Is going to shine some light on Senator Tester's bill: http://testerloggingbilltruths.wordpress.com
I grew up in the rural Wisconsin village of Elkhart Lake, in Sheboygan County, surrounded by dairy farms and the Kettle Moraine State Forest. I've…
In a recent Missoulian article about this issue, Missoula County officials stated:
“We believe the MT DEQ violated its own rules and federal regulations in reissuing this permit."
It's pretty ironic that the director of the MT DEQ is Tracy Stone-Manning, the former head of the Clark Fork Coalition. Yet, in this case, according to Missoula County officials, Director Manning and the DEQ "violated its own rules and federal regulations in reissuing this [Clark Fork River pollution] permit."
Wow, did everyone else notice that MT DEQ's original water pollution permit for the Smurfit-Stone paper mill allowed the corporation to dump 20,000,000 (20 million) gallons of wastewater into the Clark Fork River every day? Does that mean that Smurfit-Stone was permitted by MT DEQ to dump up to 7,300,000,000 (7.3 TRILLION) gallons of wastewater into the Clark Fork River every year?!?
And to think how some politically-connected "sportsmen's" groups and supposed environmental groups like Montana Wilderness Association, Montana Trout Unlimited and the National Wildlife Federation fought to keep the Smufit-Stone paper mill open by lobbying for passage of Sen Tester's mandated National Forest logging bill. So, let's see, they fought for more Clark Fork River pollution and more public lands logging. Wow.
The M2Green people have seemed shady since the day they rolled into town. I remember doing some google searchers on some of M2Green's other investments (which ironically included buying up more old Smurfit-Stone sites) and it seemed as if broken promises and questionable dealings were common.
In that light, it's no surprise that M2Green has also not paid $463,370 in delinquent property taxes to Missoula County.
Here's another article that just came out today which describes how corruption at the Udall Foundation – a federal agency charged with managing collaboration and conflict resolution – has helped poison the Flathead Forest Plan "collaboration."
"Flathead Forest Plan Collaboration: Circular, Incestuous or Just Rotten to the Core?" by Keith Hammer, Swan View Coalition.
Flathead National Forest meetings not collaborative By Bill Baum:
Incorrect Road Data Presented to Flathead NF Collaborative:
More Flaws in Flathead NF “Collaborative” Process:
Flathead NF Skews Forest Plan Revision Process, Deceives Collaborative Group:
Another invite-only “collaborative” leads to unprofessional Forest Service conduct:
The public deserves to know a little more about this 5 million acre National Forest "Fast Track" logging nomination "process."
Here are the facts: Governor Bullock nominated 5 million acres of National Forest land in Montana for “fast track” logging via a secret cabal of 7 hand-picked people that met over the phone 5 times with absolutely NO public notice given to Montana citizens, NO notes or recordings taken of these phone meetings and absolutely ZERO opportunity for Montana citizens to provide any input or comments on the 5 million acre of National Forests they were nominating for “fast track” logging.
Recently opinion pieces by Tom France of the National Wildlife Federation and Montana timber mill managers do not tell Montana citizens the whole story and they do that on purpose to protect their friends and their own roll in these exclusive, closed door and non-transparent processes.
For example, these folks now supporting Bullock's secret process fail to let Montana citizens know that right there in the Feb 28, 2014 conference call agenda (http://bit.ly/1m7NDyL) it clearly says “April 1st deadline to Governor – after broader public review/input.”
So, at one point very early in this secret process the Governor and his hand-picked cabal intended to seek “broader public review/input,” but as we all know now that never happened. Tom France of NWF, Bruce Farling of MT Trout Unlimited and the timber mill managers/owners can now attempt to re-write history all they want and make it seem like gathering broader public review and input was never part of the deal, but the call agenda from Feb 28th doesn’t lie.
Let's also not forget that when Montana citizens – and members of the media – requested basic information about this secret process, the Bullock Administration stonewalled the public’s request for basic information and at first flat-out refused to provide any information to Montana citizens unless Montana citizens PAID them.
Also, keep in mind that the recently passed Farm Bill allows for an unlimited number of 3,000 acre timber sales across our National Forests. These “fast track” timber sales will come from the 5 million acres nominated by Governor Bullock’s 7-person, hand-picked cabal that provided no notice the public and no opportunity for the Montanans to provide input, comments and suggestions.
