When is our hearing?
At the February 20th meeting of the Anaconda Deer Lodge Commission our Anaconda Sportsman's Club received a letter of support for our position that Senator Daines should hold a public hearing in Anaconda on his proposed legislation to remove the Wilderness Study Area protection from six landscapes in Montana. These public landscapes are used by our citizens and we want a voice in changes to their management strategy.
During a visit by Daines to a Philipsburg business we engaged him with our request. The senator refused any specific commitment to a hearing. Instead, he referred to our club as a "green decoy" organization. This is a derogatory political term meaning an environmental group is posing as a conservation group. He is wrong.
Our organization was formed in 1948. Our membership is local citizens interested in the conservation of our public lands, public wildlife, and the public's opportunities to access and enjoy those resources. Members of the state and federal agencies engage us regularly on the management of these resources. Over the years our members have volunteered for projects such as packing fish into mountain lakes, clearing trails, building trailheads, planting willows on streambanks, burning winter range, and transplanting bighorn sheep and elk. We have supported projects and regulations that provide opportunities for youth and handicapped.
Working for improved landowner/recreationist relations is a priority for us. Supporting FWP Block Management, fencing haystacks, building hay yards are projects we have engaged for decades. Recently we rebuilt a corral destroyed by fire for a cooperating landowner.
This is a sample of our activities, not those of a green decoy group. Senator, you claim to appreciate our wildlands because you have been out hiking. How have you contributed to the conservation of our outdoor legacy? What conservation groups get your support? When is our hearing?
Gary Ouldhouse, president, Anaconda Sportsman's Club