Newspaper Archive of
Blackfoot Valley Dispatch
Lincoln , Montana
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July 28, 2016     Blackfoot Valley Dispatch
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July 28, 2016
 

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OF_ 4 /2~:C}C 9,. ..-3:/ATi./-~ JULY 28, 2016 OPINION Proud to support the BCSP I'm a mountain biker and I'm proud to support the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Project. There are a few special places that I've encountered in my life that grabbed hold of me and refused to let me go. One of those special places is the Blackfoot- Clearwater region, a place we have the opportunity to protect through the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Project. I would like to explain why I, as a mountain biker, support the BCSP. Seven years ago, I had the privilege of working as a wilderness ranger for the Seeley Lake Ranger District. Charged with trail maintenance, visitor contacts, and backcountry campsite monitoring, I frequented the Scapegoat Wilderness, Monture Creek, and the Swan Crest - areas that would benefit from modest wilderness additions through the BCSP. Exploring these lands as a wilderness ranger that season and the years since, I've had countless experiences that demonstrate just how special this region is. Three years ago, deep in the Scapegoat Wilderness, I stood shoulder to shoulder with my dad and watched a grizzly sow tear apart a hillside in search of biscuitroot. I once witnessed a Canada lynx sip water from the North Fork of the Blackfoot during an October snowstorm. Mountain biking beneath the Swan Crest on a separate occasion, I was run off of the trail by a surprised bull moose. Wilderness designation, as proposed by the BCSR would ensure that future generations will have the opportunity to experience this wild country - as it is. The strong bond that this land creates with visitors is one of the many reasons why the BCSP has garnered such broad support. The long list of diverse supporters is the result of a decade- long grassroots effort from thep percent local community. Local industry, and recreation groups came together to define the best collective future for our local public lands. This proposal has received the nod from Montanans, with 74%" in support of the BCSP. Unfortunately, there have been a few hardline voices coming from the extreme mountain biking community in opposition to the BCSP. With claims that some recreation interests have been excluded from the process and that the BCSP will benefit only "a select few," some mountain biking advocates are actively working against a grassroots, Montana-made solution for these lands. It's important to point out that these recent objections are not representative of all bicyclists. I've mountain biked for more than half of my life and raced mountain bikes for five years. I'm still an avid mountain biker that loves exploring our public lands over two wheels. Throughout these years, I've come to respect and appreciate "off-limit" public land areas -like designated and recommended wilderness areas. Just because I can't ride my bike in these areas doesn't mean that I don't care about protecting them. That's why I'm discouraged to observe the opposition to a widely supported, locally crafted proposal. As much as I love mountain biking, we already have so many outstanding riding opportunities on public lands in Western Montana that aren't in designated or recommended wilderness. And while I value the folks working on behalf of mountain bikers in Montana, I think that there are better ways to serve the mountain biking community than by opposing a proposal supported by all other outdoor recreational interests and the vast majority of Montanans. We've got an incredible opportunity to do right by these lands and our communities. The chances for new wilderness are too rare, the partnerships are too strong, and the momentum is too great to jeoPardize this opportunity: Now we're waiting on Montana's congressional delegationto close the loop on a decade-long process and make history with moving this proposal through Congress. Wes Swaffar Missoula, Mont. An open letter to mankind Gina Purcell Originally published July 22 By Sun Press & News Enough is enough. I tired of turning on the TV every day to new break- ing news about some act of violence. I am tired of see- ing our American flag fly- ing at half-staff every day. Forty-nine dead in the Or- lando, Florida, club shoot- ing. Two dead in officer-in- volved shootings. Five dead in a sniper shooting. Three dead in the Michigan court- house shooting. Eighty-four, maybe more, dead in the Nice, France, attack. Three officers dead in the Baton Rouge, Louisiana, shooting. Their gender, age, reli- gion and race irrelevant. Their lives are all that mat- ter, 146 human beings who did not make it home to their families. And there are countlessmore lives being taken every day. This is not the world we want to live in. I don't care if you're male, female, 15, 85, Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Hmong, African-American, Cauca- sian or otherwise, none of us want to live in a world filled with such hatred, disrespect and violence. This is not the type of world we want our children and grandchildren to grow up in. This is not the type of world we lived in only years ago. Our violent-happy cul- ture has gotten out of con- trol and it needs to stop. Only when we unite and accept one another can true change occur. I am heartbroken for those who have lost loved ones to violence. I am furious at those who have taken lives, i am sad that this is what the world has come to. On Sunda3; at my nonde- nominational, Christian, all-welcoming church, our pastor spoke on the recent flare in violence. He challenged our congre- gation to do three things. 1. Pray for others. 2. Exam- ine ourselves - our actions, our words. 3. Love better. But how could something that sounds so simple be so difficult for people? Why is it that our differ- ences, the things that make us unique and interest- ing, divide us so greatly and lead us to violence? As a journalist, I have in- terviewed people of vary- ing backgrounds. I may not have agreed with ev- eryone on everything they said or believed, but I re- spected them as an indi- vidual who had something to share with the world. I never thought that theywere wrong and I was right. I nev- er thought that my life was more valuable than theirs. Why is it so difficult to respect anoth- er in to&w's society? Now, I should ado* that I do not believe our woi will ever be one unified, peaceful world. There will alv-ys be evil. But I do we are better ran this. I pray that ju:-tice comes to those .that deserve it, comfort comes to those in mourning and that peace and understanding come to all mankind. Gina Purcell, Community Editor, Sun Post, New Hope/ Golden Valley, Ohio Contact Gina Purcell at gina.purcell@ecm-inc.com A few points about Bill & Shirley Clarkson - Hwy 200 Parade Closure In response to your letter about closing Highway 200. First, we contacted the surrounding cities newspa- pers and requested a notice be put in the paper before our highway closure. Since we live here, we do know that Highway 200 is highly trav- eled and is a direct route be- tween cities. But thank you for pointing that out. Second, the person who has been making sure the parade kept moving (me) was unable to be there that day due to a family emergen- cy. I did hear, however, that one of the parade entrants clogged up traffic longer than it should have due to the parade entertaining the spectators with photographs with kids. Third, this:has:been an event in Lincoln for many decades which brings many tourists and potential cus- tomers to town/which is "essential" to the businesses here. Fourth, if you had an emergency, I am positive our law enforcement would have guided you through town. Finally, I apologize for the inconvenience and for the hatred toward our town this has caused you. I appreciate the many other people who took it in stride and were very understanding. Best Regards Erin Dey Lincoln, MT THE LINCOLN VALUEYC ER OF COMMERCE R1EMINDS YOU TO SUPPORT LINCOLN k - d ! After his performance at Lincolnstock