the "Public" Back In "Public Trust"
have fallen heirs to the most glorious heritage
a people ever received, and each one must do his part
if we wish to show that the nation is worthy of its good fortune."
MISSING Files Montana BLM
Bullwhacker Access Federal Public Comments Record
At the bottom left column of the webpage, I have chronologically
detailed my July 29th BLM FOIA request for all the sign in sheets,
meeting minutes and all public comments submitted on the Bullwhacker
Access process. I received my FOIA on Sept. 4th, the date of the
last newsletter, BUT, the 112 page Bullwhacker Access Public Comments
PDF is MISSING substantial public comments from a federal public
record that were against a Wilks Durfee Hills land exchange, most
advocating for an east side road where a two track already exists
or no action, including mine and others that I had copies of. I
have notified upper BLM and D.C, as well as Sen. Tester's office
of the missing comments, asking where they are. If your comments
are missing, regardless of position, if you are willing, please forward your comments
to me so that we can rebuild the missing records, hold the BLM
accountable. My suggestion is please do not forward them to the
Lewistown BLM at this time, to force them to come up with ALL the
missing records, not just "find" what we provide them. If they dont
know what we have, we stand a better chance of getting all the records
restored if they still have them. The BLM FOIA PDF and list of 49
commenters that were included are on the Missing Files webpage linked
Quality Council Interim Legislature Meeting,
we had a number of hunter conservationists there to comment on the
various subjects of concern, especially the FWP Gamed Damage amendment
and elk shoulder seasons. I encourage you to watch the highlighted
sections to see what is taking place, my short notes here do not
do justice. Thank you to all the concerned conservation public that
took time out from enjoying the outdoors to be at the EQC. The Elk
Shoulder season issue received about 1100 comments. The FWP will
be making a decision by the end of Nov. for game damage. There is
a FWP Commission work session scheduled for the 18th of September,
11:00 in Helena, no public comments will be allowed, as no actions
are being taken. The next Commission meeting is Thursday, Oct. 8th.
9 Video link
DNRC Program Evaluation 1:08:55, $2.00 of every conservation
license goes to the Trust Lands, whether you use them or not, which
generated $1 million, from about 500,000 licenses (hunt, fish or
trap) sold last year. Recreational Use License (hike, camp, chop
firewood) $10, $20 for a family, about 7000 sold raised about $163,000.
Kathryn QannaYahu 1:23:09, unreasonably low outfitter lease rates,
inconsistent lease prices. Ron Moody 1:30:46, DNRC lands poorly
signed and identified, needs to work on signage so the recreation
community knows where available state land is, especially at access
points, would be great service to the public.
Fort Belknap Bison Update 5:17:24 Dr. Layton determined that
19 of the 34 bison died of salt toxicosis, they did not have enough
water. These are the bison that belonged to the Montana public,
having gone through a 5 year brucellosis quarantine program, which
were then just given away to the Sovereign Native American Nation.
Federal Road Management (HJ13) 5:48:20 - Ron Moody for Public
Land/Water Access Association 6:35:04; Rob Bullis 6:39:00 other
roads than just Forest Service roads involved; Gayle Joslin 6:41:00
habitat security denigration causing social conflicts - wildlife
Public Access to Federal Land (HJ13) 7:25:38 - Kathryn QannaYahu
8:05:22 private landowners illegally blocking access should be fined,
HB 304. Contrary to next speaker HB 304 sought to include among
the willful, intentional neglect
or failure to act obstructions, a locked gate as an encroachment.
With the fine being increased from $10 a day to $500 dollars a day.
