Sunday, July 9, 2017

Crazy Mounatins Public Trust and the Antiquities Act

"Plans to protect air and water, wilderness and wildlife,
are in fact plans to protect man."
~ Stewart Udall, 37th US Sec. of Interior, author of The Quiet Crisis

Presidents Lack the Authority to Abolish or Diminish National Monuments law review below...
I love law reviews and cases, I think part of it is they provide boundaries. Kind of like that saying, "Givers need to set limits, because takers rarely do."

Durfee Hills/Wilks Brothers update - on July 2, 2016, over a year ago now, I submitted a BLM FOIA for documentation on all the investigation, fines, penalties, rehabilitation and stabilization plan for all the damage to our public lands they did, including removing federal boundary markers. About 2 weeks after I submitted my FOIA, all the sudden the Wilks put out a news release that they had reached an agreement with the BLM on the trespass damage. My FOIA was assigned a case number and the tracking date showed it was due by the end of Sept. It has been an ongoing process of excuses and delays over the year. The last I heard from BLM was January 12, so catching up after the legislative session, I got back on that horse and began contacting DC and Senator Tester about my unbelievably way overdue FOIA. I have my suspicions why they haven't provided it before. At any rate, Tester's office looked into this and replied. I might actually be getting my BLM FOIA soon.

Recent news articles on the Crazy Mountain, Alex Sienkiewicz machinations:
7/7/2017 Sienkiewicz reassignment raises questions - Livingston Enterprise Editor

The Enterprise Editorial makes a very important public trust statement in this complex situation - "Erickson declined to offer additional details, calling the review an 'internal matter' that’s not “a public process.”

She further stated in her interview with Yellowstone Newspapers that the review is 'not a public process and the results of that are not a public document.'

We would strongly disagree with the forest supervisor.

Sienkiewicz is a public official and any such review should be open and available for public scrutiny, especially considering the widespread interest this matter has generated in recent weeks across Montana.

The Forest Service must be forthcoming about the decisions leading up to Sienkiewicz’s reassignment. Furthermore, it must be transparent about its ongoing review.

After all, Sienkiewicz occupies a position of public trust and his actions in that role impact all forest users." - our public lands.

I have been working on the large interactive map that will make it easier for the public to see what all is going on in the Crazies, I have also put in additional document requests as a result of additional research.

I submitted my Fish, Wildlife & Parks request for licensing information. While doing some earlier queries on Sen. Steve Daines to see if there were any connections to the Crazy Mountains, to understand why he would ignore a number of public hunter's pleas for public access restriction help, yet go all out and up to the highest USDA authority, Sec. of Agriculture Sonny Perdue on the ag, outfitting and landowners false claims, I saw some PR articles from years ago mentioning Daines enjoying public lands so much, especially hunting and fishing in the Crazy Mountains.

After looking at the Montana Cadastral, seeing he doesn't own any land in any of the 4 counties surrounding the Crazy Mountains, I wondered just how he is getting in there to enjoy all his hunting and fishing on our public lands in the Crazies? You know, seeing as how so much of it has increasingly been blocked off by outfitting landowners there. So I submitted 14 names associated with this chain of false allegations involving Sienkiewicz's removal from District Ranger, to see their hunting/angling history, and specifically any requests/tags for the draw only antelope, elk and mountain goat hunting districts - this could represent a serious conflict of interest here. I was notified that that only 10 of my 14 names had hunting histories and should be receiving those soon. Of the 10 who do have MT hunting histories, this includes Sen. Daines, who officially sent on false allegations; recently sworn in Sec. of Interior Sonny Perdue who received the false allegations; Sec. of Interior Ryan Zinke, also a recipient; and "sagebrush rebellion leader" Sen. Orrin Hatch, who has been a guest of Monzer Hourani's Crazy Mountain property.

While Montana is a great hunting and angling destination for many outside of the state, I am specifically interested to see if any of my 10 have a vested interest in protecting the privatized stranglehold on our public lands in the Crazy, therefore acted to have a public trust employee removed to prevent the public from being able to access those same public lands and public resources.

Law Review - For about a week I have had this PDF law review, finally made time to read it this morning. I wish I had read it right away, it would have a a weeks peace of mind on this front. I had to share with y'all. I am hoping that it will give many of you some much needed peace of mind, as it did me.

The short and quick - the President, nor his Interior Secretary, has the authority to modify or revoke withdrawls of a monument designation!

Some key points

  • In 1976, Congress enacted the Federal Land Policy and Management Act which governs the management of federally managed public lands lacking any specific designation as a national park, national forest, national wildlife refuge, etc.
  • The legislative history for FLPMA confirms that the President does not possess the authority to revoke or downsize a monument designation.
  • FLPMA codified federal policy to retain - rather than dispose of - the remaining federal public lands.
  • FLPMA repealed the Pickett Act, along with most other executive authority for withdrawing lands - with the notable exception of the Antiquities Act, Congress alone may modify or abolish monuments.
  • FLPMA also stated 204(j) the Interior Secretary, "...shall not...modify or revoke any withdrawal creating national monuments under the [Antiquities Act]..."
  • In FLPMA's legislative history, presented to the House floor for debate, "With certain exceptions, [the bill] will repeal all existing law relating to executive authority to create, modify, and terminate withdrawls and reservations. It would reserve to the Congress the authority to create, modify, and terminate withdrawls for national parks, national forests, the Wilderness System, Indian reservations, certain defense withdrawls, and withdrawls for National Wild and Scenic Rivers, National Trails, and for other 'national' recreation units, such as National Recreation Areas and National Seashores. It would also specifically reserve to the Congress the authority to modify and revoke withdrawls for national monuments created under the Antiquities Act and for modification and revocation of withdrawls adding lands to the National Wildlife Refuge System. These provisions will insure that the integrity of the great national resource management systems will remain under the control of Congress."
  • "For more than 100 years, Presidents from Teddy Roosevelt to Barack Obama have used the Antiquities Act to protect our historical, scientific, and cultural heritage, often at the very moment when these resources were at risk of exploitation. That is the enduring legacy of this extraordinary law. And it remains our best hope for preserving our public land resources well into the future."


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 (202) 225-3211  (you can try this, this is the one his office gave me, but mine keep coming back unable to deliver. For a technology guy, you would think he would have a functioning email address)

Click to be a Contributor or Subscriber to
Enhancing Montana's Wildlife & Habitat

Thank you,
Kathryn QannaYahu
Bozeman, MT

1 comment: