by allowing foot and bike racing in grizzly bear territory. He will not even post government required safety warning signs to runners and bikers at trailheads, as designated by law.

Weber referenced Wikipedia, a non-peer-reviewed, non-encyclopedia, that can be modified by anyone wanting to enter their own data as bogus facts in this artificial document, and is readily used by Republicans to create their own propaganda and call it science.

And, Weber regularly votes his Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem and Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee memberships to delist grizzly bears so they can be trophy hunted … as heinous a criminal act as anyone can perpetrate on wildlife. No one oversees him to take corrective action. He is a czar of the forest.

Dealing with Weber’s false news is much like dealing with Donald Trump’s constant lies and false news. The general public is not educated enough to discern that they are lies and false news. They read it in the newspaper and see/hear it on television so it must be true. Well, in this Chip Weber op-ed, you the general public have been had.

— Bill Baum, Badrock Canyon

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