the "Public" Back In "Public Trust"
land hypocrisy --
you tell the voters one thing
and do just the opposite.
Solution: vote them out of office."
- Jack Jones
counties final say in bison transfers
"Senate Bill 284, sponsored by Sen. John Brenden, R-Scobey, would
require county commissionersí approval before any wild bison could
be moved into their county...
Representatives for conservation groups and Montana Fish, Wildlife
and Parks said the bill is not necessary because any relocation
of bison would have to go through extensive public review anyway,
allowing plenty of opportunity for locals, as well as everyone
else in the state, to comment.
'We donít support giving counties authority over wildlife management,'
said Nick Gevock, of the Montana Wildlife Federation. 'Thatís
the stateís job.' "
email Senate Fish & Game Committee to oppose SB 284.
County Commissioners are not trained as
our state wildlife agency! Oppose special interest politics. Scientific
evidence needs to direct and serve the Montana public concerning
our public trust wildlife.
Keep hunter orange law in
(Notice how the Hunters Orange stands
out?) "The fact is Montanaís hunter orange requirement is
a safety issue. Why in the world would our Legislature pass a
law to make hunting less safe, particularly in a time when fewer
new hunters are getting involved in the sport and fewer adult
hunters are passing on the tradition? Why not keep hunting as
safe as possible and more welcoming for nonhunters?
And the numbers donít lie.
From 1972 to 2014 (the years Montanaís hunter orange law has been
in place), there were seven mistaken identity hunting incidents
in Montana. Thatís a rate of about 0.166 a year. From 1900 to
1971, there were 60 mistaken identity incidents, for a rate of
about 0.833 a year. Seems obvious the law is working."
the House Fish, Wildlife & Parks Committee if you havent
Sadly, both HB 304 & HB 286, were
Access Remains No. 1 Issue
by Rob Breeding
"Two public access bills have been added to the mix in Helena.
Iím not sure of the fate of either proposal, but Iím watching
them with great interest. The bills remind me that the 'Access
War' isnít going away soon. But access advocates are at least
trying to play offense for a change...
I donít know if either bill has a chance of passage, but I am
encouraged by the going-on-the-offensive approach both suggest.
Most of the big wins in recent years have been cases where the
public fought to regain access to places it lost when unjustified
'No Trespassing' signs went up.
New laws should make it harder to deny access and create a
path toward reasonable solutions that protect landowners and the
get clobbered by George Ochenski
"If the collaborators feel ďsucker-punchedĒ by Daines, they can
join a whole pile of Montanans who felt sucker-punched by the
backroom deals the collaborators cut on Testerís bill and the
Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act. Thereís an old saying that
when you find yourself in a hole, quit digging. The collaborators
are now deep in a hole they dug for themselves and, if they were
smart, theyíd give up the phony collaboration schtick and support
real wilderness and conservation advocacy."
Montana Wood Products Association:
Don't transfer federal lands to state
"The Montana Wood Products Association warned legislators on Friday
that trying to take control of federal lands would return the
state to the 'timber wars' of the 1980s and '90s."
Falls senator leads charge on state takeover of federal lands
"Fielder was a key figure in Sanders County meetings in 2012 that
criticized national forest plans for the area, says Doug Ferrell
of Trout Creek, a retired homebuilder who has been a board member
for the Montana Wilderness Association.
'The general focus of these meetings and her approach is to talk
about these horrific threats off in the future coming from the
federal government, and if we donít get together and stop them,
weíre all going to be in trouble, and sheís going to be in charge
of keeping the feds at bay,' he says. 'Itís all about fear.
Thatís what sheís selling.' "
Fish and Wildlife Commission approves several management proposals
Bighorn Sheep - "Biologists believe that as long as the disease
is within the herd, it will never fully recover, said John Vore,
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks game management bureau chief.
'That herdís been struggling over 20 years -- it just canít pull
out of it,' he said.
The idea surfaced of eliminating the remaining herd and thus eliminating
the disease before another transplant. FWP plans an environmental
assessment to further study the concept."
Candlelight Vigil for "Buff-Love"
"It's about 'buff-love' for Valentine's Day in Montana. That's
how organizers characterize a week of action to raise awareness
about wild buffalo - also called bison...† 'We really want the
Park Service to stop participating in the destruction of these
gentle giants and to fulfill their obligation to the buffalo and
to the American people by protecting and defending them,' says
Study pitches promotion of
Montanaís Breaks monument
"Montana isnít bragging enough about the Upper Missouri River
Breaks National Monument, a new study says. And Great Falls and
other northcentral Montana communities are losing tourism revenue
as a result.
Ranch and farm communities that sit on its fringes should team
up to beef up promotion of themselves as gateways to the scenic
landscape, even reaching out to international markets to boost
tourism dollars, the study recommends."
