Putting the "Public" Back In "Public Trust"

" 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. "

EMWH Gift Items
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.

Additionally, 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.

Public Lands
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.

President Theodore Roosevelt -
“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 million."

Taxpayers are losing millions on natural gas extracted from federal land

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 million.
- See more at: http://www.publicnewsservice.org/2014-12-03/energy-policy/report-energy-developers-use-free-gas-from-public-land/a43175-1#sthash.Aek2iELX.dpuf
Burning Money Report

Montana’s 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 Per Year
"A study 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 - Indiana -

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 property.

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

Public Wildlife
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.' "

The 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 why...

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 for hunting...

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 Management Area.

'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.

Thank you,
Kathryn QannaYahu


Wildlife &


Bozeman, MT

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