Putting the "Public" Back in "Public Trust"
goddamn right I'm emotional - if you can't be emotional about a place
like this then what the hell can you be emotional about?"
~ Stoney Burke
|Click to Enlarge|Death by a 1000 cuts is a
sadistic execution, torture method using a slow, deliberate process of
making a multitude of non lethal cuts, that prolonged the death of the
victim. I see this happening in the US, killing conservation, affecting
our federal and state fish & wildlife agencies. One by one, you may
not think a particular cut so detrimental, perhaps mentally and
emotionally brushing it off, maybe it is not directly affecting you.
Cumulatively though, the over all picture clearly shows our Public Trust
Doctrine, our North American Model of Wildlife Conservation has been
targeted for death.
No, Ted Cruz, Westerners should not follow in Texas' footsteps
a campaign stop in Idaho, presidential hopeful Ted Cruz characterized
the West's federal land system as a 'historical accident.' The
Republican senator from Texas then stoked resentment over federal
management of public lands by telling his audience that the government
ought to hand its lands over to the states. This would, of course, set
public land - which all Americans own - on a path to private
Cruz pointed to Texas as a counterexample. He's
wrong: Texas itself is the real historical accident, and its history
offers a cautionary tale, not a model, for Idaho and the rest of the
'Quiet Recreation' on BLM Land Generates Billions of Dollars, Supports Thousands of Jobs
"Nonmotorized recreation on U.S. lands overseen by the Bureau of Land Management supports 25,000 jobs and adds $2.8 billion
to the U.S. economy, according to the first study devoted to the
economic contribution of 'quiet recreation' visitors on BLM lands."
Report: Quiet Recreation on BLM-Managed Lands: Economic Contribution 2014, Final Report March 2016
A Conservative Conservationist
one believes our Earth was created by God or not, nobody can argue the
fact that it is the only one we have. It's our responsibility to be
good stewards and ensure our children and grandchildren's children
enjoy the same outdoor opportunities that we have...
there is a lot that separates folks as Republicans and Democrats,
there's also a lot that binds us together as Montanans. Preserving and
conserving our public land, I think, is one of those values. As Earth
Day approaches, I'm calling on my colleagues to work on the things that
bring us together.
Let's work toward better stewardship and management so our public land can be enjoyed for generations to come."
that said, it is nice to honor those landowners that work with
the public, some major advocates of the Public Trust Doctrine and North
American Model of Wildlife Conservation.
Bullock Honors Montanans for Their Commitment to Cooperation,
Neighborly Land Access, Land Stewardship and Conservation, Community
The 2016 winners of the Montana Neighbor Award are:
* Doug Salsbury, Whitehall
* Neil and Dixie Meyer, Swan Lake
* Joe and Debby Perry, Brady
* Randy and Emily Smith, Glen
* Gerald "Buddy" and Sheila Walsh, Dodson
* Tim Crawford, Kathy Hansen, Belgrade
Deb & Joe Perry, and Tim Crawford & Kathy Hansen, y'all rock!
Of course they are friends and supporters of EMWH ;) Joe and Tim were
present at the recent Public Lands/Water Access Association annual meeting in Bozeman, where they were publicly acknowledged and thanked.
See how your legislators voted on these MSA sportsmen's issues.
Montana to get $900,000 in LWCF money
members of Montana's Congressional delegation were happy with the
announcement and praised it in separate statements. Republican U.S. Rep.
Ryan Zinke called LWCF a 'critical conservation tool for Montana.'
Republican U.S. Sen. Steve Daines said that LWCF increases 'recreational
opportunities on our public land,' and Democratic U.S. Sen. Jon Tester
said it is a 'boost to Montana's economy, our western way of life, and
our outdoor heritage.' "
Public Land Is Your Land Video
by Montana resident Gerald Martin, adding his voice to this necessary
Public Trust conversation. An example of an everyday member of the
public, taking a wee bit of his time, to fight back against the Public
Trust Doctrine death by a 1000 cuts.