An example of this type of tourism are the
Missouri River Guides , founded by Glenn
Monahan and Nancy Schultz, who serve the Upper Missouri National
Wild and Scenic River and the Upper Missouri River Breaks National
Missouri River Country
Prairie needs protection along
the Hi-Line by Greg Munther and Bob Ream
"As Montana backcountry hunters, retired Montana land managers and
biologists, we see importance in ensuring access to our public land
for a wide variety of recreation activities and in long-term protection
of our Montana way of life by conserving the best of our prairie
lands for future generations.
The fact our prairies are among the most vulnerable in our state
adds urgency for the BLM to get this right. To be clear, we are
not talking about designating this land under the Wilderness Act,
which only Congress can do, or even prohibiting any of the current
uses on these lands. We need to simply maintain the status quo and
manage our public lands to protect backcountry recreational opportunities
across Montanaís Hi-Line prairie for future generations to enjoy."
Lands With Wilderness Characteristics
Ask the BLM to implement the LWC management plan in Alternative
B in their final Hi-Line RMP; email BLMís at: BLM_MT_HiLine_RMP@blm.gov
Belfry landowners file
legal challenge to Commissionersí rejection of Silvertip Zone
"Red Lodge, MT Ė Today, seven landowners filed a legal challenge
in state district court to the Carbon County Commissionís rejection
of their petition for land use regulations to protect their private
properties from the harmful effects of oil and gas drilling...
Although some oil and gas development has occurred in Carbon County
for decades, the Silvertip landowners were pressed to take action
in October 2013, when Energy Corporation of America (ECA) CEO John
Mork announced plans to hydraulically fracture 50 wells along the
Beartooth Front ó an area that includes Carbon and Stillwater counties
in Montana and forms the northeastern flank of the greater Yellowstone
ecosystem. Mork boasted that ECA hoped to bring 'a little bit of
the Bakken' to the Beartooths."
Vagneur: Weíll take some
"Iím a Colorado cattleman by birth, cows and horses my legacy over
three generations before me,... We run around 400 head of mother
cows on government permits in the summer, and about half of them
are my responsibility: packing salt, checking grass and water holes,
moving them around to more advantageous spots as the warm weather
progresses into fall. And one of my hopes is to get the cows to
some good grass before the elk get there first and leave slim pickings.
Donít get me wrong; we share the range with the elk, and weíre happy
to, mostly because we donít run that many cattle, but sometimes,
itís disheartening to be shagging cattle up the trail and suddenly
discover weíre moving a large herd of elk just ahead of us. Itís
times like those I wonder why many cattle ranchers in Montana, Wyoming
and Idaho are so against wolves and their reintroduction into the
Utah is lone cowboy trying
to wrangle public lands
"Montana conservation groups are staging a rally Monday in Helena
protesting what they call Fielder's plan to 'seize' public lands.
They also are submitting a petition to Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock,
a vocal land-transfer skeptic who is scheduled to address the rally.
'We won't tolerate being evicted from the places that sustain our
outdoor way of life,' said television host Randy Newberg. 'This
is about protecting our outdoor heritage, what makes us who we are
as Montanans.' "
"The Antiquities Act is not the problem; congressional inaction
is the problem... Congress expressly gave legal authority to the
president to act decisively to protect our public lands and the
objects of national significance they contain. Places like Cedar
Mesa in southern Utah are internationally recognized treasures,
filled with 'antiquities.' Yet Congress has done little recently
to protect such important national assets...
However, if that legislative process yet again fails to deliver
tangible results, it will be another strong argument for why the
Antiquities Act is an important balance against congressional inaction."
Nation's Largest Solar Farm
on Public Lands Now Online
" 'Solar projects like
Desert Sunlight are helping to create American jobs, develop domestic
renewable energy and cut carbon pollution,' said Secretary Jewell.
'I applaud the project proponents for their vision and entrepreneurial
spirit to build this solar project and commend Governor Brown for
implementing policies that take action on climate change and help
move our nation toward a renewable energy future.'...
Nationwide, BLM has approved 52 utility-scale renewable energy projects,
including 29 solar projects, with a total capacity of more than
14,000 megawatts. If built as planned, these projects will provide
more than 21,000 jobs and power about 4.8 million homes, according
Did the GOP Just Give Away
$130 Billion of Public Property?
"In December, two Republican senators, John McCain and Jeff
Flake, pushed Congress and the President into giving away what could
amount to over $130 billion in public property. That's enough to
provide every single unemployed American a minimum-wage job for
an entire year. That's enough to pay for a year of tuition at a
public institution for every college student in the US.
And yet the GOP big-shots call themselves 'fiscal conservatives'!
'Fiscal conservatives,' my you-know-what.
I'm talking about the huge giveaway to the mining companies Rio
Tinto and BHP Billiton in the Defense Authorization Act. It was
splayed across 10 pages of the bill, pages 441 to 450 (out of 697)."
Jack has written a number of times, sharing his
wisdom and experience battling the privatizing of our public lands.
Rather than just a short comment, I am linking to his recent LE
- State legislators clueless on federal
public land laws - Jack Jones, Butte, Montana