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So now we have politicians and political appointees jumping into the Montana public access picture. This happened after Sen. Steve Daines and Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue met with representatives of Montana Stockgrowers, Montana Farm Bureau and Montana Outfitters and Guides who were unhappy with the actions of a forest ranger in the process of confirming the public nature of a long-established trail leading to National Forest on the east side of the Crazy Mountains.

These two experts concluded that the ranger had to be punished for his actions and set in motion the process to having him removed.

The problem with all of this is that Ranger Alex Sienkiewiecz was taking action that had been established at a higher level of the Forest Service and confirmed by the Office of General Council.

The kind of decision made by these two “good old boy” experts should never be allowed just because politically connected special interests groups are not pleased with a decision or action taken that is not to their liking.

Imagine the chilling message this sends to all other professionals working for government agencies : “Don’t make a decision that will make us unhappy or we will have the good old boy come and have you removed and probably ruin your career.”

Senator Daines, I hope you realize that over 70 percent of Montana voters support better access to our National Forests . Better look at your hole card.

John Gibson

Billings 

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