Ron Moody, PLWA 8:18:00 only costs $10-$15 for chain and padlock
to close a public road, but it costs $50,000-$100,000 in legal fees
and 20 years of litigation with 2 or 3 trips to the State Supreme
10 Video Link
FWP Program Evaluation: Wildlife Conflict Management - also
Game Damage, Elk Shoulder Season - Marc Cooke with Wolves of the
Rockies spoke to declining conflicts with wolves, wildlife urban
interface conflicts which involves more than just predators; Kathryn
QannaYahu EMWH, 56:21 Game Damage Audit failure, outfitter connection
to over objective conversation; Jim Posewitz retired FWP 1:05:52
Public Trust, antlerless qualifications; Gayle Joslin retired FWP,
Helena Hunters & Anglers 1:11:5, Game Damage, privatization
perfect storm, wildlife standards; Tony Schoonen 1:21:21 game damage
and elk shoulder seasons will put hunting back decades; Chuck Denowah
(UPOM) 1:23:58 spoke for commercialization as a way for landowners
to recoup costs; Leroy Mehring Vice President of Skyline Sportsmen's
Association 1:26:23 this game damage amendment and elk shoulder
seasons will open the door for ranching for wildlife, game was here
on the ground before landowners, belong to the people of the state
of Montana; Lorry Thomas President of Anaconda Sportsmen Association
1:28:12 against commercialization of our wildlife, afraid we are
losing our fish & game department; Ron Moody, former FWP Commissioner,
1:28:53 strength of public access, ownership of public wildlife,
public trust management of wildlife; Rob Bullis 1:41:50 we have
the brain power to figure out how to make this better, step back
and evaluate; Nick Gevock Montana Wildlife Federation 1:45:14 constitutional
law that landowners accept wildlife is a condition of the land,
landowners have to choose to use game damage, speaks to need for
harboring bill; Harold Johns President of Skyline Sportsmen's Association
1:48:19 FWP isnt looking out for sportsmen, but landowners, baiting
is occurring in Montana and is against the law; Tom Pozega 1:53:01
remember our heritage for future generations, Montana is Last Best
Place. John Gibson, President of PLWA, sent a written comment which
I submitted to the EQC, advocating for the Public Trust Doctrine
and North American Model, that the wildlife belong to the people,
FWP Director's Agency Update - 3:20:? - Kathryn QannaYahu
EMWH 3:48:47 we are not welfare recipients, our sportsmens dollars
pay for our agency and we deserve scientific wildlife management
from our FWP agency, which is a member of AFWA and WAFWA, subscribing
to the Public Trust Doctrine and North American Model of Wildlife
Afterwards, a number of us had a meeting with Dir. Hagener to express
our concerns with the agency, a path forward. I would just like
to state, though other surrounding western states may be members
of AFWA and WAFWA, choosing not follow the Public Trust Doctrine
and North American Model of Wildlife Conservation, this is not what
many of us want from our FWP agency, we want the Public Trust Doctrine
from our agency. As one gentleman stated, "We are the Last Best
Place, we dont want Montana to be like those other states."
Also, some FWP employees may not know, concerning supplemental game
damage licenses, "A landowner may not charge a fee to a hunter
using a license obtained pursuant to this section." MCA
Where is OVER? Montana EMWH
lending library project, of a sort. OVERDEVELOPMENT,
OVERPOPULATION, OVERSHOOT (OVER) Copies available to view in Bozeman,
Missoula, Helena and Lewistown.
Montana hunter explains reasons
he hunts with a bow
My reasons for archery hunting have changed over the years. Mostly,
I just plain enjoy being outside that time of the year, with a chance
to get within close range of elk. My personal rule is anything I
shoot must be consumed.
Where people go,
mountain goats follow
In a normal mountain goat environment, they would travel to natural
mineral licks — limestone deposits in the soil. Goats and other
ungulates have been known to travel for miles to get to these places,
taught the routes by hundreds of years of generations of furry kin.
But at Logan Pass, the goats increasingly have been getting their
salt from a completely unnatural source — human sweat, urine and
FWP kills mountain
lion in Rattlesnake neighborhood
" 'It’s the deer,' he said. 'This urban wildlife phenomenon that’s
going on throughout the West is sort of amplified here in Missoula.
Rattlesnake Creek is a great example. You have lawns being watered
dawn to dusk through September. It’s a green oasis. You have wonderful
European shrubs that highlight the (deer’s) tastebuds and, sadly,
you know, people do feed them. And there’s a lot of birdseed. Deer
will eat that and they’ll eat stuff in gardens. It’s a wildlife
Lima man pleads
not guilty to taking trees from wildlife refuge
"In December 2014, a Bureau of Land Management forester estimated
the value of the 52 trees at $17,993.07 using a 'triple stumpage'
valuation process. In addition to the stumpage value, the refuge
land itself was harmed, documents state. The total amount of restitution
is $9,297.69 based on single stumpage. If convicted of the offenses,
Young faces one year in prison, up to $100,000 in fines and one
year supervised release."
If that is the BLM value and penalty of those
52 trees, what about the hundreds that the Wilks
Bulldozed in the Durfee Hills?
Don’t Let a
Massive Copper Mine Degrade the Smith River’s Water Quality and
Wild Trout Fishery
"A Canadian copper mining company, Tintina Resources, wants to build
a massive copper mine at the headwaters of the Smith River. If the
proposed Black Butte Copper Mine is built, it has a significant
potential to ruin the Smith’s water quality. A mining blowout, like
what recently happened on Colorado's Animas River, could harm its
nationally-renowned wild trout fishery through acid mine drainage,
contaminated wastewater, and nutrient pollution."
Wing barrels to help wildlife
biologists (Southwest MT and Yellowstone)
"They might look like trash cans, but the blue metal barrels dotting
southern Beaverhead County are a depository for hunters to place
wings from birds they harvest.
The state wants the wings for research. By looking at a single wing,
biologists can determine the age, gender and how well the bird fared
in the past year.
Hunters are asked to place one wing from each sage grouse, mountain
grouse, or Hungarian partridge they take, according to the Montana
Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks... The eight barrels can
be found on Monida Hill, near Big Sheep Creek and Sage Creek and
east of Dillon, in the extreme southwest corner of Region 3."
and Sex Identification from Wings of Sage-Grouse by Clait Braun
Opposition to new land trade
The land exchange proposal – which would restore motorized road
access to the Bullwhacker area – is not gaining fans everywhere.
