Opinion

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Letter

Once in a Lifetime

This idea is sustainable, earns money from proactive and wise management, and it all comes from a renewable resource, trees

The Lake County Conservation District has come up with a once-in-a-lifetime idea. An idea that does not cost Swan Valley residents anything!

Our Swan Valley forests have built up an unbelievable amount of forest fuels. When these fuels ignite and burn, your Swan Lake Rural Fire Department will only invest our efforts in evacuating you, the residents of this unique valley. We cannot not fight the fire that is to come. Today, everyone can see trees dying on our mountainsides here in the Swan. Old age and disease are taking its toll, causing an overload of fuel to explosive levels.

The idea that the Lake County Conservation District has been studying goes like this. Establish a 60,000-acre Conservation Forest on federal lands, sustainably manage the forest and sell merchantable trees to the last of the few saw mills that are left in Montana. After paying the state of Montana for forest management costs and a fire protection cost, it will reinvest the balance in a proactive forest fuels reduction program and other important conservation projects here in Lake County. And, the amount of money that is available is significant – $500,000 per year. This idea is sustainable, earns money from proactive and wise management, and it all comes from a renewable resource, trees.

The Swan Lake Rural Fire Department urges you to support this idea. Take a look at this idea, the story can be found at swanforestinitiative.org. Support this idea! Let the Lake County Conservation District know that they should keep working. You can let them know you support this idea at swanstudy@gmail.com or you can send them your support letter at, 64352 US Highway 93, Ronan MT 59864.

This message is coming from your all-volunteer Swan Lake Rural Fire Department. Without your support, the folks that want nothing done, except to see our valley burn, will win.

Carol Field
Swan Lake

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