Campbell letter

Facts are out of style, I know. That is not new regarding forest fires. Smokey the Bear started saying “only you can prevent forest fires” over 50 years ago, and it’s always been a lie. Also, the enduring, widely marketed, taxpayer funded Smokey ad campaign incites the misdirected finger pointing blame game.

So, when Montana made politicos Daines, Gianforte and Zinke stood in front of the Lolo Peak fire pointing their finger of blame outward at appeals and litigation of timber sales, they were just twisting a long campaign to their own purposes.

The Lolo Peak fire was lightning-caused, and neither ‘you’ or anyone else could have prevented that, but the lie still works.

And, the fact that there have been no appeals or litigation of timber sales in the burned area is irrelevant to their purposes. They did not leave the Beltway to help brave firefighters with fires. The incendiary purpose of the cowardly lyin' politicos is to fire up their voter base by fanning flames of hate. This shameless behavior serves to polarize, not unite or uplift Montana.

The fake news contagion is endemic with feckless politicos from the D.C. swamp but is not limited to the national arena. It corrupts informed public debate locally as well. And it distracts from real issues, like the role of climate change on increasingly long fire seasons and fire intensity.

Even Daines, Zinke and Gianforte cannot prevent forest fires, but there is much real work they could be doing, like tackling the climate change challenge, which could help with forest fires, agriculture, fish and wildlife, as well as other economic and quality of life issues we all face.

- Larry Campbell,