Modern Tragedy of the Commons

Ultimately, a well-informed public must take action at the ballot box

Putting the "Public" Back in "Public Trust"

"Trustees have managed scramble competition for public wildlife resources fairly well. However, trustee management
is being widely subverted for purposes
 of private gain through interference competition.
The modern tragedy of the commons occurs as
private interests control trustees
to capture and control public resources."
  ~ Jim Bailey

Commentary: Wildlife, the public trust, and the modern day tragedy of the commons PDF
by Dr. James A. Bailey, PhD, retired professor of biology at  Colorado Statue University for 20 years, Montana resident. 
"The modern tragedy of the commons seeks to undermine a long and proud history of North American wildlife conservation. The predominant threat to public trust resources is no longer scramble competition. It is the growing threat of interference competition through control of the trustees. Curtailing the tragedy requires greater awareness of its broad reach and changing nature. Young, aspiring, and often idealistic wildlife biologists and managers need be aware of the milieu they are entering. They will have dual, and sometimes conflicting, obligations to superior trustees and to the public beneficiaries. For those involved with local and temporal conservation battles it is useful, but intimidating, to view  the larger historical picture. Ultimately, a well-informed public must take action at the ballot box."

Thank you Jim, for sharing this with us. 


Trust Us Millions of people visit Montana each year hungry to experience our public places
Montana Board of Land Commissioners at risk
"Republicans want to control the five top-elected seats in Montana and control the Board of Land Commissioners like they currently control the state Legislature. They've put forward strong candidates, many with the ability to self-fund campaigns. There's a likelihood some or many win.

Millions of people visit Montana each year hungry to experience our public places. Yet for locals our public lands are simply a part of our way of life, of who we are and why we live here. Still, some just edeologically oppose conservation. Democrats and Republicans hoping to be next year's land commissioners should release their plans on how best to manage our state public lands."

"Do you wonder where your food came from? Not me. 'Country of origin' food labeling laws are a big deal now days. I know what country my food comes from.

I came to hunting through a cultural connection to food. Hunting for food brought me to understand that hunting is the primary driver of conservation in America.

My name is Randy Newberg. I am a hunter."

Glacier Country

FWP wants authority to impound boats at risk of carrying invasive mussels
"Efforts to protect Montana waterways from the devastating impacts of zebra and quagga mussels are ramping up this spring. Two boat inspection stations in western Montana have already opened, far earlier than in past years. And Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has proposed changes to the rules that would allow officials to temporarily take possession of high-risk boats, or temporarily lock them to their trailers to prevent launching, to ensure enough drying time to kill any mussels on board."

Southwest Montana

Public asked to comment on Big Hole, Beaverhead River rules
The public has the chance to weigh in on the Fish and Wildlife Commission's proposed amendments to the Big Hole and Beaverhead River rules at two public hearings in March:
* Dillon: Wednesday, March 16, Montana Western, Block Hall 311, 710 S. Atlantic Street.
* Butte: Thursday, March 17, U.S. Forest Service, 1820 Meadowlark Lane          
The proposed amendments involve the allocation of temporary client days for outfitters on these two rivers only. Public notice of the meetings can be found online at

Beaverhead and Big Hole Amendment Proposal link

Ruby River bridge public access case back in court
"The legal battle over the public's right to access the Ruby River from Seyler Lane in Madison County has entered its 12th year with a new hearing in District Judge Loren Tucker's courtroom in Virginia City Monday.

While the Montana Supreme Court decided in 2014 the public has the right to use Seyler Lane, which runs through Atlanta media mogul James Cox Kennedy's property, through prescriptive easement, what Tucker still has to rule on is how much shoulder the county needs to maintain and repair the bridge. The hearing will allow both sides to bring in new witnesses to the case."

Yellowstone Country

"herd" Saving the American Buffalo - A documentary Kickstarter Project
A Bozeman film company - " 'herd' is a feature length documentary that will be filmed in stunning 4K resolution. It will follow the last wild American buffalo as they make their yearly migration from the harsh winters of Yellowstone National Park into milder conditions of the Paradise Valley in Montana...
As we film these magnificent creatures we will bring to light the struggles they face every day; from the inhumane hazing just moments after birth to claustrophobic penning and slaughtering being enacted by APHIS (Animal Plant Health Inspection Service) through the National Park Service. Due to the controversial assumption that Brucella abortus (Brucellosis) can be transmitted to private cattle stock when the buffalo herds roam out of park lands, multiple agencies are seeking to eliminate the last remaining buffalo."

Of course, I advocate for the science, that we can mitigate livestock concerns so that they are safe, yet at the same time, we can and should be treating our wild bison as wildlife, restored to public lands in Montana. For that to happen, the truth about brucellosis needs to be told.

Your Wild Backyard Q & A event, Bozeman, March 31st
The panel consists of world renowned Bozeman wildlife ecologist Dr. Lance Craighead; equally renowned bear biologist Dr. David Mattson of Livingston; Bozeman-based
conservationist, wilderness advocate and author Phil Knight; retired Forest
Service biologist and conservation activist Dr. Sara Jane Johnson of Three
Forks; and Sierra Club Organizing Representative Kiersten Iwai of
Bozeman. The panel moderator will be long-time Montana wilderness
guide and author Howie Wolke of Park County.

FWP to talk mountain lion management in Three Forks  
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks will host a public meeting on Tuesday, March 8 to discuss mountain lion management and tentative quotas for the 2016 mountain lion hunting season in Region  3.
The meeting will get underway at 7 p.m. at the Headwaters Community Center at 223 N. Main St. in Three Forks.

Sewage pond spills 35 million gallons into Gallatin
"A pipe below a holding pond in Big Sky broke Thursday afternoon, spilling an estimated 35 million gallons of sewage water into the the West Fork of the Gallatin River.
The treated sewage water was flowing into Second Yellow Mule Creek and then into the south branch of the West Fork of the Gallatin River...

