HELENA — A man angered by a recent lawsuit aimed at protecting a dwindling population of grizzly bears on Monday fired-off a threatening email to the group that filed it.
The emailer, who identified himself as Steven Connly of Eureka, wrote to the Alliance for the Wild Rockies’ general email address warning the group to “stay the hell out of our forests.”
“GET THE HELL OUT,” Connly wrote in the penultimate sentence before adding his first and last name to the note. “We in Lincoln county carry guns and would just love the chance to use them on worthless pieces of garbage such as yourself.”
The Tribune contacted Connly by email Tuesday, but he declined to be interviewed.
“Nothing to really to discuss,” Connly responded via email. “Stay the hell out of our business.”
Michael Garrity, executive director for the Helena-based environmental group, said he takes the threat seriously and reported it to the FBI.
Garrity said in the more than 15 years he has volunteered and worked for the Alliance he’s seen plenty of threatening or angry letters and emails. But none of the previous letters or emails explicitly used the threat of gun violence to intimidate, Garrity said.
“My concern is we’re filing a lawsuit, it’s our constitutional right to challenge a government decision, and this person thinks the appropriate response is to threaten me with a gun,” Garrity said. “Discourse has really sunk in this country when people think that’s appropriate. We’re exercising our constitutional rights and their response is to threaten us.”
Read the entire story from the Great Falls Tribune here.