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By Tristan 

Has had enough of Wilderness Society

 

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The Wilderness Society has become very skilled at sugarcoating horrible public lands legislation. Their use of the word "comprehensive," in describing the Tester logging bill, is great window dressing. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, and I guess since they were formally invited to the Tester prom, they feel like broadcasting the process was transparent, fair, legal and just. However, groups such as the Wild West Institute, the Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Western Watershed Project, Wilderness Watch and others were never invited, let along listened to when their alarming concerns were raised. Montana's own Rep. Denny Rehberg said it best in the media recently when identifying the so-called collaborative effort as merely an agreement between a select few individuals or groups, but far from the consensus which was initially reported by many media outlets. In regard to the 700,000 acres of newly designated wilderness, that is a joke, too. Wilderness at what price? Wilderness at what expense? The Tester bill would dismantle the current Wilderness Study Areas set aside by the late Lee Metcalf and remove protections for other Montana roadless lands by stripping them of the Clinton Roadless Rule and Obama Roadless initiative. We live in a time of increasing biodiversity loss, habitat fragmentation, landscape degradation and exponential human-population growth, yet this bill does very little to support the ecosystem services which sustain our quality of life. The Wilderness Society lost my membership and support because of "collaborative" efforts like this one. The organization continues to prove it no longer maintains the courage, ethics and willpower to stand up to industrial corporations and keep the roadless landscape out of their grasp. Head-shaking in many regards, when you consider the group was formerly a rogue institution with individuals that went against the grain and believed mightily in the words and principles of the Wilderness Act. If a heavily respected and former leader of the organization I work for publicly announces the group has lost its ways or wavered from its original mission, I would do some serious soul searching and look myself in the mirror. Then again, if I worked for the Wilderness Society and I looked in the mirror, I would probably see dollar signs looking back at me and smile. A "Wilderness Victory" increases membership. Brett Haverstick Havre

 

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