As I look out over the Clark Fork River, I find myself considering the concept of balance. The ecosystems of Earth are tapestries of interconnecting cycles: growth and recession, cooperation and competition, beginnings and endings. Each individual element seeks its own benefit, but together they create a harmony that we behold with amazement: nature itself.

As of 2018, the GDP of the forestry, mining and oil industries accounted for $690 billion annually, but the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which caps out at $900 million, was only authorized $435 million in the bill U.S. Sen. Steve Daines helped pass. This may have benefited him in relation to this administration, but apportioning only 0.06% of the total energy sector GDP to preserve the U.S.'s portion of the Earth's ecology is unequal in the extreme.

With the path of the sixth mass extinction stretching out before us, we must reconsider the relationship between ourselves, the extractive industries and the future of our planet. While each element of nature is selfish, nature itself only functions when it maintains a balance, and Senator Daines has thus far not preserved that balance. Please, increase funding to the LWCF before we all terminally suffer from this disharmony.

Mattnew Duhamel,


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