Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Here's Some Good Advocates Doing Something...

"All it takes for evil to succeed
is that good men should look on and do nothing.

Public Access Storm Brewing Over the Crazy Mountains

The Crazy Mountains in Montana have been a public access hotbed, beginning in 1940. As then Forest Service Supervisor G. E. Martin writes (from my FOIA documents) detailing the variety of uses documented in the historic Crazy Mountains, including mining, timber, grazing, trappers, hunters and recreation, "At no time was travel over the roads and trails restricted until October 1940 when Van Cleve locked the gate during the hunting season. In 1941 this was done again. In 1942 the gate was again locked before the opening of the hunting season and was still locked on April 24, 1943."

I have an ask:

If you have been in the Crazy Mountains...

  • perhaps you received a citation when you were on a FS Trail on their map;
  • perhaps you have been on one of these contested trail and you thankfully did not ask landowner permission or sign in and would like to add your account to the prescriptive easement history;
  • perhaps you would just like to share your story and/or some pictures of what these particular public lands and access mean to you?
If so, please contact Kathryn : or 406-579-7748

Michael Wright wrote an article in the Bozeman Chronicle this weekend -
Advocates outraged over reassignment of Forest Service ranger 

"Landowner concerns over Sienkiewicz’s work to preserve public access to the Crazy Mountains near Big Timber were brought up to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue as recently as late May. Perdue was in Montana for the Montana Ag Summit, and he met with several agriculture groups along with Montana’s Republican U.S. Sen. Steve Daines.

The Montana Stockgrowers Association was part of the meeting. Jay Bodner, the natural resources director for the Stockgrowers Association, said each group in the meeting had a variety of concerns, and that public access conflicts in the Crazies was one issue for his group.

'We did have a number of our members kind of concerned with the access issue there in the Crazies,' Bodner said."

I have been busy digging through my FOIA documents, gleaning proof to refute the false allegations against former District Ranger Alex Sienkiewicz. I composed and provided this refutation letter, with supporting Refutation Documents to Public Land/Water Access Association. They are sending out their official letter and Refutation Documents to the officials below.
Please consider gleaning information from both, to send in your own comments, including to the other officials, agencies connected and the organizations involved, such as the Montana Farm Bureau Federation, the Stock Growers Association, the Montana Outfitters & Guides Association.

PLWA's Letter Defending Alex Sienkiewicz as Yellowstone District Ranger

Refutation Documents Defending Alex Sienkiewicz as Yellowstone District Ranger

Please note the following additional points:

  • After Lee Gustafson posted the yearly seasonal reminder to FS employees and seasonal help to PLWA's Facebook page, outfitter and Crazy Mountain landowner, Chuck Rein, who is also the Vice-President of the Montana Outfitters & Guides Association, along with MOGA Executive  Mac Minard met with then Yellowstone District Ranger Alex Sienkiewicz and Custer Gallatin National Forest Supervisor Mary Erickson on August 17, 2016. Refutation Documentation PDF pgs. 21 & 22 show, "Chuck Rein presented Alex Sienkiewicz and Mary Erickson with a copy of an EMAIL Alex had sent outto staff with cc to Forest Leadership Team." This is the communication that falsely alleged that District Ranger Alex Sienkiewicz posted directly to PLWA's Facebook post, which he did not - PLWA member with administrative rights, Lee Gustafson - per the screenshot (pdf page 10) "Both Mac Minnard and Chuck Rein asked Mary Erickson if she agreed with my (Alex's) position regarding never signing-in and never asking permission of private landowners at traditional forest access points, and Mary stated that she did support this position."
  • On January14, 2017 MOGA sponsored a Montana Access forum in Helena, MT. Region 1 Regional Supervisor Leanne Marten was invited as one of the speakers. This meeting is referenced in the Montana Farm Bureau Federations letter to Sen. Steve Daines on January 30, 2017 (PDF pg. 4). In the closing paragraph, John Youngberg writes, "This issue was brought to the attention of Region 1 Forester Leanne Marten at a recent Montana Outfitters and Guides meeting where she wasn't willing to commit an answer to the question above."
  • At that meeting MOGA Vice-President asked Regional Supervisor Leanne Marten, during the question period, "One of the comments I've heard about is partnership and cooperation. How have prescriptive easements and adverse possession lined up with those goals?" Marten began replying, "Something tells me there's a lot more behind that question." Yes, there certainly is, like the privatization of our public lands and resources on them, especially the wildlife that he outfits, restricting the public's access to both the public lands and wildife. I have documents related to this outfitting coming up on another installment.


Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Ave., S.W., Washington, DC 20250 (202) 720-2791

Forest Service Chief, Thomas Tidwell,   (202) 205-8439

Region 1, Regional Forester Leann Marten,   (406) 329-3315

Custer Gallatin National Forest Supervisor Mary Erickson,  (406) 587-6949

Senator Steve Daines,   (202) 224-2651

Even though Sen. Tester was not evident in the letters, please contact him as well.
Sen. Jon Tester,   (202) 224-2644
Representative Greg Gianforte, 1419 Longworth HOB, Washington, DC 20515

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Enhancing Montana's Wildlife & Habitat

Thank you,
Kathryn QannaYahu
Bozeman, MT

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