Jon Tester’s Big Lie

by William Skink

there once was a man told a whopper
about the environmentalists he hates
but if supporters ignore it
then who will deplore it
when he runs again in 2018?


Jon Tester lied big time on Montana Public Radio, and so far only one of his targets, Matthew Koehler, has called him out. That is until today, when Ochenski’s column hits the stands.

Here is Tester’s lie: “Unfortunately, every logging sale in Montana right now is under litigation. Every one of them.”

And here is the truth from Ochenski’s column:

• The Bitterroot National Forest has not seen a single timber sale litigated since 2006, which is before Tester even went to the Senate. Zero.

• There was not a single timber sale lawsuit filed on the Lolo National Forest from 2007 to 2012 and then had two lawsuits of which only one is still current. In the meantime, 99 active timber sales were conducted from 2005 to 2010.

• The Flathead National Forest has 13 active timber sales, with four lawsuits pending.

• The Region 1 National Forest announced in October of 2014 that it had reached its timber target goal, logging 280 million board feet of timber. Notably, that’s the first time Region 1 met its timber harvest goal in 14 years because the agency “overhauled its litigation strategy” according to Regional Forester Faye Krueger, who told reporters, “the main emphasis is on threatened and endangered species” saying the agency is paying close attention to previous court rulings and working hard to develop projects that get it right the first time.

Besides lying about the lawsuits, Tester conveniently omitted discussing the 2014 Farm Bill, under which some 5 million acres of Montana forestland that Gov. Steve Bullock nominated can be logged with little or no environmental analysis or public review and comment.

Is this a problem for Montana Democrats? Do they care their Senator came to office with the help of environmentalists, and now their Senator bashes them every chance he gets? Do they care Tester lies, misrepresents, labels non-collaborators as “extremists” and uses legislation to get around pesky things like the Endangered Species Act? (after decrying riders that is the method Tester used to delist wolves).

At the national level Democrats are trying to figure out why they got their asses kicked, politically speaking. Well, Tester has provided a very tangible example of why more and more people are saying to hell with voting. We don’t believe you. We don’t believe you really stand for anything save pleasing whoever you think will get you reelected.

If Montanans are inclined to vote for Jon Tester again, will they even realize what kind of deceitful person they are sending back to the snake pit in DC? Probably not. Will our local media unpack this whopper? Will any of those “progressive” bloggers make noise about this deceit? Besides a few voices, so far there has been mostly silence.

And so it goes.


  1. steve kelly

    I’m sure Sen. Tester’s comments have been poll tested, focus group tested, and pre-approved by more than one of his Wall Street banker-funders, and several K Street lobbyists. It’s all part of a sophisticated (political) social engineering process. His job is to communicate in a way that influences Montanans to behave in a very specific way. If by some fluke he wanders off script, well, he’ll be replaced in 2018. Everything in our increasingly authoritarian society is massaged/ engineered, even our public forests. We live surrounded by top-down incentives and disincentives frosted with a bright, shiny cover story that repeats the Big Lie: “Liberty and Justice for All.” Some feel the noose tightening, most prefer to remain oblivious.

    Thanks George O for keeping that beam of light trained on the creepy creatures that enjoy using power to crush innocent souls.

  2. What I have failed to understand is how Environmentalist Organizations such as Montana Conservation Voters continue to back and support Tester when he supports things like Keystone XL Pipeline. I no longer give time or money to these folks. It’s all just a game to them.

    And SHAME ON US if he’s reelected.

    • MCV is a front group for Democrats, and not an “environmentalist” organization. It’s function is to create the perception that Montana politicians are environmentalists by means of selective manipulation of their voting records.

  3. The political tactic at work here was succinctly described by Max Baucus years ago: “In politics, perceptions are reality.”

    A proactive politician takes advantage of that and creates perceptions. So Tester’s statement, while a boldfaced lie, defines reality for low information voters. That’s all that matters.

    • JC

      Another way to look at it is that Tester is reinforcing a meme — a false one — as a form of propaganda. It doesn’t matter if he lies or is caught lying. A certain small segment of the population will hear it and run with it as if it were truth, and do his bidding. See: Forest Jobs and Recreation Act (aka “Logging Bill”).

      Also known as “politics.” If a politicians lips are flapping, he’s a lying.

  4. larry kurtz

    Nice cast, liz.

  5. Turner

    I care and won’t support Tester further.

