Putting the "Public" Back in "Public Trust"
part of the whole technique of disempowering people is to make sure
that the real agents of change fall out of history, and are never
recognized in the culture for what they are. So it's necessary to
distort history and make it look as if Great Men did everything - that's
part of how you teach people they can't do anything, they're helpless,
they just have to wait for some Great Man to come along and do it for
- Noam Chomsky
I have had some thoughts running around in my brain since late Nov.
and early Dec., but wanted to wait until the distractions of the
holidays were over. My hope is for conservationists to realize the power
they have for change, individually and especially collectively, to make
a difference. Dont wait for the the "Great Men" of the political/media
arena, BE the great conservationists that our fish/wildlife and habitat
I want to talk about biopolitics
the intersection between biology, a hard science we need for
wildlife/habitat conservation IF we truly value fish/wildlife and
habitat on the natural landscape, instead of a zoo; and politics, a soft
science involving political power/governmental decision making. I kind
of view this growing situation like a Machiavellian political Pac Man
gobbling up/overshadowing the science based wildlife/habitat
conservation we need.
the national level, politics have been trying to rob the public of our
jointly owned federal public lands through our Federal Legislature: 1.
by strangulation of funding for public resource management, 2. by
stating our federal public lands are being "mismanaged", would be better
managed by the state, as part of the state/private land grab. This is
much akin to the biblical "make more bricks with less straw" scenario.
couple days ago a good Letter to the Editor was published, discussing
valuing the sciences as the foundation for policies needed to protect
our natural resources for future generations (Public Trust Doctrine):
Montana's governor should be rooted in reality
Madin, on the Board of Directors of the Craighead Institute here in
Bozeman wrote, "I share your love of Montana, particularly the clean
air and water, natural beauty, wildlife and recreation access afforded
all Montana citizens. I think you would agree, that one big reason why
high tech jobs have a rosy future here is because they combine good pay
with quality lifestyle
. Yet your core belief in a
6,000-year-old Earth means that you reject the enormous body of
scientific data that comprise the natural sciences in favor of,
Those sciences are the foundation of policies protecting natural resources for future generations
How will you campaign on the assertion that the natural sciences are a
fraud? With due respect, the mental gymnastics with which you square
your faith in physics (and it's predictability in the operation of
computer technology) with your belief in events which are immune to
those same laws of physics is your business. But, we need a
governor, Republican or Democrat, who first and foremost is rooted in a
view of reality shared by the vast majority of Montanans and
illuminated by science.
Keep up the good work on jobs, in the private sector. Wishful thinking belongs in religion, not politics."
Madin is referring to Gianfortes belief and funding of the Glendive Dinosaur and Fossil Museum
promoting a 6,000 year old earth, " 'It's not a science museum at all,'
Horner said. 'It's not a pseudo-science museum. It's just not science.
...There's nothing scientific about it.' "
For a comedic (video)
look at a very serious
Neil deGrasse Tyson
appeared on The Nightly
"This whole thing is
just a symptom of a
larger problem - there's
a growing anti-intellectual
strain in this country,
that may be the beginning
of the end of our informed
democracy... But if
you... have influence
over others... or even
... then being wrong,
becomes being harmful
to the health, the wealth
and the security of
I would include, most especially, to our environment, our public trust resources.
the political stage, at the very least, you, as VOTERS, have the power
to change this political debacle before us, otherwise, you can kiss your
natural resources goodbye. We dont need a "Great Man". We need You, a
lot of "You", to be empowered. If you VALUE
your fish, wildlife and their habitat, our public lands and their
access, then please dont sit on your philosophical asses just thinking
or discussing what should be done about the intentional theft of our
public trust resources, get registered to vote and vote for the
candidates that stand up for our Public Trust.
Back proper hunting, fishing, not extra elk season by JW Westman
"When considering the ever-increasing pressure by private and
commercial interests focusing on Fish Wildlife and Parks' inability to
manage elk numbers on and adjacent to private land, it's no wonder
polarization among interest groups is reaching a boiling point.
