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Area business briefs for Sunday, May 20, 2001
Area business briefs for Sunday, May 20, 2001

Yellowstone to Yukon

Can't we get free from extremists?

Once upon a time there was the Interior Columbia Basin Ecosystem Management Project. Ten years in the making, costing over $40 million, "science" based, remember? All that went in the trash can, trumped by the roadless rule. Coming down the pike is Yellowstone to Yukon (Y2Y).

It seems like the smaller the title of these projects, the larger the area they involve and the less time devoted to study and public comment. A thinking person could easily come to the following conclusions.

1. Extremists in the guise of "environmentalism" don't believe in their own junk science, so why should we?

2. Extremists in the guise of "environmentalism" have rendered compromise meaningless by continually upping the ante and changing the rules.

3. Extremists in the guise of "environmentalism" have revealed their naked ambition that knows no bounds  not even national ones.

Hopefully, we're nearing the point in the story where the child in the crowd shouts, "Look everyone, the emperor is wearing no clothes!"

Cheryl Larson,

3651 Glen Lake Road, Eureka

Elk hunting, ranching

Some people just don't get it

In reference to the May 13 editorial page:

What is it that Ed Mortenson and J.S. Weber don't understand about elk, elk hunting and elk ranching? Everything.

Mortenson states that more of the Wallace elk herd have been tested for chronic wasting disease than all others combined. To test for CWD, the animals have to be destroyed and brain samples taken. Can it be latent? We don't know for sure. If there is a 1 percent chance of a diseased elk being mixed with our wild elk, it's simply too great.

Mortenson further states I-143 is anti-hunting when just the reverse is true. No true "hunter" would pay to shoot a fenced elk. Rumor has it that a large trophy bull can bring as much as $25,000. This makes very clear Len Wallace's motives. His plan seemed to be to raise trophy-sized elk with the use of food additives. When I-143 passed so did his dream, "motivated by greed" of the big, easy dollars.

Our weak, condescending Fish, Wildlife and Parks should not have issued the permit in the first place. Why did he give the elk to the sovereign Crow nation? It's simple: to spite the FWP and those who voted for I-143.

Sounds as if Mortenson and Weber are not hunters but misguided moralists. Weber states we as hunters maim and kill most trophy elk on a regular basis. In answer to that statement, I hereby offer a detailed map of where a couple of trophy bulls live. All he has to do is crawl and climb (quietly) through two or three miles of blow-downs, downhill, then reverse the procedure with 600 pounds of elk, provided he can shoot fast and accurately.

In closing, I won't try to describe what the sight and sound of a great bull elk means to a true hunter. They simply wouldn't understand.

Steve Sickles,

114 Michelle Court, Missoula

Weed control

Chemicals OK if used properly

In response to the "Tordon spraying is horrible idea" letter of May 4, I share an instinctive aversion to chemicals, but must relate the short history of my 20-acre home site. When I purchased it five years ago, it was infested with knapweed and cinquefoil. Some of the knapweed thickets were waist high and hard to even walk through. After spending many hours in the first two years mowing and pulling knapweed in a vain effort to try to disrupt the cycle, it became evident more drastic measures were necessary.

After attending a pesticide applicator's training class and excessively following all the label precautions, I sprayed the lower portion with Tordon and 2, 4-D with a tractor operation in 1998. The middle hillside portion was hand-sprayed in 1999 and the upper hillside portion in 2000. The results on the hillside portion have been dramatic. Last summer the grass on the middle portion rebounded robustly and was beautiful to watch waving in the wind. This spring, a walk across the upper portion reveals the grass is already coming back strongly on slopes that looked sickly before and there are bountiful wildflowers that I hadn't noticed when the weeds were dominating the hillside.

Indiscriminate and careless spraying should be avoided, but proper use of these chemicals is currently the best solution when the weeds have taken over. Given a chance, the grasses and wildflowers have quickly rebounded on my property. Compare the property across the fence with my side now and tell me which looks like a wasteland of sterile and toxic soil.

James M. Oates,

419 Main St., Polson

Letters policy: The Missoulian welcomes and encourages letters to the editor on topics of general interest. Letters should be about 300 words or fewer. The Missoulian reserves the right to reject or edit letters for content and length. The Missoulian prints as many letters as possible. Letters must contain the writer's name, address and telephone number (phone numbers are for verification, not publication).

Mail to: Missoulian Letters, P.O. Box 8029, Missoula, MT 59807. Fax: 406-523-5294. E-mail:

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