"U.S. Forest Service
Federal government should not give up control of bison refuge
"Back in February, even before the
final armed occupiers agreed to leave the Malheur National Wildlife
Refuge, officials of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service quietly took
part in a proposed takeover of a different kind at another 108-year-old
refuge - the National Bison Range National Wildlife Refuge in
Yet, even as this is
written, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has not released overall
information to the general public about the negotiations, the effects
necessarily resulting from the proposed actions, or any details of the
agency's scheme. So far, the only articles printed on this issue have
been limited to a few Montana newspapers."
I have requested and am waiting on an internal USFWS memo involving the NBR.
are discussions from a number of perspectives on this issue. We need to
ask why we should keep the NBR in Federal Public hands? Or, what are
the reasons, if any, why we should divest the USFWS and the Public from
the NBR? I am curious what reasons are given for turning the public
lands of the NBR over to the CSKT.
taxpayers have paid the Confederated Salish Kootenai Tribes for
these 18,523.85 NBR acres of non-irrigated, unallotted lands
I found the Department of Agriculture
Congressional expenditures for fiscal year 1910, $50,700 was
appropriated for the NBR, $29,896.48 was "appropriated to enable the
Secretary of the Interior the pay the Indians and others entitled the appraised value of the land",
as well as the additional funds for the fences, and buildings. Much
more acreage was involved, besides the 18,523.85 of the NBR. In 1971,
the CSKT disputed the original appraisal of the 485,171.31 acres of
unallotted lands in 1910, based on sales of land on and surrounding the
Reservation during the period 1906-1916 (trial in 1968).
CSKT said fair market value was not paid,
therefore there was an Eminent Domain taking. In 1971, the U.S. Claims
Court agreed, ordered a settlement which included interest. In 1972, the
CSKT was paid millions.
- American Bison Society donated the 40 bison that began the conservation herd - Bison Source Chart
- The National Bison Range National Wildlife Refuge is currently under Federal jurisdiction, making it a Public Trust
- USFWS Primary objective for bison - Long-term genetic conservation for establishing other conservation populations, habitat management, education, research, and meeting the refuge's legislated purpose ("for a permanent national bison range for the herd of bison to be presented by the American Bison Society"), with the original herd purchased with private funds raised by the American Bison Society and then donated to the National Bison Range (NBR).
anyone interested in the crucial role the NBR bison genetics has played
in conserving bison, seeding other conservation herds...
in their mandate to conserve bison, utilized the DOI herds, under USFWS
management, as a "metapopulation", according to best available science.
not put all their genetic eggs in any one DOI bison genetic basket,
USFWS began managing the DOI bison "metapopulation" to maximize
retention of genetic diversity, by conserving and spreading the
genetics among the DOI managed bison herds. Evaluation of alternative management strategies for maintenance of genetic variation in wildlife populations, DOI Bison Report 2014 Final 2016
As I see it, the National Bison Refuge is a
public trust treasure and losing it would be a major cut to our public
trust, to bison conservation and to our National Wildlife Refuge System.
Forest Service Accused of Imperiling Wildlife Habitat with Montana Silver Mine Project
approval of a 30-year-long mining project
puts threatened populations of bull trout, grizzly bears and water
resources at even greater risk, and could despoil a wilderness area for a
century, environmentalists say in court.
Montanore Minerals Corp. wants to mine just below and next to the wilderness area."
US cancels oil and gas lease on Montana land sacred to tribe
"Facing a 24-hour decision deadline, the U.S. Department of
Interior has canceled energy exploration leases on the Badger-Two
Medicine roadless area considered sacred by the Blackfeet Indian Tribe.
'After careful review of the record and consultation with the U.S.
Forest Service, Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, Blackfeet
Tribe, leaseholder, and others, the (Bureau of Land Management)
concluded the Solonex lease was improperly issued in violation of the
National Environmental Policy Act and the National Historical
Preservation Act,' Interior spokeswoman Jessica Kershaw wrote in the
Thursday morning announcement. 'Based on those findings and
recommendations from the Forest Service and the Advisory Council, the
Interior Department and the BLM decided that the pending application
for permit to drill should be disapproved, the lease canceled, and any
applicable lease payments refunded.' "
Forest Service proceeds with Elliston-area timber project
Forest Service's final environmental impact statement and draft record
of decision for the Telegraph Vegetation Project proposes logging,
thinning and prescribed fire on 8,100 acres of a nearly 24,000-acre
'We failed to emphasize enough in our comments about the
importance of showing the cumulative impacts of these two joint
projects -- Telegraph and Ten Mile,' comments from Alliance for the
Wild Rockies and Native Ecosystems Council say. 'They are IMMEDIATELY
adjacent to one another, including many harvest units. These could
easily be considered one and the same project.'
