U.S. Sen. Steve Daines justifies his bill to "open" the wilderness study areas by repeatedly saying we need "balance."
One hundred fifty years ago, most of Montana was wilderness. Now only a small percentage of our state is without roads and some kind of "development." We are way beyond anything close to "balance"!
All we can do is protect the few special wild areas that are left, like the Blackfoot Clearwater proposed wilderness, which, by the way, Daines does not support.
The WSAs should have had wilderness status already! Had it not been for President Reagan's veto of the Montana Wilderness Bill, we would not be having this discussion.
Perhaps if Daines would make more of an effort to talk with Montanans instead of cutting short the few meetings he has with his constituents, he might find out how important roadless areas are for most of us, our wildlife and our way to life, including our economy. Talking only to county commissioners and the Chamber of Commerce doesn't substitute hearing from the people he represents.
His bill will result in most of us being "locked out," not the other way around.
Mari von Hoffmann,