IN THE MAIL

Here’s your chance to cheer for the Rangers

Editor: Looking to make a difference to our community’s youth this weekend? There are several opportunities to show your support with your presence in the bleachers. First, Park High Basketball teams host Belgrade on Friday evening. Then on Saturday, make the short trip to Belgrade to support the Park High wrestlers as they compete in the divisional tournament. This is an important weekend for the wrestling program as individual wrestlers compete to qualify for the state tournament at Billings Metra Feb. 9 to 10. Finally, boys’ basketball will host Butte Central on Saturday afternoon, while the girls’ team plays away against Butte Central. Here is your chance to fill the bleachers and cheer the Rangers on at these events!

Sandy Rahn-Gibson Livingston

Consider commenting during the forest plan revision process

Editor: I recently met with the Custer/Gallatin National Forest supervisor regarding the forest plan revision available for public comment. She cautioned me to limit my comments to science-based concerns rather than value-based. I have a problem with that. Public polling reveals that most citizens, including Montanans, value roadless lands. Roadless lands are scarce. Only 2.7 percent of the lower 48 states is designated Wilderness. Yet we hold dear their wild essence and their ecological and economic services. Folks aren’t attracted to the Northern Rockies to interact with polluted waterways, clear-cuts, grazing allotments, fossil fuel extraction, mining, thrill craft and species extinction. You know why they visit and why you live here. It’s a gut feeling that this is the last, best place precisely because of its large tracts of wildlands and their relatively intact biodiversity. Your gut, where serotonin, a neuro-transmitter responsible for your sense of well-being is produced, knows what’s good for you. In wildlands, your brain becomes vigilant, resolute, holistically communicating with your environment as in no front-country endeavor: Physiology. Roadless lands/Wilderness offer a wealth of human experience and a last haven for other wild organisms to pursue their best interest. Is this science? You betcha. It represents a panoply of scientific disciplines. Conservation biologists recommend that 50 percent of the planet needs protection to ensure healthy life on Earth. With climate change accelerating, it is irresponsible to release most of the remaining C.G.N.F. roadless lands and Wilderness Study Area acreage for development, as the plan now recommends. Remember, half of the Gallatin Range has already been developed. Compromise has already occurred. Montanans for Gallatin Wilderness have a sensible proposal: www.gallatinwilderness.org. Consider commenting on the forest plan: https://tinyurl.com/caracgnf. Passion and science are connected. And it’s our responsibility to say so and to advocate for our wild ways.

Marilyn Olsen Emigrant

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