South Crazy Mountains Forest Service
Land Exchange Proposal
South Crazy Mountains Forest Service Land Exchange Proposal
I apologize for not getting this out sooner, I had an event that hit my TBI really hard this last month, affecting my ability to work. So this review is not nearly as thorough as normal.
The Forest Service has been negligent, not just in the other aspects of the Crazy Mountains, but in how they are presenting this South Crazy Mountains Land Exchange and what the public will lose. For years this land exchange has stalled and been objected to. I will not retype all the details out in this newsletter, please see the webpage I set up to house the documents, maps and details. In the right hand side bar I also have links to some pertinent comments by others and BHA's video.
Public comments are due on Nov. 18th, just 1 week away.
Their comment page is acting up, but here is the link to comment online.
If you can't get thru the online portal, and since no other comment submission address was provided in the Preliminary EA Proposal, I would suggest emailing your comments to Dee Closson, Realty Specialist, email@example.com
CCing Supervisor Mary Erickson firstname.lastname@example.org
Project 56687 - South Crazy Mountains Land Exchange
Mail: Forest Supervisor Mary Erickson, P.O. Box 130, Bozeman, MT 59971;
Fax, (406) 587-6758;
or personally to 10 East Babcock Street, Bozeman, MT
Some points of interest:
- We would be abandoning Trail #272, which goes back, at least, to the 1925 Forest Service Map
- We have public access easements to Sections 8 & 4 of 2N11E (easement documents on webpage) through Rock Creek Road #199. 8 & 4 overlap by about 48 feet providing access to both.
- Additionally, I have included a PDF of of a 1986 Park County Attorney Opinion on corner crossing, which recently helped a member of the public get his corner crossing trespass dismissed in court (please see my notes on the webpage). This could allow further access from FS Section 4 to 3N11E FS Sections 32 & 34.
- In the bigger Crazy Mountains picture, what is moving and driving all these landowner deals right now, may involve the fact that Senator Daines has received $12,500 (2012-2014) and $7,800 in 2020 cycle from Altria (tobacco industry, top non-individual contributor in Montana), the parent company of Philip Morris USA, who owns the Crazy Mountain Ranch, one of the 3 landowners involved in the proposal. *Remember that it was Daines who submitted landowner complaints and false information to get District Ranger Alex Sienkiewicz removed from his position (links and details on webpage).
- Also, USDA Ag Secretary, who is in charge of the Forest Service has also received contributions from Altria when he was governor of Georgia, as well as gifted flights from Altria, which were part of an ethics investigation. Remember that as soon as Sony Perdue was confirmed, he attended a Montana Ag Summit in Great Falls, organized and sponsored by Sen. Steve Daines; days later Sienkiewicz was removed from his position.
- No Alternatives were provided that would include an exchange with 1 or 2 landowners, rather than all 3 together, allowing for an exchange with Wild Eagle Ranch (red) & Rock Creek Ranch (blue), but excluding Crazy Mountain Ranch. I don't see an issue with the Wild Eagle and Rock Creek Ranch exchanges, but object to Crazy Mountain Ranch exchange.
- CMR will permanently reserve rights to operate and maintain the Rock Lake dam and outlet tunnel in the deed through which CMR conveys Section 11 to the Forest Service. CMR would retain its water rights for the volume of water from full pool to the bottom of the outlet tunnel.
- The Forest Service has not provided an
Environmental Assessment for the public to review of the potential
hazardous substances, nor environmental impacts, as mentioned
above, for us to make an informed public comment. Provided is a PRELIMINARY EA.
- CMR has a conservation easement exception for "one new recreation cabin which may be built and maintained on the land protected by the CE". It does not state the size of the recreation cabin or preclude outfitting, hunting camps, which could be privatizing that elk herd which is currently available to the public. Listed activities at the CMR now include: snowmobiling, zip-lining, dog sledding, which could affect the wildlife habitat currently under FS public land.
Please take a few minutes to check out the information and submit a public comment to protect our public lands and access.
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Enhancing Montana's Wildlife & Habitat
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