  6. steve kelly

    Enough Turners would put a halt to this in short order. If we are to believe Sen. Daines, and we probably shouldn’t, without at least Sen. Tester’s acquiescence, no forest-destruction bill will pass.

    “We need to have a united Montana delegation moving forward. It’s the right thing to do, and it’s the only way we’ll get something passed,” said Daines.

  7. Tester quote, “If you like your forests you can keep your forests”.

  8. Dan

    I have two problems with Ochenski’s piece. The Nazi analogy is way out of line. The use of a Nazi analogy has no place in the public discourse. Ever. The second problem, he’s cherry picking his data. The time frame for the lawsuits does not match the time frame for the timber sales. What are the number of sales over a set time period and what are the number of lawsuits on these sales over the same time period? Is there something in the data that he doesnt want people to see?

    • lizard19

      don’t worry, Dan, even with the Nazi analogy, Tester’s big lie is being properly ignored by most media outlets. and if you think Nazi analogies have “no place in the public discourse” then I’m sure you were horrified when Hillary Clinton compared Putin to Hitler last year.

      as for your second complaint, all Ochenski has to do is find one sale not in litigation to prove Tester lied. Tester claimed EVERY SINGLE SALE is stuck in litigation. do you think that is a true statement based on the information Ochenski provided?

      • Matthew Koehler

        Hi Liz, I have a comment stuck in moderation that helps answer some of these questions. Thanks.

      • Lizard, if you would be so kind as to their delete or line out my comment above regarding the Nazi analogy, I’d be grateful, Otherwise I was in error to write it. I was unable to locate the Ochenski piece at the Missoulian, and thought we had a mud thrower here. I since Googled an entire paragraph you cited and the piece popped up. Your article has no link to GO.

        Pat Williams, on leaving office in 1997, said the following:

        “I can tell you from my viewpoint that spinning Montana’s newspapers was as easy as spinning a top. There’s precious little congressional news that is actually broken by a Montana newspaper. That works to the advantage of the politician. Absolutely. When you are free from a burrowing press, you pretty much have clear sailing.”

        He might regret saying it, might back away from it, but he was caught in a candid moment. I searched are and wide for a newspaper that picked up the quote, and finally found it, word for word, in an Idaho newspaper. No Montana outlet cited him.

        The reason that tester can lie with impunity is becasue there is no burrowing press in Montana, or anywhere in the US, for that matter. If you look closely at any scandal that was reported in Montana newspapers over the years, they always originate out-of-state, and not by means of Montana reporting, which is virtually absent for both parties.

      • Dan

        My concerns are unchanged. The use of the Nazi analogy is inappropriate. It does not matter who utters it. Ever. The date range for the timber sales and the date range for the lawsuits are different. A comparison of the data is not valid. What would the data, and the conclusions, be if they were the same?

        • Matthew Koehler

          Hi Dan: Your claim that “The date range for the timber sales and the date range for the lawsuits are different” isn’t true.

          Perhaps this is due to a variety of factors, including the unwillingness of the Forest Service to share the data.

          However, it’s a FACT that there hasn’t been a single timber sale lawsuit on the Bitterroot National Forest since 2006, and that lawsuit was actually filed against Bush’s 1st “Healthy Forest Timber sale in Montana.” A lot of info has been lost over time as websites have come, gone and got reconfigured, but here’s some info:

          Click to access MEF_Logging.pdf

          So when Tester claims, “Unfortunately, every logging sale in Montana right now is under litigation. Every one of them” clearly he is totally wrong, even if one just looks at the Bitterroot NF.

          The Lolo NF currently has one timber sale lawsuit.

          If you would’ve bothered to read the LTE from Keith Hammer I posted below ( you’d see that “The Flathead National Forest’s Web site, however, lists 17 approved logging projects, only four of which have been litigated.”

          One of my favorite examples to show just how Big of a lie Tester told when he stated: “every logging sale in Montana right now is under litigation. Every one of them”…can be found in this opinion editorial from October 2014 written by Senator Tester’s very own more logging ‘collaborators.’

          “Montana’s wood basket has always been the Kootenai National Forest. Today 160 million board feet are under contract there, of which 90% is proceeding without litigation.”

          Let’s also not forget that in October 2014 the Forest Service also announced that the Forest Service Region 1 their annual timber harvest goals, with “Regional Forester Faye Krueger saying Region One, which includes Montana, harvested about 280 million board feet of timber.”

          But man… “Unfortunately, every logging sale in Montana right now is under litigation. Every one of them?”

