Here in Libby, the Kootenai National Forest has shaped our history of logging, outdoor recreation and the high quality of life that we all enjoy by living here. We have vast open spaces and beautiful mountains right out our back door and we are all lucky because we are owners of this public land. As landowners, we, the community, should have a say in the future of the land.
One group has come together with this new idea for forest management: the Kootenai Forest Stakeholders Coalition. There are loggers, snowmobilers, hunters, business owners and conservationists in the group who believe in a balanced approach to land management ó including an increase in timber harvest. Itís time for us to work together instead of fighting. Itís time to look to the future instead of the past.
Just last week, the Lincoln County Commissioners signed an agreement with the Stakeholders group. I want to extend my thanks to my Lincoln County elected officials for joining this community-led effort to manage our forests.