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Letter to the editor icon2

Letter to the editor icon2

Appalling. That’s the word that comes to mind over the Crazy Mountains/Robert Gregoire/Alex Sienkiewicz issue of access in the Crazy Mountains. It’s appalling that people can just randomly decide to close down public access on a Forest Service trail that has over hundred years of public use precedent, just because they feel like it.

It’s appalling that in the Rob Gregoire civil case the Department of Justice quashed the subpoenas for Forest Service personnel to testify on behalf of the easement’s existence. It’s appalling that Mary Erickson, Forest Service supervisor, can declare from the highest mountaintop that Alex Sienkiewicz has been “reassigned and being investigated,” but won’t say what he is being investigated for. Additionally, when one tries to find out how to send letters of support for him, Mary Erickson claims that it’s “a matter of privacy” and won’t help you.

So, you can smear a man publicly, but letters of support and defense are inappropriate? It’s appalling to read Property and Environment Resource Center (PERC) letters to the editor informing us we should just give up all our public access claims and let PERC sort them out because, naturally, they have our best interests in mind.

To my fellow Montanans at PERC, are you aware that 80 percent of Montanans are against your ideas? Clearly, your money must come from outside of Montana.

And finally, there’s the public access advocacy groups. Some organizations are making outright monetary appeals in their letters based on this issue, but when questioned further, will not guarantee that your money will be used for that issue.

I note with great displeasure that it’s been a month and a half since the sacking of Alex Sienkiewicz, yet some very well-known public access advocacy groups have yet to define a clear-cut public position about it. Appalling indeed.

— Eric Hammer, Dillon

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