Montana Rep. Theresa Manzella on Forest Management
By Tim Ravndal
Earlier this month, Congressman Greg Gianforte sat down with an official from the USFS, a Lobbyist, and a County Commissioner in Hamilton Montana to talk about National Forest Management and wildfires.
The discussion among the three talked about forest health and the need to reduce fuels. Statistics show we have been plagued with fire and the loss of natural resources every year.
The Lobbyist heavily promoted the push to try new ideas out of the box while he and the County Commissioner rallied around the “Collaboration” concept in management. Building partners through collaboration continues to be the preferred practice with all at the table.
It is Ironic that a similar hearing was held about 12 years ago when Senator Conrad Burns conducted a field hearing in Missoula Montana on the very same subject. At that meeting, there was talk about the collaboration concept being the new approach to forest management.
That meeting included two representatives from the Timber Industry who sat at the table offering their combined experience. There was also a representative on the panel of that process from the wilderness association as well as recreational enthusiasts.
The big issue in the first hearing 12 years ago was loss of infrastructure and the analysis paralysis that we go through to get projects going. The meeting today echoed those same concerns and the collaborating partnership concept again leading the show.
Not one of the panelists mentioned “Coordination” in managing natural resources that would give the people here at home a true seat at the table. Coordination provides for local government to put together a resource management plan. That plan is put on the table and land managers have to consider the local plan before final decisions are made.
Montana Representative Theresa Manzella was at the meeting today and is one of the strongest supporters of common sense resource management. Her devotion to the people is second to none. We are lucky to have a Stateswoman Like Theresa serving the people of Montana. She leads by example and when many run for cover she is on the front lines.
The video interview is a testament to her resolve to protecting our rights.
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