This West Is OUR West

Lake County [Montana] better off without density map


Sunday, June 17, 2018

Thank you, Lake County commissioners, for standing firm on behalf of landowners in Lake County by repealing the Density Map and Regulations.

Lake County lost decades of financial resources from the Kerr Dam, lost the low-cost block of power, lost the promised tribal funds directed to Lake County government and Lake County school districts, and lost control of waters and electric power. The economic squeeze exerted by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes is fully advancing upon Lake County at high speed.

Flexible land-use planning is the commissioners’ last available tool for a sustainable economic future. Providing consideration to the tribes when such consideration is not mutual is sheer folly and continued surrender.

Commissioners have a duty to all residents. You have absolutely no duty to the tribal government, and urgently need to cease any timidity or fear of shaming or name-calling when you serve the best interest of your elected office.

If you do otherwise, you’ll be the third county in Montana to soon cease to exist. Since 2006 Big Horn County officials are all enrolled Crow tribal members and control all decision-making in Big Horn County. Non-tribal residents in Big Horn County have lost their representative voice.

The Blackfeet Tribe’s aggression has brought ruin to Glacier County. The tribe now controls the disincorporated town of Browning. All Glacier County commissioners are enrolled Blackfeet tribal members making decisions in the best interest of the Blackfeet tribe, mismanaging Glacier County funds, running up Glacier County debt, and ratcheting up taxes on the remaining taxable folks in Cut Bank. Glacier and Big Horn counties are essentially lost to a representative government. Lake County faces the same peril.

The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes resent the economy of the Flathead Reservation provided by ongoing success of non-Indian governments, businesses, towns and people. Living in yesterday land will stunt everyone’s tomorrow.

Elaine Willman, Ronan