Preserve WSAs for future generations

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Dear Editor,

Reading Representative Gianforte’s comments (in the Aug. 18 Lewistown News-Argus) about Wilderness Study Areas recalls “Alice in Wonderland,” where words mean only what the speaker wants them to mean. He is quoted as saying “we’ve had some public lands locked up [as WMAs] almost 40 years.”

Locked up? Tell that to the hunters, fishermen, hikers and other recreationists who have been using these WSAs for many years. In ordinary English usage, Gianforte’s “locked up” means preserved as wilderness.

Rep. Gianforte’s House Bill “Protect Public Use of Public Lands,” seems to mean opening the WSAs to logging and mining. This is protection? From what? He has a strange sense of what protection means, to say the least.

Many of our fellow citizens need the peace, quiet, and solitude wilderness provides. Considering the small percentage of public land available to wilderness enthusiasts, the WSAs are certainly not of such significant size that they should be open to logging and mining. Further more, both the Big Snowy and Middle Fork of the Judith River WSAs appear to have very low potential to contain significant ore deposits.

I am a mining geologist by profession and am certainly not opposed to mining. However, we should preserve the existing WSAs for future generations and those who use and need these areas.

Lee A. Woodward




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