Sen. Jon Tester's "jobs" bill will not create jobs. It will only create more wilderness. Tester knows that.
All Forest Service timber sales of any importance have been appealed or litigated into oblivion by groups bent on obstruction. Those groups have sued the Forest Service so often that Judge Donald Molloy offered them a key to the courthouse. Why do they continue to do that? Self preservation is one big reason. You cease to cause trouble - your fellow obstructers lose interest and drop away - your group's prestige goes down the drain. And don't think they won't obstruct sales mandated by Tester's bill - that's a certainty. This continuing harassment, by a very few antagonistic people, has driven job-producing forest industries out of Montana.
Furthermore, Tester's bill dictates forestry by federal fiat. Cut some timber - it's the law. Compare that to having the same legal powers over the wheat farmer. The feds tell him to cut 1,000 acres and he says it ain't ripe. They say, "Cut it anyway - it's the law." See any danger there?
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To summarize, Tester's bill needs to be squashed. What we need is control over the detrimental actions of obstructers. No one asks these meddlers for help but, through legal subterfuge, they constantly interfere with all forms of industry - mining, oil production, lumbering, agriculture. Newt Gingrich, in a recent political debate, had this to say: "Good thing the Bakken oil bonanza in North Dakota is on private land. Were it on federal land, the environmentalists (obstructers) would have it shut down!"
These people present a serious threat to our economy but don't count on Tester for much opposition the obstructers are his good friends and did much to get him elected. They love his bill.
Bob Van Gieson, Missoula