Helena Hunters and Anglers Association shared similar concerns on
cumulative impacts in comments on Telegraph. 'Helena Hunters and
Anglers Association is very concerned with the synergistic impact that
implementation of this 24,000-acre (Telegraph) project will have on
further denigration of wildlife habitat and its concomitant
implementation with the 60,000-acre Ten Mile-South Helena Project, that
together will stretch across 130 square miles of National Forest land,
altering the landscape and its natural inhabitants for decades. This
amount of disturbance is staggering.' "
Montanans For Gallatin Wilderness
MGW's Your Wild Backyard Presentation Video
sponsored a panel discussion with a Q & A on March 31. The science,
which has been missing from so much of the GCC process, making this
presentation necessary, was provided by world-renowned Bozeman wildlife
ecologist Dr. Lance Craighead; equally renowned bear biologist Dr. David
Mattson of Livingston; Bozeman-based conservationist, wilderness
advocate and author Phil Knight; retired Forest Service biologist and
conservation activist Dr. Sara Jane Johnson of Three Forks, and
wilderness guide and author Howie Wolke, Livingston.
lighting was dimmed for the standing room filled public to see the
screen, I set up video, watched over by Steve Kelly in the back (thank
you), while I handled the electronics end of the presentation up front. I
wanted to make this video available, so that the public could see
necessary information that has been missing in this wilderness study
I especially enjoyed Dr. Sara Jane
Johnson's presentation (45:15) about the increasing threats to inventory
roadless areas, who brought studies with her to refute the agencies
trying to justify certain management interventions. She pointed out the
lies behind the justifications, presented science to counter, "because
people just make them up, well, they do."
Fergus County Conservation District trying to pull a sly one
Recently, the Fergus County Conservation District tried to go in
through a back door to not only prohibit wild bison in Fergus County,
but attack the private property rights of private landowners with
domestic bison. Yet another of the Public Trust Doctrine death by 1000
The Fergus County Conservation District wrote An
Ordinance for the Protection of Soil and Water from Wild, Free Roaming
or Domestic Bison Grazing in Fergus Conservation District
. This is total special interest bullshit.
Not only did bison evolve on this landscape, but they benefit
our Montana lands and waters. Thankfully, Ron Moody and Dr. Don Woerner
DVM, attended the meeting. Thanks to Ron Moody, I was able to get audio of the Conservation District meeting
to format and upload it, making it available to the public.
of the uneducated fearmongering being propagated, here are some
papers/presentations that I have had at the EMWH website, that discuss
the patterns/benefits of bison on our landscape and the natural
difference between tropical originating domestic cattle and North
American bison effects on land and water resources.
Protecting sage grouse is good for Montana
"This spring, sage grouse are gathering once again on
Montana's remaining unbroken sage landscapes. On their historic
leks, or mating grounds, they're performing mating rituals that have
been repeated for centuries. Sustaining these sage grouse populations,
along with their habitats, is vitally important to both our Montana
lifestyle and our economy."
1 man's vision to educate all on bison, an icon of the American West
Dr. Don Woerner, DVM, mentioned above in the Central Montana section...
" 'What we did to the bison is very much the same as what we did to the
Native Americans, and I think we are still paying the price for both
of these things,' Woerner commented. 'I think the more we can adopt the
way of life that was natural to this region, which worked for
centuries before we came along, the better our chances of creating a
So a big part of Woerner's motivation for opening this museum is
to educate the public, both about the history of bison and also about
how these animals need to be treated now. In his experience as a vet,
has watched many ranchers try to raise bison with the same methodology
that they applied to cattle, and it just doesn't work."
Montana's largest wind farm quietly develops northeast of Colstrip
"The power plant-sized transmission lines connecting coal-fired Colstrip
Power Plant to the Pacific Northwest have attracted a new electricity
generator to southeast Montana, one with a greener future...
