Congressman Daines just flashed us a signal on who he will represent. A recent news article reported that he joined 28 other Republicans asking House Speaker Boehner to oppose U.S. Forest proposals being developed at the local level. Montana citizens have worked for years developing two such proposals: the Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act and Sen. Testor's Forest Jobs and Recreation Act. What Daines and his fellow Republicans want is legislation designed in Washington for all national forests and then dictated to the local people (HR 1526). The net effect would be trashing the time and effort invested in two genuinely collaborative efforts. The article stated that "Daines . . . insisted Friday the letter is not aimed at Tester's wilderness and logging bill, . . . " However, that is exactly what it will hit. Daines is either being downright deceptive or he needs to return to basic hunter education to improve his aim.
The truth of history is littered with Republican efforts to compromise America's public lands and conservation ethic ever since Theodore Roosevelt endowed us with a good share of those assets. What Daines just told us on this issue is that his loyalty will lie with the Washington D.C. political bosses and not the Montana people who have worked so hard by the generation — to find a way. We also need to remind ourselves, as we are inundated with political advertising through the next three months, that their purpose just like the political response on this issue is not to educate us but to deceive us.