The Montana Standard publishes letters from readers in the Opinion section. Here are this week's letters.
To submit a letter to the editor, go here.
Save state's bees
Living in Montana is a constant reminder we are in the middle of a diverse and ecologically beautiful place. One thread that weaves through all these is the impact that bees and pollinators have on the beautiful parts of our state.
A study found that more than half of all native bee populations are in decline. We need to do all we can to protect their diminishing environments. Beekeepers report losing an average of 30% of honeybee colonies each winter, far outside the sustainable rate. Without pollinators, these important threads will be lost. Montana ranks second in the U.S. for its honey and pollination industry, an it is an important factor in our economy.
Bees and their health affect all of us and our food supply. We rely on bees to pollinate our food, yet we’re using bee-killing pesticides to grow our crops. I hope that all Montanans, including Gov. Steve Bullock, will hear this call to action to help ban the use of known bee-killing neonicotinoid pesticides on a statewide level.
Let’s have Montana be on the forefront of this decisive action to safeguard our food and our biodiversity, and ban the use of these pesticides.
Eustacia Kathrens, Missoula
As I reflect on the 66th Legislature I cannot but help to tell you my utmost truth, because to me truth is much more interesting than political cliché.
Minority Leader Casey Schneider is correct. All his party's major goals were accomplished. His minority party, along with the moderate “Solutions Caucus” Republicans, controlled the deciding votes this session.
To be forthright myself and most legislators voted for the civil and criminal revisions on child sex assault, firefighter’s compensation benefits, and Hanna’s Act. There are issues everyone can agree on. What I can’t for the life of me understand is the division within the Montana Republican Party.
I walked into a room with a lot of lines already drawn as I entered the Capitol this January. People with biases and grudges I was not aware of. Our hard-working speaker Greg Hertz had to manage egos and division within his own caucus. Greg did an amazing job this winter. His work ethic and leadership gave me pride to serve with him. Unfortunately for him, and the rest of our minority conservative caucus, we were the unrepresented minority in deciding votes that raised our taxes. As Conservatives we created a meme, our real vote count was 38-62, “the 38 special.” Conservative voices were kept out of the discussion on major issues. It was fascinating to watch.
While the conservative caucus was a minority this session, I see success for our belief systems and our party in the future at a state-level. We will have genuine federal leadership next election cycle in regard to health care.
With a Republican state governor all the solutions caucus games stop. The solution for conservatives is to primary those within our party who we disagree with politically. We must do this by having better candidates, and greater conservative energy in our central committees. Let us not resort to name-calling, whining and disparaging remarks on the internet or salacious attacks. The correct path forward is to find better candidates and win the vote where it belongs, at the doors of our constituents next summer.
David Dunn, Whitefish