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Comment Archives: stories: News: Opinion: Last 30 Days

Re: “Worth keeping

I need to see proof and research showing that ''selling public land'' will be the outcome of land transfers from Fed to state. I know that is what everyone says will happen, yet Democrats in Montana fought a bill that would stop that from ever happening. Do you know why they fought this? They fought this because it would kill the only argument used to fight the land transfer. Shameful.
Ask for proof before accepting other's ''truths''.

Posted by D.a. Shkursky on 04/24/2015 at 10:54 AM

Re: “One voice

Surprised ? Don't be ! Dan focuses on coal leasing in this column, but it's the same story with all the extractive uses of OUR federal lands, and state lands too, probably.

Thanks to the long obsolete, but still on the books 1872 Mining Act, what "hard rock" minerals aren't literally given away for all practical purposes might just as well be, by dint of absurdly low royalty payments, the schedules of which probably haven't been updated literally in decades. The same can be said for payments for oil, other fossil fuels, and other minerals not covered by the 1872 Act.

Then of course, there's the ongoing, never ending scandals of below-cost timber sales and federal grazing leases. Fees for federal land grazing are set by a congressionally mandated formula, currently at something on the order of $1.35 per AUM; an AUM being a cow-calf pair, or 5 ewes with their lambs, per month).

By the way, for the record, grazing on state land isn't quite so egregious. The states actually, believe it or not, put grazing up for bid, and typically get somewhere in the $6- $8/month range. But the public is still getting ripped off : In SE Idaho, near Salmon where I live, last I checked, probably 3 or 4 years ago, private-land grazing was going for over $20/AUM.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by alf on 04/23/2015 at 1:26 PM

Re: “Not all right

I don't really care if 2% of food stamp users are using drugs. How many rich Wall Street fat cats are getting more tax breaks than hardworking families? To me, the latter is an issue, the former is a waste of time. I don't want representatives who I'm paying to waste time on that. I want the representatives, whose wages I pay, to focus on issues that affect this country.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Greg Strandberg on 04/21/2015 at 8:54 AM

Re: “Worth keeping

If our Congress really wanted to do something useful, they'd make it a tad less difficult for the Forest Service to put up timber sales . . . eliminate the potential for all timber sales to be challenged in court and thin it down to where sales can only be challenged if there really is a good reason for concern. Turning our public lands over to the states might boost state coffers short term, but the end result would be that our lands would be "privatized" (sold to the highest bidder . . .). Better the Forest Service have the reins loosened a bit, so they can go back to allowing reasonable harvest of our abundant natural resources - the frustration level of local communities would drop considerably, and the whole issue of transferring land would die the natural death it deserves.

1 like, 2 dislikes
Posted by Liz Codoni on 04/19/2015 at 10:36 AM

Re: “Worth keeping

Why wasn't Steve daines specifically called out in this article for supporting this sell off vote.
the billings gazette editorial board did and said he flip flopped on his promises to their editorial board ( and every state paper editorial board) in 2014 when trying to get elected to the senate. These editorial boards accepted his lies that he would do nothing to sell off or transfer public lands and that he would do what the people of Montana wanted ignoring that he had already voted twice to do this while in the house. Steve daines lied on this subject during the 2014 debates, to every major newspaper editorial board in this state and ignored what the majority of Montanans supported and chose again to do what he did in the house.i.e. tell Montanans one thing and then support the Republican ideology with his vote and ignore what Montanans wanted. Make no mistake, Daines is a key figure in this public lands subject and papers need to hold him accountable to keep voters informed and hopefully make him a one term senator.

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by bela on 04/17/2015 at 10:28 AM

Re: “Not all right

As President of the Public Land and Water Access Association I have experienced politics in Montana for many years. Don't fool yourself about which party is responsible for trying to privatize our water and wildlife. It's the G.O.P.
One example is the "Dirty Ditch Bill" that would have gutted Montana's Stream Access Law. We tracked it during the 2011 session.
We follow it closely because PLWA had spent over $100,000 protecting Stream access on the Ruby River alone. Suddenly, here is a bill in the legislature that if passed would have undone every thing we had worked for. Sportsmen finally showed up in force to kill the bill in a Senate Committee.
My point is this: Of the 57 votes that moved this bill thru the House, 56 were from Republicans. The same ratio is present in many other pieces of legislation including Habitat Montana and road closures.
John Gibson

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by John Gibson on 04/17/2015 at 9:32 AM

Re: “Not all right

You can say that again, Greg/derp.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by opus on 04/17/2015 at 3:39 AM

Re: “Worth keeping

HOW IN HELLLLLL CAN THEY SELL OFF WHAT ISN'T THEIRS?????????????

