the "Public" Back In "Public Trust"
citizens forget what it is they fight for,
things do change.
They change big time, and for the worse."
- Hal Herring
just received the first part of my first Durfee Hills BLM
FOIA request that I placed on November 13, 2014, this last
Saturday. The PDFs have a number of documents that need to
be broken up into their smaller parts, and they are not text
search/copy capable or in any chronological order, so I will
need to process the documents to make them text capable and
in their smaller segments (one of the PDF's is 417 pages)
before setting them up on the Wilks
Durfee Hills Illegal Fencing Page. Some of the information
involves the Bullwhacker Road access situation in the Missouri
Breaks National Monument area. I will also have to break apart
the Sept. BLM first investigation photos when they reported
that the Wilks fence was okay. These recon pictures show there
was alot that was not okay.
I also want to thank those that took the time to contact BLM,
requesting the Durfee Hills survey and investigation (still
has not been completed and posted to the Federal Register,
I check everyday). Psychologist have studied peoples activism.
They say when people are in a group, "responsibility for acting
is diffused. They assume that someone else will make the call,
or they assume that because no one else is acting, the apparent
problem... isnt really a problem." My Daddy (read that with
a southern accent) taught me when I was a child that to "assume"
makes an ASS out of U and Me. We are making asses of ourselves,
concerning the public trust, when we dont act.
Normally, when I send out notifications of public comment
requests or ask that the public notify a particular authority
on a matter, I often get blind carbon copied or forwarded
the email of a comment. I try to thank all those that do this,
for taking the time to comment, it can make a difference.
One such example occurred this week in response to Arnie Doods
position cut. I thanked Paul and received a reply back, "A
very little thing, K. Glad to have done it." It is such a
small thing, to take a few moments of your time to participate
in our public trust process. Otherwise, when you "forget"
what it is you are fighting for, as in Hal's quote at the
top, things do change - for the worse. So please, beat the
statistics that state only 1% of the people are politically
(means pertaining to public affairs) active and dont assume
- be the active "Public" in "Public Trust", before we get
our asses handed to us by the privatizers.
If you would like to further
the EMWH Public Trust work and research, please click to contribute
The Return of the Public-Land
Privatizers by Hal Herring
"When citizens forget what it is they fight for, things do
change. They change big time, and for the worse. Transfer
of America’s public lands to state control will be awful for
hunting and fishing and access, not to mention the end of
federal water and grazing rights for Western farmers and ranchers.
It will be the short prelude to privatization. And that, my
fellow American outdoorsmen and women, is the ultimate goal
of some very unpleasant characters in our world today. That
much has not changed since the very first day President Benjamin
Harrison set aside the first forest reserve in 1892."
The Sagebrush Sea Video
still have not received my May 14th Helena FWP request for information
on the 4% FTE cuts. I was told they amounted to 20.5. Since I
hadnt heard anything by Friday afternoon, I began calling the
Regions directly to find out what positions were part of the 2013
legislative required HB 4% cuts. 3 of the supervisors were out
and those regions did not want to answer the questions, so I will
have to wait for the supervisors to return, each of those regions
did have cuts/vacancies. Regions 2, 5, and 6 did not have cuts/vacancies
The following is the front and back (business card size) of an
infographic created and provided by Mike England, publisher of
England is a Region 3 CAC member and passed these out to those
attending on the 13th. I asked if I could share this with
the EMWH Newsletter subscribers; it is a great infographic
(pg. 102 of the online publication linked when you click the graphic,
pg. 103 has a youtube video showing how to handle the fish to
not stress them, decreasing their chances of survival) on the
effects of catch and release on trout, especially if you are photographing
the catch. Thank you Mike and to Caroline Miller for the media
Montana FWP at work on new
mountain lion management plan
wildlife officials look to keep Arctic Grayling afloat
It’s been 20 years since the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks
Department developed a management plan for mountain lions, and
it’s time for a new one.
“The old plan had a certain amount of trust, but the farther we’ve
gotten away from it over time, there’s been an erosion of that
trust,” FWP Region 2 wildlife manager Mike Thompson said. “We
need to show we have a way of really serving the needs of the
public. And a lot has happened in the 20 years since the last
FWP Mountain Lion Plan page with survey (you need some understanding of mountain
lions in Montana for the survey)
On another matter -
I routinely attended the Board of Livestock meetings, until the
Dec. accident, because there is a hell of a lot that involves
our wildlife going on at those meetings. I would digitally record
the animal health and wildlife services portions of the meetings,
making audio available to the public. In May
of 2014, I asked the question of why one of the largest State
agency industries in Montana did not have audio or video of its
meetings? I suggested people contact the Governor requesting that
the Board of Livestock meetings be streamed/recorded as other
state agency meetings are for public availability and accountability.
I brought it up again in the Fall when their meetings were about
a deficit and some possible misappropriations. Some of their members
at one meeting, asked about what was said at a previous meeting,
which I had recorded and was available online, offering the link.
I dont think that went over so well that I had public records
of their meetings at my Wildlife & Habitat website and they
did not. ;) So good news, for whatever reason they have chosen,
the Board of
Livestock meetings now have audio/video links, starting in
March of this year.