According to the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, a fish biologist would be at the site Friday morning to evaluate the potential aquatic impact s."

Central Montana

Occupiers of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge - Coming to a city near you!
'Citizens For Constitutional Freedom' Plan Lewistown Rally
"Citizens for Constitutional Freedom, the group that occupied a national wildlife refuge in Oregon, is holding nationwide rallies this weekend, including one in Lewistown Montana...

The organizer of the rally in Montana, John Degel, expects around 100 people at Symmes Park in Lewiston on Saturday to support the group's cause...

He says the group will talk about getting ballot initiatives going to fix the issues they see with government overreach."

Missouri River Country

Letter requires FWP investigator to avoid tribal land, cases
"In a Feb. 19 letter, investigator Dirk Paulsen was told to avoid conducting 'any business on tribally owned lands, the reservation and sub-marginal lands nearby.' The letter was signed by Region 6 supervisor Mark Sullivan. A copy of the letter was acquired by The Gazette through a third party. Sullivan could not be reached for comment...

Paulsen declined to talk on the record considering the nature of the incident. Last year he was promoted to criminal investigator for the region in northeastern Montana after applying for the job. Fellow wardens also honored him as warden of the year in 2015.
'It's very unusual for a law enforcement officer to be told to stand down,' Vinnedge said. 'These guys want Dirk gone.' "

Southeast Montana

Wardens Seek Information on Poached Deer Dumped Near Glendive
"Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Game Wardens are asking for the public's help in leading them to those responsible for multiple deer recently poached and found dumped near Glendive...

The mule deer bucks had their heads cut off while one of the whitetail bucks had its skull cap and antlers removed. A small amount of the meat had been removed from most of the carcasses but the majority of the animals were left to rot...

Warden Leonard also noted that the investigation thus far has yielded some evidence left at the scene. He is asking the public for assistance in solving this wildlife crime.

Anyone who has information on these deer can contact Warden Leonard directly at 406-853-7500 or can call FWP's 24-hour TIPMONT line at 1-800-847-6668. Those calling the TIPMONT line may remain anonymous if they so choose. Individuals who contribute information leading to a conviction may be eligible for up to a $1,000 reward."

West & US

Trump ally arrested; 14 more indicted for Bundy's Nev. siege
"Federal authorities today arrested a New Hampshire man and and 11 others after a federal grand jury indicted 14 more people for their roles in Cliven Bundy's armed standoff with the Bureau of Land Management in 2014, marking a major expansion in the government's crackdown on militant protesters of federal land control."

How an East Coast think tank is fueling the land transfer movement
"ALEC has played a role in public lands debates as far back as 1995, when it drafted the 'Sagebrush Rebellion Act,' to establish mechanisms for public land transfer to state control, though the act never passed. The Center for Western Priorities estimates that up to six of ALEC's model policies advocate public lands transfer. Four years ago, ALEC provided model legislation to undermine the Antiquities Act and give states power in designating national monuments. Then in 2015, the organization released a white paper, which it cites regularly for legislators, that concluded states would serve as 'superior environmental and economic stewards of select lands within their borders.'

Though some legislators, like Ivory, are publicly open about their ALEC membership, the group does not release who its members are. ALEC did not respond to multiple requests for comment for this article. But according to Jones' statements, more than 200 state legislators are members, and 85 members of Congress, seven governors, and four presidential candidates are alumni. In 2011, the Center for Media and Democracy, a liberal watchdog organization started by former Department of Justice official Lisa Graves, launched a project to identify legislators in the U.S. with ALEC ties. According to the center's latest data, each state in the West has at least a handful of politicians involved with ALEC - with the most being in Utah and Idaho."

US government to accelerate solar development on public lands
"The strategies apply a landscape-level approach to managing development in designated areas, known as Solar Energy Zones (SEZs), on public lands. In line with BLM regulations for other types of development on public lands, the guidelines identify natural, cultural and human resources that could be impacted by potential solar development and seek to mitigate any unavoidable impacts off-site. 'The strategies provide certainty to potential project developers by recommending a per-acre fee that would fund off-site mitigation measures and streamline environmental review for individual projects within the zones,' the BLM said."

Allegations of corruption surround Utah Hunting and Conservation Expo
"The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources has come under fire for a decision made last December. State authorities approved a wildlife conservation group, Sportsman for Fish and Wildlife, as a permit distributor for a hunting expo that takes place in Salt Lake City every year.
In doing so, it appears the state dismissed millions of dollars that would have been used for wildlife conservation efforts in the state of Utah."

"Oh my gosh Kathryn, I have read just part of this yet, but I have to say it is brilliant!  Counting deer is not enough anymore. Indeed, when budgets for government agencies have been cut to the point they cannot do their jobs." Nancy Ostlie

"watched the video.
like he said, the big problem we have is the politicization of our science infrastructure, 
.. . and get the conservation we fight for..." George Bauer

"Kathryn: Since you had Martin's talk linked to your Newsletter, maybe my paper in California Fish and Game Journal on the modern tragedy of the commons (attached) could be linked as well? I think it is pertinent to the issues of the day."  Jim Bailey
Absolutely, done and done, thank you. 

"Kathryn, Been reading your emails and really enjoying your hard work & efforts... You are doing a awesome job... keep it up." Eric Hammer

"I looked at your web site an seen you have been very busy.  I have a lot of reading to do to catch up on all the information you have provided. What do see as the most pressing issue I need to get up to speed on?  I follow your passion an respect your research." Bob Diggers

I would like to thank the following contributors for supporting EMWH. Your gift is very much appreciated.
Eric Hammer

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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