Had the Missoulian made one or two phone calls after Rep. Denny Rehberg paid his recent visit to the newsroom, I doubt the paper would have leant much credence to the congressman's proposal to add so-called "trigger language" to the Forest Jobs and Recreation Act (Missoulian editorial, Jan. 15).
Trigger language would require logging called for in the FJRA to be accomplished before land protections in the bill could take effect. What Rehberg must know and the Missoulian could have found out easily is that Congress has for years steadfastly rejected as unworkable trigger language in other national forest bills. It's a political non-starter, not to mention bad policy that undermines the whole spirit of trust and compromise behind FJRA.
So, the only purpose of Rehberg's trigger language would be to undermine this popular bill without taking the increasing political heat that comes from openly opposing it.
FJRA is the product of years of hard work by countless Montanans who discovered that when everybody yields just a little we all gain a lot: more jobs, cleaner water, secure wildlife habitat and plenty of places to enjoy our vast forests. The Missoulian has promoted the bill and the spirit of compromise in several enthusiastic editorials.
Our congressman is entitled to his contrary opinions. But it would be a service to the community if the Missoulian more astutely assessed what Rehberg says about FJRA.
Daphne Herling, Missoula