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Letters to the editor Jan. 25

| January 25, 2024 12:00 AM

Can’t beat a small town

I wanted to share a story of a good Samaritan who helped me while in Kalispell.  

I was returning from Pablo for a very good friend’s celebration of life. It was a very snowy day Jan. 17. The roads down and back to Pablo were icy and snow packed. I decided to brave the roads to attend the celebration of life. 

Upon returning to Kalispell, where I was staying at the hotel near the airport, I was on U.S. 2 heading toward the airport. I noticed the coffee shop City Brew was still open. A latte called for me, but I missed the turnoff heading east. I went to the next light on the highway turning right on Shady Lane Drive to turn around. 

It was getting toward dark when all of a sudden the snow took me right into the ditch. I was stuck. My tires spin going forward or back. I was mad at myself for going into the ditch. 

I called for a tow which was going to be a while. Remember on the 17th a blizzard was forecast. Three pickups stopped to see if I needed help. I said no, that help was on the way. I thought, I should have accepted the offers for help, when all of a sudden a man on a ATV with a snow plow in front zips by my car and drives in the ditch clearing a path in the snow for me to drive out of the ditch. After couple of pushes I had traction to get out of the ditch.

I wanted to tell the good Samaritan thank you, but before I could he waved at me and off he went. 

I live in the Denver area and know that no one would have stopped to check on me let alone plow the snow for me. Whoever the man was I so appreciate your help. I owe you a cup of coffee the next time I am in Kalispell if I knew who you were. 

Can’t beat a small town and its citizens who offered to help me. 

— John Gritts, Golden, Colo.

Unnecessary federal bureaucracy

The Montana I know is skeptical of unnecessary federal red tape. So I was surprised when I saw that Sen. Steve Daines recently proposed new legislation mandating quarterly federal oil and gas lease sales of public land. 

Daines’ new bill makes zero sense in a place like Montana, where much (86%) of our public land has little to no potential for developing oil, according to the BLM Dillon field office Resource Management Plan.

As a fifth-generation Montanan who frequently pursues deer, elk, upland birds and waterfowl in western Montana, I know that our public lands rightfully have many uses, including the development of natural resources for energy. 

That being said, oil and gas leasing should only take place where it makes the most sense — and only where there is actual potential to develop. 

Under Daines’ legislation, land managers would be forced to offer land for leasing that will never be developed and that most companies would understandably never lease. The few companies that bite would be speculating on a future that doesn’t exist, while at the same time preventing those valuable acres from being managed for activities like hunting. 

Sounds like unnecessary federal bureaucracy to me.

The oil and gas industry already has 1.4 million acres of public lands under lease in Montana, with over half sitting unused. We don’t need our state’s public lands tied up in speculative leases that hinder the management of Montana’s big game habitat. Daines should instead let Montana continue on the path that has worked so well for generations. Hunters, anglers, and other sportspeople need land managers to devote their time to real issues and steward our public lands for their intended uses.

— Will Clark, Kalispell