Letter to the editor: Response to past letter

In regards to a letter to the editor dated June 30, 2020 from Mark Roesler-Begalke about BLM and Antifa. I really have to take issue with his second paragraph where he wrote: “There was a quote in the article that read: “We just don’t want any of that antifa stuff.”

If you read the national press and looked at the papers regarding antifa’s involvement in the riots and looting that occurred you would see that the FBI has reported no credible evidence of antifa sparking the violence. It is a talking point that President Donald Trump pushes without any proof or facts behind it.”

Well let’s look at some facts. 1-Let’s look at KREM 2 News out of Spokane Wash., which reported on June 9 about the May 31 protest, where 19 people were arrested.   Many people, including Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich, said after the “unrest that the violence and looting that took place after that first peaceful protest of the death of George Floyd was caused by antifa groups bused into the city.”

2-Now let’s look at Portland Ore. where the “The Post Millennial” reported on July 7. “ Seven  Antifa militants have been arrested by authorities in Portland and are facing federal charges for participating in a violent riot outside of a US courthouse. The announcement was made by US Attorney Billy J. Williams”.

3-Check out KSAT News about Austin, Tex.  Headline published June 6,  reads: “three members of anti-government group ANTIFA arrested after looting a Target in Austin, FBI says.  Property damage and stolen property valued over $20,000.”

4-Look at ABC News that reported the FBI arrested Jason Charter, a self described supporter of Antifa, on social media post.

I’ve seen/heard lots of other stories about how violent antifa is, but I’m limited on space.  So the FBI is arresting them, US Attorneys & the DOJ are charging/ prosecuting them and President Trump does have a lot of proof & facts to back him up.  I just listed four.


Submitted by Craig Martin, Libby

Letter to the editor: What should the Kootenai National Forest be?

This may seem like a straightforward question, but it’s one I grapple with regularly. The Kootenai Nation Forest  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 KNF can provide for all of us is why I’m proud to be a member of the Kootenai Forest Stakeholders Coalition (KNFC).

Let me be clear: I’m a forest management novice. I have never worked for the Forest Service, I have never been a timber producer, and I have never been employed as a conservationist. My interest in forest management stems from my love of the natural world. Being in nature, looking for signs of animal activity, learning about plants and the life stages of the forest, and the culture and history that are so intertwined with it – this has shaped my relationship with nature and influenced my understanding of it. I’ve had so many questions about nature and all its forces, and as with so many other things in life, the more I learned the more questions I had.

As I explored the natural processes and activities that captivated me, I became increasingly aware that the things that made me fall in love with nature – the solitude and endless wonder – were just a few of the many elements that create our deep connections to the Forest that surrounds us.

The KNF has a long history of supporting our lives and providing the raw materials that are necessary to building and sustaining our communities. Our forest provides unparalleled recreation opportunities, exceptional wild places, and vital economic resources. The dense forest, powerful rivers, and mineral wealth have been central to our history and heart  in northwest Montana for two centuries.

I want to understand the needs and desires of everybody who values the KNF. National, state, and local land managers, local businesses, families, recreationists, fire mitigation experts, forest restoration experts, and more all have valid ideas about what the future of the Forest should look like. We all love the Kootenai. But that doesn’t make managing it easy.

That’s why I’m doing everything I can to learn. The more I learn, the more I can understand the relationships that we have with the forest and what our values are.

And boy, is there a lot to learn, from analysis to litigation to compliance to science and so much more. Let’s not even get into the acronyms: WUI, NEPA, SOPA and so many others contribute to an alphabet soup of forest management. Now, knowing some acronyms doesn’t make me an expert, and I never expect to be, but that’s not the point: the more I learn and the clearer the process becomes to me, the better I understand and respect all the different points of view. Even if we don’t always agree, we all deserve to be heard, have our concerns addressed, and our values understood.

Since becoming a KSFC member, when I hike or backpack into the wilderness, I have a deeper sense of appreciation for my experience. I feel more enlightened about the forces affecting the forest and how precarious the balance of nature, man’s use of resources, recreational enjoyment, and environmental health are. The more I’ve learned, the more I’m convinced that there is plenty of space and resources in the Kootenai National Forest for all of our values to coexist sustainably. Our job is to make a roadmap to that future.

And I know I’m not done learning yet. The KFSC is in a unique position to hear from many different people, and you can be a part of it. This fall, we’ll be showing up in Sanders County, and we’d like to talk to a mix of folks – not spokespeople or leaders, but community members and forest users like you. We’re calling these get-togethers community conversations. We’re looking for ten people per conversation, and participants will each get a $20 gift card to a local business. You can find the dates and sign-up info on our website, www.kootenaifuture.org.


Angelo Alderete, Thompson Falls,, Mont.