Putting the "Public" Back In "Public Trust"

Attack On Our Federal Lands By The Montana EQC

This last Wednesday I went to the Environmental Quality Council meeting in Helena. The EQC had on their agenda a Study of Federal Land Management with guest speakers from Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, and Nevada. Repeatedly, these guest speakers would make statements of "federal overreach", transfer federal lands "back" to the states, that we need to "work together - numbers make us stronger". I think they are hoping that, "a lie repeated often enough becomes the truth."

The meeting ran longer than on the agenda and I was in a carpool so I did not get to present the data, the facts to refute this vocal minority of malcontents that are trying to use their legislative positions to push their federal land grab agenda on to Montanans. Sen. Jennifer Fielder is chairing this SJ 15 Study of Federal Land Management. She just came out with an article in the Flathead Beacon. Transfer of Public Lands Would Benefit Montana. "Shifting to state-based management would result in priorities consistent with Montana values. " I say, Bovine Blossoms of the highest magnitude!

I did send a public comment to all the members of the EQC the day before.
SJ 15 Federal Lands Public Comment

As a result of the meeting, I decided to compose a page of data to fight this agenda here in Montana - the Public Trust - Federal Lands page. If anyone has any materials suggestions, please, as always, feel free to submit them.

These selfish malcontents are operating under a number of ...misconceptions, shall we say. 1. You cant return or take back what was never the states to begin with. 2. They speak of numbers making us stronger, yet in US polls in 2013 67% stood opposed to the selling of Federal Public Lands to reduce the deficit. As awareness of what was at stake, what the public would lose, the 2014 poll rose to 74% opposition. That clearly indicates strength in numbers. 3. Montanans polled at 66% opposition in 2013 and 78% opposition in 2014. Again, clearly showing the people of this state value their access and rights to their Federal Public Lands. 4. In the Montana state report (poll on the Public Trust - Federal Lands page) 53% of voters identified themselves as Hunters, while 57% as Anglers, which utilize our Public Trust Federal Lands. This does not account for the non-consumptive users of these Federal Public Lands. 5. Additionally, from a fiscal point of view, the states government would become so bloated with the employees necessary to administrate these lands, as well as having to come up with funding to pay for management. Wildfires alone would devastate a state budget.

Federal public land equals freedom to roam by Ralph Maughan does a good job explaining some of the base issues and history of this movement. "In fact, land acquisition by the United States in North America took place through treaties and purchases, beginning with the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 and ending with the purchase of Alaska in 1867. Through the years, the federal government acquired 1.8 billion acres in North America. The U.S. Constitution addresses this in what is called the Property Clause, not in Article I, section 8, clause 17.  The Property Clause (Article IV, section 3, clause 2) reads, 'The Congress shall have power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to Prejudice any Claims of the United States, or of any particular State.' "

Keiter’s talk on parks will open your mind by Todd Wilkinson examines the Organic Act and the YNP. "Citing examples of conflicts in parks that arose once the doors of recreational exploitation were flung open, Keiter warns there’s often unintended negative consequences to new uses. In most cases, as soon as they are established, they set in motion impacts that are exceedingly difficult to undo."

Dr. Bruce Smith Event
- Life On The Rocks (books for sale at event)
Friday, May 16th, 7:00 pm, refreshments at 6:30
Lindley Center
1102 E. Curtiss Street, Bozeman, MT
Contact Nancy Schultz - 406-582-9720 GWA hosting

Finally, I would like to thank the members of the Gallatin Wildlife Association who voted to contribute $100.00 to the EMWH research involving the Elk Brucellosis Management that I have been dealing with for over a year, to bring about scientific wildlife management of our public trust wildlife. Which has resulted in the current lawsuit against FWP and the FWP Commission by the Skyline Sportsmen's Association and the Anaconda Sportsmen's Club, which is still in discussion.

FWP fails stakeholders on elk policy OpEd Montana Standard

Thank you,
Kathryn QannaYahu


Wildlife &


Bozeman, MT

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