Back in the saddle

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I canít say that July and August were fun-filled, but they were certainly action packed. Heart attack, open-heart surgery and a pain-filled recovery. But it was not all bad. It is amazing what cardiologists can do today. Also, I have a new respect and admiration for the nurses at Kalispell Regional.

Yes, they were competent and professional. More than that, they were friendly, helpful and caring. They lifted my spirits when I was tired and hurting and I even found myself looking forward to my escorted ďhikesĒ around the unit. I wish I had the words to express how much I appreciated the care they provide. That is especially true of Nurse Louise, who taught me how important it is to follow the nurseís directions.

Also great are the physical therapists who have put me well of the road to a real recovery. Even when I did not feel like getting out of my recliner, let alone doing exercises, they have motivated me to get going and I always feel better after they visit.

Next is cardiac rehab at the hospital and hopefully I will be back to normal soon. As of now, I am weak and have little stamina. Luckily, my mouth still works and I canít tell you how much I have appreciated the e-cards, letters, get-well cards and phone calls, not to mention the great meals brought to the house. I really enjoy visitors since I will probably be involved with rehab for several more weeks.

At first I thought this might be a good time to hang up my pen and retire from writing this column. A couple of things changed my mind and I will continue as long as I am able or until the editor ties a can to me.

My first reason was the simple fact that local media donít do much to cover the North Fork and I like to hope that this column, as incomplete as it is, helps to promote our unique area and lifestyle without promoting too much commercialism. I know I am not always successful at this, but I have to try.

Biggest reason though is the ever-present dominance of the federal agencies, the U.S. Forest Service and the National Park Service.

Both agencies have goals that I support and both have great employees on the local scene. They problem is that their policy-makers do not have a clue and their interpretation of how things are on the North Fork are skewed by ďexpertsĒ who have never been here.

Several residents have told me how pleased they are about the agencies reports at this yearís Interlocal. Not me. My opinion is they made no real decisions to manage the future. They did spend a ton of money to justify kicking problems down the road. This is most evident in the River Management Plan, which is a three-year review of the North Fork which cost thousands to write. In the end, nothing will be done to accommodate increased floaters but they will spend $2-3 million to improve access to the river. What lunacy! That will certainly make permits likely as numbers inevitably increase.

What do you think?

Larry Wilsonís North Fork Views appears weekly in the Hungry Horse News.

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