Putting the "Public" Back In "Public Trust"

"Despite their efforts,
these two didn't get away with stealing wildlife from the people of Montana
-Chad Murphy

A failed experiment in privatizing
"It is no secret that some state legislators in the West want to boot federal land management agencies from their states. They argue that agencies like the Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service cost too much and are too detached from local values, and that states could make money by running our vast open spaces like a privately owned business.

The Cato Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based libertarian think tank, is of that opinion and has developed models to replace federal agencies with private interests. What many people don't know is that Congress implemented one of the Cato Institute's ideas in 2000, on the 89,000-acre Valles Caldera National Preserve in New Mexico. For some critics of the federal government, this was the experiment in land management that would signal the end of the BLM and Forest Service in the West.

The Cato experiment in New Mexico, however, failed,..."

What is nature worth? Studies detail monetary value of Montana's forests and rivers
"Among the Headwaters reportís findings is that population growth follows the ability to access public lands. Montana counties with high proportions of federal lands have grown in population while many of those with low proportions dropped.

Across the West, counties without big cities saw an income link to protected federal lands, according to the report. In 2010, per capita income was $436 higher per 10,000 acres of protected federal land within a county, the report said.

What the report shows is that waters, public lands and protected federal lands play an important role in todayís economy, Mehl said. Companies are able to use Montanaís outdoor amenities as selling points to perspective businesses and workers, and retirees with higher investment incomes are also choosing places with rivers and mountains to live, he added."

All the Kings elk...
Beware: Senate Bill 245 saves bull elk for outfitters by Harold Johns
"At a time when FWP is desperately in need of increased funding for the department thus needing sportsmenís support, it is unbelievable that Director Hagener and the FWP Commission would design and support a bill that is a slap in the face of sportsmen.

If sportsmen stand by and let this bill pass, it will become another step toward taking wildlife away from the public. If enough such steps are allowed, hunters will eventually have to ďpoach from the Kingís table.Ē Call Sen. Kary, call Jeff Hagener, call your senator, leave messages for the House Fish & Game committee, leave messages for Gov. Bullock. Also use email for all."

5 Montana forests move to manage habitat for delisted grizzlies by Rob Chaney
"Grizzly bears have boundary issues... To deal with that growing population and territory, as well as the potential that grizzlies could soon be removed from the federal endangered species list, those five national forests are considering a single habitat management plan that would keep all the U.S. Forest Service folks on the same page, bear-wise..."
The 60-day written comment period ends May 5.
Amendment to incorporate relevant direction from the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem Grizzly Bear Conservation Strategy into the forest plans for the Helena, Kootenai, Lewis and Clark, and Lolo National Forests

Glacier Country
New Montana lab uses DNA to expose hidden wildlife by Rob Chaney
"They havenít resurrected Mr. Spock in the National Genomics Center for Wildlife and Fish Conservation, but theyíre hard at work on his tricorder.

Where the 'Star Trek' science officer would wave his little satchel and detect the presence of life on alien planets, the technicians in the U.S. Forest Serviceís new lab building can spot the presence (or absence) of specific fish in a whole river drainage from a cup of water. They can trace the family tree of a sage grouse from a tail feather. Donít get them started on what they can tell when a grizzly bear poops in the woods, if they get hold of the poop...

The new building in Missoula houses about 20 researchers and technicians. It also has space for visiting scientists to share their problems and expertise as new genomic techniques develop.

The Forest Service owns the lab and has an interwoven relationship with the UM professors and students just across the lawn. It performs research for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other federal agencies, along with 19 state agencies, numerous Indian tribes, timber companies and nongovernmental organizations."

Mysterious algae still investigated in Northwest Montana
"One didymo outbreak theory is due to a nutrient imbalance in the water. So for the first time in Montana, researchers are artificially adding nutrients to a river. 'And so we think that by manipulating the nutrients in the water we think we kind of can understand why this species is going to this phase more commonly,' Coyle said.

These studies will conclude next year and researchers hope to learn more about didymo impacts and possibly find a way to control them. Researchers hope to have more information by late next year."

Southwest Montana
Montana couple sentenced for multiple wildlife violations
"A tip from a concerned landowner sparked an investigation into the couple's hunting and trapping activities in the fall of 2013. Most of the violations occurred on the large ranch in the southern Madison Valley which the couple managed for the landowner...

'We couldn't have done this without the cooperation of an understanding landowner, the hard work of the Madison County Sheriff's Office and our wardens on the ground. Despite their efforts, these two didn't get away with stealing wildlife from the people of Montana,' said Murphy."

This is why we needed the special interest HB 281 killed, it would have made it impossible for our game wardens to enforce our game laws.

Yellowstone Country
A big shout out for the Park County Commissioners for upholding Montana law. A private landowner had placed archways, No Trespassing signs and fencing on the northern and southern ends of county road easement of Old Yellowstone Trail South, where Forest Service land surrounds 3/4's of the private property and the county road goes through the middle of the private parcel. The county attorney has issued the legally required letter for removal of the encroachments within 5 days of receipt.

Yellowstone Bison Management Plan Scoping Process
Yellowstone Bison Plan EIS Public Scoping Newsletter (it takes a few seconds to open)
It would be good to bookmark this page as it has the links for the process, including meetings that will be available in Bozeman, Gardiner, and West Yellowstone.