          If Tester’s claim was anywhere near true you’d think at least one person in the Montana media would’ve written a story that between October 2014 and today the entire USFS timber sale program in Montana had fallen under lawsuits.

          Again, if the Forest Service would provide simple and easy to access and understand information about the timber sale program none of this would really happen because people could just dial into a website and look at a spreadsheet themselves.

          Finally, the public should know that Senator Tester never issued a ‘correction.’ In fact, as you can clearly see the ‘correction’ issued by Marnee Banks isn’t a ‘correction’ so much as it’s an excuse and more obfuscation.

          The real kicker though is that the ‘correction’ included a bunch more lies and mis-information. For example, once we obtained a copy of the spreadsheet Tester’s office and the USFS were giving to the media the “nearly half” claim fell totally flat because the USFS’ list included: timber sales that actually were not, or are not, under litigation. Included timber sales that are not even in Montana. Included timber sales that are currently being actively logged. And Senator Tester and Congress actually voted to do away with the “administrative appeals” system 2 years ago.

          Suffice to say, when the Forest Service responds to my simple request for basic timber sale information I’ll make it available to the public right away. But we may have to wait until March 23 because the USFS put my simple request in the FOIA basket.


          We have sent the following correction to Montana Public Radio.

          Nearly half of the awarded timber volume in Fiscal Year 2014 is currently under litigation. This does not include projects that had previously been litigated and are now resolved, nor does it include the numerous administrative appeals that are taking place on many of Montana’s forests and slow down many worthwhile projects.

          Marneé Banks
          Communications Director
          U.S. Senator Jon Tester

          • Dan

            No. Matt you are wrong. He uses 2007 to 2012 on the Lolo for the date range for lawsuits. He then uses 2005 to 2010 on the Lolo for the timber sales. The two date ranges are not the same. This is a poorly constructed argument. I used to be an avid reader of his work, now, not so much.

            • Matthew Koehler

              Hi Dan. What am I ‘wrong’ about? Those numbers on the Lolo NF originally came from myself, so I’m quite familiar with them and got them originally from the USFS and verified them with the Lolo NF communications guy a few years ago.

              The problem isn’t the numbers we are using. The problem is Tester lied. Why don’t you get that? The other problem is that when I requested basic info from the USFS back in November they refused to provide it. Now they have put my simple request in the FOIA basket. OK, so we will wait.

              However, those of us paying attention to public lands management issues know what’s going on in terms of no-lawsuits on the Bitterroot since 2006, or only one current lawsuit on the Lolo NF, etc, or that the majority of the current timber sales on the Flathead NF went forward without lawsuits, etc.

              You just seem to not want to face the truth and the facts, and I guess that’s your right.

              As I said, I’m very happy to post the USFS numbers when they become available. However, you seem to think we don’t want those numbers public, which is just crazy, since we’ve been trying to have that basic info available to the public in an easy to access form for like the past 15 years. Jeez.

              • Dan

                No, Matt, in order to draw a valid conclusion the date range for the timber sales and the date range for the lawsuits should be the same. For example, if we leave out 2005 and 2006, hypothetically if there were 20 lawsuits, then the conclusions would be vastly different. Conversely, if we increase the time span to 20 years and there were fewer lawsuits per year, the conclusions change again. I’m not refusing the see or face the facts. I want the entire picture, not selective data.

              • You seem to lose sight of the question of justification. If there is lawbreaking going on, the usual reason for lawsuits (and lawsuit victories), then lawsuits are a good thing because they force our agencies to mind their business. Numbers would only point at agency malfeasance or compliance with the law.

                And this: Tester lied.

              • Matthew Koehler

                Hi Dan. Do you not get the point that we too want the entire picture? In fact, I’m pushing for that info to be made public more than anyone?

                But your friends at the Forest Service have refused to provide it, both in November, over the past 15 years and again now, until they wait 20 working days and respond to my request, which they chose to put in the FOIA basket.

                So we have done our best, most careful attempt to fill in the blanks to prove that Tester lied when he claimed on Montana Public Radio that, “Unfortunately, every logging sale in Montana right now is under litigation. Every one of them.”

                We have proved beyond ANY DOUBT that Tester lied. What WE are now attempting to get from the Forest Service is fact-based, simple information regarding 1) the number of current USFS timber sales in Montana and 2) the number of lawsuits of USFS timber sales in Montana.

                I’ve already stated I’m happy to post that info when it becomes available. The information we’ve already shared proves Tester lied, and some of the additional information we provided the public also gives some important context surrounding the USFS timber sale program in Montana.

