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Topic: Growth & Planning     Department: Letters

A needed hard line

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In his article about the reconstruction of Green Mountain Lookout in the Glacier Peak Wilderness, Nathan Rice categorizes Wilderness Watch as "a small, hard-line Montana group" (HCN, 1/23/12, "The law, the lookout and the logging town"). That's like calling the Sierra Club "a California environmental group."

Wilderness Watch was founded in Missoula, Mont., and is still headquartered there. However, its members are spread across the U.S., and members of its board of directors live in Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Washington, California, Colorado and Minnesota.

Retired Forest Service Director of Recreation Bill Worf, who was instrumental in writing the policy and guidelines for "keeping Wilderness wild," founded Wilderness Watch to keep agencies accountable to the letter and intent of the Wilderness Act. Too often, agencies like the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service take shortcuts in managing wilderness by authorizing helicopters, chain saws and mechanized equipment for non-emergency activities like rebuilding dams, clearing trails or stocking fish. Wilderness Watch does take a "hard line" about these violations.

Maybe Mr. Rice and the folks trying to place the rebuilt lookout in the Glacier Peak Wilderness should read another article in the same issue of HCN about retired NPS historian Richard West Sellars and his approach to historical restorations.

Dick Mangan
Missoula, Montana

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