Sunday, September 1, 2019

Missing - Science & the Public

Where is the law, science and the PUBLIC? "As for Smith, he sent out a press release Friday stating that the Park Service has 'a new electric bicycle policy for national parks...' Nevermind that under 36 CFR Section 1.5 the Park Service needs to go through rulemaking steps before it can adopt such a policy."

To express concern on the E-Bike Policy:
David Bernhardt, Secretary of the Interior
1849 C Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20240

National Park Service
(Paul) Daniel Smith, Deputy Director
1849 C Street N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20240

Bureau of Land Management, Montana/Dakotas
John Mehlhoff, State Director
5001 Southgate Drive
Billings, MT 59101
Phone: 406-896-5000

"Just before the comment deadline on Monday, 230 scientists from across the nation signed and submitted a letter opposing a proposed Forest Service rule that would reduce public involvement currently required by the National Environmental Policy Act...
'It takes scientists to understand whether what they’re proposing is really ecologically sustainable or not,' said Dick Hutto, UM biology professor emeritus. 'Sometimes they’ll rename particular activities to be things like "restoration" or "fire protection," but it’s up to us to decide whether we want to believe that or not.' "

"Putting William Perry Pendley in charge of the Bureau of Land Management is even worse than … than … putting a pair of energy-industry lobbyists in charge of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Interior."

Don't forget, James Watt was forced to dismiss Pendley from Reagan Admin over his handling of infamous Powder River coal sale in #Montana & Wyoming. Bidders were notified in advance govt would accept bids lower than announced for rights, undervalued sale by between $60M & $100M.

All Things Crazy

Judge Watters' Order CV 19-66-BLG-SPW, on our Motion for a Preliminay Injunction, filed on July 29, 2019 is a preliminary ruling based on a limited record. We are evaluating our options at this time, the deadline for filing a PI appeal is 60 days.

As a result, the FS is currently excavating the relocated trail at higher elevations.

And, as expected, and has happened in the majority of public access cases I have read through, the Defendents have asked for a dismissal.

Aug. 19, 2019 Federal Defendents’ Brief in Support of Its Motion to Dismiss

Forest Service seeks dismissal of Crazies access lawsuit - Bozeman Chronicle

Asking the right questions...
"So if this is not about access and it does not help seniors and kids nor hikers in general, possibly it is good for the hunting community because many local hunters acquire food for their families in the exact location of the new trail. However, the science is clear that building new trails causes habitat compression resulting in displacement of wildlife and degradation of habitat. Given the close proximity to private lands, displacement of wildlife will also affect neighboring cattle ranches when elk, deer and other species spend less time on public land."

"As a journalist, and as someone who has paid a price for my attempt to know this trail and the controversy surrounding it, I am appalled at the lack of public oversight with which the Crazy Mountain Working Group has gone about bartering with a public trail and at the dishonesty with which some of its members have gone about selling the deal to the public. If I did what these landowners have done, according to the Forest Service’s own documentation, it would be grounds to bring me back to court — on charges of vandalism and illegal sign posting. When the landowners do it, apparently it’s grounds to join them in a working group and cover for them in the press."

I am still gathering research for the case and working on it. Any contributions toward this effort would be a great help.
For more information: EMWH's Crazy Mountains Public Access page

I found some interesting information a couple weeks ago, while doing more research on Northern Pacific Railroad grant deeds. NPR wasn't just railroad, they also had natural resources, some of which helped the railroad, like coal or timber for tracks.

After the Burlington Northern merger, Burlington Resources was created in 1988 as a stand-alone resource company from Burlington Northern. Then in 1989, Plum Creek Timber was spun off of that.

I found this out, because I found 4 current deeds online from Plum Creek, which had the original Northern Pacific "easement in the public" language that is on the deeds I have been researching in Park and Sweet Grass counties.

This got me to wondering. I remember years ago, reading about public access on Plum Creek properties and recreationists worried that new buyer Weyerhaeuser might not allow that same public access. One of the articles even said Bullock was trying to negotiate with them to retain the public access.

So my wondering is, if we look at the deeds, and older maps, are we going to see that public access was already deeded there, not permissive, in a number of locations?

Hail Storm Kills Thousands Of Birds West Of Billings - estimated that 11,000 to 13,000 birds were killed.