We who are lucky enough to spend a significant amount of our time in the East Rosebud Canyon are very appreciative of the recent coverage The Gazette has given to this area, and to the application still pending for a hydroelectric project on the river near the lake outlet.

Being only a couple of hours drive from Billings, this is one of the most beautiful and unspoiled areas in the U.S. It is easily experienced by a leisurely drive or by relaxing in a great campground. The canyon borders the vast wilderness area, and the American Rivers organization believes it to be eligible for designation by Congress as a Wild and Scenic River.

If the proposed hydroelectric project is allowed to be built, the economic benefits will be negligible. However, the permanent diversion dam, long and imposing flume diverting significant flow from important trout spawning areas, and a power plant right in the middle of deer, moose and bear habitat will change the area for the worse and most likely in ways that we cannot even fully imagine at this point.

The East Rosebud Canyon is only one of many wonderful and beautiful areas in Montana which must be preserved for all of us. We should not allow them to be taken away from us so easily. This is everyone's backyard and we need to protect it.

Joe and Judy Rich

Billings

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