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Letter

Don’t Remove Protections from Wilderness Study Areas

It is very apparent that Montanans would like a say in what happens with these study areas

By Sheila Jefferson

Sen. Steve Daines has introduced legislation that would remove protections from three Montana Wilderness Study Areas totaling over 100,000 acres. 

I had the opportunity to meet and talk to some folks who work with and for the well-being of the state of Montana. A wildlife researcher, a legislator, and more than one conservationist. It is very apparent that Montanans would like a say in what happens with these study areas and only ask for the opportunity for an open dialogue.  

Only 6% of Montanans support Sen. Daines’ proposal to make these changes. And 94% of Montanans oppose stripping these protections. Many communities rely on these areas and any decisions to change these designations should include the people who live and work there.

I would like Sen. Daines to stop hiding behind the bureaucracy of his hand-picked supporters and meet openly and honestly to determine the future of our wilderness areas. Sen. Daines publicly states he wants to work with Montanans collaboratively to support our Wilderness Study Areas. To do this he needs to meet publicly across the state to hear our concerns about his made-in-Washington bill.

Sen. Daines, don’t create more work for the people of Montana to re-protect these areas, as we might well chose, by removing the protections without talking with us first.

Sheila Jefferson
Kalispell

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