2. Write a Letter to the Editor. A letter to the editor (LTE) is an effective way to demonstrate public support for the proposed agricultural land subdivision regulations. Thousands of Missoula County residents read the newspapers every day, as do elected officials and their staff. Click here for tips and talking points.
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Talking Points for Letters to the Editor
We are (I am) very disappointed that Missoula County Commissioners Curtiss, Rowley and Rye voted against the Planning Board’s recommendations to protect our disappearing farmland from subdivision and development.
The proposed rules would have conserved the most important agricultural soil in Missoula County, and were the product of years of community involvement and hard work by County staff, the planning board, local food and conservation advocates.
The farmland conservation measures that Commissioners voted only applied to the most important soil and farmland, and were recommended by the County’s own planning board.
The farmland conservation rules were broadly supported by many local organizations and businesses, elected leaders, as well as farmers and conservationists.
The Commissioners still have an affirmative duty under state law, reinforced by the Montana constitution, to mitigate the loss of important farmland to sprawl.
Saving some of the last, best soil and farmland in Missoula County is more important than another strip mall or subdivision.
Voluntary conservation efforts are important, but they need to go hand-in-hand with planning regulations.
The failure of County Commissioners to enact clear, predictable rules for development will weaken Missoula’s capacity to maintain a vibrant, local food system well into the future and lead to the continued loss of open space. Their inaction does nothing to resolve the disputes that occur when subdivisions are proposed on important agricultural soil.