The recently proposed, unnecessary 'elk shoulder seasons' are the
latest boiling pot ingredient. Part of the reason for the divisiveness
on these issues lies in the fact that FWP has never established
sideboards to the public trust. A solid commitment by FWP leadership to
publicly develop those sideboards is necessary.
Those sideboards - public ownership of wildlife, and
wildlife must be managed by science, not opinion, as a public trust by
. Maintain fair and equitable allocation of licenses and
permits for Montana residents first, with up to 10 percent for
nonresidents and resisting privatization schemes, including
transferable tags for the rich."
an eye on the American Lands Council website, I saw recently that
Jennifer Fielder (one of our MT state senators), who used her position
on the EQC to push her federal lands transfer agenda here in Montana,
has now become the CEO for Ken Ivory's American Lands Council.
Not surprising, she has been pushing this special interest agenda for awhile now
, with her intentionally distorted, factually incorrect fearmongering. Recently, Fielder promoted a blatantly distorted video put out by Ammon Bundy
(before his arrest) of some lightening strike fires in Oregon, saying
the BLM started the fires and intentionally burned private property and
live cows. Of course I had to look into this and immediately found the 2013 Long Draw / Miller Homestead Fire Review of the fires
watched Fielder's tactics for a couple years now, her utter disregard
for truth, having no shame to promote distorted propaganda to deceive
the public, I feel Sen. Jennifer Fielder is a disgrace to Montana and
should be removed from public office as she clearly does not "support, protect and defend the constitution of the United States
", per her oath of office
instead is intent on undermining it every chance possible. "Section 3.
Oath of office. Members of the legislature and all executive,
ministerial and judicial officers, shall take and subscribe the
following oath or affirmation, before they enter upon the duties of
their offices: 'I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support,
protect and defend the constitution of the United States, and the
constitution of the state of Montana, and that I will discharge the
duties of my office with fidelity (so help me God).' No other oath,
declaration, or test shall be required as a qualification for any office
or public trust."
Montana Sen. Fielder enables Bundy-style extremism The hidden connections of the Sagebrush Insurgency
- excellent interactive map of Federal rebellion and players.
The GOP's clueless candidates
Republican wannabe leaders appear to be seriously out of touch with
Montana reality. Jennifer Fielder, a state senator from Thompson Falls,
is the new CEO of the American Lands Council, an organization dedicated
to turning federal public lands over to the states. Meanwhile, GOP
gubernatorial candidate Greg Gianforte said he wants 'somebody from
industry' to head the Montana Department of Environmental Quality,
effectively putting the fox in charge of the henhouse."
Because hunting and fishing are a part of feeding our families and a huge part of Montana's economy!
How to Be a Better Big-Game Butcher
Montanan and seasonal business man, " 'I like meeting people and being a
part of the hunt,' says Buzz. 'People bring their kids in, and we
become part of the hunting story.' " Good primer on wild game meat
Montana's angling industry needs climate action
need for climate action in Montana is real and it is urgent if we wish
to remain a destination place for world-class fly-fishing. Too much is
at stake if we don't begin to tackle the threat of climate change. We
encourage our elected officials to take climate change and the
reduction of carbon emissions seriously, so we can preserve not only
what makes this state so special, but also the thousands of jobs that
rely on our outdoor economy."
FWS will consider transferring National Bison Range to local Indian tribes
"Public Employees for Environmental
Responsibility, which has strongly opposed any tribal involvement at
the Bison Range, warned again Mo nday that 18
U.S. national wildlife refuges and 57 national parks could be ceded to
other Indian tribes if such a precedent is established.
'Once again, the National Bison Range is a
political trading card whose conservation mission is an afterthought,'
Jeff Ruch, PEER's executive director, said."
