the "Public" Back In "Public Trust"
have to set LIMITS,
because TAKERS rarely do."
Conservation, in a nutshell means just that, setting limits to ensure
that we have wilderness/habitat, wildlife & fish for future
generations, because the sad truth is, that without limits, the
Takers do not self monitor and conserve on their own, for the benefit
of the whole.
Theodore Roosevelt wrote, "We do not intend that our natural resources
shall be exploited by the few against the interests of the many,…
Our aim is to preserve our natural resources for the public as a
whole, for the average man and the average woman who make up the
body of the American people."
This is a constant battle, because even when you get good or decent
laws and regulations on the books, the Takers continually try to
undermine what is good for the whole for their own special interests.
They constantly push on the legislative front, chip away at the
laws piece by piece, erode foundations, use bully tactics to strong
arm the public.
Back in the early spring when I couldnt remember from the accident,
I watched a Ted Talk that dealt with my research - how do you get
people to care, fighting apathy. It was a quick 7 minute video,
the speaker was from Toronto, so the examples were from their local
city politics, but all I could think of were the conservation application.
He said that people by and large are not apathetic ( my first thought
was not to agree), they have been intentionally discouraged from
engagement with obstacles and barriers, they're not apathetic, they're
frustrated. Then he gave 7 examples from their local politics. I
need to get this remade using conservation for people to see just
how applicable this really is. Here are the points:
The presenter stated that we need to change the
obstacles, the cultural barriers that have been intentionally set
up to discourage engagement, by redefining, identifying and dismantling
the obstacles they have set in place.
- Contact - for involvement is intentionally
hidden, minimized, not widely known to exclude the public. This
was recently done by FWP when they followed the letter of the
law by filing a public notice for the Game Damage Hearings,
yet they did not put it on their main webpage or mention it
at the '15 and Forward meetings or in other forms. Most of the
sportsmen found out about 2 weeks before, some already had other
meetings scheduled and it was summer with people gone on vacation.
Here is a link on my overview of FWP's
Game Damage Hearing process, as well as links to Gayle Joslin's
comments (former FWP wildlife biologist who worked with game
damage) and Vito Quatraro's statement the next morning.
- Public Space - The agencies dont use the
public space available that would reach the public, like social
media, billboards. I am signed up for FWP news alerts and I
didnt even get one of the hearing public notices, nor was it
on their main page of their website.
- Media - Generally when something is mentioned
in the media, there is little to no follow thru contact information
provided for the public to become engaged. He gave an example
of the city planning commission's tiny ass print of a project
compared to a Nike ad to sell their shoes. Nike clearly wants
you to buy their shoes, but the city planning doesnt want you
at their meetings.
- Heroes - How do we view leadership? He
spoke about heroes being depicted as the reluctant person that
is chosen by the people to fulfill some prophecy or some event
that chooses them, often they try to fight against being chosen.
Leadership/heroes needs to be portrayed as a willing person
of conscious standing up to do the right thing, an average,
everyday person, not some "chosen one".
- Political Parties - instead of the uncreative
politicians regurgitating what they think we want to hear, we
need leaders that are bold with creative ideas, not feeding
- Charitable Status - since nonprofits arent
allowed to do advocacy, some of the most passionate and informed
voices are completely silenced, especially during election time.
- Our electoral process intentionally discourages
engagement in a multitude of ways, just look at some of the
recent attempts by legislators to shut down who can vote.
A heroic effort is a collective effort, it's an ongoing process,
imperfect, not glamorous and it's voluntary!
Last night I got the bulk of the research on the Outfitter
Connection to the Elk
Shoulder Season issue online. I still have some data coming
in, but there is enough to see that our elk population issues are
not as cut and dried as Helena FWP's politics would like us to believe.
When you have special interest landowners/outfitters that boast
of harboring our public wildlife, which they profit from, this needs
to be brought into the conversation.
"Without baiting or fences, HUNDREDS of elk freely rut on the Harris
Ranch. Although public land is very close, almost no bull
elk have ever been killed on the neighboring public lands.
Elk know where they feel safe and are not harassed."
Public Comments Due
on these interconnecting FWP issues that are a major move towards
privatization of our wildlife:
Midnight tonight - FWP's
'15 and Forward. There is a Survey Monkey form at the bottom
of the page. Please tell them the Helena FWP politics need to stop.
FWP needs to become compliant with the laws and regulations so they
stop failing these audits that are wasting our dollars that should
be going towards our wildlife and habitat instead of special interest
ag politics, stop the "culture of fear" that is destroying the FWP
employees morale. We need FWP to get back on the Public Trust Doctrine
path, to stand up for the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation.
Aug. 21 - Game
Damage Public Comments - Please firstname.lastname@example.org
or mail in writing Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Wildlife
Division, P.O. Box 200701, Helena, Montana, 59620-0701
Also, I got
in touch with Senator Mike Phillips and spoke with the Skyline Sportsmen
& Anaconda Sportsmen guys about speaking with Senator Gene Vucovich,
the new Environmental Quality Council (EQC) Chair, that oversees
FWP during the Interim Legislature, about this Game Damage bs. They
took my research, Vito's letter and Gayle Joslin's comments to him.
He agreed to add it to the Sept. 9 & 10th agenda in Helena.
As soon as I see a finalized date and time from Legislative Services,
I will post the information. This may be the last chance to stop
this special interest railroading by FWP. I called Sen. Vucovich
and thanked him for hearing us, giving us this chance. Thank you
Tony Shoonen and Lorry Thomas, y'all rock.
Aug. 28 - Elk
Shoulder Season - Please email the FWP Commissioners at
Considering the recent FWP Game Damage audit failure, an outdated
Statewide Elk Management Plan and some obvious elk objectives influenced
by some special interest landowner/outfitter privatization, we dont
need to create another "shoulder season". We need compliance with
the laws, and a scientific, evidential updating of our statewide
elk management plan, not this continual political Frankensteining
of our elk program. We need the Public Trust Doctrine and North
American Model of Wildlife Conservation from our wildlife agency!
If you would like to further this work and research,
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