Letters - Fall 2008

Dare to Be Safe
I enjoy your magazine very much. Most of the articles are very well done and pique an interest in trying new adventures. I read your mission page and totally agree with your philosophy on outdoor activities and the thrill of participating in our area’s great opportunities. However, being an ex-gymnast from high school, I was disappointed that you glossed over the safety issues involved with cliff and bridge jumping. You always point out the safety concerns of backcountry skiing or mountain climbing—that the proper equipment and basic safety guidelines are necessary requirements to participate in these types of activities. I don't believe Lonnie Ball would encourage anyone to attempt some of the pics he has taken of skiing without the proper education in safety. My wife and I were surprised by our daredevil son Robert last year when he shared some photos of his diving feats at some of the local cliffs and bridges. The first thing out of my mouth was what precautions he and his friends were taking. I reviewed some of these issues with him, like making sure the water is deep enough and checking for snags. This however didn't help him when he hit the bottom of a local pool with his forehead. He was extremely lucky to escape with 16 stitches and a minor concussion that lasted 3 months. We are never going to stop kids from performing daring stunts—hell, I have more medical bills than most ten people put together. But when we have the opportunity to make them aware of some basic safety issues we should take it. By the way, Robert got over doing back flips very early in life. If you want to really test your cajones try a gainer! If you look real close at the cliff photo you can see that Robert’s left arm is in a cast from a diving injury when he went off a ramp into a lake, however the dock got in the way.

Geoffrey and Cynthia McBride

We figured checking water depth went without saying; but you’re absolutely right, we should have mentioned something about basic safety concerns. Thanks for keeping us in line, and thanks for appreciating the value of cajones and youthful derring-do! I hope Robert realizes how cool his parents are.

Not Duped by Delaney
Thank you for writing the informative piece on the Delaney-owned wetlands (Spring 2008, page 12). The wetlands on E. Main are a true gem within the city limits and are worth preserving.

For three seasons I have volunteered to survey birds at the wetlands through the Sacajawea Audubon Society. We’ve been doing these surveys to help people understand the value of preserving that area for migratory and nesting birds. It has some of the most diverse habitat around and is very rich in bird species.

On Friday, May 30, 2008, I arrived at the wetlands to start my early-morning bird survey. To my surprise the water was no longer there; in fact, I could hear water draining through the culvert to the north side of the old railroad berm. Ever since I’ve lived in Bozeman (1994-present) those wetlands have been full of water and teeming with wildlife. It is very evident that Delaney Enterprises has decided to put their plan into action: DRAIN THE WETLANDS!

I truly believe that Delaney has more in store for that special area and it does not include a bird sanctuary.

The Sacajawea Audubon Society has been working with the Gallatin Valley Land Trust and other entities to secure funding to purchase the wetlands. As you already know, getting the funding has been a major head-scratcher and there is also the question of who will take ownership and manage that area.

I had a hard time writing this letter, for several reasons:

-My skills for crafting proper grammar are challenged
-I am a Realtor
-I am upset that migratory/resident birds are being pushed out of critical habitat
-I am on my second glass of wine

Sorry for the rambling letter but I truly believe in these wetlands and trying to preserve them.

Lurah P. Klaas

We hear ya, Lurah. When we think about Delaney, the lost wetlands, and that horribly incongruous monstrosity called the Village Downtown, we start drinking too.