Monday, March 04, 2024

Letters to the editor March 14

| March 14, 2023 12:00 AM

Loss of Montana lifestyle

My two cents seem to be worth less than ever before. However I feel compelled to spend them on current events in my hometown.

As we see more and more outside influence coming into our little valley, I think the down home feel that I have been so lucky to have grown up with is rapidly disappearing. We as a community are allowing unhealthy changes to take place. Wheat fields are converted to subdivisions. Small business makes way to large corporations. Wages increase beyond historical highs as the available workforce declines. Drug abuse is more rampant than ever. Human trafficking and gang stalking are real and are ongoing all across the state.

These issues are not specific to our small community, but to all of the U.S.

What bothers me the most is how we have chosen to handle and adjust to these issues. Our morals and dedication to one another that was ever-present in past generations no longer exist.

When did we agree subdivisions with no room for kids to play safely or apartments stacked on top of each other would be the trend? Does this represent Montana and the lifestyle we all are searching for?

I will be the first to admit I also have not adjusted well to the changes. I write this letter from the Flathead County Detention Center, waiting to be extradited to Anaconda.

Behind these walls my mind wanders to when I was a kid, exploring the great outdoors and the friendly faces whom I shared my youth. I am blessed to have these memories and I wish the same opportunities for everyone who values that Montana lifestyle. I implore us all to take a look at what we are doing and realize how we affect one another, as well as this wonderful place we all call home.

— Noah Davidson, Kalispell

Zinke right about grizzlies

I am writing this letter to express my gratitude and appreciation for U.S. Rep. Ryan Zinke taking a balanced and metrics-based approach to the grizzly issue. Zinke introduced the “Grizzly Bear State Management Act of 2023” to reinstate the 2017 Interior Department rule that delists the grizzly in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

This bill comes after two previous attempts by the scientists at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to return management of the bear to the states. Both times an activist judge overturned the wildlife biologists recommendations. Since then, the population has actually grown unsustainable at best, and at worst deadly.

The bill limits the delisting to a single ecosystem around Yellowstone where bears are pushing out other wildlife and increasingly habitualized and have dangerous encounters with humans. The bears in Northwest Montana would be unaffected while the USFWS concludes a study in the next year. Zinke’s bill recognizes the reality that lumping both populations of bear together would be premature and sink any chance we have at victory.

While it is my hope that the grizzly is delisted across all Montana, the prudent first step is the GYE bear. Again, Thank you Congressman Zinke.

— Kathy Whitman, Missoula

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