Letter to the Editor
March 30, 2023
An asphalt plant?! And a gravel pit?! On 21 acres?! That’s an area bigger than 26 football fields, or more than 300 tennis courts or over 3100 parking spaces! However the reader, you, can best envision the enormity of such a horrific industry smack in the middle of a peaceful, wild area that is adjacent to an already designated special open space, this is a proposal that needs to be denied.
This application to build such a noisy, dusty, smelly, disruptive industry directly across from the Blackfoot Clearwater Game Range (which is adjacent to the Scapegoat Wilderness) and the Last Best Place Cemetery on one side and the Clearwater River/Elbow Lake on the other side needs to be stopped in its tracks!
LHC, Inc recently submitted an application to the Montana Department of Natural Resources and CONSERVATION (DNRC) to create this travesty in a very important wildlife corridor and serene location on State Land. Not only would the elk, grizzly bears and many other wild animals be negatively impacted but so would the people who enjoy the serenity of the area. Asphalt plants are not just ugly, but the more heat that is applied, the stinkier the asphalt becomes. The smell radiates out into the atmosphere which becomes the only thing people can smell. Health effects from exposure to asphalt fumes include headaches, fatigue, and eye irritation to name a few problems. This proposed industry is an outrageous insult to the area and to what makes western Montana special.
The experience of cabin owners would certainly be negatively affected just as the wild animals would be impacted. The money made from such a noisy, dusty, smelly industry is not worth the long-term negative impacts of this proposal. The noise, smell and dust would, of course, also reduce property values for people who own and lease lots from the DNRC near the proposed asphalt plant and gravel pit.
LHC’s upcoming road project on Highway 83 has a permit to use gravel from a pit that already exists on private property near Brown’s Lake. Driving the distance from the Brown’s Lake area to haul gravel and asphalt to the Highway 83 road project is the least impactful option. The State should also not compete with private people who own gravel pits in the area.
Thank you for respecting all the people who have written comments of opposition and all the animals who can’t write letters. Please deny this outrageous request and destructive industry in this sensitive area.