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Re: “Air quality

Left unmentioned (intentionally ?) in the first paragraph was the paper mill at Frenchtown. I remember the stench of that mill being far more offensive than any wood smoke or dust from sanding or unpaved streets when I lived in Missoula in the 70s.

Posted by alf on 12/27/2014 at 12:36 PM

Re: “The terrorists won

On one of the national news shows the other day, they interviewed a guy who said he felt he had "a patriotic duty" to see the movie. Is that and yellow magnetic ribbons on the back of our vehicle all that "patriotism" means in this country any more. ? Is that what it's degenerated into ?

Posted by alf on 12/27/2014 at 12:23 PM

Re: “2014

Well done !

Although VIEWFINDER doesn't get many comments, that doesn't mean your images aren't appreciated.

Posted by alf on 12/27/2014 at 12:12 PM

Re: “Tough lessons

Way back in the day, I worked for the FS, one of the first three women on a fire crew in the St. Maries Ranger District (I was the "big" one, at a whopping 5'4", and the only one who made it through, the other two were stationed in Clarkia, and moved to the brush crew . . .) It was the last year for the Calder work center, and after we inventoried, most of the stuff was hauled off and buried! We're talking things like garden hoses, tools, chainsaws . . . They had to use up each year's "stuff" budget whether they needed it or not, or they might get a lower amount next year when they did need more . . . so went the thinking.
When the St. Maries and Avery Districts were combined, folks in the Avery District kept feeding me info. (I was writing at that point), info they weren't ALLOWED to say themselves. All our points were valid, not the least of which was that the Avery station was actually in the forest, but politics won, and now that entire forest is administered from St. Maries, outside the boundaries of the St. Joe Ranger District. The decision was a slow death sentence for the town of Avery, as well.
I found the same thing as Susan, great people, some of them very dedicated to their job - suffocating hierarchy, and politics, politics, politics at the top. I usually feel compelled to defend the folks out in the field, and blame congress (don't we all) for the rules that change with the political expediency of the times.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Liz Codoni on 12/27/2014 at 11:04 AM

Re: “Tough lessons

They also pander to trappers and hunters!

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Cj Rolphe on 12/24/2014 at 5:02 PM

Re: “2014

That's a lot of great pictures Cathrine. Thanks for your work documenting Missoula, your efforts are appreciated!

Posted by Chad Harder on 12/24/2014 at 4:39 PM

Re: “Tough lessons

I have worked with the USFS in my two private business operations, cultural resources and wilderness outfitting and I have shared many of Susan's experiences. One thing is for sure, if you "cross" an official, it will permeate throughout the whole outfit… and the grudge will go on forever.

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by joe on 12/24/2014 at 2:40 PM

Re: “Tough lessons

In the interest of full disclosure, I'm ex forestry circus, but not a retiree. I bailed out after only about 12 or 15 years.

I've known the author for over 30 years, and I like and respect her immensely. She's a very smart and multi-talented woman.

My take : I absolutely despise the damn forestry circus and its institutional amorality and hypocrisy. Like virtually all federal agencies, it's morphed into little more than a facilitator and apologist for industry.

The forestry circus and BLM pander to the logging, ranching, and mineral and oil and gas industries; the Federal Aviation Administration to the airline industry; the Federal Highway Admin, to heavy "dirt" contractors; the Defense Department to the military-industrial complex; FDA to Big Pharma; and so on and on and on.

Like Susan, I remain loyal to the principles and ideals on which it was founded, but the agency has been compromised and it's lost it's way.

And BTW, I just finished reading A Hunger for High Country about a week ago. It's a darn good read. I highly recommend it.

7 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by alf on 12/24/2014 at 1:42 PM

Re: “News in review

I wonder if you extreme Homophobes aren't so unsure of your own sexual orientation that you try to mask and counter it with your chest beating machisimo.

Like all reactionaries, you're on the wrong side of history.

"not allow anyone to voice any opinion" that runs counter to your own is exactly what you right wing extremists and religious crazies are guilty of, but are too blind and arrogant to see your own shortcomings

3 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by alf on 12/24/2014 at 12:50 PM

Re: “News in review

Your paragraph re: Homosexual marriage was totally one sided. You did not quote one person who believes in Biblical marriage. This is typical of the homosexual agenda, not allow anyone to voice any opinion that does not support the sexual deviancy of homosexuals.

