Montana Group Gets Pro-Active

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They start them young in Montana.

Approximately 100 members of grassroots associations gathered at the Montana State Capitol. Present were: representatives of US Senator Conrad Burns and US Representation Denny Rehberg; Montana Public Service Commissioner Doug Mood; Montana State Senator Jerry O'Neil; and Montana GOP Legislative Campaign Coordinator Larry Grinde. Forest use groups present were: Citizens for Balanced Use, Families for Outdoor Recreation, Montana Trail Vehicle Riders Association, Montana Snowmobile Association, Montana Four Wheel Drive Association, Montanans For Multiple Use Association, Montana Property Rights Association and the Treasure State Alliance.

At the front steps of the Capitol, these groups presented Hal Harper, Governor Schweitzer's representative, with petitions signed by over 7800 Montana citizens. These petitions stated:

"We the undersigned wish to voice our opposition to the 2001 Clinton Roadless Rule and Montana Attorney General Mike McGrath's continued support for this rule. We the undersigned furthermore ask Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer not to make any petition to President Bush asking these lands be further studied or preserved as roadless areas for future Wilderness.

"We object:

  • to having our access to our National Forests restricted;
  • to the gating and destruction of our forest roads;
  • to having our National Forests mismanaged and reduced to fire fuel;
  • to being subjected to arbitrary restrictions concerning our preferred activities while on our National Forests. "We are the people who live, work, pay taxes and vote in this state."

These groups submitted for Governor Schweitzer the election results from Mineral County and from Flathead County. In Mineral County, 73% of the voters approved motorized recreation and roaded timber management as part of multiple use on their local forests. In Flathead County, 63% of the voters voted for the forests to "be managed by the Forest Service for multiple use purposes including motorized recreation and roaded timber production."

--For questions or comments on this article or related issues, contact: Fred Hodgeboom, President of Montanans For Multiple Use at 406-837-1363. Email: , or Kerry White, President of Citizens for Balanced Use at 406 587-3653. Email: .

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