Thursday, March 14, 2013

Under attack

Posted on Thu, Mar 14, 2013 at 4:00 AM

Your wildlife refuge is under attack from a Wyoming developer. A development with 639 residential units and 20 commercial units will be placed within 100 feet of the Lee Metcalf Wildlife Refuge in Stevensville if the Wyoming developer sways our public servants.

In 2006, this same developer sued our county for taking too much time to consider his proposal to create a “town” the same size as Stevensville in land mass and larger than Corvallis and Victor in inhabitants in the middle of rural Stevensville. He won the lawsuit. We have already paid him once.

Now our public officials are scared. The subdivision is back on the table and a recommendation has already been made by our planning staff to approve this subdivision. We need to tell our public servants not to be bullied into this.

The Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge is a treasure and an extremely important stop-off place for migratory birds in addition to a full-time residence for many species. This development would have a huge effect on them. Imagine the 639-plus new domestic dogs and cats that will love hunting this wildlife on our land. Imagine the light pollution that will prevent nesting, the sewage and lawn chemical runoff that will pollute the surface and ground water, the weeds that will infest the refuge.

Not to mention the affects on taxpayers: We’ll get to buy a new school for the development, pay for more emergency services and increase the size of the highway, to name a few. Not only will the developer take the money and run, we will be left to foot the bill for this, after we have lost the revenue from the users of our currently viable wildlife refuge. This is a serious life changer.

Are you going to allow this? Please write or call your commissioners and planning staff. We elected these people and they need to listen to us. I for one will not accept the excuse that they “can’t do anything about it.” Baloney. Did we elect leaders or wimps?

Please write or call the Ravalli County Planning Department (406-375-6530, and Ravalli County Commissioners (406-375-6500,

Sarah Roubik


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