Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Letters to the Editor: Irrigation deal needed

| March 4, 2021 12:05 AM

Irrigation deal needed

A new cooperative agreement between the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and the Flathead Irrigation District could improve management of our irrigation project. And irrigators also could enjoy a huge economic benefit.

When the Bureau of Indian affairs re-assumed project management from the tribal-irrigator Cooperative Management Entity that managed the project from 2010 to 2013, the CME had 42 employees. The O&M fee was $26 per acre.

Within a few years, the BIA raised the O&M fee to 33.50 per acre in order to employ up to 52 employees. Because of bureaucratic hurdles, the BIA has had difficulties filling 42 positions, let alone 52.

If the FID and CSKT could agree on a new joint entity by early this summer, they could press BIA to restore the $26 O&M fee for the irrigation year beginning January 2022 and save irrigators $7.50 per acre.

— Dick Erb, Moiese

What happened to common good?

I’m almost ashamed to be a fourth-generation Montanan. I grew up with the belief that everyone had the right to personal liberty earned by personal responsibility.

Now, I’m seeing “every man for himself.” I’m seeing too many people choosing to stomp hard on women, people of color, and especially those who struggle financially on a totally inadequate minimum wage.

I’m not seeing any sense of “for the common good.” We, and our elected representatives, should have a common goal, that of improving the lives of everyone. I repeat, everyone.

We have allowed dismantling of environmental protections. We have supported cutting access to health care. We have disregarded science. To those who support those policies, I say, shame on you.

I want clean air, land and water. I want health care for myself and everyone else. I don’t support profit for just a few above the health and well-being of all others. I want our leaders to listen to real scientists and doctors. I want to see legislation that makes sense, not more nonsense. I want to see cooperation across the aisle.

I’m ready to move forward. I’m ready to choose unity over division. I’m ready to work toward a better Montana and a better America. Let’s get together and make it happen.

— Susan Evans, Polson

Unnecessary culture wars

There are now multiple bills threatening to become law in Montana against transgender people.

Although there are different explanations for each of these bills, what seems to be at the heart of all of these bills is a prejudice against transgender people. In other words, legislators are chipping away at the rights of an individual to live their lives.

When did it become OK to get into someone else’s business? We’re talking about trusting a doctor to make the best decisions with their patients. We’re talking about allowing sports organizations in schools, colleges and universities to make the best decisions for their athletes. Why is the legislature getting involved?

We need the legislature to focus on how we move out of the multiple crises the state is dealing with — not getting drawn into culture wars.

— Lisa Pavlock, St. Ignatius