Public concerns dismissed
I was extremely disappointed to read the Guest View editorial by Mr. Andy Johnson in the Standard on Sunday, February 18th. It was titled “Wilderness has become a selfish, mindless obsession”.
Mr. Johnson is an educated man as he is a graduate of Montana Tech and a mineral industry geologist. However, his lack of enlightenment on this issue is profound. His pro-development views are extreme. He congratulates Senator Daines for contacting the mining, timber, and petroleum industries regarding his recent proposal to trash wilderness study areas. What about public concerns?
He condemns everyone back to even President Johnson and subsequent presidents for creating and expanding wilderness. Has Mr. Johnson never heard of Theodore Roosevelt, John Muir, and Gifford Pinchot and their efforts to save our nation’s wild lands from development during their time. This country would not look the way it does today without their efforts to thwart uncontrolled development.
The preservation of wild lands for the future ensures that it will be there if it is really needed in the future. Call it a rainy day plan if you want. What about the needs of future generations? There are no guarantees that we will be able to fish, hunt and hike in these areas as Mr. Johnson assumes. According to Mr. Johnson, my viewpoint and that of others regarding wilderness is a selfish, mindless obsession. I beg to differ. We can listen to his views but we do not have to accept them. Wiser men than him have previously determined that this is not the best pathway for our future.
— Jim Stilwell, Butte