the "Public" Back In "Public Trust"
"You own some amazing
land. You own mountains, deserts, prairies, plains, river-bottoms,
woodlands and more."
click image to enlarge
Driftwood Outdoors: Protect
your public lands in West by
"You own some amazing land. You own mountains, deserts,
prairies, plains, river-bottoms, woodlands and more. Out
west, in states like Montana, Wyoming and Colorado, there
are hundreds-of-millions of acres of federal public lands
that you, as an American, own.
But you won’t for much longer if private sector, special
interest groups have their way... Politics is a chess match.
You have to know what your opponent is planning to do two
or three moves into the future. The politicians in favor
of these sales and transfers are not interested in transferring
national lands to individual states so they can manage them
for forest, fish and wildlife. They know that at the state
level they can control legislation that opens these lands
up for whatever they wish to do with them. And you can place
a real safe bet that it’s not the conservation value of
these lands they’re interested in."
Daines’ Habitat-Funding Amendment
Fails in Keystone Pipeline Debate
" 'Last year the LWCF celebrated 50 successful years of
bipartisan support in protecting some of America’s great
public landscapes. Our public lands in Montana are under
attack from all sides,' said John Sullivan with the Montana
chapter of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers. 'We are disappointed
with Senator Daines’ attempt to dismantle such a successful
public land conservation program. We hope Senator Daines
will reverse course and listen to the citizens of Montana.'
email the House Transportation Committee by Monday
morning (all their addresses are linked in one email) in
support of public access:
286, Hearing on Monday Feb. 2, 3:00 PM, Rm 455
Require roads to remain open during a dispute over legal
access (1st email)
304, Hearing on Wednesday Feb. 4, 3:00 PM, Rm 455
Increase penalty for blocking a public road (2nd
Fish Virus Detected
in Kootenai River
"Fish-health testing by state fisheries biologists in November
detected a virus in wild spawning kokanee salmon in the Kootenai
River below Kootenai Falls. It marks the first time the common
virus, called infectious hematopoietic necrosis, or IHN, has been
detected in state waters, according to Mark Deleray, fisheries
manager for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks in Kalispell.
'Montana’s best defense against the destruction caused by invasive
species and fish diseases is for anglers and others to get into
the "inspect, clean, and dry habit",' Deleray said. 'If we
all inspect, clean, and dry our boats, trailers, and fishing gear
after each use we have a chance to control the spread of invasive
plants, animal and disease by not carrying them from one water
to the next,' Deleray said."
Buys 117,000 Acres Of Plum Creek Land In Western Montana
"Now that the watershed has only one owner, it eliminates
that checkerboard pattern you might see on a state forest service
map. In some parts of Montana, landowners can change three times
in three miles, and the Nature Conservancy’s Bryant says those
checkerboards are often a land management hassle. For example,
different landowners can have different priorities for roads."
Buffalo Escape Capture, Death
Toll Passes 400
"The last of the first round of captured buffalo have been shipped
to slaughter. On Tuesday, with an empty trap, Yellowstone park
rangers and Montana Department of Livestock agents mounted their
horses and hazed a group of forty-seven buffalo that were migrating
towards the hunt zone. There were hunters--most of them treaty
hunters--on the landscape actively trying to hunt, but finding
very few buffalo... The horsemen hazed the buffalo into the Stephens
Creek trap, which was also baited with hay, intending to capture
them and eventually send them to slaughter. The buffalo had other
ideas and made a bold escape, running south further away from
the trap and the hunt zone, staying wild and free for another
Another Land Exchange
by Charlie Dennison Pgs. 1 & 5
"Whether or not there is an official land exchange proposal, one
thing is certain, Benes said: the BLM will not wait long before
moving forward. 'If the Wilks brothers or anyone else can come
up with a land exchange proposal in the next three months or so,
we’ll entertain it,' Benes said, 'but if we don’t hear anything
we will move forward with a road proposal.' James said he is not
concerned with the BLM’s timeline, as he is optimistic a land
exchange can be put together before the BLM is ready to proceed
with an environmental assessment for a road project. Once the
proposed land exchange is ready, James said he plans to hold meetings
on it in Central Montana."
Despite the BLM
Realty Trespass Abatement Handbook regulations which states,
regulation, a land use authorization or disposal of public lands
(i.e., sale or exchange) may not be accomplished until the trespass
is resolved."; and despite BLM press releases in Sept.
stating, "A proposed land exchange to restore access was considered
but was determined to be not in the best interest of the American
people who have entrusted the BLM to manage their public lands
for them."; and despite the Public submitting a petition
against trading the Durfee Hills to the Wilks with 1600+ signatures,
at which point the BLM pulls Durfee Hills from a proposed land
exchange in April 2014 - BLM's District Manager Stan Benes from
the Lewistown Office keeps
bringing a land exchange with the Wilks involving the Durfee Hills
back up. " 'And the other one is to entertain a land exchange.