2 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Donald Spitz on 12/24/2014 at 6:46 AM

Re: “Christmas past

The Corps of Discovery had sustained themselves with a diet dependent upon buffalo, along with antelope, deer and a little bighorn sheep. After nearly starving to death crossing the Divide, they had to change their diet to fish, which had an adverse effect on their systems.
As for Fremont, he was a reckless, irresponsible meglamaniac bent on gaining notariety and prestige, putting his men in perilous situations, and getting totally lost at times. A number of his men sacrificed their lives in the name of his infamy.

Posted by Tim Faber on 12/24/2014 at 5:36 AM

Re: “The terrorists won

Right on.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by DBB on 12/24/2014 at 1:35 AM

Re: “Safe at home

Great read!

Posted by Curt Synness on 12/24/2014 at 12:32 AM

Re: “Cost of compromise

I don't know what to call them. The first word that came into my mind was "Reptiles", but that's too good for them : It'd be an unnecessary and gratuitous insult to rattlesnakes.

Posted by alf on 12/20/2014 at 1:23 PM

Re: “Cost of compromise

Thanks to the Indy for digging a little deeper and actually getting people like Daines and Tester on record about their secret public lands horse-trading. No wonder everyone is fed up with Congress.

I love the Rocky Mountain Front too. I hunt, fish and hike up there with my wife and family, and also help a local ranch-owner with some preservation projects of historic cabins.

However, I’d encourage people who care about public lands to look at any very small gains for the Rocky Mountain Front, or the North Fork (which really isn't 'protected' as public lands logging, grazing, motorized recreation and even existing mining and drilling leases will continue in that part of the Flathead National Forest) in the context of what this 449 page long list of Public Lands Rider attached to the Defense Bill actually means for America’s public lands legacy and our future management of public lands.

Here’s some context and substance: http://bit.ly/1zaaQFp

Overall the NDAA package of public lands riders will mean more taxpayer-subsidized pubic lands grazing, mining, fracking, and oil and gas development, all with less public input, less protection for wildlife species and less science-based management.

As this article points out, one of the NDAA public lands riders gave away public lands in Arizona (sacred to the Apache, including burial groups) to a foreign mining corporation (that also co-owns a uranium mine with Iran) to build one of the world's largest copper mines. In Nevada, Senator Reid managed to giveaway public lands for mining. In total, the NDAA Riders gave away 110,000 acres of public lands for mining and logging.

Another NDAA rider gave away 70,000 acres of biologically significant old-growth forests on the Tongass National Forest to a private timber corporation in Alaska.

In Montana, with no public notice or meetings, Senator Tester and Rep Daines decided to release currently protected Wilderness Study Areas for development in order to get these very small protections for the Rocky Mountain Front.

Tester and Daines also threw some Montana ranching families under the bus by giving Great Northern Properties 112 million tons of coal, which is equivalent to 3 years worth of all coal currently mined in Montana. That means more Coal Trains for China through dozens of Montana communities, including Missoula. Read about this heartbreaking giveaway here: http://bit.ly/1AhsYvM

For some Wilderness perspective, the bill protects only 1% of the 6,397,000 of unprotected Wilderness-eligible roadless acres in Montana, and that would be this 67,000 acres in the RMFHA. Nationally, these riders protect just 0.2% of unprotected Wilderness-eligible acres. This is no way to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act or preserve America’s Wilderness legacy for wildlife and future generations.

Another Public Lands Rider not mentioned in this Indy article, but of tremendous significance to Montana, is the so-called "Grazing Improvement Act" – which has also been touted by Daines and Tester as a great ‘victory’ while groups like the Montana Wilderness Association remains 100% silent, only – it seems – capable of cheerleading because the politicians gave them some small Wilderness crumbs.

This public lands grazing rider now means the automatic renewal of expiring livestock grazing permits on public lands, even if these permits are causing the decline of greater sage grouse, desert tortoise or other sensitive wildlife species, or even if public lands grazing is ruining riparian areas and watersheds (which there are plenty of examples of both in Montana and throughout the West).

