In the early 1990s, I traveled from my home in Flagstaff, Ariz., looking for the perfect fly-fishing and vacation spot in Montana. When I first set my eyes on the East Rosebud Canyon and Lake, I couldn't believe that a more beautiful and unspoiled habitat existed. I have been back nearly every year. On my way to East Rosebud, I frequent many of the local businesses in neighboring towns buying gas, supplies, meals, food and lodging. Like many other visitors, it's my very special vacation destination.

When I found out that a feasibility study was under way for a proposed hydroelectric project on the East Rosebud River, I was stunned. How could Montana possibly consider commercializing and spoiling one of their precious natural jewels? It seemed inconceivable that a corporation could be allowed to commercialize a natural wonder at the expense of tourism, angling and camping that provides steady profitability to local communities.

Tourism is forever and creates zero environmental impact. When I fish the East Rosebud river, I leave no trace behind. Building a hydro plant, roads and forever ruining and polluting a canyon and its beautiful river for questionable commercial profit is sacrilege. You have to draw the line somewhere folks.

I encourage any Montana resident who hasn't been there to visit this precious place and witness the beauty for yourself. One look and you will realize what's at stake.

Jim MacAvoy

Flagstaff, Ariz.

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