the "Public" Back In "Public Trust"
we scrutinize these assertions against the history of
public land and state land management in Western states,
their claims do not match up to the facts. "
Montana is blessed with a wide variety of skilled residents,
some of which in one way or another, express their love for
the beauty and abundance of this land through various arts or
services. We are also blessed that some of these supporters
have contributed their skills and services to EMWH, the sales
of which go to our Public Trust efforts here in Montana.
a conservation friend called the other morning, speaking about
all the donation mailing requests that they had received of
late from a wide diversity of organizations, with matching offers
for contributions received. This Public Trust contributor and
supporter made the offer that they would match any contribution
EMWH received by the end of December. While not a company or
corporation, here it is, an individual willing to match contributions
to EMWH for the Public Trust benefit. I
am always amazed at the generosity and conservation support
here in Montana. If you would like to contribute to EMWH and
have that matched, please click for ways to contribute.
Ken Ivory and
Gov. Herbert are bamboozling you about public lands
"In order to understand the articulate and legal language used
by Ken Ivory in his defense of transferring public lands to
the state, you have to understand what he is arguing. Ken Ivory
believes that the Enabling Act was a compact, whereby both parties
were to get and give something, that it was a two way street.
This is true, but not the way he is arguing it. He is proposing
a legal theory: that the U.S. had a duty to dispose of federal
lands. To put another way, he states that the U.S. promised
to give the land to the states upon entry into the Union. In
today’s world, this sounds legitimate, but when you dig
into the history, you see that Ivory is ascribing intentions
to historical parties that were never there. In other
words, he is rewriting history."
This Land is Your Land:
Let’s keep the public in public lands
"A furor is brewing in Wyoming and throughout America’s
Intermountain West among a handful of short-sighted politicians
who are demanding state ownership and control of vast acres
of national parks, national forests, wildlife refuges, and other
public lands that are owned by all Americans. They argue that
it is unfair for Western states to have wide open public lands
within their borders – in spite of the tremendous contributions
that these lands make in jobs, economic prosperity, quality
of life, clean water, and places to hunt, fish, hike and otherwise
enjoy our birthright as Americans. They claim that the states
(and private industry) can better manage these lands.
When we scrutinize these assertions against the history of public
land and state land management in Western states, their claims
do not match up to the facts."
While the Public Lands Package
of the Defense Bill passed the US Senate, I
would like to express my sadness and disappointment over this
package throwing some of our Public Lands under the bus to achieve
others, bypassing the public and scientific process, which Interior
Sec. Jewell mentions. 'The preference on
public lands bills is that they go through a typical process
of public lands bills and they get debate and discussion.'
" How is it "conservation" to transfer Public
Lands in Tonto
National Forest to a foreign mining company with a poor
safety record who will create a toxic open pit copper mine (McCain
has been trying to pass this damn thing since 2005)? Or to sell
Public Lands to a city in Nevada which is paying for part of
it by monies from another copper company so they can mine and
have water rights for mining - they havent even cleaned up the
last open pit copper mine and the damage from it there (my
Aug. 31 Newsletter - Bills to sell Fed. Public Lands to cities
and Nevada Copper) ! Think
Montana Berkley Pit. Or how about throwing Eastern Montana
under the bus (article below), or hinder Bighorn Sheep conservation
in the West? In my opinion, this isnt conservation, it is politics.
It is strategic dividing of various conservation groups and
taking advantage of the desperation of conservation advocates
who have poured out numerous hours over years to see their particular
projects achieved. This type of lumping action is acting like
a categorical exclusion, which is also all the rage in bills
these days. And the saddest part is that the "success" of this
maneuver will bring about more and more of these large packages,
attached to unrelated bills that "have to pass", ensuring the
bypassing of the public and scientific process - our Public
Trust Doctrine for future generations.
“I recognize the
right and duty of this generation to develop and use
the natural resources of our land but I do not recognize
the right to waste them, or to rob, by wasteful use,
the generations that come after us.... Of all the
questions which can come before this nation, short of
the actual preservation of its existence in a great
war, there is none which compares in importance with
the great central task of leaving this land even a better
land for our descendants than it is for us, and training
them into a better race to inhabit the land and pass
it on. Conservation is a great moral issue, for it involves
the patriotic duty of insuring the safety and continuance
of the nation.”
Concerns raised over proposed
Ten Mile project
A proposed Forest Service timber and prescribed fire project
in the Ten Mile drainage could have negative impacts on wildlife,
water and the wilderness character of the area, panelists stated
at a citizens’ forum Monday evening... PWC is made up
of individuals and Helena Hunters and Anglers, the Clancy-Unionville
Citizens Task Force, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers and the
Wild Divide Chapter of the Montana Wilderness Association.
What they didn't tell you about Congress' public lands package
"One component of their package transfers highly valuable coal
under my family’s ranch and our neighbors in the Bull
Mountains to Great Northern Properties, a land and mineral mega-corporation
spun-off from the railroad many years ago, in exchange for other
coal in south-eastern Montana. Great Northern Properties gets
a windfall by giving up low-quality coal with no infrastructure
or mining proposals — coal that will almost certainly
never be mined — and gaining high-quality coal next to
existing mines with a high likelihood of development...
It’s a blatant example of a rich and powerful corporation
writing a law to give itself a massive handout. Our delegation
should be better than that. Tester, Walsh, and Daines chose
a massive, out-of-state corporation over the livelihoods and
property rights of multi-generational Montana ranching families
like mine, and they did so at the cost of tens of millions of
dollars for Montana roads and schools."
