FFA students debate forest management


CORVALLIS, Mont. - The Roaring Lion Fire in the Bitterroot was a springboard for more controversy in the ongoing debate on forest management practices.

Corvallis High School's Future Farmers of America are exploring the agricultural issue in a role-playing presentation.

FFA members debate two sides -- whether humans should have an active role in managing the forest or whether it should be left alone to manage itself

The students present the viewpoints of an environmentalist, a recreationalist, a timber manager, a silviculturist and homeowners.

"We aim to create a presentation that is very balanced," said FFA member Michael McKay. "We do not want to come away with one side or the other as having all the answers. Instead we want our judges and the general public to make up their own mind based on the solid scientific facts that we present."

The FFA group will take its presentation to state competition next month.

This weekend McKay is at the American Legion's National Oratorical competition in Indianapolis, Indiana.

He is Montana's first place winner in that event.