It's like Ground Hog Day for the National Bison Range - Background information
MOVE TO CEDE CROWN JEWEL REFUGE TO TRIBE
"Relinquishing control of Bison Range raises concerns that extend far beyond this refuge"
Tester Hails Increased Public Access at Glacier Park
"U.S. Sen. Jon Tester has hailed two grants that will increase
public access to Glacier National Park and spur economic growth in
The National Park Service announced Feb. 1 that it's awarding the
Glacier National Park Conservancy nearly $100,000 to conduct campground
and trail maintenance.
'Glacier National Park is one of Montana's best treasures,' said
Tester, a member of the Interior Appropriations Committee. 'Investments
like this strengthen our economy, create jobs, and increase public
access to some of the most incredible places in Big Sky Country.' "
Commissioners to look into status of gated road
"Retired West Fork Ranger Dave Campbell said that the road did
access national forest land until the gate was installed and there were
records of people using it to access Trail #650. He said the evidence
shows that the road was adopted as a public road and never abandoned.
'My pitch is to restore public access to public lands,' said Campbell.
Current West Fork District Ranger Ryan Damsalla told the commissioners
that the Forest Service was there as a 'concerned landowner' and its
belief was that the road was a county road, although the Forest Service
has some maintenance responsibilities."
RMEF sells land in Madison Valley to FWP
late 2014 RMEF acquired 631 acres of grassy rangeland 24 miles south
of Ennis immediately adjacent to the WMA. The entire southern edge of
the property borders the existing WMA while the eastern edge borders
Bureau of Land Management property that runs to the Madison River.
recently conveyed the property to FWP which paid $1.04 million to
acquire the land. The money came from federal Pittman-Robinson and
Habitat Montana funds.
'This is such an exciting addition to
Wall Creek considering everything and everyone that benefit,' said
Julie Cunningham, FWP area biologist. 'First you have the 2,000 elk
that use the WMA as crucial winter range, then the hundreds of mule
deer and antelope that migrate through and - of course - the hunters
who will now have access to hundreds more acres of huntable public
Study aims to increase Montana's bighorn sheep population
"' Bighorn are one of the species that while we use the same
techniques that we have used for elk and deer and pronghorn, they have
never really taken off as far as getting large robust populations
throughout Montana,' said Bob Garrott with Montana State
A new study will look at seven bighorn herds
across the state with researchers hoping that the comparison will
reveal new information to better manage big horns in the future...The
study is scheduled to last for five years.
The Stephens Creek Dilemma
"The Stephens Creek Capture Facility has a poor reputation among
some wildlife advocates. After all, it's a place that has shipped bison
off to slaughter - 861 in 2006, 1,288 in 2008, the most ever, and
another 507 in 2015 - in the name of reducing the number in
Yellowstone. The only people allowed there on normal days are the park
service biologists and rangers who work there, people with an
uncomfortable job to do.
'They don't like having to do this,' Yellowstone spokeswoman Jody
Lyle said during a recent tour. 'This isn't what they signed up for.' "
FWP proposal would reduce public hunting opportunity
by Joe Perry
response to the BS campaign dominating the media here in Montana,
concerning the Elk Shoulder Season pilot projects taking place in
Central Montana, thankfully, there are a number of conservation
hunters speaking out against the propaganda, calling for the science,
applying the Elk Management Plan's tools towards objectives.
"Fish, Wildlife and Parks, the press and the governor have promoted elk shoulder seasons as successful. By what metric?
think it is only fair to let the public know if rules are changed.
Let's slow down, stop the rhetoric, stay the course, stick to the
original rules, collect the data and present it honestly and factually.
Last but not least, why are some wanting to treat our public elk as a
private commodity during hunting season and pregnant varmints after
the season? We find this very distasteful.
Joe Perry of
Brady writes for the Montana Sportsman's Alliance. He was appointed
this month by Gov. Steve Bullock to the Montana Private Land Public
Wildlife Advisory Council."
