Eighth-graders take the honors in the Sanders County essay contest

Leah Thompson, and eighth grade student at Plains Middle School won a $100 Savings Bond for her essay on “Does Wilderness Have Value?” in the annual Sanders County essay contest. FSPW volunteer and essay contest founder Ernie Scherzer of Trout Creek announced the winners last week. Second place overall and winner of a hooded FSPW sweatshirt was Natalia Beardsley, an eighth-grader at Noxon. The four runners up are Logan Whilhite of Paradise, Carter Montgomery from Plains High School, Cody Phillips from Thompson Falls High School and Madison Koonce, a fifth-grader at Noxon Elementary School.

All of the winning essayist received a FSPW hat and t-shirt for their efforts. The essays of Thompson and Beardsley are published below.

“A wilderness untouched by man,” by Natalie Beardsley, Noxon Eighth Grade, second place overall.

There is a place in this world where I feel peaceful. When I walk through the forests of Montana, I feel at home. Away from the traffic of cities and surrounded by simply the wilderness. A wilderness untouched by man. When I walk, I feel twigs snap and dry autumn leaves crumble under my feet. The trees sway back and forth as if dancing to slow, sad music. The rush of the water reminds me that there is not only peace in this world, but life and freedom. The wind whispers in my ear secrets I only wish to understand. Yes, there is a place in this world where I can breathe, where I feel free, and where I feel at home. To me, that is the value of the wilderness.

“I think wilderness has value for many reasons,” by Leah Thompson, Plains Eighth Grade, first place overall.

I think wilderness has value for many reasons. The main reasons that it has value are because it shows natural beauty, it saves resources for future generations, and it is a safe. secluded place for hunting and fishing. These are the things I’m going to tell you about today.

First, it shows the natural beauty of the earth untouched by man. In my opinion, everyone should see the natural beauty of the earth. Why would anyone try to ruin that beauty? It is also a way to escape the sometimes overbearing industrial life. Wilderness is like a historical monument. It show life before it was touched by man. The Scotchman Peaks has the opportunity to make an area like a monument.

Next, it is important to save the natural resources given, for future generations. If we save them we will have a better source of resources. Trees, for example, produce oxygen for the Earth. Trees, a valuable resource, would be used up quickly. The trees would be used up easily because the world is always in demand for resources and the population is increasing. We need trees to enable our survival.

Finally, it supplies hunting and fishing areas. Hunting and fishing also supply food for families. For example, species don’t overpopulate and endangered species aren’t hunted as much. You can also get exercise by hunting and fishing. While you hunt you arc able to see the beauty of the Earth.

So from what I have stated, wilderness has value. Natural beauty,the importance of saving resources for the future, and hunting and fishing are all aspects of why I think wilderness has value. Scotchman Peaks give you the ability to witness all of these aspects.

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