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I was grateful to see the Friends of the Bitterroot ad in the paper regarding the Bitterroot Front logging project proposed by the Forest Service/BNF as it validated some of my own feelings.

I’ve been to three meetings hosted by the BNF about this project. My impression is that the project is big, the details are murky, and my gut tells me something is wrong here. I feel there’s a lack of transparency on many levels.

The project’s negative aspects are absent or minimized. They provide unclear answers when asked how much taxpayers will pay for road construction/maintenance.

The BNF supervisor stated there’s no outside pressure that sparked this project and I find that hard to believe.

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I think our current administration’s emphasis on providing extraction industries access to natural resources, viewing regulation and environmental laws as nuisances, and denying the climate crisis all result in projects like this. I think this is how our president and his appointees create pressure and policy at the top that affect the ground right here in our backyard.

I would like to ask the forest supervisor if he has to propose projects like this or risk losing his job. I live in log cabin and regularly harvest firewood and know we can co-exist with forests in a healthy manner, but this huge complicated proposal misses the mark.

The BNF says it wants to hear from the public, but I wonder how they will use our comments. Will our voices make any difference?

— Jennifer Knell, Hamilton

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