Alright, first things first, Gregory. I know this isn't the proper forum for this discussion because no one has yet said anything of substance, myself included. From the now 12 comments posted, we are no closer to solving the complexities of our wildlife policies. If you truly think this has been a productive, worthwhile conversation, I genuinely hope you aren't elected.
You say that government meetings are "probably" just preaching to the converted. Sounds like you haven't been to one, which is funny because government meetings on species like wolves and grizzlies tend to be fairly contentious in Montana. If you don't agree, I'm pretty sure the FWS has a couple hundred thousand public comments you can sort through when you can spare a moment. If you do have a genuine interest in Montana's wildlife policy, I highly recommend you attend one before you write them off.
Also, a sarcastic "good luck" to getting elected in Missoula on an anti-wildlife platform. There are a healthy number of Missoulians who live here because of the access they have to outdoor recreation, relatively pristine wilderness and opportunities to interact with wildlife that most other places don't have. In fact, the article that kicked-off this stimulating exchange is a follow-up on a piece the Indy ran early last summer. I can't imagine they would have printed the original feature as well as a follow-up if people in Missoula didn't care about grizzly bears.
First of all, at this point, the "many" reading this is probably just you and me, so the stakes are pretty low. Let's keep this in perspective.
Second, if you want my general thoughts on wildlife issues and the political culture of the American West, feel free to read my articles that have appeared in the Indy. If you are still curious, hang tight and read my forthcoming book on grizzly bear policy from the University of Nebraska Press.
And responding to your last comment, dialog is good, but this is not the proper forum to have a serious discussion about the efficacy of our wildlife policy and the future of Montana's economy. Attend a USFWS meeting or a F&G meeting or any of a number of meetings concerning wildlife policy that take place in Missoula on a weekly basis. Then you can have a real discussion.
Finally, I don't know if you need a lesson in geography or representative democracy. If Missoula elects you, you represent Missoula, which is not in Eastern Montana.
Greg, it's clear you've stepped into a debate on which you are not qualified to comment. You may have a point hidden beneath your lack of knowledge, but in the future, please do some research before coming out firing.
726 is the name of the bear, not the number of bears in the Centennials.
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