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Fixing the 'L'

Bravo for project on Mount Jumbo

If I had a bell, I would ring it to honor all who were involved in the "L" project on Mount Jumbo. As I began to watch in the morning, I was horrified, not knowing the plan - perhaps it was being removed as more than one person had suggested. As the helicopter toiled back and forth between the cement mixer and the crew working on the hill I began to "get it."

Being in Missoula only 10 months, since the beginning I have been appalled by the disrespect shown by the IQ-less bipeds who seem to be driven to show that arrogant disrespect so often by desecrating the school's symbol. I understand that Loyola is a fine school that turns out many outstanding grads each year.

For all of you, financial contributors, contractors and adult supervisors and - most especially - the students, imagine the Liberty Bell ringing to salute your spirit and hard labor!

M. Slais

1101 Greenough Drive W., Missoula

Money for 'L' came from memorial

In the May 24 Missoulian editorial regarding the money spent to concrete the "L" on Mount Jumbo, one of the points proclaimed, "You know you live in a wealthy society when there's money for such things." The statement implies that the Catholic community in Missoula has money to waste. The fact is that the majority of money used to concrete the "L" on Mount Jumbo came from a memorial set up in the memory of Jonathan Peter Hamper.

Hamper died at age 22 in a tragic car accident. As a Loyola Sacred alum, Hamper was embarrassed and ashamed of the constant vandalism of the "L." He took great pride in his school and the tradition that the "L" represented, and had indicated to his friends and former teachers his wish to concrete the "L" and stop the vandalism. Upon his premature death, many people chose to send memorials to Loyola to fund scholarships and to permanently repair the "L."

I would hope that most people do not look at memorial donations to the memory and wishes of a wonderful person, Jon Hamper, as a waste of money as your editorial implied.

Rich Zins,

6250 Delarka, Missoula

Peace sign

Build your own billboard

If the peaceniks want to have their sign up so bad, why don't they get off their duffs and put up their own sign, instead of defacing other people's property?

Lee Dursma,

1002 Staple St., Missoula

Game farms

Try some truth

I am appalled, not only by the letter to the editor May 22, titled "TV Report Was a Sham," by Robert Spoklie, but also that it was even printed.

The letter is riddled with inaccuracies and as executive director of the largest sportsmen's organization in the state, I would like to correct those accusations.

The NBC "Dateline" segment "Fair Game?" which aired March 15 and was produced in September 1999, was produced with absolutely no input from Montana Wildlife Federation. Additionally, neither the Federation nor any backer of I-143 staged any such footage! Furthermore, the production was completed months before I-143 was even conceived. Spoklie said he wanted "the people of western Montana to know the truth."

Here is the truth: The accusation MWF traveled 2,000 miles to an Eastern state, figuratively or otherwise, to stage video of captive, penned sheep shooting is entirely false.

The NBC production team interviewed ethical sportsmen in Montana, brought the footage with them - obtained, in their words, "undercover" - as an example of what they discovered in their investigation of shooting operations on game farms.

The Sportsmen's Initiative, I-143, was supported by donations of hard-working citizens; sportswomen; sportsmen; wildlife enthusiasts; the state organization of wildlife biologists (wildlife scientists) - Montana Wildlife Society, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Defenders of Wildlife (many of whom are hunters and anglers); and, yes, even Montana ranchers. On more than one occasion, offerings of financial support by animal rights' groups were rejected because the reform of game farm operations is supported by Montana hunters - citizens working to ensure the health and integrity of our free-ranging public wildlife and the opportunities to hunt them in a "fair chase" manner.

We cannot risk the health and genetic purity of our wild Montana elk and deer populations because someone wants to make a buck off penned wildlife.

Craig Sharpe,

P.O. Box 1175, Helena

Natural resources

Focus on well-managed industry

Environmental extremists, in the private sector and holding offices in the Forest Service and federal government, have all but stopped the use or sales of natural resources, namely timber and minerals. By focusing on all the bad or mismanaged logging jobs or mines, they have made it appear that all logging and all mining is bad. This way, you overlook all the well-managed timberlands and well-managed mines.

The fault lies on management's back, not on the industry. Timber is a constantly renewing resource, as long as it is managed properly. Stopping the use of timber on what was, not more than 15 years ago, known as public land, but is now known as Forest Service or federal land, is blatant mismanagement also, with as much or more drastic environmental disaster as any mine or logging job.

Had the timber on public land been thinned and managed properly, the moisture content in the standing timber would have been higher meaning the flammability would have been lower. This would have reduced the amount of fires and reduced the speed in which they spread and thus raised the defensibility of these timberlands by firefighters.

Let's learn something from the fire of 2000 and start managing our timberlands right.

Robin Mavros,

4186 N. Fork Rye Creek, Darby

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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