FAIR & SCIENTIFICALLY CORRECT ENVIRONMENTAL PRACTICES
Flathead Valley Republican legislators believe it is essential to protect the environment as the need for good paying jobs is balanced with the rural, outdoor heritage of Montana
Opposing the closing and ripping out of roads: Management of our timber lands for beauty, recreation, timber harvesting and wildlife requires access to these areas to eradicate noxious weeds, control fire, rehabilitate and secure economic value from the forest. We reject the wasteful and damaging policy of the Federal Government, which closes and rips out needed roads.
Conserving water &maintaining quality: Local legislators and the Flathead Conservation District are involved the development of the Water Management Plan for the Clark Fork Basin including the Flathead. This will protect water rights and formula a plan for the intelligent use of our water. Farming, ranching and economic development are very dependent on intelligent use of water. Water quality is tied directly to research and technology. Whether it is septic systems or use of our natural resources, development must be based on sound research, technology and practices, which protect the quality of our water. We reject the extreme notion that non-degradation of water should mean zero degradation under any circumstances, as this is neither realistic nor sensible.
Restoring fire damaged forests: Based on research and on site inspections of the Moose Fire area, local legislators submitted the following response both to the state Department of Natural Resources and to the National Forest Service: We request that the Department of Natural Resources maximize income by conducting timber sales as soon as possible and logging these severely burned areas. Management should start reclamation, which will control erosion and enhance the long-term profit potential of the land for the benefit of schools and the taxpayers. Reforestation shall include noxious weed control and reseeding to maintain diversity and high value trees such as western larch, white pine and ponderosa pine. We reject the wasteful idea that dead and dying trees should be left in the forest.
Maintaining hunting, fishing and recreation: We believe hunting and fishing are important to our heritage. We support maintaining reasonable recreational access within the public lands in Montana. Hunting opportunities and gun safety programs should be expanded. We reject closing access to public land and water and will continue to fight for a more common sense approach in applying the endangered species act.
Retaining natural resource use and development: Last session, revising the Montana Environmental policy Act (MEPA) in order to retain and restore a balance in our economy between tourism and natural resource jobs was a difficult task for Republican legislators. Well-funded environmental groups openly opposed natural resource development. Yet the Republican controlled legislature eliminated "analysis paralysis" while maintaining responsible harvesting of our natural resources. Environmental groups and 93.4% of the Democrat legislators opposed the revisions to MEPA while the MT Chamber of Commerce, Mt Contractors, Farm Bureau, and Wood Products Assoc. and 96.6% of the Republican legislators supported the revisions. We reject the extreme position that the harvesting of natural resources is in conflict with a clean and healthy environment.
DID OUR FOREFATHERS NAME MONTANA THE TREASURE STATE FOR A REASON? DID THEY SEE THE NEED TO BE STEWARDS OF THE LAND AND TO USE THE RESOURCES IN A SOUND WAY, BASED ON RESEARCH AND TECHNOLOGY? REPUBLICANS SAY, "YES" TO BOTH QUESTIONS.