Friday, April 19, 2024

POWDR’s corporate values don’t align with Montanans

| March 8, 2023 1:00 AM

Utah-based POWDR Corporation is in the process of purchasing Holland Lake Lodge, a Forest Service-permitted lodge in the Swan Valley, Montana. After two years of preparation, Holland Lake Lodge (HLL) and POWDR submitted in April 2022 a joint proposal to the Flathead National Forest (FNF) to greatly expand the lodge footprint and triple the lodge’s capacity. The FNF announced the project to the public in September and held a public scoping meeting on Oct. 4, 2022, in Seeley Lake, Montana.

To assuage growing public opposition to the project, POWDR’s VP of Communications, Stacey Hutchinson, claimed, “Our values are not California or New York. We’re from Utah. Our values align very closely with the values you have here in Montana.”

What are the values to which Ms. Hutchinson referred? An internet search of Utah values yielded diverse values that were politically or religiously tainted. So, I submitted two requests to POWDR for clarification and received no responses. Therefore, I’ll take a stab at it.

I grew up in Pennsylvania, and moved to Montana in 1976, with brief stints in South Dakota, New York, and Wyoming. Fundamental values instilled in me were honesty, integrity, forthrightness, responsibility, respect, compassion, and the Golden Rule. Personal experiences added a strong conservation ethic and love of the outdoors. These values are held by people, regardless of state.

So, what was your point, Ms. Hutchinson?

For two years, POWDR failed to engage the local community, or learn about the ecological and cultural significance of the Swan watershed and the enormous conservation investment therein. POWDR included false information in its proposal, pressured FNF to shorten the public comment period and skirt a full environmental review.

POWDR’s corporate values do not align with the values of Montanans and Utahans, rather their corporate values are the anthesis.

Pete Feigley, Seeley Lake, Montana