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Cj Rolphe on 04/16/2015 at 4:49 PM

Re: “Not all right

The Montana School for the Deaf & Blind is for students who are either deaf or blind, not "deaf kids who can't see". Perhaps the author made this mistake because there is no obvious reason for blind kids and deaf kids to congregate at the same school—unless it's for a cruel prank?

Posted by Merideth Nepstad on 04/16/2015 at 1:14 PM

Re: “Not all right

Three cheers for false equivalence!

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by James Bergman on 04/16/2015 at 11:10 AM

Re: “Not all right

The GOP wasted a lot of time and taxpayer money this year. They'll pay for their greed, ignorance and incompetence in 2016. Montana simply can't afford out of state bigshots ruining our lives any longer.

3 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Greg Strandberg on 04/16/2015 at 9:05 AM

Re: “Not all right

The Montana GOP wasted a lot of taxpayer money on useless issues and pushed policies that directly aimed to ruin hardworking lives. It's a shame, and 2016 will be the year they pay for their ignorance, greed and incompetence.

2 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Greg Strandberg on 04/16/2015 at 9:05 AM

Re: “Back to reality

It's amazing how the tea-baggers, social conservatives and tight-fisted fiscal conservatives in the legislatures always seem to find the money to waste on their own pet causes, no matter how futile. "Taking back" federal lands (which the states never had valid claims to begin with), and suing the feds over same-sex marriage are but a couple examples. And, of course, the eleven million they want to waste here (a direct subsidy to a private insurance outfit, which it most certainly neither needs nor deserves). Never mind the huge multiplier effect of expanding Medicaid, as Brooks points out. Ideology (Idiot-ology) trumps rational thought every time.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by alf on 04/09/2015 at 3:58 PM

Re: “Art appreciation

Art Wittich is a Tea soaked Koch minion period. He is doing exactly what he has been hired by them to do. Stop all progress of this administration,get rid of Obama Care, Blah Blah Blah. Art is just another sara palin in a suit .

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Yikes ! on 04/06/2015 at 9:30 AM

Re: “Blue sky dreams

Cloud seeding - stealing from Peter to get Paul wet. Think about it. Pulling water from the clouds before it is ready to fall on its own means that rain you "released" early won't be raining elsewhere. How are different states going to coordinate? Can't you imagine the lawsuits, the court complications? Relying on weather tampering to solve the problems that come with our changing climate is worse than doing nothing, but the lawyers will have a fine time in court . . .

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Liz Codoni on 04/04/2015 at 9:57 AM

Re: “Art appreciation

Art Wittich is the GOP answer to Ellie Hill.

7 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by moot on 04/02/2015 at 2:15 PM

Re: “Blue sky dreams

Cloud seeding = voo-doo

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by alf on 04/02/2015 at 1:51 PM

Re: “Art appreciation

Why is that guy allowed to roam at large ? Why hasn't he been institutionalized ?

13 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by alf on 04/02/2015 at 12:43 PM

Re: “Art appreciation

Making lemonade out of the lemon from Bozeman.

10 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Ken Taylor on 04/02/2015 at 10:43 AM

Re: “Into the woods

Opus, if I'm the "prog", "green tard", "urban twit" you were referring to in your post, you are making a lot of assumptions about what I think. You need to grow up a little and learn to communicate without putting up multiple straw man attacks and name calling to get your point across. This discussion is about Medicaid Expansion, if you can't kepp up, perhaps you should just go back to the Talking Bird and bend your elbow a bit more. I'm guessing alcohol consumption there had a lot to do with your babbling :).

Posted by Deborah Gregory on 03/30/2015 at 11:42 AM

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