                Perhaps you can use your connections with the Forest Service to get information and share it with us here without having to go through a FOIA. Thanks Dan.

              • Craig Moore

                Matthew, thanks for the link. Tester’s lie rates 4 long noses. OUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • JC

          Invoking Godwin’s law sanitizing discussion of all of HItler’s actions and words is no better than holocaust denial.

          We should continue to examine Hitler’s deeds and methods, unless they are to sneak back into production. And it seems that our recent administration and their senatorial minions are counting on Godwin to shield them from people like you asking questions about propaganda, lies and manipulations.

      • I am a student of history, as much as anyone I know, anyway. Historical analogies are often useful as long as we understand that there is never one available that is truly comparable in time and place. History does not repeat except in very broad trends.

        There’s nothing wrong about use of Nazi analogies. Your black/white approach, that they are alwasy bad all the time, is wrong. Ochenski merely alluded to the “big lie” theory, which is not even unique to the Nazis and is still widely in use today, as it works. The Nazis, after all, merely built on propaganda models used by the British and Americans during the run-up to World War I. They saw how successful the Committee on Public Information was, and emulated it.

        So if you want to object to an analogy, call it the “Creel” analogy instead of Hitler, and then put your mind at ease?

    • lizard19

      see that Dan? Tester labels the non-collaborative enviros as extremists because they sometimes use the courts effectively to compel lawless industry actions to comply with the law. meanwhile, the actual extremists who threaten violence? those people are the potential voters Tester chases with his public radio propaganda smear campaign.

      • Matthew Koehler

        Thanks Liz. I’m not sure it’s even entirely correct to label these groups as “non-collaborative enviros.”

        Friends of the Bitterroot is a longtime and current member of the Bitterroot Restoration Committee. WildWest’s restoration coordinator is on the Lolo Restoration Committee and is the former chair of that ‘collaborative group.’

        FWS and SWC are regularly participants in various public meetings, including attending ‘collaborative’ field trips, etc and they fully participate in the entire public process for any timber sale they file comments on.

        Remember, there’s a big difference between participating in the NEPA process, which is the ONLY public process that is required to have in say in the management of America’s public lands. In theory, NEPA requires full, open, transparent and inclusive participation by any citizens, organizations or industry. By comparison, many of these so-called “collaborative” groups are really invite-only, closed-door processes that aren’t required to be open, inclusive or include the best science, or even notes for the public to view. And most all of these ‘collaborative’ groups have mid-day, mid-week meetings, meaning that unless you are paid to be at the table as part of your job, most people are unable, or unwilling, to take off work and drive themselves all across Montana to ‘collaborate’ with the timber industry and politicians.

    • Ochenski

      Dan – below is the definition of “Big Lie” direct from Wikipedia, which is where I got it. That it was originally written about by Adolph Hitler is merely history and not an “analogy” comparing Tester to Hitler. It’s a “propaganda technique” and, had George Washington written about it, I would have gladly used that. But as you’ll recall, most of what we remember about George Washington is his supposed declaration that “I cannot tell a lie” after cutting down a cherry tree with an ax.

      Too bad I couldn’t have used that reference for Tester but, obviously, it didn’t apply.

      Finally, if you bother to read the rest of the Wikipedia entry, you’ll see that Hitler was referring to the English use of the Big Lie, not championing it. And remember, those who do not know history are bound to repeat it.

      Big lie – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia ** – Proxy – Highlight

      A big lie is a propaganda technique. The expression was coined by Adolf Hitler, when he dictated his 1925 book Mein Kampf, about the use of a lie so “colossal” that …

  9. Matthew Koehler

    Hi Dan:

    RE: “Is there something in the data that he doesnt want people to see?”

    No, it’s actual very much the opposite. There’s something in the data that the US Forest Service doesn’t want the public to see. In fact, the US Forest Service doesn’t want the public to see the data unless the public files a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

    I guess, in theory, the public may know more on March 23 when the USFS is required to respond to my very, most basic information request for a list of all current USFS timber sales in MT and a list of all current timber sales on USFS land in MT that are currently stopped by litigation.

    You also should know that after Sen Tester told his big lie that he and USFS worked together to send out more totally false information to various media outlets. The spreadsheets that Tester’s office and the USFS gave to the media, which supposedly showed timber sales under litigation included timber sales that were never litigated, or were not longer being litigated, etc.

    See below.

    From: Matthew Koehler []
    Sent: Saturday, February 21, 2015 9:55 AM
    To: Martin, Thomas H -FS
    Cc:; John Adams; Rob Chaney; Tom Kuglin; Tyler Christensen;; Puckett, Karl;; Alex Sakariassen;;; Dillon Tabish;; Greg Lemon;;;;; OBrien, Edward; Kellyn Brown;;;;;; Keith Hammer;;; Michael Garrity;
    Subject: Request for basic USFS Timber Sale information

    Hello Thomas,

    You may recall that back on 11/13/14 I wrote you and specifically asked:

    “can you also provide me with a current (Nov 2014) spreadsheet of the entire USFS Forest Service Region One timber sale program.”

    You FAILED TO RESPOND to that information request.

    So, let’s try this again, in a more public manner.

    Please provide me with a list of ALL CURRENT TIMBER SALES on ALL National Forests in Montana.

    This list should include ALL timber sales no matter the size, volume, litigation status, contracting mechanism, etc and also ALL timber sales that are currently active. So for example, even if a Record of Decision was signed in 2012, but logging operations are still not finished, those timber sales should be include in the list of ALL CURRENT TIMBER SALES on National Forest lands in Montana.

    Next, please also provide me with a list that shows ALL National Forest timber sales in Montana that are currently stopped by litigation.

    I hope you will agree that this is a very simple, basic request about the US Forest Service’s timber sale program in Montana. This basic information should be provided on the Forest Service website as just part of standard operating procedures to provide the public with general knowledge and information, so I would hope you will not require me to file an official FOIA.

    If you have any questions, please get back with me at 406-396-0321.

    Matthew Koehler
    WildWest Institute


    From: Martin, Thomas H -FS
    Sent: Monday, February 23, 2015 6:56 AM
    To: Smith, Thomas D -FS; Noel, Heather M -FS; Monaco, Angie -FS
    Cc: Dawe, Christine -FS
    Subject: FW: Request for basic USFS Timber Sale information

    Angie – Will want to visit with you on FOIA.


    Tom Martin
    Assistant Director Renewable Resource Management
    Forest Service
    Northern Region Headquarters


    Mr. Koehler:

    This email acknowledges receipt of your February 21, 2015, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, received in this office on February 23, 2015. Your request has been assigned case # 2015-FS-R1-02096.

    As provided by the FOIA this office has 20 working days, from date of receipt, to respond to your request. We anticipate a response to you by March 23, 2015.

    If you have any questions concerning your request, please reply to this email, or call me at 406-329-3256.

    Angie Monaco
    Regional FOIA Specialist
    Northern Region – R1
    Missoula, MT

  10. Matthew Koehler

    Hi: I’d just also like to point out that Friends of the Bitterroot, Swan View Coalition, Friends of the Wild Swan and Alliance for the Wild Rockies – in addition to myself with the WildWest Institute – have also called out Senator Tester and contacted various Montana media outlets seeks more information and a correction, and apology, from Senator Tester, which he has flat-out refused to provide.

    In fact, Keith Hammer, Chair of Swan View Coalition had this LTE printed up north:

    For some of these folks this is much more than just Senator Tester telling a Big Lie that all current USFS timber sales in Montana are supposedly under litigation…everyone one of them, right Senator Tester?

    People with Friends of the Bitterroot have been assaulted (in the USFS parking lot in Hamilton while USFS officials looked on through the windows!), had bullet holes blasted into their homes and offices and have just generally dealt with a lot of misinformed BS up in the Bitterroot, especially since there hasn’t been one single lawsuit of a timber sale on the Bitterroot National Forest since 2006, and a grand total of 2 lawsuits in at least the past 15 years.

    And don’t forget just last year the Alliance for Wild Rockies was threatened with gun violence over a logging sale lawsuit. I will paste the opening snip of the Great Falls Tribune’s article about that, which is no longer available on-line.

    So, this is not just an issue of a fact-based discussion and debate about public lands management…this is also a very real public safety issue for many Montanans who live and work in rural communities, but might not appreciate the political and industry line, and instead value public lands management based on science, law and an open and transparent process.

    So while Senator Tester can single me out as “being part of the problem’ – even though I haven’t filed a timber sale lawsuit in Montana in at least 7 years – his Big Lie (and refusal to issue a correction and apology of any kind) continues to put many Montana citizens in harms way.


    HELENA — A man angered by a recent lawsuit aimed at protecting a dwindling population of grizzly bears on Monday fired-off a threatening email to the group that filed it.

