the "Public" Back In "Public Trust"
Plan For Listing Grouse"
Havent made an EMWH
Conservation Postcard in a wee bit, so here is one
in honor of Theodore Roosevelt, one of the fathers of conservation
- view of the Theodore Roosevelt National Park.
Click on image for larger view.
"Here is your country. Cherish
these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish
the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children
and your children's children. Do not let selfish men or greedy
interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches or its romance."
~ Theodore Roosevelt
The Theodore Roosevelt National Park
began as a recreation demonstration area, followed by the designation
of a wildlife refuge, then it became a national memorial park.
In 1978 about a third of it was designated as Wilderness and the
Parks designation became the Theodore Roosevelt National Park
- just one of our treasured Federal Public Lands.
Trust Doctrine Under Attack
"In my opinion, of all the threats to our Public Trust, the
greatest and most insidious is that from within, those who receive
a paycheck of our dollars to manage our Public Trust; instead,
they serve the special interests that would seek to rob us of
our greatest treasure."
July 9th Environmental
Quality Council Mtg
There will be a number of issues addressed that conservationists
might want to be aware of or attend and comment on. 8:45 Sage
Grouse Management Plan, 9:30 Bison Management Update, 10:15 the
SJ15 Work Group bill which Sen. Fielder has been using as a vehicle
for her Federal Public Lands transfer to the states agenda, 1:30
FWP Hunting and Fishing Licenses. If you cannot attend, video
streaming and taped video is available here.
On the Montana Brucellosis infection investigation front (see
this Newsletter for additional information on the 2007 infection
case), despite the Department of Livestock's not filling my
public information request, I have located one of my documents
that prove one of the bison infection cases here in Montana was
from an RB51 vaccine that became an infection - bloomed. I called
Turner Enterprises, spoke with their veterinarian who used to
work for Idaho Fish & Game, Dr. Dave Hunter. Dr. Hunter confirmed
that the infection was the result of the RB51 vaccine. As soon
as I get a few more pieces of my puzzle, I will be able to put
this all up on an interactive timeline for the public to see what
has really been going on in Montana. Perhaps then, a realistic,
productive discussion of how to protect Montana's cattle industry
and our wildlife can be achieved instead of the politics and special
interest targeting of our elk and bison.
Statewide Elk Brucellosis Working Group to meet in Bozeman on
July 8 to review the results of last winter's
activities. 8:30 a.m. at the Montana Fish,Wildlife and Parks’
office in Bozeman at 1400 S. 19th St. The meeting is open
to the public and includes time for public comment. For
more information on the Elk
Brucellosis situation. At last years meeting, they also worked
on the 2014 Work Plan, so they may be working on the 2015 at this
meeting. As I have stated before, FWP has not conducted an independent
review of MT cattle infections to see if elk were actually responsible
for those infections and my public information requests to DOL
have not been fulfilled. The research involving genetics, as well
as information directly associated to each infection case is telling
a different story, which is why FWP needs to manage our elk by
science, not politics.
backs away from statewide sage grouse hunt closure
by Brett French
"Comment to FWP following the proposal from residents and
nonresidents was “relatively heavy,” according to
Quentin Kujala, wildlife management section chief for FWP. Although
hunters said some restrictions were warranted, they noted habitat
was the bigger issue, he added."
future for Wyoming sage grouse by Dr. Clait
E. Braun, with 40+ years wildlife biology, taught at University
of Montana and Colorado State University, who has also worked
for the Montana USDA Soil Conservation Service and as a research
technician for the MT Dept. of Fish and Game. He is considered
an expert in sage grouse ecology.
"The core area strategy is a mistake
that guarantees that sage grouse will have smaller and fewer areas
to try to survive energy development, livestock grazing, and continuing
habitat loss, degradation, and fragmentation. I agree, we all
love the West but we will have less to love as more areas are
developed and more species are on life support. The future is
bleak in Wyoming and elsewhere if you are a sage-grouse, and Wyoming’s
core area strategy does nothing to improve these prospects."
I called and spoke with Dr. Braun about
sage-grouse issues. Expanding on the 2 points identified by USFWS
as the key threats to the continued survival of sage grouse being:
1) habitat loss, fragmentation, and modification and 2) inadequacy
of existing regulatory mechanisms, particularly in relation to
energy and other development; Dr. Braun voiced the opinion that
the regulatory deficiency included local counties. He said that
there was a lack of political will to really do something. Since
Braun's official retirement in 1999 (he is still very much active
in sage-grouse research, writing and involvement), he related
that about $70 million dollars has been spent on sage-grouse,
yet their numbers have not been increased. Additional money is
being poured into captive breeding and reintroduction efforts,
which is costly and not very successful, citing various examples
which have failed. One researchers study I requested the title
of, he explained that the researchers results were never published,
lamenting, "You don't publish your failures."
Braun related the situation with Canadian
sage-grouse, which have a migratory corridor south, after summer,
to Montana's Milk River where they feed for the winter. The Canadian
Sage grouse numbers are very low. Canada was even supplementing
their grouse populations with sage-grouse from Montana. Recently
Zoo began an effort towards captive breeding and reintroduction
which will cost $5.3 million dollars.
So I began researching sage-grouse
captive breeding results. Found one paper by USDA where they fed
captured sage-grouse Purina dog food when they ran out of sage
and other forbes. WTF? With the difficulty of captive breeding,
people cant continue on the habitat devastation path that has
been occurring, expecting that they can just breed more sage-grouse
like domestic chickens and release them to the wild to fix the
problem. We need to be proactive in protecting habitat, rather
than reactive after an Endangered Species Listing.
of Dr. Clait E. Braun on public lands and Sage-grouse.
Dr. Braun testified before Congress on H.R. 657, which was co-sponsored
by MT Rep. Daines. This bill is also referred to as the Grazing
Improvement Act. The House version has not proceeded but the Senate
version S. 258 has and was updated May 2014.
"This testimony concerns H. R.
Bill 657 which has the title of 'Grazing Improvement Act'. My
testimony will focus on native species of wildlife and how the
proposed language would ensure at least two species will
be listed as Endangered."
Blueprint for Sage-grouse Conservation and Recovery
by Dr. Clait E. Braun, while this is a little bit older (2006),
it still has very applicable points.
adopt Wyoming sage grouse strategy for 2.4 million acres around
"The U.S. Bureau of Land Management adopted Wyoming's sage
grouse conservation strategy in a new land management plan for
2.4 million federal acres around Lander on Thursday, in a move
that offered a potential preview of how BLM intends to approach
sage grouse conservation in Wyoming and throughout the West."
majority could rest on the sage grouse
and the two Democratic senators being challenged, John Walsh in
Montana and Mark Udall in Colorado, oppose the idea. They say
they don't want a listing, either, but that the threat of one
is needed to push states to protect the bird."
Elk Litigation Fund
PO Box 173, Butte, MT 59701
Sportsmen and Anaconda Sportsmens Associations lawsuit against
FWP & the FWP Commission