So where is the outrage? Where are the lawsuits?
The Big Mountain wants to expand its operations onto our public lands? They want to “privatize” our precious public lands with more ski slopes without regard to what they must do to the environment or to all the animals, insects and plants that inhabit these natural spaces? They must not be allowed to accomplish this self-serving, profit-orientated goal no matter what excuse they use such as job creation, entertainment or the good it could do for the tourist industry. Good heavens, they most certainly would have to cut down some old growth trees which is sacrilege.
If this request from the Forest Service isn’t met with the same sort of vehemence that accompanies any other rational request for the use of our public lands, then the words of editorials, like the one from the far left Western Values Project and the rich elitists from the Firehole Ranch expressing their desire to “protect” our public lands at all costs, will sound hypocritical. The environmental community must stand as one to make certain this outrageous goal is never achieved leaving our public land “untrammeled by the evil footsteps of mankind.” Lawsuits must be initiated and environmental impact studies must be undertaken with due diligence to initially delay and then to defeat such an onerous request; and like other requests of use of public lands it should take years and years of inquiry and investigation with a cost hopefully in the millions of dollars.
If this scenario doesn’t happen, if there aren’t lawsuits, if there aren’t challenges to any and every EIS study and if this request isn’t ultimately defeated, then it may be time to re-evaluate why other requests for use of our public lands should be treated differently. It’s going to be interesting to see this story unfold.
Mark Agather, Kalispell