Living in Lincoln County is a true blessing. With the beautiful atmosphere of rural Montana mixed with amazing outdoor opportunities year round, life is always an adventure. By collaboratively working together for the future, northwestern Montana will remain a place to live life to the fullest.
The map of northwestern Montana is surrounded by the green of public forests that I cherish for all they symbolize. Opening a business in Libby has inspired life-altering decisions and being surrounded by people with similarly adventurous spirits has been a terrific opportunity.
Those around the table connect with the Kootenai National Forest in many ways. It is where we work, raise our families, create memories, build friendships, share experiences and build a life. Our shared esteem for the Kootenai National Forest is the common bond from which solutions flow.
Being able to retire in NW Montana has been a true blessing. With over 2 million acres of public lands and the multitude of recreational opportunities that exist will keep all outdoor enthusiasts enjoying the great outdoors of NW Montana.
Water quality and quantity is intensely important to us at Ducks Unlimited. We support decisions and management actions that maintain or enhance wetland resources. Wetland habitats are critical for the survival and health of a myriad species. For these reasons, Ducks Unlimited supports the local efforts of the Kootenai Forest Stakeholders Coalition.
The Three Rivers Challenge opened the door and helped this community realize that we don’t have to live in an “either-or” world regarding the use of our local natural resources. The Kootenai Stakeholders Group has not only swung the door wide open, but has kicked it off its hinges.
By proving to the community and especially to each other that on this 2.2 million acres of Kootenai National Forest there is plenty of room for all user groups, from recreation to timber harvest, a much more valuable lesson has been illuminated. Namely, that the world belongs to optimists and to neighbors who will always come back to the table, decide to be courageous, look each other in the eyes, and work together for the future benefit of everyone.
The KNF is so many things to so many people – the source of our livelihoods, the place we recreate, where we harvest food – that deciding what its future should look like is complicated and sometimes contentious. But here’s what I’m learning: we don’t actually have to choose one future at the cost of the others. We can, in this case, have it all. The firm belief that the Kootenai National Forest can provide for all of us is why I’m proud to be a member of the Kootenai Forest Stakeholders Coalition.
Northwestern Montana is a paradise when it comes to recreation — snowmobiling, hunting, fishing, wood cutting, berry picking, hiking, and just breathing the fresh air. Working together with varied groups gives me a perspective of their vision for the future. We may not always agree, but we respect each others’ vision and goals.
Montana was founded on it’s natural resources and we’re all here for one reason or another because of this. We need to continue working together and talking about our challenges. This is the only path forward.
I moved to the base of the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness, a more rural part of Montana, to work on the roadblocks to community prosperity. Our collective and careful evaluation of natural resources and management (our ‘treasures’) in the Kootenai National Forest will safeguard our area for generations and support diverse aspirations.