you mean the plethora of pretentious hipster eateries here aren't enough to keep everyone satiated? "Convenience Food" restaurants give me the chills....they promise ambrosia on a plate, but i always end up feeling like i got "Ye Olde Sock" instead....and if you knew what was in those trucked-in menu items offered at most chain places, you would gladly crawl back to your own kitchen and try...try...try to make your own special sauce.....it is not that difficult, and much more gratifying. trust me.
the laws of physics work. a 2000lb car will win out over a 200lb bike and rider every time. i hate driving in Missoula in my car, because of all the bad drivers....but i have seen more than enough bad bike riders to know it isn't just a one sided argument. the best way to avoid a confrontation between motorists and yourself while on a bike is to NOT ride where there is a lot of traffic. stay off the main roads, use the bike paths, alleys and side streets to get across town....and PAY ATTENTION...defensive riding is going to save your skin far more often than righteous indignation ever will.
and the hole this issue is getting played out in just keeps getting deeper and deeper....it is on the record that knowledge of the degraded condition of the water system has been stated long before Carlyle got involved in Mountain Water. before Wheeler put Park Water Company up for sale, in 2011, he was trying to get a rate increase based on the many needed repairs the system needed, and was denied that increase.
now, the ugly head of this specter has risen again, being used to possibly leverage a better position for the City, in this negotiation/take-over. Algonquin would be foolish to invest in the purchase of our water system simply because of the expense fixing all this system would cost, vs. what ever profitable return they might get out of any future expansions. when Carlyle bought the system, it was noted that they had a history of squeezing as much profit from their acquisitions as they could before bailing on them...never making improvements or upgrades beyond what they could get away with.
along comes John Engen, and his bright idea of investing millions of dollars of city money in trying to acquire this dilapidated system. it doesn't take a fiscal genius to recognize that this is probably a bad investment, and there are other options. let Carlyle have the water system. the city could simply build it's own system and probably SAVE money on all new pipes, wells, and other infrastructure.....as opposed to paying MUCH more for the current system than it is worth, AND still having to make the needed repairs..... leaving Carlyle to hold one very wet, soggy bag.
in the end, they might end up asking the City of Missoula to take the system....once they figure out nobody else wants it.
your comment relies on several points i don't think you have given enough thought to. one is that you refer to "huge herds". except for certain times of year, elk should not be found in large groups, and historically only ranged in groups of around a dozen or so animals. the fact that there were herds of any substantial size here in recent times tells me that something was actually wrong. large collections of animals like elk spread diseases and create loss of habitat due to overgrazing and other damage. these factors affect wildlife, and especially reproduction, much more than predation.
you do not indicate a time frame for when you were a child, but if it has been in at least the last 50 years, the fact that you used to see elk and deer "everywhere", but not now, might have something to do with the population levels of PEOPLE....and that with all of the development and growth we have seen, there simply are fewer and fewer places for ANY wildlife to exist as it is supposed to. you don't suppose that might have anything to do with it, do you?
you refer to a "natural balance between animal and man"....exactly what balance is that? with hunters now utilizing ATVs, higher-powered firearms, and other aids in locating and "harvesting" game animals, i fail to see anything that resembles "natural". add to that the higher numbers of hunters out in the field during Big Game season, and simply hunting for one's winter meat seems to have turned into an activity for frustration, not self-sustenance.
you are right that we haven't seen wolves in a long time, in some parts of the State...neither have the elk, and when elk figure out how to deal with the wolf, in these areas...as they had dealt with the wolf before humans took control of "wildlife management", they will probably start coming back, and probably to the very same ranges they had always been in...IF those ranges still exist.
your romantic notion of deer in the yard and easy pickings every hunting season is probably NOT the way things are supposed to be, and if you have seen changes in wildlife numbers, it might have more to do with human influences than anything wolves, or any other predator, are doing.
actual figures gathered by the F&G indicate that while numbers of elk are down in certain areas, they are steady in other parts of the State. there are DOCUMENTED reasons for drops in numbers of game animals, including the very reasons i have mentioned. if all you see is packs of wolves gratuitously killing wildlife, you are not looking at the facts.
i find it ironic that the low number of wolves taken vs. the number of permits given out is SO telling. all the table-thumping, chest-beating wolf haters out there, who think this one animal is the begin-all and end-all of all of their problems, just can't seem to muster up the intelligence to figure out how to actually HUNT it. makes me wonder just which is the more evolved species.
may the MTA take a lesson from this. WE like micro-brews...and the breweries that make them.
there are always going to be factions of the Hunting public who are going to want to blame mega-predators like bears and wolves for the decrease in numbers of available game...more precisely, easily found elk. after a day of wondering around close to the road and your vehicle [those that actually get out of their vehicles] without seeing anything to shoot at, it must be because there are too many wolves.
never mind that the numbers of elk have been artificially high for too many years [because there have been too few natural predators], there are beginning to be signs of disease mortality among the herds, grazing lands are getting overrun by competing deer or human use and habitation, or the numbers of elk have just changed due to migration to other areas.
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