Wilderness is always a hot topic in Montana … and ripe for lampooning.
In the 1980s, U.S. Rep. Ron Marlenee was the constant flat tire.
Montana wilderness proposals have long been contentious issues. The passage of a bill resulting from these hearings resulted in a veto by President Reagan.
When U.S. Rep. Pat Williams introduced a wilderness bill, Rep. Ron Marlenee was ready to gut it.
Sen. John Melcher had a hard time getting off the fence on Williams’s wilderness bill. Meanwhile, Sen. Baucus introduced his own proposal.
As Baucus, Williams and Melcher cooked up a wilderness bill, Marlenee sat ready to give it a hatchet job.
Senators Baucus and Burns tried to get a wilderness bill passed in 1991. Rep. Marlenee worked to put the stops to it.
Later in the 1990s, Sen. Conrad Burns blocked proposed wilderness legislation.