Yellowstone River easement purchase questioned
"Instead, as a voluntary alternative, FWP is proposing to let some
landowners sell a conservation easement to their property if they agree
to let the river roam, since the erosion can help the young of species
like pallid sturgeon survive.
The money for the idea, however, could be headed back to the Upper
Basin Pallid Sturgeon Working Group after a recent public hearing on
the first such channel migration easement in Montana drew fire not only
from landowners, but from area legislators.
'We have been working on this program for the better part of
seven, eight years,' said Mike Backes, Region 7 fisheries manager,
during the public hearing at the Eastern Agricultural Research Center.
'If we cannot make this one work, I'm washing my hands of the money.
I'm giving it back if it's not usable in this context. The owner needs
to decide where it will apply that money elsewhere. We cannot continue
to sit on it.' "
Captive deer euthanized; Forsyth couple charged with obstruction
"Two Forsyth-area people were charged Tuesday with obstructing a peace
officer after Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks game wardens confiscated
a deer that was illegally held captive on their property.
FWP warden captain Jack Austin said game wardens learned that an
adult mule deer doe was being illegally held captive on private property
north of Forsyth. Along with Rosebud County sheriff's deputies, game
wardens served a search warrant at the property Tuesday morning, at
which time they tranquilized and confiscated the captive deer. The deer
was transported to a Miles City veterinarian and euthanized.
Wildlife are wildlife and need to be respected as such. It is also against Montana law to feed wildlife
West & US
Just like arsonists get billed for the costs of starting fires...
Congressman Has Plan To Force Bundy Militants, Not Taxpayers, To Foot Bill For Occupation
"The occupation of Oregon's Malheur National Wildlife Preserve continues to drag on, at an ever-rising cost
to the local community. Now, Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) has
introduced legislation to make sure the rural Oregon community doesn't
end up footing the bill. If enacted, H.R.4431
require the federal government to reimburse state and local law
enforcement agencies for security costs above their standard budget
incurred during the threat to the Malheur preserve - which is federal,
not state or local, land.
Then Congressman Blumenauer
wants the government to send the bill to the Bundys. Although
Blumenauer's bill would have the federal government immediately
reimburse the state and local agencies, section 2
Blumenauer's bill would allow the attorney general to sue the
occupiers for the cost after the federal government reimburses the local
agencies. 'It is not just enough to enforce the law. We should recover
damages from lawbreakers who tear up the landscape, degrade wildlife
habitat, and destroy property,' Blumenauer said in his address to
Beyond Malheur: Why Federal Wildlife Refuges Matter So Much
by Ben Long
"Today, the No. 1 threat to the future of hunting and fishing is
loss of access to quality habitat. America's public lands are critical
if we are to maintain our hunting and fishing traditions and freedoms.
But of all those lands, national wildlife refuges have a particularly
If feds lose lands, hunters lose, too Former US Attorney Praises Oregon's Top FBI Agent in Refuge Standoff
The rise of the Sagebrush Sheriffs
those officials are a growing cadre of county sheriffs, many of them
from the rural West, who believe themselves above the reach of federal
government, constitutionally empowered as the supreme law of the land.
Some have chosen to become part of this movement, while others have
joined unwittingly, by taking strong political stances or acting on the
behalf of local anti-government movements."
Another way local authorities, sympathetic to the likes of the Bundy's, are trying to subvert our rights to our public lands...
County keeps public out of public land "The
machinations are designed to keep Ratner from investigating the
condition of public land, the activist said. 'Up until the time I
started collecting data nobody had an interest in blocking access to
this area,' he said. 'That's the reality of the situation. The whole
effort to shut down access is an effort to stop me from providing
oversight of the permittees on the Smiths Fork allotment.' "
behind in the newsletter to include readers comments, but I wanted to
thank everyone that wrote, thanking me for my efforts in the Durfee
If you would like to further this work and research, please click to contribute to EMWH.
Stan Meyer, Nancy Ostlie
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