Putting the "Public" Back In "Public Trust"

"When citizens forget what it is they fight for,
things do change.
They change big time, and for the worse.
- Hal Herring

I have 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 to EMWH.

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

I 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 involved.

The following is the front and back (business card size) of an infographic created and provided by Mike England, publisher of Outside Bozeman. 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 link!

Montana FWP at work on new mountain lion management plan
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 plan.”

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.

Glacier Country
State wildlife officials look to keep Arctic Grayling afloat
"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."

Southwest Montana

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."

Yellowstone Country
Bison Management Alternatives
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.
Meeting 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.

Central Montana
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 question.'

Missouri River Country

Box Elder Creek Sampling Finished
"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."

Southeast Montana
Montana’s largest state park, Makoshika gains popularity with impressive geography
"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."

Obama's preemptive 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 and hyperbole."

"Kathryn, 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 to EMWH.

Thank you,
Kathryn QannaYahu


Wildlife &


Bozeman, MT

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