Putting the "Public" Back In "Public Trust"

Public Trust Under Attack - Public Fighting Back

The following are a number of articles and news items which have come up recently as a result of what I view as a blatant attack on the Public Trust Doctrine (PTD), which I will be covering more shortly. I would like to preface this topic with this document - The Role of State Wildlife Professionals Under the Public Trust Doctrine.
"The primary purpose of establishing commissions during the first half of the last century was to insulate decisions affecting the public's wildlife from the vagaries of partisan politics in the legislative arena or Governor's office. Horner argued this insulation from political influence is essential to effective application of the PTD."

Ongoing Elk Debacle
(update on the lawsuit coming shortly)

DOL Taking MT Hunters For A Spin (click for larger image), The Satirical Magpie

Fish & Wildlife Commission discards consensus elk plan by Dr. Mark Albrecht
" 'Commissioners Gary Wolfe of Missoula and Chairman Dan Vermillion of Livingston both clearly understood the lack of sportsmen support but still felt they needed to do "something". As a member of the statewide working group, I know the level of consideration and effort that went into achieving consensus for our objectives. Why would these two FW commissioners completely ignore that guidance? Is Wolfe pandering to the Legislature for approval? Is Vermillion seeking livestock support for a higher office?

In essence, a small self-appointed group composed almost entirely of livestock owners and with only the support of livestock owners caused the FW Commission to disregard their own accepted fundamental objectives and turn a blind eye towards the statewide elk brucellosis working group’s years of effort. I am disappointed, but unfortunately, not surprised.' "

BLM Public Land Trade

BLM pulls Durfee Hills from proposed land exchange
Thanks to the hard work and networking of the Central Montana Hunters For Public Access, over 1600 signatures were collected which shut down a Texas billionaire land trade, using a previously public access road to BLM public lands as hostage in negotiations. Attached is the Central Montana Hunters press release - Central Montana Hunters applaud Wilks Brothers gesture, but press ahead on new BLM access route to Bullwhacker

Stand up for Montanans' access to public lands by Tony Schoonen
"We hunters and anglers intend to leave the Wilks alone to manage their private property as they see fit. But we Montanans are not going to let Brenden and his billionaire friends tell us how to manage our public land.

In a larger view, this whole topic is about what the future of Montana outdoor recreation will be like when private estates are 10 times as large as today’s traditional ranches."

Forest Logging Proposal

Critics decry lack of public input on forest proposal
“What just transpired here is that the governor’s office and the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation hand-selected a group who got together, with no public notice, and over the course of five phone calls they decided that 5.1 million acres of Montana forests should be opened to logging under weakened and streamlined public input processes and limited environmental impact analysis,” Koehler said. “Over the course of five conference calls, seven people came up with 5.1 million acres of fast-track public lands logging. That’s more than a million acres per conference call.”

Bozeman man sues governor over proposed logging
“I have a responsibility to vigorously defend the rights of citizens protected by the Montana Constitution,” Kelly said. “When government officials forget to follow their oath of office, or simply choose to act in a way that tramples the constitutional rights of all Montanans, individual citizens must be vigilant. It’s what citizenship is all about.”

Thank you,
Kathryn QannaYahu


Wildlife &


Bozeman, MT

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