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The Missoulian had an excellent example of the two extremes, right and left, giving opinions on Sen. Jon Tester’s forest bill recently.

First, Dave Skinner (March 5) tells us we should “take back forests from environmentalists.” That’s been the opinion of many in the past, with no compromise, and look where it’s gotten us Skinner. Here in the middle of the most productive forest in Montana, the Kootenai, all our regular mills are now gone.

Those no-compromise positions of the last 25 years sure gained us a lot, didn’t they? And he seems to belittle the number of jobs potentially saved here as just a few.

Here in Libby, we could use all the jobs we can get. And we need forest management. I would hate to see the end of the forest products industry totally, which is the goal of some on the left.

And then I read what Stewart Brandborg (March 8) had to say, and he told us the “measure was conceived in private, and written by four corporate logging entities.” I don’t know about the other areas, but I was involved in the Kootenai language regarding forest work, and I’m just an accountant in Libby. I never talked to corporate people. I did talk with local people.

He says wildlife biologists say this “will be the last nail in the coffin” for the grizzly bear around here. I wonder what biologists? I note we’ve heard that tune for many years now, and the grizzly bears are doing just fine around here.

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And Brandborg, please read the bill. It mandates “mechanical treatments,” not logging. You know that includes a variety of management actions, so why did you say it just mandates logging?

It is amazing how various people on both the right and left like to distort reality, but what’s new in America?

Wayne Hirst, Libby

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