    The emailer, who identified himself as Steven Connly of Eureka, wrote to the Alliance for the Wild Rockies’ general email address warning the group to “stay the hell out of our forests.”

    “GET THE HELL OUT,” Connly wrote in the penultimate sentence before adding his first and last name to the note. “We in Lincoln county carry guns and would just love the chance to use them on worthless pieces of garbage such as yourself.”

    The Tribune contacted Connly by email Tuesday, but he declined to be interviewed.

    “Nothing to really to discuss,” Connly responded via email. “Stay the hell out of our business.”

    • Matthew as long as we’re exposing all this to daylight I was wondering if there’s a place for us Montanans to go to see who funds WildWest, FOB, Swan View, Wild Swan and Wild Rockies.

      We’d like to know who backs you in these lawsuits.

      • Matthew Koehler

        Hi, Big Swede. Yes, unlike the timber industry mill owners who can just make stuff up in an effort to get more taxpayer subsidized national forest logging, all of the official IRS 990 forms for non-profit groups are available here:

      • Just curious, Swede: Do you object to citizens right to petition their government for redress of grievances? Should we get that part of the constitution repealed?

      • Steve W

        Who is this “We” you speak of, Swede? What group do you represent?

      • steve kelly


        Seems that even you know it’s not necessary to expose the groups that take in the biggest dollar amounts. What would be the point, right? The bigger the budget, the less real action, and less threat to the status quo. Money buys silence.

        Since there are no Republican environmental groups per se, the big-money groups engaged in “collaboration” are paid well to attend meetings. All function as political PACs or subsidiaries of the Democratic Party. The poorer, small groups are generally non-political, and operate independent of all political parties as Section 501(c)(3) of the federal tax code requires.

    • Mathew: Your organization files 990EZ, and it says that you took in $27,000 and paid yourself $10,300 in 2012. 2013 is not yet listed. Those are modest numbers.

      I do not think most people understand that to be a true environmentalist requires a vow of poverty. The only way to escape it is to sell out, as MWA, TU, MWF have done. Those are the official groups that tester both likes and works with, and they are rolling in foundation dough.

      I would urge anyone interest to get a free Guidestar account, and then look, for example, at the 990’s for Pew Charitable Trusts. There you will find not the funding source for lawsuits, but rather for the collaborators. Just about every “mainstream” environmental group in the country is deep in the pockets of Pew and other big-name foundations.

  11. larry kurtz

    liz: honestly? you might consider a mental health evaluation for your seemingly pathological obsessions with shit over which you have fractional control.

  12. “People often ask me why environmentalists tend always to incline to apocalyptic conclusions about the state of the planet. “Because it makes them happy,” is my standard response. This is not tongue-in-cheek. There is something about certain kinds of personality types that derives a frisson of delight from contemplating the end of the world. And if you point out that the end of the world is not at hand, it makes environmentalists very unhappy, in part because it deprives them of the opportunity to play savior to the world.”-unknown

  13. Matthew Koehler

    Montana senator twice gets his facts wrong on timber sales and litigation
    By Glenn Kessler, Washington Post Fact Checker

    “Unfortunately, every logging sale in Montana right now is under litigation. Every one of them.”

    – Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), interview with Montana Public Radio, Feb. 18, 2015

    “Nearly half of the awarded timber volume in Fiscal Year 2014 is currently under litigation.”

    – revised statement issued by Tester’s staff, Feb. 19, 2015

    Our inbox started flowing with e-mails from outraged residents of Montana shortly after Montana Public Radio ran an interview in which Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) asserted that “every logging sale” in the state was “under litigation.” The complaints also reached the radio station, as within a day, Tester’s staff offered a revised statement that focused on “volume” rather than sales. Marnee Banks, his spokeswoman, apologized for the original statement, but Tester himself made no comment.

    But when we asked Tester’s staff for evidence to back up the revised statement, they simply directed us to the U.S. Forest Service, rather than explain the data themselves. It’s taken a few days to unravel the numbers, but this is a case of apples and oranges, with a few limes thrown in.

    What’s the actual effect of litigation on logging in Montana?

    Full Story:

    • Steve W

      I’m appalled that our Democratic Senator, Jon Tester, who I voted for twice, is so ignorant about logging issues here in Montana.

      And the fact that he’s now hiding from the public is even worse.

      Tester is unbelievable.

  14. larry kurtz

  15. larry kurtz

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