Technique of disempowering the people

Putting the "Public" Back in "Public Trust"

"Look, 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 them."   
- 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 need!

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.

On 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.

A 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
Kent 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, well..wishful thinking.

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 subject, Astrophysicist, Neil deGrasse Tyson appeared on The Nightly Show, stating, "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 presidential candidates, ... then being wrong, becomes being harmful to the health, the wealth and the security of our citizenry."
I would include, most especially, to our environment, our public trust resources.

On 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 FWP. 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."

Fielder Fearmongering
Keeping 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.

Having 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
"Two 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 
Sixth-generation 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 processing.

Montana's angling industry needs climate action
"The 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."
Glacier Country

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 other 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

"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 northwest Montana.

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.' "

Southwest Montana

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
"In 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.

RMEF 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 land.' "

Yellowstone Country

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 University...

 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.' "

Central Montana

FWP proposal would reduce public hunting opportunity
by Joe Perry
In 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?

We 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."

Missouri River Country

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.' "

Southeast Montana

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 would 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 of 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 Congress."

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 powerful role."

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
   "Among 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.' "


Way behind in the newsletter to include readers comments, but I wanted to thank everyone that wrote, thanking me for my efforts in the Durfee Hills work.

I would like to thank the following contributors for supporting EMWH. Your gift is very much appreciated.
Stan Meyer, Nancy Ostlie

If you would like to further this work and research,   please click to contribute to EMWH.
Thank you,
Kathryn QannaYahu


Wildlife  &



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