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Letters for Sunday, May 13, 2001
Letters for Sunday, May 13, 2001

Free trade

How is this good for our country?

Could someone please explain to me how free trade is going to help the U.S. economy? I was taught that a strong economy was based on abundant natural resources, strong manufacturing base, abundant energy and a trained, qualified labor force. Why is it good for our economy to ship all of our manufacturing across the border where it can be performed by cheap labor and at the same time importing natural resources (lumber and grain) from the north? This takes income away from the lumber industry, agriculture and manufacturing, all of which could be spent in this country to keep our economy going.

How is it good for our economy if the environmental wackos shut down all of our energy sources, all of our lumbering and mining, so we cannot export natural resources? How is it good for our economy if our imports double and triple over our exports? Whose economy is this good for? An economy based on taxation, redistribution of wealth, and flipping burgers is not a viable economy. It is only contributing to the downfall of a once great nation. In the '40s and '50s, we feared no nation because we had the resources, energy and manufacturing capability to gear up and face any threat within a very short time. Now, due primarily to the Clinton administration, we are a second-rate military nation rapidly losing its manufacturing capabilities. How many steel mills are left? How many aluminum plants are running? Where is "Rosie, the riveter?" I am confused.

Arden Evanger,

710 Highland Park Drive, Missoula

Natural resources

Industry is important to all of us

We as employees and employers need to wake up and take notice that if we don't stand up and be counted at these meetings and rallies supporting our natural resource industries, we will lose. Take notice and see that all groups who have won their battles have had many people who show up and not just a few selected individuals.

If you don't believe that the American natural resource industry shutting down will hurt your business, think about this: Who do you think buys your tires? Food? Clothes? Electronic equipment? And borrows money to buy land and homes? All of us natural resource workers need services just like everyone else, such as hair cuts, dental, medical and optical. Just think: If it were not for the natural resource industry, what would we have to support your business? Tourism? Probably not with the high fuel prices that won't be as strong this year.

Sure, you may be making good money right now, but what are you going to do when all of our natural resources are being imported from overseas because we are not allowed to harvest here in our own land? Don't we realize that we are destroying America because we are to afraid to stand up and be counted for what we believe in? We are living like kings now, but for how much longer? Stand up and be counted; start going to these meetings and rallies. Let's fight for our right to be the best country in the world. Is it not better to lose a day's wages than to lose a whole career that your lifestyle is based around? Send your people to the rally in Eureka on May 17.

Dan Hall,

P.O. Box 1916 Columbia Falls

Grizzly bears

Wild animals need our protection

Thank you for printing the photo of the hog-tied, euthanized bear in the April 30 Missoulian. I generally consider myself to be a tolerant person. Having worked as a logger off and on over the past decade, I have concluded that answers to life's dilemmas  particularly those surrounding environmental issues  are difficult to resolve. But that picture of the limp grizzly galvanized something in me: I now find it difficult to feel sympathy for ranchers who suffer minor losses at the paws of wild animals.

The Falls Creek grizzly was 22 years old  an amazing feat when you consider the amount of human havoc we have wreaked on its habitat over the last 200 years. Age, though, is not a valid excuse for extinguishing a wild animal's life, nor is an estimated $200,000 in cattle losses over a 15-year period. I found it particularly offensive that Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks referred to the grizzly as a "problem bear." The real problem is our skewed view of how life should be managed on this planet. If I were a grizzly and you stocked my backyard with stupid, fat animals, you can bet I'd eat 'em.

We have very few grizzlies left in the Lower 48 and far too many cows. The tides are changing. People value what wildlife we have left and it's time our policies towards "problem" animals reflected that. The first thing we should do is strike that word from the vocabularies of our federal and state wildlife agencies

And you can also bet that the next time I am able to vote for stricter ranching/grazing regulations, or increased protection for any wildlife, I will.