"A popular sport fish needs a little help from Montana Fish, Wildlife
and Parks to keep it's numbers where they should be. Reporter Dax
VanFossen went On Special Assignment to find out that in spite of
poor runoff in streams this year, biologists continue to keep the
Arctic Grayling afloat."
Lifetime of making
history: Posewitz named 2015 Conservationist of the Year
by Tom Kuglin
Jim Posewitz has a story for just about everything... Posewitz
was recently honored by NWF as the 2015 Conservationist of the
Year... Changes to FWP have come before, during and after his
tenure, and many not for the better, Posewitz said.
The director (FWP) was once appointed by the Fish and Wildlife
Commission rather than the governor, and that gave the agency
a degree of separation from the often politicized wildlife issues,
he added. 'The director couldn’t be dismissed on a whim either
and I think we were able to do unabashed work,' he said. 'It was
sort of a badge of honor if you irritated a politician, because
it was all biology before that cultural shift.' "
Congratulations Jim! I love all
your stories and writings, you are a treasure.
Grazing at Sheep
Station in conflict with wildlife projects
"The federal government’s sheep research station in Dubois has
been embroiled in controversy for years over the practice of grazing
its flocks in high-mountain habitat near Yellowstone that is important
for grizzly bears, bighorn sheep and other wildlife."
The National Park Service and State of Montana have scheduled meetings
in two weeks to talk about their draft bison management plan. They’ll
be held the evenings of June 2nd, 3rd and 4th in Bozeman, Gardiner
and West Yellowstone, respectively.
Schedule and Information
Wild Sheep Foundation leaving
Cody for Bozeman
After 33 years in Cody, the Wild Sheep Foundation will relocate
its headquarters to Bozeman, Mont.
Bighorn herd struggling
along Rocky Mountain Front
"With the Sun River bighorn sheep herd declining by more than half
in five years, state wildlife biologists are trying to figure out
how that will affect hunting licenses, what it means for the animals’
long-term future and what’s causing the drop.
'That’s the million dollar question,' said Brent Lonner, Fish, Wildlife
and Parks wildlife biologist. 'We’ve got a pretty good idea that
pneumonia is the ultimate culprit. What’s causing it is the big
Creek Sampling Finished
largest state park, Makoshika gains popularity with impressive geography
"Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks and community volunteers recently
sampled Box Elder Creek Reservoir (Bolster Dam) on the outskirts
of Plentywood as part of their continued commitment to the fisheries
in the Plentywood area. The sampling identified many interesting
findings, and a few concerns as well."
"The Lakota Sioux stayed away from what is now Makoshika State Park,
calling it 'land of bad spirits' because of the shifting soil and
massive horned skulls poking out of the rocks.
Now 60,000 visitors come every year to look at the dinosaur fossils
and to take in the sun-drenched canyons and finger-like mesas that
make this land look like it’s on another planet."
strike to reform Endangered Species Act
"The Obama administration this week proposed increasing the role
states play in decisions about whether to list animals and plants
as threatened or endangered.
The announcement comes as congressional Republicans have vowed to
overhaul the Endangered Species Act and have been pushing legislation
to reduce protections for individual species, including the greater
sage grouse and lesser prairie chicken."
The taxpayer money that fuels
federal land transfer demands
"Since 2012, the American Lands Council has raised hundreds of thousands
of dollars to advocate and lobby for the transfer of federal lands
to states. Such a move could dramatically change how these lands
are managed, affecting anybody who makes a living in, lives near,
recreates in, or simply loves the notion of public lands in the
West. But who finances the demands?"
We should return fire to natural
role in West
"As a young forest scientist on my first job with the U.S. Park
Service, I was directed to set the forest on fire. The orders challenged
everything I'd learned from Smokey Bear, forest fire of any kind
was an evil force that killed wildlife and left behind lifeless,
scorched landscapes. But the forests I lit up that day had burned
for millennia until modern humans began snuffing them out.
In the West, we live in highly flammable surroundings and only more
so every year with drought and home construction encroaching into
wild, undeveloped forestlands. The result is a frustrating predicament
for forest managers in which fire hysteria shapes forest policy.
But sound policy cannot emerge from a dialogue fraught with misperception
Thank you so much for keeping me (us) informed of important issues
like this one." - Timothy Border
"I want to thank you for all your time and energy putting the News
letter together. It is the only detailed source of information
for sportsmen and outdoor recreationalist. The news media is worthless.
" - Ray Gross
"After reading the following you wonder if our Montana legislators,
if that's what you want to call them, should be required to take
an IQ test before running for office and before each legislative
session. Next thing you know they will be telling us how to spend
our money. Oh wait, that's what they are already doing. So now FWP
can still collect this money but can't spend it for what it was
intended. Looks like a pot of money to accumulate and then our legislators
will find a way to spend it on something else." - S
I would like to thank the following
contributors for supporting EMWH. Your gift is very much appreciated.
Tim Crawford of Pheasant
Farms, Bozeman, who also contributed a copy of Montana's Wildlife
Legacy to EMWH.
Glenn Elison of Lewistown
If you would like to further this work and research,
please click to contribute