Ravalli citizens panel to review county's stance on WSAs - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

Ravalli citizens panel to review county's stance on WSAs

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HAMILTON - A panel that's organized to review, and advise Ravalli County commissioners on public lands and natural resource issues is going to weigh in on the board's controversial support of a plan to some areas from Wilderness Study Areas.

Ravalli County commissioners faced a wall of opposition last week as people came to question the board's support of a proposal by Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) to remove five areas in Montana from the list of Wilderness Study Areas.

Sen. Daines maintains the locations, including the Sapphire and Blue Joint WSAs in the Bitterroot, should be released from the designations, which was made in the 1970s. 

Commissioners wrote a letter supporting the Daines' bill, and while there were a few people supporting the move, most at the heated hearing in Hamilton said the board should have gathered more public comment before taking such a stand. 

The Ravalli County Collaborative plans to take a closer look at that letter and the WSA issue in general.

The panel will be meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 27 to review the issue and possibly take a position of its own. That will begin at 6 pm in the commissioner's meeting room in Hamilton. 

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