Again, not necessarily the same one that came up, but if we go
to that alternative, we need something that will work. Thats why
Im saying we need to get opinions together. Blaine County, Fergus
County, the ranchers, the folks may call it collaboration. It
can work, but it takes a lot of effort. So we're willing to entertain
that exchange thing again and it might well be one of the alternatives.
Is that fair, Mike?' " Why is that?
Please email BLM State Director Jamie
Connell, District Manager Stan Benes reminding them that
the Durfee Hills are a valuable Public Trust and we dont want
to trade them away, besides it's against BLM regulations while
the Durfees are being investigated.
Scientists offer new research
"Scientists with Montana State University and the U.S. Geological
Survey have identified dammed reservoirs in the Missouri River
as the cause of spiraling pallid sturgeon numbers in the wild,
according to a paper published in the journal.
Or more aptly, the dead zones created by the artificial reservoirs
that prevent young pallid sturgeon from reaching maturity. The
study was built on previous work showing that there was not enough
drift distance between the reservoirs for hatched pallid sturgeon
embryos before entering the reservoirs in the upper Missouri River."
Lessons learned from Montana’s
"Another lesson of the Yellowstone County
oil spill is that the state doesn’t have much authority over pipelines;
federal regulators enforce safety standards. However, it is the
state’s responsibility to hold those federal agencies accountable.
Gov. Steve Bullock, who visited Glendive on Jan. 19, must direct
emergency, environmental quality and Fish, Wildlife and Parks
staff to monitor the Dawson County spill until all the oil is
cleaned up and damage has been repaired.
On the edge of the Bakken oil patch, Glendive has boomed for several
years. This disaster should remind Montanans that Glendive’s emergency
and public works infrastructure has become inadequate for the
larger community it has become. Eastern Montana leaders have asked
Bullock and the Legislature for substantial aid in improving sewer
and water infrastructure, as well as public safety services. Dawson
and its booming neighbors need help urgently, even without a river
disaster... There are nearly 10,000 pipeline river crossings
in Montana, according to information from the U.S. Department
of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.
The question isn’t whether, but when there will be another spill.
Montana must be ready."
FS raise the 2015 Grazing Fee
from $1.35 an AUM to $1.69 an AUM
Livestock Grazing on Public Lands Cost Taxpayers $1 Billion Over
"WASHINGTON— A new analysis finds U.S.
taxpayers have lost more than $1 billion over the past decade
on a program that allows cows and sheep to graze on public land.
Last year alone taxpayers lost $125 million in grazing subsidies
on federal land. Had the federal government charged fees similar
to grazing rates on non-irrigated private land, the program would
have made $261 million a year on average rather than operate at
a staggering loss, the analysis finds."
The previous Congressional Report
in 2012 - Grazing Fees: Overviews and Issues
BLM employee is collateral damage
"Not only was a verbal order given by Worland's BLM management
to restrict active documentation of criminal trespass grazing,
but they chose to suspend Tim Stephens for seven days without
pay for accepting sheep trespass data gathered by a cooperating
agency. Now, the arrogant BLM managers are vindictively trying
to ruin Tim's 24-year career, dedicated to protecting and improving
management of our public lands, with issuance of a letter of reprimand
Hopefully, this painful saga will be civilly resolved by someone
of competence in BLM to benefit Tim Stephens and the bighorn herd,
and will result in creation of a mutually beneficial relationship
with the rancher that leads to improved management of our public
Study faults public-land grazing
"A new analysis has found a widening gap between the taxpayer-subsidized
rates that ranchers pay to graze their livestock on public land
and the higher fees charged by private landowners... The
study found that taxpayers have lost more than $1 billion over
the past decade on the grazing program, including a $125 million
loss last year. Total federal appropriations for the Forest Service
and BLM grazing programs in fiscal 2014 were $143.6 million, while
grazing receipts were only $18.5 million... According to the study,
there are about 800,000 livestock operators and cattle producers
in the United States. Of those, fewer than 21,000—or 2.7 percent
of the nation’s total livestock operators—benefit from the Forest
Service and BLM grazing programs in the West."
'Like spokes on a wheel': Researchers
map elk migrations in Greater Yellowstone
"Efforts since 2013 to map elk migrations in the Greater Yellowstone
Ecosystem will provide researchers some of the most detailed information
on how nine herds in three states use one of the West’s iconic
Hunters and anglers organize
against land transfers
"Just a few years ago, bills to transfer federal lands to state
and private ownership seemed like little more than symbolic protests
from restless right-wing lawmakers. But as proponents of land
transfers in Utah, Arizona, Montana, Idaho and other Western states
gained political momentum and public support, hunting and fishing
groups that oppose transfers began to take the proposals more
seriously. And now, they are launching a remarkably unified PR-counterattack."
My daily creed:
“There three kinds of people in this world”
1 People who make things happen
2 People who watch things happen
3 People who stand there and say What happened
I make things happen! Or at least at the end of the day I can
say I tried!" - Dan Wildin, Billings, MT
I would like to thank the following
contributors for supporting EMWH. Your gift is very much appreciated.
Dan Wildin, George