Putting the "Public" Back In "Public Trust"

"And if you listen to the public in Montana today,
what's the No. 1 issue?
It's access."

- Bob Dennee


Wilks Fencing Update: While not complete (there is a lot of work involved in this), I have produced the Wilks Brothers Illegal Fencing information page, which documents the timeline history of what has led up to the current fencing situation. Also, I have been taking the documentation and producing the Wilks Fencing Durfee Hills Interactive Map. I have more photos and videos to load onto the Interactive Map (please be patient), so when you check back, please refresh the page for the current updates.

The BLM Cadastral survey and investigation is almost complete, they will have to process and produce the report then, which will take a couple weeks before they have something official to share.

FWP Commission Mtg on Bighorn Sheep Transplant, Elk Brucellosis & Marias River Access
Today the FWP commission adopted the Elk Brucellosis 2015 Work Plan despite overwhelming public comments against it and lack of scientific evidence for specific transmission of elk transmitting to Montana cattle causing the brucellosis infections from 2007 to current. Thankfully, the Marias River WMA Access Settlement was not approved. And they also voted to uphold their previous vote against FWP's recommendations for Bighorn Sheep transplants out of Montana.
 Elk Brucellosis 2015 Work Plan (FWP recommends adoption) and the Marias River WMA Access Settlement (again, FWP proposes the Commission approve the settlement agreement regardless of the overwhelming and repeated public comments to the contrary)

Dear Forest Service: Today’s John Muir shoots video, Let people take all the images they want in wilderness areas by Ben Long
"But I’d like to make a different point. And that is that the American wilderness system itself can benefit greatly from the power of imagery. The mass media should help open the door that introduces people to their wilderness. The images they create can serve as the key.

As our population grows more urban, fewer and fewer Americans have a personal connection to wilderness. That means that wilderness has fewer political advocates for everything from adequate budgets for trail maintenance to new and much-needed wilderness protections."

Public Lands
Our Public Lands Not For Sale - Backcountry Hunters & Anglers Report
"Our public lands are essential for hunters and anglers. Not just today, but for the future. Across America, the top reason that hunters and anglers give up these activities is because of loss of access to quality habitat."

A new map shows rangeland health nationwide
Searchable BLM reports and satellite images for 20,000 grazing allotments.
"Disagreements like the one in Battle Mountain are hardly novel in Western politics. But this week, a new tool to understand livestock impact on public lands was thrown into the mix. Washington, DC-based non-profit Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) released an interactive map that collates over 45,000 BLM records that diagnose 20,000 allotments across the nation. The map is seven years in the making, the result of Freedom of Information Act requests PEER and Western Watersheds Project put to the BLM."

Feds raise doubts about Utah canyon protest leader getting court-appointed attorney
"San Juan County Commissioner Phil Lyman is no fan of federal government spending. But that did not stop him from asking for — and getting — a defense attorney paid for by U.S. taxpayers to fend off criminal charges stemming from the motorized protest he led into Recapture Canyon last spring.

Now Utah’s U.S. Attorney is questioning whether Lyman, a certified public accountant who gets a $50,000 compensation package as a part-time elected official, is financially eligible for court-appointed representation...'According to a social media profile, the defendant is the owner of a [certified public accounting] professional corporation that self-proclaims on its website to be the "Four Corners area’s premier tax preparation service firm," ' Huber wrote in his filing. 'Finally, the defendant advertises himself as a financial planner who owns an investment company. In a third-party investment adviser listing, the defendant’s investment company shows as controlling $2.3 million in assets.' "

Townsend ranch sold to Helena National Forest
"The thousand-acre acquisition also improves access to more than 6,000 additional acres of land. The property, located about a mile south of Mount Baldy in the Big Belt Mountains, extends the national forest into the foothills of the valley, along with connecting public lands to a private ranch enrolled in the Block Management Program. 'By acquiring this property, we’ve opened up a stringer of connected pieces of land,' said now-retired Forest Service land manager Bob Dennee. 'And if you listen to the public in Montana today, what’s the No. 1 issue? It’s access.'