Groups file lawsuit against
BLM on coal leasing program
" 'More than 80 percent of federal coal comes from the Powder
River Basin in Montana and Wyoming,' said Bob LeResche, Vice
Chair of WORC and rancher from Clearmont, Wyo. 'People living
in the Powder River Basin have endured many hardships not predicted
in the outdated environmental studies including, lack of access
to grazing lands, un-restored groundwater aquifers, toxic emissions
from explosions, costly and dangerous railroad traffic in major
cities to name a few. A full environmental study will enable
the BLM to fulfill their duty to promote environmentally responsible
management of public lands in light of climate change on behalf
of the citizens of the United States.' "
Energy Developers Use Free Gas from Public Land
"Oil and gas developers are getting a sweet deal for their projects
on public land, according to a new report that says taxpayers
are losing out as a result.
The group Taxpayers for Common Sense claimed the government
isn't collecting sufficient royalties, because current rules
don't charge energy companies for the gas they use at drilling
sites or for what is lost through the burn-off process known
as flaring... According to the report, called 'Burning Money,'
from 2006 through 2013, oil and gas companies drilling on federal
land either wasted or used gas for free that was worth $380
Taxpayers are losing millions
on natural gas extracted from federal land
rivers deserve more protection
"Although that section of river is in a protected wilderness
area, folks may not know that wilderness designation does not
prevent a river from being dammed. That threat may have been
what prompted John Craighead to write 'Rivers and their watersheds
are inseparable, and to maintain wild areas we must preserve
the rivers that drain them.' "
Utah’s Plan To Seize
Public Lands Would Cost More Than A Quarter Of A Billion Dollars
released Monday by researchers at three Utah universities found
that transferring national forests and other public lands to
the state of Utah would cost taxpayers at least $280 million
per year — a price tag that could only be paid if the
state were able to increase drilling and mining, seize energy
royalty payments that are owed to U.S. taxpayers, and, if energy
prices remain low, raise taxes to pay for the shortfall."
Vandalism On Public Lands Steals
From Future Generations
"Our public lands protect resources that belong to everyone
yet some people decide to steal our resources for their own
personal enrichment—robbing this and future generations."
The Growing demand for Public Lands, which those of us in the
West already enjoy, in states which are primarily private -
Many working to help acquire
more public lands
"A number of different agencies, state, federal and private,
are hard at work to acquire additional land for public usage.
Indiana has a very low percentage of its land area in public
ownership. Most of our state is in private hands. Most of private
owned lands are off limits to the public due to the few who
have abused the privilege of being allowed to trespass on private
With an increasing number of Hoosiers wishing to experience
an outdoor activity, such as hunting, fishing, hiking, nature
study, etc., the need for additional land keeps increasing."
Mark your calendars - Federal
Public Lands 2015 dates for fee-free days
US Forest Service
National Park Service
Bureau of Land Management
Rich Man’s Sport:
How a Billionaire Developer Restricted Public Access to Spotted
Dog by Joseph Bullington
"At the Boomerang Bakery on Main Street in Deer Lodge, a woman
named Kimmy said her family hunted for years on the public and
private land now contained in Spotted Dog WMA. She sees the
closure of the Jake Creek road as just another step in a decades-long
movement toward restricted public access, toward preference
for those with money over those who actually live in the community.
'We depend on that meat every year,' she said angrily. 'It’s
getting to be a rich man’s sport.' "
Why of the Way by Rob Breeding
"It’s not always clear to folks why we manage wildlife
the way we do in the West. The basic framework is defined by
something known as the North American Model. It’s both
unique to our part of the world, and wildly successful. Here’s
There are a few basic tenets of the North American Model: science-based
management of wildlife; wildlife held as a public resource managed
in trust for all, yet owned by none; and fair chase standards
Maybe the North American Model isn’t perfect. It’s
just better than any other system in the known universe."
Bighorn sheep moved to south
of Great Falls
"State wildlife biologists have trapped and transplanted 21
bighorn sheep to the Sheep Creek drainage that flows into the
Missouri River south of Great Falls...The relocation comes following
an FWP staff proposal to allow moving 50 sheep to South Dakota.
That suggestion was shot down by the Fish and Wildlife Commission,
which in November directed the agency's staff to find a suitable
place for the animals inside Montana."
(Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks spokesman
Bruce Auchly says the 21 released at Sheep Creek consisted of
two lambs, three yearling rams and 16 ewes.)
Canyon Ferry hunters counter
claims of no ethics by Laura Lundquist
"Changing politics and land ownership have combined to make
public hunting around Canyon Ferry more challenging. While recent
reports have raised questions about hunters’ ethics, the
hunters say some landowners should shoulder some blame"
Not being a personal witness to either
incidents, I am not taking sides by posting the articles. I
have simply included the articles to show some of the issues
at hand, which are on both sides of the fence - public hunter
and private landowner.
State purchase of Garrity
Mountain acreage improves wildlife habitat
by Rob Chaney
"Wildlife got an early Christmas present around Anaconda this
month with a major addition to the Garrity Mountain Wildlife
'The property is within view of the Anaconda smelter, and it
runs from Georgetown Lake to the smelter,' said Montana Fish,
Wildlife and Parks biologist Ray Vinkey. 'It’s critical
winter range for elk, and in a season with particularly hard
winters that property has the majority of the elk in the eastern
part of the hunting district.' "
I would like to thank the following
contributors for supporting EMWH. Your gift is very much appreciated.
Public Land/Water Access Association
(PLWA) for their contribution
to the Durfee Hills Public Lands/Wilks fencing research.