Hedges of the Montana Environmental Information Center said it would
be better to find a green-energy future for Colstrip instead of trying
to squeeze a few more years out of the existing coal power plants.
Hedges specifically cited the Clearwater project as an example of
renewable energy possibilities in the Colstrip region."
West & US
An Exclusive Upland Shooting Club Makes a Play for Public Land in Idaho
The European Model, all dressed up and looking for somewhere to go, another Public Trust Doctrine cut.
"The Idaho Department of Lands has been approached by an entity looking
to secure an exclusive hunting lease on public land-and the hunters
are expressly prohibited from dressing like a commoner.
what may be the first collision of British-style aristocratic culture
and Idaho's sagebrush desert, the state will decide which is in the
public's interest: exclusive leasing of public land or the continued
public access to an underfunded resource...
But what makes this
case interesting, and possibly precedent-setting, is its implication for
the private use of public land... Blixt and Co. reportedly charges its
shooters $4,000 a day...
In an effort to combat the potential of
an exclusive hunting lease, state Rep. Mat Erpelding drafted a
resolution that would oppose any proposal that prevents the public from
using endowment lands because of an exclusive hunting lease."
Jewell: 'Major Course Correction' Needed on Conservation
Secretary Sally Jewell on Tuesday called for 'a major course
correction" in the way the nation conserves its public lands, waters and
wildlife, saying climate change
and other trends threaten natural areas "in existential ways.'
Jewell also denounced an armed takeover of an Oregon national wildlife refuge.
41-day standoff this winter 'propped up dangerous voices that reject
the rule of law, put communities and hard-working public servants at
risk, and fail to appreciate how deeply democratic and American our
national parks and public lands are,' said Jewell, who began her fourth
year as Interior secretary this month."
Poachers insult legitimate hunters
got nothing good to say about poachers, on any level: Just for
starters, it irks us that poachers give a black eye to the vast majority
of law-abiding hunters. The illegal actions of poachers also give
ammunition to those people who would like to see all hunting banned, a
bad idea on any number of levels, not the least of which is that it
would eliminate the substantial contributions that hunters (and anglers,
to give them their due) make to preserve the habitat that supports
game. On those grounds alone, hunters don't get the credit they
deserve." Forest Service says no oil and gas leasing in Bridger-Teton under draft plan
"Oil and gas leasing will not be allowed on nearly 40,000 acres in
the Bridger-Teton National Forest under a draft decision released
Friday by the U.S. Forest Service...
'After 10 years of standing up for the Wyoming Range, citizens
deserve a no-leasing decision,' said Mike Burd, a spokesman for
Citizens for the Wyoming Range. 'The Wyoming Range is one of those
special places we need to protect today to ensure we pass on this
legacy to our kids and grandkids.' "
33 elk died at winter feeding site WTF
example of why you dont feed wildlife!!! State wildlife agencies
pulling a knife on our wildlife conservation. Hell, even our MT FWP
discourages wildlife feeding for the right reasons - The Reality of Feeding
animals being fed by humans may congregate in unnaturally high
numbers, and this is the perfect opportunity for diseases to spread. As
populations of deer, raccoons, skunks and others grow unnaturally from
being fed, a small number of diseased animals mixed in close quarters
with a large group spread the disease to the whole group. Disease such
as rabies, distemper and many others which are dependent on high animal
Feeding wildlife, especially prey species such as
deer, squirrels and rabbits, often causes a domino or food chain
effect. Due to such feeding,
the prey densities increase, which in turn attracts predators such as
coyotes, bobcats and mountain lions. Example: Increase deer numbers in your yard and you may be inviting a mountain lion for a free meal.
"Thirty-three elk died at an Idaho
Department of Fish and Game feeding station in Warm Springs Canyon west
of Ketchum this winter-11 killed by mountain lions and 22, mostly
calves, that were trampled by other elk or starved after they were
unable to get to the feed."
If you would like to further this work and research, please click to contribute to EMWH.
I would like to thank the following contributors for supporting EMWH. Your gift is very much appreciated.
Dwayne Garner, Bob Driggers, Tony Schoonen, Rob Gregoire