While the property provides quality habitat for elk, deer and other wildlife, Ray Creek contains a 5-mile stretch of water housing a pure strain of westslope cutthroat trout that does not share habitat with nonnative fish, said Forest Service biologist Archie Harper. 'This is one of about four pure populations of cutthroat that remain in this mountain range,' he said. 'We got about 5 miles of habitat, and usually we’re lucky if we can get one or two.' "

House of Misrepresentatives: What would happen to the West's environment if the House of Representatives had its way.
"The current House of Representatives may be one of the most environmentally unfriendly legislatures in U.S. history, but at least its lawmakers know how to make a bill sound good. As a farewell gesture to the 113th House, we’ve rounded up some of its most egregious measures and translated them to reveal what they’d actually mean for public lands and wildlife in the West. For the record, all of these are currently stalled in the Senate."

Shifting winds in public lands debate
"The potential for more local control and access to the natural resources on federally owned public lands have Southern Utah leadership celebrating the Republican Party victories in last week's midterm elections...

'There's no question that the shift in the political landscape will have consequences for the landscape we all love,' wrote Scott Groene, executive director of the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, in a letter to supporters. 'The Senate will no longer act as the reliable counterweight to terrible anti-environment bills coming from the House — a role it has played since the 2010 election.' "

Burnt Forest Is Recovered From Green Forest by George Weurthner
"When they ask how long it will take to 'recover' from the fire, they mean, how long will it take for tall, green trees to repopulate the area.
Though it is nearly universal among most people who have been taught to think about wildfires as 'destructive', from an ecological perspective it belies a failure to really understand forest ecology. It is the wrong question and certainly the wrong perspective to hold."

Public Wildlife
Addendum to the Year-round Bison Habitat Draft Joint Environmental Assessment Public Comment Sought
This addendum is utter bullsh*t. It is not based on science. It is based on APHIS and DOL objectives of eradication of brucellosis in wildlife, regardless of the fact that there has never been a documented case of wild bison brucellosis infecting domestic cattle. Doesnt hurt the political objectives of keeping a forage competing wild ungulate species off the public landscape either.

This political stand is based on the mistaken belief that if the YNP bison population is drastically reduced, then there wont be many bison to do what they do naturally - migrate out of the Park into Montana, which has proven repeatedly to be wild bison intolerant.

Its called migration and its what wildlife do in Montana!
Montana -
"Elk do it, deer do it.
Even big ole moose do it.
Let's do it, let wild bison home!" 

Buffalo Field Campaign & Western Watershed joint petition to list the Yellowstone Bison as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act.

Hunters, step up to report thieves who take away from our sport by Vito Quatraro
"Those who are killing and leaving the animals behind to rot should not be labeled as hunters, but instead “thieves” and criminals who are stealing from all of us. They are stealing our wildlife, our hunting heritage and the future of hunting from resident Montanans. While it may only be a small percentage of hunters causing the problem, the entire hunting community gets a black eye every time one of these incidents takes place. We cannot tolerate the “slob” hunter who refuses to hunt legally and ethically."

Scientific facts belie the anti-wolf hysteria by Todd Wilkinson
"In his recent, excellent book 'Wolfer,' Carter Niemeyer chronicles the warped bias against Canis lupus. Niemeyer worked for both the Fish and Wildlife Service and the federal agency known as Wildlife Services, and he killed more wolves than anyone else in modern history.

For the majority of ranchers in the northern Rockies, wolves are a nonissue, he says.
The same can be said of hunters who overwhelmingly enjoy high harvest success rates. In most locales there are far more elk in abundance and distribution across Wyoming, Montana and Idaho than there were a generation ago."

Thank you,
Kathryn QannaYahu


Wildlife &


Bozeman, MT

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