What they didn't tell you about the public lands riders
By Steve Charter.
Mr. Charter ranches over coal that would be traded by the public lands proposal, and is the chair of Billings-based Northern Plains Resource Council.
FULL STORY: http://gftrib.com/1Gf45Tl
When U.S. Rep. Steve Daines and Sens. John Walsh and Jon Tester were celebrating the public lands package they sneaked into a defense bill, I wonder if they thought about the landowners and taxpayers they threw under the bus by doing it.
Their package transfers valuable coal under my family's ranch and our neighbors in the Bull Mountains to Great Northern Properties, a mega-corporation spun off from the railroad years ago, in exchange for other coal in southeastern Montana. Great Northern Properties gets a windfall by giving up low-quality coal that will almost certainly never be mined and gains high-quality coal next to mines with a high likelihood of development. It's like trading a trailer house for a mansion.
Some Context on the Public Lands Riders: Losses Far Outweigh Any Wins
By Matthew Koehler
FULL STORY: http://bit.ly/1zaaQFp
Bottom Line: This public lands package attached as a rider to an unrelated National Defense Authorization Act will mean more public lands grazing, mining, oil and gas development and logging…and less public input, less protection for wildlife species and less science-based management overall.
There are a total of 6,397,000 unprotected Wilderness-eligible roadless acres in Montana. This public lands rider would protect only 67,000 acres in Montana as Wilderness, or just 1% of the total Wilderness-eligible roadless acres in Montana.
Nationally, the number of Wilderness acres protected in this bill is even more pitiful. This ‘historic’ 449 page-long Public Lands rider attached to the National Defense Authorization Act would protect a whopping 0.2% of all remaining Wilderness-eligible roadless acres in the United States. Nothing says “Happy 50th Birthday Wilderness Act” than boldly protecting 0.2% of what remains, right?
Top 5 Offensive Provisions of the Public Lands Rider
By Anne Hedges, MEIC
Once again wild land advocates rightfully want to protect wonderful wild lands but they are willing to give up far too much. There are just too many awful provisions lurking in the shadows of this deal that is being inappropriately slipped it into a must-pass defense spending bill.
Great Northern Properties gets its grubby hands on 112 million tons of coal adjacent to the Signal Peak mine. Two Wilderness Study Areas near Otter Creek will lose their designation as such and 14,000 acres of wilderness study areas in eastern Montana near the CMR National Wildlife Refuge will likely lose that designation from oil and gas development. Once again, eastern Montana lands are being sacrificed for protections in the western half of the state.
Take Action! Help Oppose Bad Public Lands Package
The National Defense Appropriations Act (NDAA) set for a Senate vote this week contains language that will forever change the West. Renewal of many grazing permits would be exempted from public oversight and environmental review by being tucked in with a sprawling public lands package, undermining the already inadequate public lands grazing management performed by federal agencies
It cannot be overstated: the new laws would mean that the BLM and Forest Service must continue status quo grazing regardless of the environmental laws being violated until the agencies have sufficient funding (or inclination) to do otherwise.
47 Public Lands, Wilderness & Environmental Groups Blast Riders in Defense Bill
A coalition of 47 public lands, Wilderness and environmental organizations from across the country have issued a letter to all members of the U.S. Senate demanding the removal of damaging public land “riders” that have been added to the Defense Authorization Bill, which passed the U.S. House last week and now awaits action in the Lame Duck senate.
The riders includes several controversial and harmful public land proposals, including an exchange of National Forest land to a foreign-owned mining company seeking to operate a mine on land sacred to the Apache, a giveaway of 70,000 acres on Alaska’s Tongass National Forest to Sealaska Corporation, notorious for its scorched-earth logging practices, and a stealth provision that removes protections from two Wilderness Study Areas in eastern Montana. The bill also contains numerous public land conveyances as well as Wilderness bills with special provisions allowing helicopter use and habitat manipulation.
The coalition of 47 organizations is calling on the Senate to remove the riders from the Defense Bill. Some proposals thrown into the mix would gain the groups’ strong support as stand-alone legislation, but the bill’s numerous “poison pills” mean that too high a price would be paid for a few conservation gains.
Save Sacred Native American & Public Lands from Huge Copper Mine
In a highly controversial move last week, the US House of Representatives buried the Oak Flat land exchange deep in the House version of the NDAA. For 10 years, the land exchange has failed to be become law for very good reasons:
It is the only bill before the US Congress that would give a Native American Sacred site on public land to a foreign mining company – Rio Tinto – that also co-owns a uranium mine with the Iranian Government.
The numbers are both fascinating and troubling. Some have explained the low turnout on Walsh pulling out, but I wonder and would be fascinated to see some research on why the turnout continues to decline. We seem to live in an age where people really do feel their vote doesn't matter, either that or they are too busy playing Candy Crush to care.
How refreshing that Megan writes a letter which is not abrasive but seeks a dialog for concerned climbing enthusiast and those who wish to protect public and private lands. So often opinion letters to the editor are single minded and poorly thought out. This blog is well written and Megan truly cares about the issue. Dealing with the forestry departments and any type of Government body will be frustrating and long term endeavor. M.K.
