Kearns and Sons RS Aesthetics

True impact of Legacy Ranch still in question

By Dallas D. Erickson, Stevensville

I count Don and Alexandria Morton as my friends and am grateful for that. If I was to believe the media, and some letters to the editor, they are monsters who want to destroy our valley because of Legacy Ranch. I would suggest that anyone would learn much from a conversation with Alexandria and her experience in her native land of the government controlling everything from religious freedom to property rights. You might find her knowledge and experience a red flag about where this nation is heading. It is an interesting thing that those people who have been critical of the Mortons and critical of those that have the gall to take campaign donations from them, have failed to mention the so-called Friends of the Bitterroot and their support of the extreme liberals who financially supported candidates who wanted to make it so we would have to get a permit to dig a post hole on our land or a permit to have more than five neighbors come to visit us in our home. These are the same people and organizations that made the Bitterroot Valley a bedroom community to Missoula by destroying the production and use of our natural resources here.
My family moved here in the 1950s and this was a whole different community then. We hated to see it change but at the same time we knew the advantages of raising families here and welcomed others who wanted to take advantage of those same blessings of living here. It seems the present atmosphere reflects a greedy “I got mine, you can’t have yours” attitude that is demeaning. If I was to believe most of the letters to the editors about Legacy Ranch and the media reporting of it, I would think it will be doom and gloom if 625 more families move into the area proposed. There are many questions that have not been answered and information that is not being distributed. The letters seem to claim that 300 people at a meeting are a majority and that there are no people at all who support Legacy Ranch and that seems to be the theme of media reports as well. Of course, the tone is that if you are for it you have to be evil too and if you know the Mortons you are really evil.
I have some questions and comments I would like answered.
Is it really evil that 625 families will be living in Legacy Ranch area in the next 30 years (maybe more like 100 years if those who have been elected remain in national office)? Aren’t families good? Doesn’t that mean that more children will be raised in our good valley and more children will go to school here and attend churches here as well as parents who will pay more taxes to support our nation, state and schools? The attitude seems to be, “Eeewwwww. Families?”
How much more in property taxes will be paid when all 625 families arrive in the next three decades? How much federal and state income taxes will be paid from there? Could some of that new money go to fix the roads that many have complained will be ruined by the increase in traffic? Will it go to law enforcement and fire departments? Would they have their own fire hall and firemen from a community like that?
Isn’t it true that the schools receive money from the state on a per child basis? So, the more children, the more money? The more property taxes, the more a community is able to expand the schools?
How many new jobs will be created by building this development from those who make the roads and pave them to those who pump the septic tanks over the years? For 625 homes I would imagine there are a huge number of jobs created and maybe it would allow many people to work in the valley instead of driving the roads to work in Missoula.
Would not that increase in families increase the income to businesses in the valley? What projections are there in that area? It must be considerable.
Speaking of septic systems and the wild claim it is going to destroy the bugs and ducks in the refuge, doesn’t the state have full control over that issue and don’t they have strict guidelines written in law that developers have to follow? Isn’t it true that the real estate lawsuits of the last several years were caused because the commissioners or the Planning Board did not follow the law? If the state regulators say the system proposed will be safe for the Refuge and the people, would it not be a violation on the Planning Board’s part or the part of the commissioners to turn it down on that issue? If they did, wouldn’t the developers win in another lawsuit and our tax money used to pay the damages?
There are many more questions that should be asked and should be reported on. These are just a few. That would give more people an opportunity to make an informed decision rather than just march lock step with the doomsayers.

One Response to True impact of Legacy Ranch still in question
  1. Emily DeMyer
    June 5, 2013 | 5:11 pm

    This is a good article, I think, on the real issues at stake in our valley. Sometimes we just jump on the band wagon without really thinking about who is behind things, or the biblical principles involved.
    I personally am for expanding our valley-if I wasn’t, then I should be the first one to move-shoot-I wasn’t even born here! What right do I have to move in and buy up Bitterroot land, if I don’t want anyone else to do what they have a right to do with their own land? At what point do we allow the government & yes, even local leaders to tell landowners how & to whom they can sell to?
    I would love for contractors to be able to work again like they used to in this valley! I know,” but it will look like Missoula”, is the argument! Well, historically, people like to congregate…this means it is natural to move to an expanding area for the beauty & opportunity it brings. God says He blesses His people in the city & in the country, so I think we should be careful before we push ourselves over the brink into “socialist landownership”(ownership being an oxymoron here)! I spoke with a mortgage lender last week who even said we now have “socialist lending”, meaning, you can’t borrow on a house without the governments approval of your specific situation.
    As it says in this article, people are a good thing-and MORE of them! It doesn’t mean we have to live on top of each other, however, we have a choice of where & how we want to live. We should not be telling others who own their own land that they can only sell it to this person or that person, or how much land they can sell at a time. Don’t yell about government control, then be all for controlling your own neighbor!
    This is the same issue as Maclay’s ranch/ski resort…we are so worried about the wilderness, we forget about the people! This would bring in so many jobs! Do we want to drive people away, or ask them to join us? I seriously doubt we are in danger of the government allowing any wilderness to be destroyed! There are too many liberals around for that to happen!
    Just some questions I thin we should ask ourselves…….you can throw the rotten tomatoes now! Notice this was not printed in the Missoulian, but the Bitterroot Star! Thank you!

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