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Letters to the editor June 8

| June 8, 2020 1:00 AM

In this strange time of illness, stress, worry, and lack of certainty about what the world will look like next year, or even next month, many of us are finding sanity and solace in being outside. During the pandemic, people all over Montana are fortunate to be able to take advantage of public parks, trails, and other resources.

What many might not know is that hundreds of our parks and easily-accessible recreation areas have been made possible through the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The LWCF was passed in 1965 with the mission of creating opportunities for recreation throughout communities all across the United States. It had overwhelming bipartisan support.

Our lives today are shaped in many ways by the LWCF’s legacy, ways we might not even know about. I myself learned to swim in the early 1980s at Bozeman’s Bogert Park (approved for LWCF funding in 1973). These days, my own children learn archery by practicing at Lone Pine State Park (LWCF funded in 1983, and expanded through LWCF in 2002 and 2005) outside of Kalispell. I’ve probably fished from more access points than I can count that have been funded by LWCF grants all across Montana.

This program has given generations of American families incredible opportunities for learning, health, recreation, and fun. But it’s never been fully funded. Right now, our congressional leaders have a chance to remedy that situation. Full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund is being proposed as part of the Great American Outdoors Act.

I strongly urge Senator Daines, Senator Tester, and Representative Gianforte to vote in favor of the GAOA and fully fund the LWCF. Future generations deserve the same benefits that mine and others have been gifted by some of the best that America has to offer.

—Antonia Malchik, Whitefish

I have a question that I’m hoping the Daily Inter Lake, or, its’ many readers can possibly answer. A few days ago, a friend told me how he was out at his storage unit unloading some items from his truck when he spied a couple of kids with BB type rifles in a field. Now, mind you, this was during the day when normally they’d be in school learning, but there they were and what he saw made him upset. They were shooting at robins and bluebirds! Trying to kill as many as they could. He did yell at them but they ignored him completely.

Is there or is there not some kind of protection for birds? And isn’t there a big fine for killing song birds, no matter where they land? It seems like I once read an article in the newspaper recently about protecting birds. They’re just starting to hatch out and the babies need both parents to keep them fed.

I certainly hope there’s an answer out there from someone. This kind of destructive, cruel behavior must be stopped!!

—Roxy Ray, Kalispell