The transition from climbing gym ethics/mentality to outdoor, shared public land ethics/mentality has not been a smooth one for some 'sport' climbers. It's a shame that self-policing by climbers was not enough by itself to rein in the excesses and lack, by some, of outdoor, public land leave-no-trace ethics. When community climbers and non-climbers got involved the mean-spirited 'shoot the messenger' tactic was turned (by some) onto the non (or former) and local traditional climbers to try to discredit and marginalize people who did not want to see the proliferation of unplanned, unauthorized 'projects' constructed on public land with very little consideration of neighbors or other forest users, let alone the fledgling eagle trying to grow feathers to be able to move out of the area since climbers had staked their claim next to its home. The contrast between 'traditional', normally scrupulously ethical climbers and too many 'sport' climbers is very evident. Now, instigated by concerned community residents, the effort to eliminate or mitigate damage at Mill Creek and to develope a forest-wide climbing management plan is receiving at least lip service by the 'sport' climbers and the presumed land managers, the Bitterroot National Forest. After great trial and tribulation the Forest Service has finally indicated they will act on their public trust responsibilities and take some first steps beyond lip service. What they propose is essentially closing one barn door after the horse has bolted. However, other barn doors are wide open and left to self-policing by the very same people who saw but failed to police the Mill Creek media advertised 'sport' climbing 'project' fiasco. Nobody, especially climbers, likes regulation, but when public interests get trampled thoughtlessly regulation is appropriate and expected from land managers who are well paid to protect the land and related public interests. I hope the perpetrators of the Mill Creek 'project' can show leadership and ethics by moving forward without the personal attacks on the messengers that have been launched. Megan's letter stating, " We need to promote increased education and awareness within the climbing community, especially as the sport’s popularity grows and more climbers than ever are transitioning from the gym to the outdoors.", is a good start.
Maybe we'll get the YES votes to pay a user fee to pay for this increase in our property tax. Missoula is becoming a city of the have's and have not's because of these tax increases. Can you afford to live here?
Thanks, John. All of us who live here benefit from recreation spaces paid for by those who lived here previous - its time to kick in and do out bit. I'll be voting yes for parks and trails on Nov. 4.
We need more outsized ideas like this to shift our thinking to more imaginative solutions thank you for this john marshall
Hello John ; congratulations on your retirement from Boilermakers. at least that is the word from Heather. I see though that you have jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire. I can't agree more with you on the issue of coal power. Washington is great at wasting money and finding they have purchased grief , leave it to the high powered lobbyist to throw 2@1/2" end wrenches into the turbine. I appreciate your dialogue and feel your frustration .I am still firm in my conviction to get my theories to market , along with some combustion engineers and of course at least one corporation to see the value and aid in the engineering . I have thought if Warren Buffet , the owner of Mid American energy were to get involved and be willing to sacrifice a small percentage of the raw power he sells a phenomena in carbon capture and greenhouse gasses could be achieved .But that battle is yet to be fought. Any how I happened upon your article and thought I would say hello and congratulations again on your new position. Sincerely Pete McGowan
According to the numbers you reference in the last paragraph, 1.5% of voters (7,500 same day registrants out of 500,000 total voters) are causing the massive backups on election day? Not buying your logic, Mr. Essmann.
Boot Steppin Amanda refused to debate Daines in Eastern Montana.
Too scared to show up.
Would have been laughed off he stage.
Why would anyone want to debate in lefturn montana.
When Teste and Burns debated in Missoula, the crowd sounded like a bunch of UM sophomore frathouse losers than actual young adults.
They let Teste talk but made noise whenever Burns tried. Yeah, real fair and impartial.
You choose your own lounge room interior decoration geared to a specific design, or perhaps motif. May it be classic, contemporary, abstract or perhaps anything live tv , every single piece of lounge room interior decoration you decide is important for the overall look of one's lounge room.
She should check out the acres burned in the 1910 burn, and the 1930s - kind of makes today's acreage burned appear not so alarming.
The college course Intro to Psychology teaches you to be very skeptical of people who use terms like "many believe" because there is a good chance the person is either being deceptive or just don't understand what they are saying. Either case makes an argument against Tea Party claims of having smart followers to their extremist views.
Thank you Tea party! Many of us stand with you!
My pleasure, Mr. Mirisch - Jer
The sad part of these groups isn't about liberty but about being a republican controlled group. Republicans in general don't want individual liberty or less government. Just remember the Republican majorities during the Bush years when spending increased, the national debt increase and spying by the government on it's citizens increased. I think people should vote Libertarian this year and send those political groups a message that while it's nice to have non-partisan groups speaking out AFP is as non-partisan as Forward Montana who only supports Democrats, while AFP only supports Republicans.
i hope people aren't fooled by the lies in Stacey Anderson's letter. Personhood doesn't interfere with fertility treatment nor miscarriage. Recognizing each human being's right to life only means that it's illegal to kill that human being (with criminal intent or criminal recklessness) from the beginning of life. Fertility treatment is about creating human beings, not killing them so it would be unaffected. Miscarriages are not criminal either.
Government's primary job is to protect the innocent. Just because government is far too invasive in our lives doesn't mean it shouldn't do it's primary job. So, of course, government should protect every human being, even the weakest and most vulnerable, those in the womb.
Perhaps we should ban swimming pools - a child is far more likely to drown in a swimming pool than be killed in a firearm accident.
See also "The big lick: Horse abuse for fame and fortune." Don't miss the X-ray of the nail-filled hoof--and then imagine the agony in each and every step. This piece includes links to short videos, photos, and more. http://www.othernationsjustice.org/?p=5361
The statement, "There have been 63 school shootings in America since the Sandy Hook tragedy..." is misleading at best. It appears to be an updated number that comes from a highly flawed "study" from Mayors Against Illegal Guns, an organization that is "for civilian disarmament. This fact escaped a few of their early members; politicians who considered reading the name of the organization sufficient due diligence." They have lost more than 50 members in recent months due to their agenda and lack of credibility.
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