Dark Ages mentality holds bison hostage by Todd Wilkinson
"Some of the new options are informed by the best available science and represent a sharp departure from present so-called management. A few weeks ago a group of 14 conservation groups sent a letter to Montana Gov. Steve Bullock encouraging him to end the stateís enforced ignorance. It remains to be seen whether Bullock, a Democrat, will retain or swear off his current membership in the Flat Earth Society.

Three Montana state senators, all Republican ranchers, advanced several anti-bison bills in 2015, none of which has any scientific underpinning. Sens. John Brenden, of Scobey, Taylor Brown, of Huntley, and Eric Moore, of Miles City, were contacted by yours truly to explain their hostility to bison roaming in the state, given that their hard-line positions canít be supported by any alleged threat of disease. Each was evasive when pressed to answer logical questions. Why is that?"

Yellowstone Bison: Conserving an American Icon in modern society by P.J. White, Rick L. Wallen and David E. Hallac
New publication available for free PDF download right now

Central Montana
March 17, 7:00PM, Jim Jensen of the Montana Environmental Information Center in Helena will discuss the potential environmental effects of the proposed Black Butte Copper Mine in the Little Belt Mountains near White Sulphur Springs.† The public is invited to attend this discussion.† Bring your friends and neighbors.
Region 4 FWP office, 4600 Giant Springs Road, Great Falls, MT 59405

Missouri River Country
More Fort Peck Campsites In The Works
"A petition may have made a difference as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers looks to add an additional 20 campsites to the Fort Peck area. The petition with over 1,000 signatures was supported by Two Rivers Economic Growth, Glasgow Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture, Missouri River Country Tourism Board and the Tourism Business Improvement District."
Public lands/waters and access to them, are a major economic driver in Montana.

Southeast Montana
Mule deer populations rebounding in Eastern Montana by Brett French
"Mule deer populations in Eastern Montana are showing strong signs of recovery based on post-hunting-season surveys this winter.

'The basic indication is that things are looking pretty good,' said John Ensign, wildlife manager for Fish, Wildlife and Parks at the Miles City Region 7 office. 'Weíre kind of ready to pop the cork.'

The only thing keeping Ensign from celebrating is that Eastern Montana has been known to get some pretty severe spring snowstorms. In the past, three-day blizzards with rain followed by snow and freezing temperatures have caused substantial deer mortality."

Thankfully, Lloyd Dorsey, now with the Wyoming Wildlife Advocates, is still on top of the Chronic Wasting Disease situation around the elk feedgrounds in Wyoming. He has produced a current map, showing the cases of documented CWD and how perilous it is for the wildlife populations that are unnaturally congregated for political feeding at 23 feedgrounds in WY.
Chronic Wasting Disease Wyoming Map

The Quiet Plan To Sell Off Americaís National Forests
"A proposal to seize and sell off Americaís national forests and other public lands could make its way into the House GOPís budget resolution when it is announced this week.

In a recent memo to the House Budget Committee, Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT), chair of the House Natural Resources Committee, proposed that Americaís public lands be transferred to state control. He then requested $50 million of taxpayer money to be spent to enable transfers to 'start immediately.' The memo states that public lands 'create a burden for the surrounding states and communities,' and 'the solution is to convey land without strings to state, local, and tribal governments.' "

Interiorís energy path forward: Drill less, go clean
"Right now, for every one renewable energy project permit that Interiorís Bureau of Land Management (BLM) approves, it grants 469 applications to drill oil and gas on federal lands. That must change, and change radically...

If we are to bequeath to our children a livable planet and sustainable economy, we must stop letting Big Oil, Gas, and Coal dictate energy policy and control our politics. We must act now, before itís too late. This has to be done across the board, agency by agency, policy by policy, following the best available science.† The Interior Department should be at the forefront of this effort by launching a cleaner, safer, long-term plan to move beyond fossil fuel development."†

Shooting a Mountain Lion - Until his illegal hunting business was shut down by authorities, you could have paid Christopher Loncarich $7,000 to bag a mountain lion.
"What Loncarich and his associates did in Colorado and Utah wasnít just cruel to animals, and dishonest to their customers; it was illegal. Loncarich and a co-conspirator, Nicholaus Rodgers, have been convicted in federal court of conspiracy to violate the Lacey Act, which prohibits people from transporting or selling wildlife that has been illegally caught.

'Rodgers used collapsible traps or snares to capture cougars in the field, then released them to be found and shot by Loncarichís unwitting clients, many of whom were unlicensed,' wrote Tribune reporter Mark Freeman. 'Some of the cougars were shot in a leg before they were released from cages so they would not wander away from the clients in the area, according to court documents. Other animals were held in place by snares that were undetected by the poaching clients who shot them from a distance, the agreement states.' "

"Keep up the good work I feel confident you have our back concerning access, wildlife etc. Thank you for your hard work !" - Rick Blaskovich

I would like to thank the following contributors for supporting EMWH. Your gift is very much appreciated.
Raymond Gross, 3 shy contributors - thank you.

Thank you,
Kathryn QannaYahu


Wildlife &


Bozeman, MT

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