These public lands grazing permits also must be automatically renewed even before the completion of any NEPA environmental analysis or public input process. So the Cliven Bundy's of the world – and other welfare-ranchers who pay pennies on the dollar to graze their private livestock on our public lands – won big with this part of the public lands rider package.

This “Grazing Improvement Act” rider alone impacts tens of millions of acres public lands in Montana, and close to 1/4 BILLION acres of public lands throughout the western U.S.

Keep in mind that anything "good" in the 449 page long public lands rider package came at a tremendous cost to America’s entire public lands legacy, as well as a huge cost to U.S. taxpayers, who will be called upon to sacrifice more so King Coal and Big Oil can continue to reap huge profits exploiting America’s public lands.

If that’s "historic" and cause for “celebration” (and groups like the Montana Wilderness Association remain silent about all these tremendous public lands trade-offs) just what will Tester, Daines and the GOP controlled House and Senate cook-up and trade away in the next session of Congress with this new post-election ‘spirit of bipartisanship’ that has miraculously descended upon Washington DC?

If Rep Daines and the GOP were already able to extract such incredible concessions (and secret giveaways of public lands) from Senator Tester and the Democrats – with the Dems still in control of the Senate – just what parts of America’s public lands legacy do you think Senator Tester and the Dems will be willing to completely give away once 2015 rolls around, with the GOP in charge of both the House and the Senate?

Make no mistake: America’s public lands legacy is under siege, and it’s coming from both the R’s and the D’s, and being aided and abetted by multi-million dollar groups like Montana Wilderness Association who cheerlead over crumbs, while remaining 100% silent over the tremendous public lands giveaways.

Montanans, and America's entire Public Lands system and legacy, deserve so much more.

5 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Matthew Koehler on 12/19/2014 at 11:28 AM

Re: “Spirits of the season

That was hilarious, and I'm not just saying that because I pity you. Touch of the Jack Handey's about it.

Also, if this is Sir Nigel, I wouldn't be opposed to hearing this as a one man performance.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by More like breakfast of chumpions on 12/19/2014 at 9:25 AM

Re: “Cost of compromise

So anybody know how northern Idaho fared in this porkfest?? Were we just gnawed on or chewed right up?

Posted by Liz Codoni on 12/18/2014 at 11:50 PM

Re: “Cost of compromise

When will "We the People" communicate to our congressmen the fact that allowing non-pertinent amendments to legislation is absolutely corrupt?

4 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Edd Blackler on 12/18/2014 at 7:44 PM

Re: “Cost of compromise

This is how legislation is done, now. Do nothing for the first 23 months of the congressional session and then dump it all into a big garbage can full of provisions.

"...and the choice is you take a look at the package and say, 'Does it move forward?' Now we could have gone out and had public hearings on this and talked about it and the window of opportunity would have been over with by the time we got done."

This statement completely confirms and underscores that the goal is not to pass good laws, but to pass something, anything, so that it appears these incompetent, overpaid hacks are doing something for their salaries. JANINE BLAELOCH, Western Lands Project

9 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Blaeloch on 12/18/2014 at 2:08 PM

Re: “Cost of compromise

What a shameful way to make law. We need to make the US safe for democracy. If this is the answer to gridlock and low popularity ratings in Congress they don't get what the problem is about.
Santa Tester just gave the good little boys and girls a shiny bauble, and loaded the bad boys with more publicly owned coal (and copper) than they can cash in on before the planet fries.
This is the expected result of supposed-conservation groups and their leaders signing off on other terrible bills with bad policy in the last several years. The conscience-free politicians can just take for granted there will be no blowback from MWA, TWS, TU or NWF because those groups have already sold their souls for a pittance.
Tester is a master at cloaked night riders. He has had a hand in the only two legislated overrides of the Endangered Species Act. Daines is certainly no better, except that what you see is what you get, no pretenses.
It looks like the beginning (?) of the last big fire sale for slabs of pork on the only liveable planet within reach. Get it while you can.

8 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Larry Campbell on 12/18/2014 at 11:50 AM

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