In regards to the lengthy comment from Mr. Jarnevic concerning the “Pedaling Protein” Brief from this week’s Indy, I can say that I most certainly did NOT ride a bicycle or use a wheeled trailer within the limits of the Rattlesnake Wilderness while hunting this fall. I parked my bike and trailer at my camp - a quarter mile outside of the wilderness boundary – and packed the meat on foot from the kill-site to my camp.
I believe that it is important to outline the restrictions and true definition of “wilderness”, especially as more people use our backcountry each year and must be trusted largely to police themselves. I take exception, however, to Mr. Jarnevic’s statement that “…the Independent that its staff has no idea what wilderness is and what it is not.” The Indy staff that I have met through the years in Missoula has been a hard-working and educated group. I know that more than a few of them are serious advocates of Montana’s “wildness” as well as the “wilderness”. The reality of journalism - especially with a weekly paper like the Indy – is that the writers must transform large stories into a few concise paragraphs. It may have been more accurate for Mr. Frank to state that “…Ethan Smith pedaled his bicycle some 15 miles from outside the boundary of the Rattlesnake Wilderness to his car…” But if it was written that I rode my bicycle from the grocery store to my house, would anyone imagine that I started riding my bike in the produce department and stopped pedaling in my bedroom?
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