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Posts tagged: u.s. forest service

95,000 Respond To Mountain Jesus

In the past month, Flathead National Forest officials estimate they've received more than 95,000 comments from the public about whether the statue of Jesus Christ on Big Mountain should be removed. The volume of comments became so unwieldy that Forest Service supervisors assigned a special team to organize, filter and read the comments, the majority of which were sent by email from across the United States. “It's a very divisive issue, and a very emotional issue,” Derek Milner, who is leading the public review project for the Flathead National Forest, said. “People are either adamantly in favor or adamantly opposed. There really is no middle ground”/Tristan Scott, Missoulian. More here. (AP file photo) H/T: Orbusmax

Question: Do you have a strong reaction to this controversy, one way or the other?

Atheists Take Credit For Statue Ruling

A national atheist organization took credit Thursday for persuading the U.S. Forest Service to deny a special use permit that for decades has allowed a statue of Jesus Christ to occupy a bite of public land on Big Mountain. The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation, which works to keep religion out of government, said the land lease was “unconstitutional” because religious symbolism cannot legally exist on federal property. The group claimed responsibility for a recent Forest Service decision that could lead to the statue's removal from a small swatch of Flathead National Forest land. The statue has been perched at the top of Whitefish Mountain Resort's Chair 2 since 1955, and was installed by a local chapter of the Knights of Columbus as a memorial to veterans of World War II, who encountered religious shrines in the mountains abroad/Tristan Scott, Missoulian. More here. (Wikipedia illustration of Jesus the Good Shepherd)

Question: Do you agree with USFS decision to remove that long-standing statue of Jesus Christ from Whitefish's Big Mountain ski area?

Daily News: Otter Right In This Fight

Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter’s frequent spats with federal agencies are often misguided. But his latest dustup is spot on. Otter has taken exception to a Salmon-Challis National Forest official’s decision to deny an Idaho Public Television request to send a lone cameraman into the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness Area for educational-filming purposes. Specifially, IPTV wants to film about 15 participants in a Student Conservation Association program meant to train future land managers, according to an Associated Press report. The footage would be featured in an “Outdoor Idaho” program/Doug Bauer, Moscow-Pullman Daily News. More here. (SR File Photo: Otter at Spokane Tea Party rally April 15)

Question: Do you think Gov. Butch Otter is right on or off-the-wall re: most of his dust-ups with the federal government?

USFS Blocks IPTV From Forest Shoot

I was unpleasantly surprise this morning to read on the front page of the Idaho Statesman that the Forest Service denied a request by Idaho Public Television to film a crew of students doing stewardship work in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness. The Forest Service believed the request was “commercial” in nature because IPTV sells copies of its programs on compact discs. But IPTV sales strictly cover operating costs. As a state agency, IPTV is prohibited from generating profits. That aside, IPTV plays a critical educational and informational role in communicating the values of wilderness to Idahoans/Brad Smith, Idaho Conservation League. More here.

Question: Do you agree with the USFS to block IPTV from film students doing stewardship work in Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness?

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About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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