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I failed to see evidence of much science in Keith Kubista’s letter, despite the heading “Initiative 169: Oppression versus sound science.” I further object to his accusation that supporters of Initiative 169 are “abusing the ballot box.”

Among Montana’s values are a strong sense of independence and support of the democratic process. The initiative process is a flagship of democracy and the use of it by citizens empowers all of us to have a voice, whether it is a voice that Mr. Kubista agrees with or not. Oppression would be the result of citizenry not having a voice in the management of public lands.

You exhort that “as Montanans we must protect our rights to public land use and guard against those who wish to eliminate our way of life.” The “way of life” in Montana includes the enjoyment of recreation on public lands. Setting traps that ensnare unintended “prey” such as domestic animals and children eliminates the time-honored beneficial right of Montanans of safely and confidently using public lands for recreation.

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