Putting the "Public" Back In "Public Trust"

"I dont own horses. Does that mean that anyone who does, also owns a trailer to haul them and can ride further into our public lands to access the wilder, more habitat secure areas for elk, is privileged? It costs more to own and raise horses than to fly into the Durfees. I also dont own an atv (and trailer) to ride on the trails similarly to the horses. That does not make those hunters with access to that privileged. They simply have other tools at their disposal that they invest in for their hunts or other recreation. I own alot of expensive software and my construction, art tools for some of my research and other interests. I read a quote about a year ago, 'Dont tell me where your priorities are. Show me where you spend your money and I'll tell you what they are.' So the guys that own a small plane and took the time to train in it and use it to fly in or fly their friends in, are no different in my eyes than the public that invests in horses, atv's, canoes, boats, big elk camp tents and equipment. They are simply investing in tools to help them get to some awesome public lands to pursue a passion of theirs -
in this case elk hunting.
My reply to a persons thought, that flying into the Durfees
might be viewed as privileged.


Please take a moment to sign the
Save Our Durfee Hills Public Lands Change.org Petition

Wilks draft land exchange proposal - what's at stake for the Public.

I just got back from a spur of the moment documentation trip, north of the Durfee Hills and to the Fergus County Courthouse. I was invited out to the area by some landowners that border the Wilks. They had been told about the research I had been doing on all the Durfee Hills trespass violations, so we talked this last week. Two of us drove over there, met with David and Jacqueline, got a tour, had lunch, saw quite a number of deer, some turkeys, elk bulls as we were leaving. These are genuinely concerned people that love our public lands, access and wildlife, who felt they were alone in fighting all this, not knowing there were others. The stories they told us, stories they have been documenting, were upsetting. It was also a nice time to establish trust, landowner/sportsmen relationships.

Then today I spent a good many hours at the Fergus County Courthouse. I came home with a ton of documentation. But, what is also telling is not just what was there, but what was missing from public records. There was like a Bermuda Triangle thing going on, with 2 index cards stating concerning county roads, that no information could be found, but I am a hunter.

There is more to this Wilks land exchange proposal than I knew. And there has always been more than just public lands at stake, but our public elk herds from being privatized. So please, sign the above petition, to prove to the Montana BLM, that the MAJORITY of the PUBLIC is opposed to this land exchange of our  accessible  BLM public lands and the adjoining DNRC lands that we would lose access to as well.

I would like to thank the two public hunting and access advocates that paid for the trip there and back; to Gail, an awesome, artistic woman who provided a room and awesome meals; to Tom Apple, who has been sharing documents on a connecting road issue and to David and Jacqueline for their hospitality, stories and their documentation. I will get all this online soon and a regular newsletter out shortly.

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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