Putting the "Public" Back In "Public Trust"

"Public land hypocrisy --
you tell the voters one thing
and do just the opposite.
Solution: vote them out of office.

- Jack Jones

Bill: Give 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.' "

Please 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 place
(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."

Email the House Fish, Wildlife & Parks Committee if you havent already

Sadly, both HB 304 & HB 286, were tabled
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 public."

Conservation collaborators 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."

Glacier Country
Thompson 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.' "

Southwest Montana
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."

Yellowstone Country
Candlelight Vigil for "Buff-Love" in Montana
"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 Seay."

Central Montana
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 Upper 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 Monument.

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."

BLM 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

Southeast Montana
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 wolves
"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 wild."

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.' "

Congressional inaction

"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 to DOI."

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

Thank you,
Kathryn QannaYahu


Wildlife &


Bozeman, MT

For More EMWH

War On Montana's
Wildlife & Environment

































































































































If you would like to be subscribed to the EMWH newsletter, please click EMAIL and type "subscribe" in the subject line. Likewise, if you would prefer not to receive email updates, simply reply with "unsubscribe" in the subject line and we will promptly remove you from the list. Thank you.