I recently attended a meeting of the Shining Mountains Chapter of the Montana Wilderness Association. The subject was the Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act (see “Half a loaf,” Nov. 3, 2011). It was interesting to learn that this piece of legislation has been several years in the making. The work of the Coalition to Protect the Rocky Mountain Front dates back to 2003, and it began work on this particular project five years ago.
When people start from the ground up, develop mutual understanding and attempt to work out their differences to produce an agreement, it is critical that our lawmakers recognize and act on those efforts Otherwise, good work can lead to nothing.
In this case, the good work of the Coalition to Protect the Rocky Mountain Front has led to a piece of legislation that would protect almost 300,000 acres of the Front and maintain existing uses in the process. It is encouraging to me that Sen. Max Baucus is rewarding these efforts by sponsoring the legislation. When the system works, this is what it looks like.