James Lainsbury,

607 E.Sussex Ave., Missoula

Elk

Situation could appear elsewhere

What is this? First they give him a license. Then they tell him that he cannot leave them to his son, and that he can't harvest them. Then they tell him that he can't give them away. I would say that Judge McCarter is no King Solomon. She doesn't try to find out who the mother is, she just kills the baby. She does not say that the state has illegally seized (Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution) these animals so the owner is entitled to just compensation, she just says kill them.

I am talking about Len Wallace's elk here, but it would seem to me that we could be talking about dogs, cows, llamas, turkeys, bison, etc. All of these animals were once wild and have carried disease, however none of these animals have to be fenced in. Why is it that only elk and deer fall into this category? We're talking about elk that must be tested for purity by law. We're talking about an elk herd that has been tested more for CWD than Fish, Wildlife and Parks has tested anywhere. Why is it that bison are hazed by horses and trucks and shot, and an elk rancher can't allow the same harvest?

Initiative 143 was an anti-property rights and an anti-hunting proposition. If you don't believe me, look at the three counties that carried it. All of the other counties voted against Proposition 143. It did not pass in the other 53 counties in the state perhaps because the people living in those counties truly understood what the future could be. With initiatives like 143 passing, look to your animals, crops and your property.

Ed Mortenson,

2742 Highway 93 N., Darby

Maybe trophy elk should be protected

In recent news, serious concern was raised about the threat presented by an escaped farm elk. It was claimed that this could diminish the quality of the wild elk "gene pool."

Perhaps the greatest threat to the genetic quality of wild elk is the hunter. These people kill and maim the best trophy bulls that they can find leaving the inferior bulls to breed the wild herds.

If these people are serious about protecting and enhancing the quality of the wild elk herds, they should try to ban the public hunting of trophy bulls.

Perhaps one day in the future, the elk farmers will be asked to add some of their trophy elk to the wild herds. We should realize that there are many farm elk that are genetically superior to those in the wild.

J.S. Weber,

555 Lang Creek Road, Marion

MPC rates

Increase should go to Butte mine

We read with interest in the May 5 Missoulian, "Montana Power Co. is asking state regulators to approve $2.7 million rate increase to make up for the money its losing from the shutdown of the Montana Resources Inc. mine in Butte."

If this $2.7 million is approved, it should go to the mine to pay their power bill so they can reopen and put 325 people back to work.

Courtney W. Ernest,

218 E. Desmet St., Hamilton

Conservation

Some do it because it's right

I couldn't believe the Missoulian's editorial on May 4, wherein you disagree with Dick Cheney that conservation is a personal virtue and say people only conserve if it hits their wallet. Since when did you get so cynical?

We may be disgraceful energy hogs as a nation, but I know plenty of individuals whose lifestyle is centered around conservation for no other reason than it is the right thing to do. There is no other reason for our family to drive a cramped little Geo, when we could afford a far more comfortable car, than that we are trying, personally, to consume less energy. Do you think everyone who rides a bike does so for monetary reasons? I know I don't. Your article belittles the millions of people who conserve out of a sense of being good stewards of the earth, that it is the right thing, the moral thing to do.

People are complex beings. We don't volunteer our time at the homeless shelter, give up our seat on the bus for an elderly person, or give up our time to build a Dragon Hollow for economic reasons. Your logic distills everyone down to a cash register. I don't agree with much that comes out of the Bush administration, but I do agree that conservation is a personal virtue. And I encourage everyone to do more of it just because it's right.

Anne Hamilton,

5 Carriage Way, Missoula

Waste

Postal service does its share

I was interested in the Missoulian editorial on May 2. I quite agree.

It seems to me that the post office could save millions of dollars in time, materials (trees) and labor by forgoing the fancy wrappings we get our stamps in these days. Machines are needed to do this packaging, trees are wasted to make the cardboard and labor is involved in all of that. Also, the junk mail that is delivered to everyone these days is obscene! It all goes in either the recycling or the garbage can, most of it without being read. And the post office delivers that for a tiny fraction of what it costs to deliver a first-class letter. Talk about government waste!

Lois Dodge,

535 North Ave. W., Missoula

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: opinion@missoulian.com.

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