In Lewistown, a large group of sportsmen, Central Montana Outdoors,
are vocal in their disdain for the plan, putting together a petition
late Saturday night that already has more than 2,000 signatures.
This is the second petition the group has put together to protect
the Durfee Hills. In 2014, their petition was heard and contributed
to the dismissal of the first exchange plan. "On Sept. 26, 2014,
the BLM issued an official press release 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," the petition states.
Public lands are under siege
by Jack Jones, retired BLM
"This is the same situation that existed in the notch near Glen.
I was very persistent for a year and the federal judge ordered BLM
to construct the new road around the private landowner from California
blocking access there. This was accomplished with practically no
support and can be done in the appeal process with Wilks. The appeal
process should be used on the Wilks’ issues as well. Don’t expect
the Wilkses to allow access in the future. They want our valuable
big game habitat in Fergus County as a part of the deal. It’s no
BLM to both, we have had enough! BLM is subject to the False Statements
Act and Federal Data Quality Act - they cannot lie to us under the
laws. The same thing was tried on the Notch road, so call it the
'Jones road,' it wouldn’t be there without my appeal to the federal
judge. Now we are assured of access to the Notch area forever."
Veterinarian: Fort Belknap bison
killed by salt poisoning (lack of water)
"Salt poisoning is believed to have killed 19 quarantined bison
on the Fort Belknap Reservation in July, according to tests performed
on tissue from two of the dead animals.
'We’ve ruled everything else out,' Bill Layton, a veterinarian at
the Montana Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, told members of the
Environmental Quality Council at its Wednesday meeting in Helena."
These were the Montana public's bison, that
went through a 5 year quarantine period, that should have gone
on Montana public lands for the benefit of the public, instead,
they were given away to a sovereign nation, now 19 of the 35 are
At Hearings Across West,
Public Demands Federal Coal Leasing Reform
Here are some of the highlights:
In Billings, Montana, people who testified in support of coal leasing
reform outnumbered coal company supports by a ratio of 3:1: 'It's
time that you crack down on coal companies that have been getting
sweetheart deals for too long,' said Renette Kaline, of the Northern
Cheyenne Indian Tribe. 'You must take a look at what you're doing
and the ripple effect it has on our lives, our land.'
No Legislative consensus
on Land and Water Conservation Fund
The debate that occurred during a Legislative hearing is probably
a microcosm of the Congressional struggle taking place over the
re-authorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
Hunter Who Baited Elk With
Salt Loses Appeal
"A big-game outfitter who used salt to bait elk and deer for his
clients to hunt from tree stands failed to overturn his convictions
in the Tenth Circuit. Dennis
Rodebaugh, now 74, was convicted in 2013 on six counts of breaching
the Lacey Act, a federal law that prohibits the trade of wildlife
and plants that have been obtained unlawfully. Since 1987, the Meeker,
Colo., man had used his business, D & S Guide and Outfitters,
to lead out-of-state hunting clients on elk and deer hunts in the
White River National Forest. Wildlife officials got a tip in 2005
about the very high shot percentages Rodebaugh's clients enjoyed,
prompting a massive undercover investigation by state and federal
agents. Though Rodebaugh initially denied that he was baiting the
animals, the government's hidden cameras caught the man spreading
a mineral supplement called 'sheep salt' around his tree stands."
The GOP's Shocking Attack
on America's National Forests
Two Republican bills currently making their way through Congress
should anger any American who cares about the nation's forests.
Introduced this summer, both bills are pro-industry and anti-environment,
and seek to eliminate public participation in federal decisions
about forest management that could negatively impact local communities,
ecological health and wildlife.
Wyoming Elk: To Feed or Not
to Feed during the Winter?
" 'To feed, or not to feed?' is the question being debated when
it comes to elk in western Wyoming. A decision to renew a feeding
permit is pending in the Bridger-Teton National Forest, and there
are at least 30 other feeding sites."
Rants from the Hill: Don't
fence me in
The negative impact of these kinds of fences on wildlife is very
real. Although moose, bighorn sheep, elk, deer, and pronghorn can
jump fences, fatal entanglement is disconcertingly common, with
studies suggesting that each year one ungulate ensnarement death
occurs for every 2.5 miles of fence. And fences present significant
barriers to pregnant and young animals. The same study indicated
that when ungulates were found dead near (but not entangled in)
fences, there was one annual death per 1.2 miles of fence. 90% of
these fatalities were fawns that were unable to cross the fence
to follow their mothers. Multiply those casualty numbers by 100,000
miles of fence and that's a lot of carnage. Fences are also a serious
hazard to low-flying birds such as swans, cranes, and geese, as
well as the grouse, hawks, and owls that are native here in the
sagebrush steppe. This is why northern Nevada’s 575,000-acre Sheldon
National Wildlife Refuge, established primarily to protect pronghorn,
has removed almost 300 miles of interior fencing.
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