- Your Town
To the editor,
Three recent commentaries in the Tribune are similarly livid in their outrage at the fact that certain people or agencies or groups have dared to comment on wildlife management efforts or plans prepared by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. The three complainers apparently do not recognize that pubic comment is essential in policy making and its purpose is to bring together the many ideas and opinions shared by all citizens and groups of citizens. Toby Dahl is apparently a Director of a hated “NGO”, United Property Owner of Montana, but he finds it objectionable that other certain NGO groups have made comments on the state’s bison plan. Debby Barrett is a senator, representing all people of her district, and should know that it is incumbent on the the legislature to take comments from any and all people or groups who wish to testify on proposed laws or state policies. She contends that her constitutional rights are in jeopardy, but her ideas of limiting free speech, which she stated at a recent public meeting, are unconstitutional. Her complaints, coming from a Montana senator who accepts money and dictates from the notorious ALEC group who wields more right-wing power over certain lawmakers than any NGO group, are perverse. Dan Happel proudly proclaims himself a Madison County Commissioner, and as such he should represent all the folks of Madison County. His letter absolutely does not. However as a private citizen he can state his prejudices. In his daily official capacity, he must allow comments on county policies and plans from many diverse opinions so to say that comments from certain groups should be excluded is preposterous. Dan called out the adjective “radical” five times in his letter in denouncing perceived enemies. It is ironic that his belief that America will be destroyed by a 1992 United Nations Agenda 21, which encourages sustainable development for all peoples of the world, personifies radicalism. Paranoia abounds.
Montana FWP and the Montana legislature have given full opportunity to all citizens to allow comments on both the Bison Plan and now, the Grizzly Bear Management Plan for SW MT.
These three noted letter-writing policy-makers have every right to comment on all legislative or State or Federal or County scoping processes, but they cannot declare that others should not also have that right. Whatever your opinions are on our Montana traditions of wildlife, agriculture, way of life and legacy for our kids, we all can speak and not be misled as these three would have.