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.