These unlimited timber sales up to 3,000 acres (4.7 square miles) in size will be "categorically excluded" from the requirements of NEPA (the National Environmental Policy Act, America's bedrock environmental law), meaning there will be no environmental analysis as to how a timber sale could impact threatened and endangered species such as bull trout, grizzly bear and lynx. The public, citizen appeal process has also been stripped.
Finally, it’s understandable that people Tom France of NWF, Bruce Farling of MT TU and the timber mill managers want to take the public’s attention away from this secret process impacting 5 million acres of public National Forest lands in Montana and the role only a handful of people played in it. Tom France, in his recent Missoulian oped, attempts to do this by claiming that only “fringe groups” have any issue with the secret process or the 5 million acres of National Forest lands nominated for Fast Track logging. Unfortunately, yet again this is just another example of Tom France and his “collaborators” in the timber industry deceiving Montana citizens.
Here's the link (bit.ly/PL11uz) to a letter that WildEarth Guardians – with an office in Montana and representing 43,000 members and supporters in Montana and across the country – sent to Governor Bullock. As everyone can clearly see WildEarth Guardians, which has won awards throughout the west for their work within open, transparent and inclusive collaborative processes, made the following request:
“We respectfully request that you withdraw this designation and restart the process. Specifically, we request that you make the full process open and accessible to the public, and that you engage forest management experts, not just a small number of ‘stakeholders’ from a handful of organizations throughout the state.”
I’m sure Tom France’s recent Missoulian opinion piece is just the tip of the iceberg and that the timber industry and the handful of others involved with this secret, closed door nomination process that included zero public notice and zero opportunity for public input and review are frantically writing their own opinion pieces to try and cover up and defend their own role in this questionable “process.”
The fact is, Montana is a great place because we value openness and transparency from our state government and we all have a right to participate in the management of our public lands. Thanks.
Here are some substantive comments based on the actual text of the Rocky Mountain Heritage Act. These comments are provided from the perspective of a hunter/conservationist who has spent a lot of time on MT's RMF:
It also should be mentioned that the Montana Outfitters and Guides Association has come out publicly supporting Rep Steve Daines massive mandated logging bill, the so-called “Restoring Healthy Forests for Healthy Communities Act” (HR 1526).
As such I really don’t think the Montana Outfitters and Guides Association knows much about federal public lands policy, or really even has the best interest of our public lands, wildlife, wilderness and backcountry in mind.
Here’s why. In Montana it’s estimated that Rep Daines logging bill (supported strongly by the MOGA) would result in a 6 fold increase in National Forest logging across the state.
These dramatic increases in logging would be achieved by undermining America’s public lands legacy by simply having members of Congress mandate dramatic increases in industrial logging by exempting ALL National Forest logging sales up to 15.6 square miles (10,000 acres) in size each from public input, environmental analysis and gutting the Endangered Species Act.
Rep Daines’ “Logging Without Laws” bill also has the US Congress simply closing the US Federal Court House doors, forbidding any citizen lawsuits on certain types of industrial logging projects, which is inherently undemocratic. Daines’ bill applies to all of America’s 155 National Forests, not just those National Forests in Montana.
You can learn some more specifics about Daines logging bill here:
As a dedicated backcountry hunter myself I believe that some serious changes need to be made to the Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act, while Daines’ mandated logging bill should just be dismissed out of hand for all the ways it undermines America’s public lands legacy. Too bad MOGA doesn’t understand these simple truths. Thanks.
Indy readers interested in this subject may want to visit the HCN website where there is a lively discussion/debate taking place about this article.
"Federal lawmakers pressed Interior Secretary Sally Jewell on Wednesday to drop the administration’s plan to end federal protections for gray wolves across most of the Lower 48 states.
Seventy-four House members signed onto a Wednesday letter to Jewell that cited a peer-review panel’s recent conclusion the government relied on unsettled science to make its case that the wolves have sufficiently recovered."
Rest of story at: http://missoulian.com/news/local/house-mem…
Peer Review Panel: USFWS Didn’t Use the “Best Available Science” in Proposed Rule to Delist Wolves
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