Thursday, October 1, 2009

Risky business

Posted on Thu, Oct 1, 2009 at 4:00 AM

I am writing to support Sen. Jon Tester’s efforts to work with Montanans to find creative forest management solutions with his Forest Jobs and Recreation Act. Clearly, “business as usual” forest management is not working as evidenced by important Montana wild lands left without permanent wilderness protection; Montana timber industry jobs and infrastructure being lost or put at risk; forest professionals unable to move ahead with restoration and management projects that make good sense and are badly needed for Montana’s forest health; and a legacy of mistrust between various interests with a stake in how Montana public lands are managed.

Thanks goes to the diverse group of collaborative partners who stepped up and did the hard work of building relationships with those who have different views. These groups have worked hard to find the common ground needed to create workable solutions to Montana’s forest management questions.

Thanks to Tester for listening to Montanans and moving forward with the Forest Jobs and Recreation Act legislation.

Mark Vosburgh Missoula

State-run health care

Posted on Thu, Oct 1, 2009 at 4:00 AM

Everyone has an opinion about health care reform—guess you know what that’s like! Despite the implication, here’s mine: Health care should be provided to all by the states on a state-by-state basis. This should be done by utilizing both a single-payer option and while preserving the private sector.

Montana has different needs and personalities than does California or Massachusetts, needs which must be addressed by those who know us best—our fellow Montanans. It makes no sense to send a tax dollar to Washington, D.C. for health care and to have it come back to Montana beaten and ragged as a mere two bits.

The implications of the states caring for their own in health care, education, housing and welfare are far-reaching. Not only would such action truly downsize the federal government, leading to great savings and the better use of tax dollars, but residents of a state would also be empowered, realizing the importance of using the resources of a particular state fully for the benefit of one’s neighbors. For example, remove federal control over Montana’s forest lands, implement an effective harvest and replanting program, and you create jobs, add value to a native resource and preserve the environment simultaneously. It will not be easy to get out from under the federal yoke, but it would benefit all, including future generations. Also, this may be the only way to keep the U.S.A. from going bankrupt.

Ed Chaberek Superior
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