The Whitehall Ledger - Serving Southern Jefferson County in the Great State of Montana

By Jack H. Smith
Ledger Publisher 

Editorial: Do the right thing for the residents of Montana

 

September 13, 2017



The past few months have been devastating for Montana as wildfires have burned throughout the state.

There was over a 2,700-acre fire locally, and over a million acres have burned in Montana. People are losing their homes, firefighters have lost their lives, and there are a variety of health related issues for both residents and animals. Simply put, it is a horrible situation.

There are always going to be wildfires started by lighting, but at the same time it does not have to be as bad as it is in 2017.

It’s time for our lawmakers to stand up for the residents of the state and do the right thing. It is time to start properly managing forests to mitigate the dangers during fire season. I certainly understand that hot and dry conditions make things worse, but it’s time to start really looking into the issue so the summers of our future will not be the same. I don’t know what the answer is to properly manage the forests, but there are plenty across the state that have some great ideas to lower the fuel load and these people should be listened to.

Our lawmakers should also not be afraid of ruffling feathers -- do what is best for MONTANA.

There has been a lot of talk throughout the state about how the national news has forgot Montana while focusing solely on Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Truth is they both deserve coverage, but it‘s time for lawmakers to take a look to what is going on across the Pacific Northwest and do something about. Any small step to remedy the dangers of fire season in Montana is a step in the right direction. It doesn’t have to be this bad.

I’d encourage local residents to contact their legislators and let their voices be heard. Everyone in Montana doesn’t have to agree all the time, but I think most would agree that if there is a way to curb a catastrophic season like in 2017, than it is what is best for everyone.

 

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