Seeley Swan Pathfinder -


By Carol Evans
Seeley Lake, Mont. 

Support the Ranger


August 30, 2018

This letter is in support of our District Ranger, Rachel Feigley. I understand that a petition has been circulated negating the works of Ms. Feigley. I would like to confirm her positive attitude and ongoing interaction in the community to promote the role of the Forest Service in maintaining public lands for multiple use.

After the Rice Ridge Fire in 2017, some residents needed to place blame for the loss of revenue. In addition, the road closures and campground closures were seen as the sole responsibility of the Ranger. While many of us know that a decision within agencies is rarely, or never, the result of one person scripting an outcome, some people single out a scapegoat to blame. In this case, it’s the District Ranger.

I want to state unequivocally that the team responsible for the Rice Ridge Fire management and ultimate control was responsive to local concerns and held multiple community meetings to address concerns in an intelligent and compassionate manner. As a key member of that team, Rachel was at the forefront many times and remained disciplined and conscientious, even when confronted with irrational and sometimes combative individuals. Questions were addressed by a number of agency personnel, including Rachel. Perhaps the complexity is difficult for some to understand, or the overarching distrust of agency folks got in the way of understanding what was said.

I understand that placing blame is a way of addressing frustration, but to put an individual as the sole responsible party to a gigantic, complex, devastating event, is irresponsible and inappropriate.

Please accept the continued support for our District Ranger Rachel Feigley while the community sorts through the continued economic and emotional fallout from the Rice Ridge fire.


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