Commentary from a variety of Montana citizens expressing a range of viewpoints.

Views expressed by the commentators do not necessarily reflect the views of this station.

The Need For Comprehensive Federal Forest Reforms

Aug 19, 2014

There has been quite a bit of opinion writing lately about whether members of congress should focus on place-based federal forestland pilots, or whether they should work to pass comprehensive federal forest reforms.

On the one hand, place-based efforts are homegrown initiatives that carve out temporary solutions to meet local needs, while a comprehensive reform package offers sweeping changes that land managers, timber companies and timber-dependent communities can rely on for the long-term.

I want to tell you a familiar story. A young man, we’ll call him Joe, he doesn't make a lot of money, has a toothache and needs to see a dentist, but doesn’t have dental insurance. In a lot of communities this guy is going to land in the emergency room, get some pain meds, maybe antibiotics, and then he’ll call all over town trying to find a dentist he can afford.

Word-Play As A Solution To Western Wildfires

Aug 15, 2014

The 2014 Western wildfire season got an early start with large fires in Washington and Oregon that left those living in Western Montana gagging on the resulting smoke that seemed to be continuously recycled through our valleys. As the summer progresses, we all have our fingers crossed that our own home-grown wildfires will not re-create the “nuclear winter” of thick smoke blocking out the sun at mid-day that we have had to live through in summers past.

Wilderness And Who We Are

Aug 13, 2014

Late July in the Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness area:  a sweeping cloak of flowers still silently blooms on a high alpine meadow.  Some are rare; all are beautiful.  There are few places like it, even in Montana.

Good Jobs Missoula

Aug 8, 2014

Everyone would like to see Missoula get more good jobs – jobs that pay well, offer good benefits, provide access to quality health care and a secure retirement.

Most people will say that the particular good jobs Missoula needs are in the high tech, manufacturing, natural resource extraction and construction sectors. Indeed, jobs in these sectors tend to offer workers most of the very things that define a “good job.”

All Of Montana’s Waters Need Protection

Aug 7, 2014

Montana’s rivers, streams, lakes, and wetlands are an unmatched natural resource.  Our clean, cool waters support an abundance of fish and wildlife, they provide us with clean drinking water, and they give us a place to escape the heat on these August afternoons.


Aug 7, 2014

Good evening. I’m Susan Kohler, CEO of Missoula Aging Services, the Area Agency on Aging for Missoula and Ravalli counties.  Do you know what is considered the “crime of the 21st century?” It is the scam—any scam—that targets people age 60 and older. Because we’re seeing a recent upsurge of reports about financial scams from older adults, their families and retirement facilities, tonight’s commentary is focused on one prevalent type, the telemarketing scam.  I hope the story and tips I share will help you to not fall victim to this crime.   

Montanans Should Be Grateful For The EPA

Aug 4, 2014

In today’s partisan climate it has become predictable sport to rail on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Montana legislators, industries, local government, chambers of commerce and, recently, Congressman Steve Daines, constantly pummel EPA. All because the agency is simply doing its job.

Democracy A Casualty Of Voter-Suppression Politics

Aug 1, 2014

If there's one thing that Americans and Montanans are proud of it's the fact that our form of government is a democracy.

We brag about that around the world and to ourselves.  Our whole belief in American exceptionalism is based substantially upon the fact that we are the oldest continually functioning democratic constitutional governmental structure in the world.

The fact that we have those free elections in our country is something we hold up as a model for the rest of the world to emulate.

Losing Carl

Jul 30, 2014

The men and women who fought in Viet Nam had an expression: “There’s no use talking about Viet Nam because if you weren’t there, you could never understand; and if you were there, there’s no need to talk about it.”  When I heard that said recently, the thought struck me that what was being said about Viet Nam could also be said about losing one’s life partner.  Only those who have suffered the loss can come close to understanding, Robert Frost’s narrator in “Home Burial says: “The nearest friends can go/ With anyone to death, comes so far short /They might as well not try to go at all.”